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A Dream Update: DJ Hewitt

A bespoke kitchen and bathroom makeover refreshed and updated the heart of a 1940s home.
A Canterbury couple moved from rural life to leafy Fendalton, but first handed the keys to DJ Hewitt Builders to transform the essential rooms.



Originally with a kitchen revamp in mind, they took Daryl Hewitt’s advice to simultaneously renovate the bathroom and ensuite, to save both time and cost in the long run.

The project was complete within three months – the best decision they could have made.

Both practicality and design were of equal priority, so local interior designer Davinia Sutton was commissioned for an exciting kitchen reinvention.

“The brief was for a bespoke functional custom-made design to blend with the classic architecture,” says Davinia, who had recommended the build team to her clients.

“I’ve worked with Daryl on other projects. He is hands-on and has a fantastic, high-calibre reliable team who I always collaborate well with. Craig the Project Manager was on board every day.”

“They had respect for the design and the journey to create its reality. We all worked together for the same goal, to achieve the client’s dream.”

The kitchen area, in classic warm white, was tiled to represent a textured bagged brick wall with Italian hand-cut and glazed tiling, designed not to be perfect.

Hidden handy details included in-draw knife blocks and power points in the cupboards.

A wine fridge, an extendable swan-neck tap, and a glass designer lamp melded style and practicality.

The space was not large, but monolithic tones created space to the eye.

A raised bench wall gave the cook privacy and still a full view through the lounge to the picturesque stream-boundary garden.

The upstanding bench formed both sideboard with flush cupboards and the rooms’ natural divide. The French-Oak veneer matched the stunning handmade oak table perfectly.

For the modern bathrooms in warm classic tones, the client’s daughter’s interior design skills were bought to fruition, with a washbowl feature, retro-style small tiling in the shower, and ample mirrored cabinetry for lightness and storage.

The couple were delighted the timeline was completed without a hitch, and attention to detail from the entire team was especially appreciated.


Exceeding expectations: DJ Hewitt Builders

A close collaboration between builder and designer created a home where every space suits the realities of family life.



James and Micayela Hunter have three daughters and their new St Albans home passed the ultimate functional test – a birthday sleepover for 10.

An architectural designer, James has worked with Daryl Hewitt of DJ Hewitt Builders for 15 years; their common bond being exceptional attention to detail.

Light, bright and open plan with a 2.7m stud, cedar fins greet at the front door. Past the wide entrance, office and separate lounge, American Oak fins also form the stairwell and partitioning to a cosy dining area – linking spaces with personality.

Doorways were intentionally kept to a minimum for easy-living flow between spaces. Adjacent to the living area and open-plan kitchen with a steel-framed island, a zigzag walkway leads to a private powder room, laundry and three-car garage.

It was an engineering design achievement for the 5.5m of timber fins connecting the second floor. The landing sports an extra-wide hallway for siblings to run past each other to the four bedrooms, hobby nook, and fully tiled bathroom.

“Daryl’s passion and enthusiasm for building is contagious, nothing is ever a problem and the quality of workmanship is exceptional!” Micayela says. “I am truly delighted.”

“It was a whole-team project – evereryone was so organised. It wasn’t at all stressful, and everything was finished a week ahead of schedule, giving us more time to move in.”


Happy homeowners: James and Micayela Hunter with their three daughters.

She’s enjoying her walk-in wardrobe with a light-filled picture window, and ensuite with a double shower and double sink.

The interior consultant, Daryl’s wife Tara, balanced monochromatic tones throughout, and chose a stunning textured-tile backdrop in the kitchen. “In the walk-in pantry she cleverly suggested a window between the bench and the shelves instead of a splashback.”

The 356sqm Rockcote-clad and standing seem steel home has PV solar panels, and underfloor heating. LowE glass and larger eaves keep heat out and warmth in, and foundation-ring insulation was another savvy cost-saving investment.

“It was an evolving project,” James says.

“Too many builds just keep to minimum standard. Everything exceeds minimum here – you have to love what you build!”




D J Hewitt Builders

Behind the office door: D J Hewitt Builders

Daryl Hewitt, owner of D J Hewitt Builders, has personally seen to it that building a house with his company is an all-inclusive experience.


D J Hewitt Builders


Daryl’s handpicked team are there for clients for every step, “from site selection to moving in with your toothbrush,” Daryl says. “We understand creating homes is about needs and wishes, and we are all about solutions rather than problems.” Backing the top team on site is the cracker team in the office. Craig is Project Manager, while Noel, a qualified technical builder, is the pricing expert and Daryl’s wingman for 19 years. Janet manages all accounts and with four years at D J Hewitt, is able to anticipate requests before they are made. She also makes sure the subtrades and bills get paid on time.

Janelle makes everything happen: passing information, timelines and weekly site photos between the office, building team, trades and clients. The office team is rounded out by Tara, Daryl’s wife, and interior design and fitout guru. Tara assists clients to choose tiles, appliances, plumbing and other fittings and the interior and exterior colour scheme, ensuring all fit within the budget.


D J Hewitt Builders

Daryl says there is a happy environment in the office. It’s a genuine team effort that centres around communication, openness and transparency. The company as a whole like a family and staff turnover is rare: builder Kevin has been on site for Daryl for 23 years. The whole team is very loyal and passionate about work and they get together outside of work too, with the likes of the D J Hewitt basketball team and golf days.

Working with clients right from the beginning, the D J Hewitt team help with site selection and choosing a designer, or will work with the designer you have already chosen. Every part of the process is managed, complete with pricing and monitoring your budget. “Striving to work to budget can be the most stressful part of a build, but I ensure the build fits the budget and the wishlist,” Daryl says.


D J Hewitt Builders

“In fact, they call me the budget police,” he adds. “I keep the design on track but will build it to the client’s budget. It’s not about cutting corners; it’s about adding value, doing things in a clever way. A single line on paper can be the difference between $60k or $100k.”

Daryl, Noel and Tara meet with clients and designers often. Behind the scenes they meet the engineer, geotech engineers, and surveyors to ensure those elements stay on budget. Janet ensures all quoting and invoicing is explanatory and transparent, and she also provides forecasting of the expenses ahead.


D J Hewitt Builders


The loyal team of subtrades have worked with Daryl for 20 plus years and work closely with Noel and Daryl to ensure the best value, and the right product, priced correctly. “It’s not a job; we’re passionate about creating homes and delivering dreams – whether it’s a deck or a multi-million dollar hill build.”


D J Hewitt Builders



DJ Hewitt

Behind the construction scenes: DJ Hewitt

“We are happy to hold their hand every step of the way,” says Daryl Hewitt. The whole package can be provided from working with engineers, designers, and the council, through to interior design – Tara Hewitt’s professional expertise.


DJ Hewitt


After nearly a quarter of a century building residential homes, the Christchurch-based company is synonymous not only with exceptional quality on every single project, but for making the build stress free and enjoyable. “Strong, tough, reliable and good looking – and that’s just the builders!” says Daryl, the hands-on director who combines a sense of humour and passion for the job, with a perfectionist’s work ethic. Transparent honesty is both Daryl’s weakness and his strength – which also takes stress out of the equation, as does the fact that he helps you make the decisions. “You get what to you pay for,” he says. Described as “a human calculator” Daryl makes the right decisions to ensure every job stays to budget. He will work through the advantages and cost-effective and future-proofed outcomes for each scenario, for the client’s benefit in the long run.


DJ Hewitt

“Most people say they’ll never build again before they start – but we’ve had people say this, only to build three more homes with us!”
The company’s forte is architectural builds, including bespoke smaller homes – which have gained popularity with couples and singles – and also extensions and renovations. The team of 20 works anywhere within 40 minutes of Christchurch. They can help choose a site, or assess the best way to utilise an existing section. Smart homes, energy efficient and stronger, safer, affordable builds is the specialty.
“We build to suit the client’s needs, and their wish list. I’ve always been very fussy, so our clients get the same quality of workmanship and service, whatever their budget. Each package is tailor-made to suit.”


DJ Hewitt

“One client went away for three months, assured a better job would be done without his presence!” The proficient office team ensures regular updates on every project, no matter where in the world the client is based. DJ Hewitt is about relationship building. “We get many comments from neighbours, on our work ethics, how tidy we leave the site, and how courteous our guys and subcontractors are,” he says. “Kevin, our builder, has been with us 23 years and Noel 19 years, and we’ve trained many an apprentice. Some of our subcontractors have been with us over two decades. Loyalty goes a long way. They know exactly what I expect with each job.”

Trust is key. “I want the clients to be happy, no matter what – that’s my goal.” DJ Hewitt’s in-house magazine, Home 2, has 140-pages of inspiration.


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