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Growing an English Rose: DJ Hewitt Builders

The family of a Strowan home describe her as a beautiful English Rose – an ode to iconic Christchurch history.

Angee and Chris Robertson fell in love with the spaciousness and strong bones of their character villa two years ago, now renovated with robust modern comforts by DJ Hewitt Builders.

“I kept hearing Daryl’s name come up when parents chatted about their home-build experiences,” says Angee, a former English teacher at Shirley Boys and St Margaret’s College.

“We had endured the highs and lows of building before, and as busy professionals with two young children we wanted a team of reliability, high quality and integrity.

“They guided us through every step of the project. Everything was on time and pre-calculated, with no surprises. The workmanship was faultless! It shows they love what they do, and Daryl did some of the work himself.”

Utilising the sunny 800sqm section was the next plan, but the Robertson’s since chose an adventure in Auckland. Elmwood is now for sale, after having only three owners in 110 years.

Transformed with personality from a house to a home, clean lines and clean colours created a classic palette.

“It’s so light and bright. To me a home is synesthetic, to involve all your senses.

“With the styling from Lume Design, the massive, beautiful kitchen was modernised and a long island bench created our home’s hub and heart. Bathrooms tend to be a quiet space of luxury, so we chose art deco-style Italian tiles and double showers with deluxe rain heads.

“Everything was completely rewired and well insulated, with new windows, and there is a heat pump, gas fire and log burner.”

The old garage on the north-facing section, was completely rebuilt to look like it has always been there, and includes a guestroom or fourth double bedroom, with its own elegant bathroom.

“Both Daryl and Tara treated us like family, making the process simple and pain-free. They were knowledgeable, genuine and warm. We never felt like a number, and through DJ Hewitt we created not just a point of difference, but a point of excellence. Any family would feel at home here.”

Visit to view the home.


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!”




DJ Hewitt Builders

A four-fold favourite: DJ Hewitt Builders

Great things come out of a trusting two-way client relationship – Daryl and Tara of DJ Hewitt Builders, and Griff and Maree Lash of Estuary Veterinary Clinic, are testament.


DJ Hewitt Builders


Originally neighbours two decades ago, ‘take one’ was in 2002 when Daryl built a mezzanine floor for the Ferrymead-based clinic’s 21-cage cattery. ‘Take two’ in 2007, he enlarged the next clinic by 137sqm – until liquefaction destroyed the good work in 2011. ‘Take three’ was a fit-out of an interim unit, right next to the current clinic.

This shaggy dog tale had a happy ending this year, and ‘take four’ was the 180sqm fit-out of unit 4 1091 Ferry Road. Daryl utilised the empty adjoining warehouse to accommodate two consulting rooms, one a spacious 48sqm with water views, and separate cat and dog hospital wards. “He custom-built for our needs to fit our large bench unit and up-to-date equipment such as dental x-ray, digital imaging, diagnostic equipment, new dental station and space for a mobile animal cage,” Maree says.

Perfect for high-paw traffic, the polished concrete flooring works well. “We needed a natural-looking, wash-and-wear floor. Everyone loves it.” Daryl worked on the Lashs’ home rebuild recently, and also the Christchurch After Hours Veterinary Centre. “Daryl’s wife, Tara, was our interior consultant. She knows exactly what I like!

“We know all his staff and subcontractors now; they’re a pleasure to work with. The finish is always to a high standard, and Daryl and his team always listen to our needs, creating solutions and giving recommendations.” And the Hewitts appreciate their beloved Schnauzer, Porscha, is in Griff’s caring professional hands.