A New Home from the Ashes

When a friend planned to rebuild his fire-damaged home Wellington Architect David Pawson stepped in to help out with help from Tony Hodson from EBUILD who were the Builders and Project Managers.

With the collaboration between Architect, owner and a Quantity Surveyor a decision was reached that it would be more cost effective to demolish the house rather than work with what was left of the mostly burnt-out two-storey home. 

“It would have added more cost to the client to keep it and rebuild it than to demolish it and start again,” said David. “So, we stripped the building right back to the slab that was there.” 

The plans that were originally drawn up by a draughtsman for the replacement home were very similar to the original house. 
“We used the same footprint and the same geometry although that was changed slightly on the lean-to, and we added more decking to get more indoor-outdoor flow,” said David.

Inside, the layout was changed on both floors to make the most of the west-facing sea views over Island Bay and out across Cook Strait from the living spaces. However, the same number of bedrooms on both levels were retained with the addition of an extra bathroom on the lower level. 

The one change that David did insist on though, was cladding the house mostly in Kāhu profile COLORSTEEL® MAXX®, with the roofing in MC700 profile COLORSTEEL® MAXX®.

 “The designer had gone with random pattern cedar board and batten cladding but the maintenance on cedar is huge on a two-storey place in that sort of harsh environment,” he said “The house is right on a high ridge on a 60-degree slope overlooking Island Bay so it’s a pretty severe environment that the longrun would cope much better with.”  
David said the cladding, which was run both vertically and horizontally, as well as being lower-maintenance and more cost-effective, also gave the home some beautiful clean lines.
“A lot of work went into the detailing of the cladding and flashings – especially around the windows to give the house a nice crisp look,” said David.
Builders EBUILD and roofing and cladding installer Royal Roofing collaborated over flashing details for inter-storey junctions, windows, decks and the change from horizontal to vertical cladding, which was tough to execute. Working at height on the south coast of Wellington was a challenge in itself. 
David said, “The owner preferred to use cedar in the two deck areas which are tactile zones where you can touch the walls and the cedar provides more warmth.” 

Wooden joinery was replaced with aluminium-framed double glazing, and insulation was upgraded throughout the house.  
The two-storey house steps down the slope with the main living floor at street level where a garage fronts the road. 

The bottom floor of the house, which has a fire barrier from the upper floor, is self-contained accommodation, designed for rental purposes, with its own kitchen and two bathrooms. In the original dwelling, the living areas were more towards the rear but in the new home they occupy the western end of the floor to make the most of the views and the afternoon sun and these rooms open out to the extended deck with timber balustrading. There is also a smaller deck on the northern side of the house by the front door. 

Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, and the open plan living area – featuring a stone surround open fire – has a cathedral ceiling with exposed rafters, flowing out to a glass balustraded deck. 
Plywood floors throughout the home are either carpeted or tiled.

EBUILD - Builders and Project Management.

EBUILD brings to any building project a portfolio of skills that manage the smooth flow of construction from design through to completion. Tony Hodson, Construction Manager for EBUILD, is clear “We were not involved in the design process of the Buckley Road project but we were able to offer our skills and knowledge to the designer, architect and owner to enable a quality end product that worked in the construction process.” 

Generally the company is involved in project management and building on many levels from renovations, commercial developments and new residential homes. The preference is to manage entire projects which often extends to working with designers, acquiring tenders for building and sub-trades, building consents and inspections through to the final code of compliance certificate.


Builders and project managers:
EBUILD Ltd. Wellington
Telephone: 04 380 7414
Roofing: 0.40g MC700 COLORSTEEL® MAXX® 
Cladding: 0.40g Kāhu COLORSTEEL® MAXX®
Roofing and Cladding Manufacturer: Metalcraft roofing Lower Hutt, 
Telephone: 04 566 2253 
Roofing and Cladding Installer: 
Royal Roofing Ltd, Wellington 
Telephone: 027 262 5162