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What does it take to win House of the Year?

What does it take to win House of the Year?


Words: Victoria Tait

Photo: Charlie Jackson

More than 330 homes will be assessed for this year’s Registered Master Builders House of the Year, with judges travelling around New Zealand to make their assessments at the time of writing and winners set to be announced later, in July and August. A team of industry experts is tasked with finding the best builds in the country, looking for top quality in new homes, show homes, renovations and the homes of builders. Style has been allowed a sneak peak inside one home, but must keep mum on certain aspects, until the winners are revealed.

What we can tell you is that this house is a finalist in Gold & Category Award Carters New Home $1 million-$2 million build. It’s located in Marshlands and built by Metzger Builders, who have won a gold award five years in a row at House of the Year. Last year, Metzger Builders was awarded the Supreme Award and Canterbury Registered Master Builders 2015 House of the Year; Gold & Category Award Carters New Home $1 million-$2 million; and Plumbing World Bathroom Excellence Award, for a build in Clearwater.

Speaking with judge Faye Pearson-Green, we have the opportunity to get the inside word on what the panel is looking for and how Canterbury stacks up against the rest of the country.

How did you become a judge for this competition?

I have been a designer in the industry for over 30 years. In Christchurch I have worked for some very talented architects before becoming my own boss for the last 20 years. I have worked across the spectrum of design over the years, from new homes, alterations great and small, with a bit of commercial work, such as restaurants. In 2014, I was asked to put my name forward for consideration to become a judge. Like all the judges, we go through an intensive training process, and after this I was lucky enough to be selected.

How would you describe the standard of entries this year?

Very high. Every year the competition just gets better and better as the builders strive for excellence in their field. The level of their workmanship, and the attention to every detail is increasing each year.

What are you looking for when judging a home?

All entries are marked to a strict marking schedule. Workmanship makes up 65% of the score, and design, functionality and style make up the remaining 35%. Under workmanship we look at general workmanship, finishing, structure, external cladding and roofing, selection, installation innovation and suitability of products.

You have been touring Canterbury and judging a number of homes. have you noticed any particular trends emerging in 2016?
In Canterbury we are seeing a mix of design styles, will no real definite trends. In saying that, dark colours and black are quite popular for wall cladding with the use of black bricks, dark stained timbers and roofing material being used as vertical wall cladding.

How would you say Canterbury homes rate compared with the rest of the country?

This year, again, there is a large number of entries from the Canterbury region, with entries across all the 12 categories. Like our Crusaders, our Canterbury Master Builders are doing extremely well.

What advice would you give someone embarking on a large home renovation or new build?
Use a Registered Master Builder for any building work you are doing and become acquainted with the building process. The Registered Master Builders website has comprehensive information on both the builders in your area and the building advice you will need.