Rob van Weerd is reminded of his success in last year’s House of the Year competition every day, because he lives in the winning property.
Nestled alongside the Waikato River, this inner-city residence built by Rob’s company, Rob van Weerd Construction Ltd, won the Nulook Builder’s Own Home award in the Registered Master Builders 2007 House of the Year, in association with PlaceMakers.
Rob and his wife Josie reside in the property. “We were rapt to win the national title as it’s getting so hard to do these days! It’s all the more special because it is our home,” Rob says.
Rob and his wife purchased the section a year before construction started, giving them enough time to present the architect with a detailed description of what they wanted.
“While we gave the architect a pretty open brief we certainly provided him with a firm idea of what we were thinking of, which I think helped him to come up with such a special style.”
The home has a striking contemporary design incorporating a complex multi-layered, curved roof. Rob ensured the property was future-proofed by double layering Gib board, and including a concrete mid-floor to provide the home with passive heating.
It also boasts a generous home theatre, a chef’s kitchen, central heating, computerised lighting and excellent indoor-outdoor flow thanks to north-facing decks that overlook Hamilton city. Like the design of the home, the interior has been strongly influenced by the couple.
The construction process lasted 14 months, and while Rob mostly confined his role to project management, he did also help with some of the physical build.
Rob rates the project his favourite during 25 years in the industry. He employs five staff and subcontracts to numerous others, and says taking part in the House of the Year competition has significant pay-offs for the business.
“We definitely benefit from entering and achieving success in the House of the Year competition. I would say that our membership of the Registered Master Builders Federation, combined with our involvement in the House of the Year, contributes to about 80% of the brand recognition the company has in the marketplace.”
With that in mind, Rob van Weerd Construction Ltd has a simple business aim for 2008: “carry on doing what we are currently doing”.
“It’s an old rule but a good one — the customer is always right. Our business makes a big effort to really listen to our clients. We want every client to walk away from any interaction with us happy, whether it is the end of the project or part-way through.
“We address any problems immediately to ensure our clients are always satisfied.”
Rob has clearly followed this principle with his own home — a project close to his heart, which has brought him lasting satisfaction.