First time House of the Year entrant takes out inaugural award

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Willie de Gruchy of WG de Gruchy Construction was “elated” when his name was read out as the winner of the inaugural Craftsmanship Award at the Registered Master Builders 2013 House of the Year.

Mr de Gruchy says this award speaks volumes for a new company in a market that is dominated by well-established builders.
“Our target is the high-end Auckland market, which tends to be led by builders who have been around for 20 years. We’ve only been in the game for five,” he says.
“This award is massive in terms of credibility. It’s a testament to our skill level and hard work — we may be young, but we should not be underestimated. Winning the Craftsmanship Award is proof of that.”

Mr de Gruchy says in order to win the Craftsmanship Award you have to be lucky enough to build a home that lets you show off your ability.
“To take out this award you have to have a certain level of skill and strong attention to detail, but you also have to be building the right kind of house,” he says.
“Not every home gives you the opportunity to really show what you can do. In this home, there was no hiding. The decorative ceilings, the bandsawn wall linings and extensive use of copper meant that there was no room for error. It was all or nothing.”

The judges said woodworking skills were put to the test on a large scale in this beautifully designed Herne Bay home.
“The particular attention to detail and exceptional standard of finish throughout was an absolute pleasure to judge,” they said.
“Hand crafted wall panelling, cabinetry and joinery in every room has made fantastic use of high quality materials, and a rustic French oak timber floor throughout gives this house a lovely family feel.

“This builder is a master of his craft and fully deserves the inaugural National House of the Year Craftsmanship Award.”
Mr de Gruchy says the competition was a big part of his decision to join Registered Master Builders.
“Starting out, I knew I needed to try and pick up some awards early in my career to associate myself with some of the older, more experienced operators in town. I knew that a House of the Year award would stand me in great stead against my competitors.

“People do take note of a House of the Year award — it’s a fantastic promotional tool, and the competition was a fantastic experience for me and all the boys. We were so honoured to receive this award, and we’ll make sure we do it justice when we enter our next house in 2015.”

The Awards are made possible through the support of PlaceMakers, James Hardie, GIB, Nulook, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Future-Proof Building, Carters, ITM, Plumbing World, Resene and Westpac.