Innovative home on tight site scoops national awards


A remarkable urban oasis in Tauranga took home the national CARTERS New Home $1 million to $2 million Award at the 2017 Registered Master Builders House of the Year awards.

The home also won the Outdoor Living Award at the national competition.

Belco Homes Ltd owner Kathy Bell says they were absolutely thrilled to come away with the win.

“The $1 million to $2 million category is hotly contested. There was a wide variety of unique and beautiful designer homes, so to achieve a win in this category at a national level was a real thrill,” she says.

The future-proofed, cedar-and-clay-brick family home sits harmoniously alongside a Catholic convent, and juts out to school grounds overlooking the harbour.

The tight site presented unique challenges and opportunities for the team. House of the Year judges praised the home’s innovations, noting that its floor plan had been cleverly utilised with every consideration given to the surrounding views, without compromising privacy.

“It’s a well-thought-out home, and it maximises every square centimetre of space,” Ms Bell says.

“It’s a very stylish and welcoming home which exudes calm. It’s packed with bespoke details, and its unique finishings demanded high levels of craftsmanship. The home offers multi-functional spaces, and lots of smart and discreet storage.”

The judges praised the focus on good materials and products, which were well complemented by the attention to detail and high standards the builders achieved.

“There were challenges with so many features requiring a high attention to detail,” Ms Bell says.

“These include the feature walls in the entry and up the stairwell to the second-floor landing, lining the two-storey lift shaft in vertical cedar shiplap, the custom copper front entry door, the custom copper wall linings in bathrooms, the brick interior feature walls replicating the exterior — the list goes on . . .” 

Belco Homes has entered the House of the Year many times before, and has successfully picked up numerous awards, including a win at national level.

“The House of the Year competition offers us a means to pit ourselves against our peers and see where we are in the industry. The competition helps our marketing, as it is not us simply advocating how well we can construct a home —  instead, our ability is independently judged.

“When we first joined Registered Master Builders five years ago the key drivers were our ability to access standardised building contracts, and being able to offer the Registered Master Build Guarantee to our clients.”

“We value being part of a national association which supports and advocates for our industry, helps keep us up to date with industry changes, and also offers opportunities for networking and camaraderie.”

House of the Year is made possible through the support of PlaceMakers, Master Build Services, GIB, Nulook, CARTERS, Plumbing World, Resene and Bunnings Trade.