Quality workmanship aptly rewarded
Dunedin’s Gray Brothers Builders has made the most of an opportunity to demonstrate the quality of its craftsmanship on a recent build overlooking Blueskin Bay at Warrington, which took out a gold award for New Home $1.5 million to $2 million at the Southern 2019 Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards.
Tendering for the project with Mason & Wales Architects in 2016, Gray Brothers Builders director Mark Ward says it was a cool looking house, with lots of timber both inside and out, and he knew his team would love working on it.
“We put a couple of apprentices on it who were not quite through their time, because they wouldn’t get another house like this for a long time,” he says.
“Even the carpenters who worked on it enjoyed the opportunity to work to such a high level of finishing inside and out.”
Gray Brothers Builders has been around since 1974.
Although its ownership has changed, its focus on completing quality work and building award-wining homes with a friendly yet professional approach remains the same.
Today the company is also involved in light commercial work, including earthquake strengthening and refurbishment projects.
Its directors Mark, Brett Kennedy, and Paul McBeath together have more than 114 years of combined industry experience.
They manage a strong team of 18 which p rides itself on its workmanship, communication, and professionalism.
Mark says apprentices at Gray Brothers Builders are rotated, and projects like this Warrington home are used as really good training tools for them.
“Earthquake strengthening is all commercial work, so projects like this give the boys an interesting balance.
“We do really old school apprenticeships where they get a chance to do everything from steel and concrete work to high end homes.”
The Warrington home is comprised of three wedge-shaped pavilions, each one oriented to capture a unique aspect of the view.
From the master bedroom, the sunrise can be seen over the headlands, while the kitchen, living, and dining areas look towards the ocean and Blueskin Bay.
The house opens up to a series of sheltered out-door spaces which follow the sun, and the evening deck and den see the last sun of the day.
The timber features throughout this home showcase Gray Brothers Builders’ fine craftsmanship.
The cedar cladding and straight lines and angles of the exterior are offset by the surrounding naturally greyed off cedar fencing, with a wave-like undulation.
The interior Tasmanian Oak covers walls, floors, and ceilings, and was the trickiest aspect of the build for Gray Brothers Builders.
“There was a high level of setting out at the framing stage to get everything to line up perfectly,” Mark says.
“You’ve got to set out your room dimensions and adjust the framing to suit. It’s not like a sheet of gib that you can take 20mls off.
“This cedar uses a clip system so there are no nails, and there are different ceiling heights all throughout the house. “It’s our job to make it work.”
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