Makeover undertaken by trusted team

When a Sumner resident was contemplating a home makeover, she called on the two professionals who had been involved in the original project; architect Graham Allen and builder Daryl Hewitt. This architecturally designed and superbly refurbished home looks as pristine and immaculate as a new pin.

When Sharen Paine embarked on a bespoke building project on a hill overlooking Sumner’s iconic Cave Rock in 1993, Daryl Hewitt
was foreman for the building company involved in constructing the three-level home. The angles, curves and coved ceilings in the tower-like stru
cture were challenging but in the capable hands of Daryl and his team, the project was a success.

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That attention to detail, and the competency and professionalism of the building team left no doubt in Sharen’s mind as to who to call when she wanted an extension added to the home in 2007. “During the original build I got to know Daryl really well and in the intervening years I have always called him back to do any work I have wanted done. He is reliable and dependable and very good to deal with, in every respect”, Sharen says.

The pavilion extension featured in an earlier edition of Homes. With polished concrete floors, marine-ply walls and stackable glass sliders on two facades, the structure – accessible from an internal stairway off the living room – sits unobtrusively in the sheltered garden. Last year, when Sharen wanted to complete earthquake repairs, and update the rest of the home, Daryl was her immediate choice. “In the current rebuilding climate I knew he could be trusted to never leave me in the lurch or do a shoddy job. He is reliable and thorough. Lisa in the office has been with him forever. These things make a huge difference, they make it much easier than it would otherwise be”.

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The major refurbishment included new aluminium window joinery, a combination of board-and-batten and steel cladding, and new roofing. Glancing around the beautifully presented interior, Sharen admits it was quite a headache getting all the lines and angles to work, but the architectural style and crafted angles have stood the test of time. “Back when the house was built I recall Daryl with string lines all over the place, working out how to make the angles fit”. This time around, Daryl’s executive foreman Steve oversaw the complicated aspects of the refurbishment. “He was excellent. Daryl has good people working for him and they can be relied upon to help out and be readily available as necessary. There were no unexpected hold ups”, Sharen says.

Inside, white walls provide a superb backdrop to eclectic furnishings and artworks. Although there have been no changes to the interior walls, some windows and exterior doors have been replaced and extended to better utilise the spaces within. Repainted steelwork inside and exterior balustrading is still modern-looking and by replacing the frontages of kitchen cabinets, Sharen has achieved an economic, high impact revamp in the kitchen.

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Having access to Daryl’s network of loyal and experienced industry professionals made choosing interior fixtures and fittings simple. “Steve was always prepared and talked me through things, letting me know well in advance what decisions needed to be made. Many companies have a relationship with DJ Hewitt and people who go the extra mile to help and fit you in”.

Living in a cul-de-sac on a hill where many homes have been destroyed by the earthquakes, Sharen and her neighbours have lived with the disruption of major road and construction works for several years. It is a testimony to the caring and considerate team of builders working on her project that Sharen’s neighbours had only positive comments. “Neighbours commented on how nice, polite and considerate Steve and his crew were. There was no loud music, no bad language and they parked their cars considerately so as not to block access. We’ve had some terrible experiences”.

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As for the result of the makeover, Sharen admits, “I am very pleased with it”. It is something of an understatement for a truly outstanding refurbishment of a timeless and special home.

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Home Design: Graham Allen Architects Ltd