A grand Victorian mansion, and the spouting that future-proofed it - Building NZ
A grand Victorian mansion, and the spouting that future-proofed it

A grand Victorian mansion, and the spouting that future-proofed it

ArchiPro sat down with Nigel Montgomery from Marley — who supplied the spouting products for this sprawling Victorian mansion — and discussed the ins and outs of being installed on such a unique project.

Words by Nick Forrester

Moving house: it’s something we’ve all endured at some point in our lives. But while it can be stressful and unpleasant, it’s nothing compared to moving a house — transporting a physical home from point A to point B.

The logistics alone involved in undertaking this feat for an average two or three-bedroom house is immense. Now, multiply that a few times over, and you’ve got the challenge presented by Huntly House.

A Victorian mansion with seven bedrooms and as many bathrooms, it was originally built over a century ago in Palmerston North, and was recently bought by the Parsons family. After much deliberation, they eventually decided they wanted it to be brought up to Clarks Beach, a coastal town on the Manukau harbour, an hour’s drive from Auckland — and 500km away from Palmerston North.

After many weeks of pure logistics planning, the dismantling process in Palmerston North began by Heineke Builders. Brick chimneys were removed, as was the roof, stair bannisters, and parts of the ceilings, floors, and walls. Every individual piece of the house was meticulously labelled or numbered, and five days later, it was ready for transport.

The first two smallest pieces were driven off in a giant truck overnight; the larger four pieces that followed took an additional two nights. The following day, the weeklong process of putting humpty dumpty back together again began in earnest.

Then, the real work began — a detailed reconstruction and renovation, which would take markedly longer than the move.

Marley's products are often installed on these kinds of 'feature homes' — but this one was unique.

Spouting the mansion

Of course, with such a large, grand home renovation, many different organisations contributed to the project, and ArchiPro sat down with one of them: Nigel Montgomery, the Senior Product Manager from Marley, the supplier of spouting, downpipes and more.

“Our products are installed on a lot of 'feature homes’ like this one,” says Nigel, “but the sheer scale of Huntly House is quite unique. The intricacies around the terracing, the fact that it’s a three-storey, all-weatherboard home originally built in 1911 — it's a big home, but we had the product for it.”

When the house sat in its original spot in Palmerston North, its existing metal spouting was almost at the end of its life. One of the builder’s tasks was to install a solution that would satisfy both aesthetic and functional requirements.

Marley's Stratus Design Series Stormcloud spouting and RP80 downpipes were ideal for this project for a variety of reasons.

An attractive and durable solution

“The family wanted something that would fit with the overall appearance and colour scheme, and it also needed to be durable, as it was sitting in close proximity to the water with coast on either side,” says Nigel.

“So, the obvious answer was to install uPVC spouting, which is ideal for a coastal environment because it can’t corrode or rust.”

The Parsons decided against installing the same steel spouting, in favour of the Stratus Design Series Stormcloud spouting and RP80 downpipes — which would invariably last longer in a more demanding environment. Available in a range of colours, the Parsons opted for Resene Grey Friars, to frame the home and match the roofing.

The uPVC option wasn’t just right because of its durability — it’s also very low maintenance, which is important for such a large house. The product doesn’t require a regular cleaning cycle, and if it does need cleaning, a mild soapy water solution is all that’s needed.

It’s also ideal for multiple storeys, of which the Huntly House has three. This also comes down to its durability: less hardy spouting products would potentially need more frequent maintenance or cleaning, and this requires scaffolding — a costly and time-consuming process. And of course, the taller the building, the more time, effort and money is needed for such an endeavour.

“With a project like this, a house of this size — it’s all about future-proofing, and ensuring you keep maintenance costs down where possible,” says Nigel. “You certainly don’t want to come back any time soon and repair or replace any spouting that’s rusted or has been otherwise damaged.

“This uPVC solution gives families like the Parsons peace of mind on a project so large.”

Learn more about Marley and its Stratus Design Series.

Recommended reading