When Build This’s Sam Patience took on the build of a three-storey home on a tight corner site it was an opportunity to problem solve at a high level.

A tricky corner site on the waterfront in Glendowie with a covetable view of Rangitoto was always going to throw up challenges in the construction process.

The site dips down from the road and the content needed for the house design was such that a three-storey build was required. Ideally the house would take in the views from the upper level, but from the ground level would embrace a secluded outdoor living and pool area.

Sam Patience from Build This was tasked with project managing the slick architecturally designed build (by Young & Richards) and he says that he didn’t get far before the site started throwing up problems.

“There were some pretty major unexpected variations with the site— previously undetected soft ground required complete re-engineering.”

The engineering involved an extra cost to the client and a number of extra concrete piles, but Sam was determined to get the build back on schedule. He liaised with engineers around the methodology for shoring up the building platform and quickly gained the client’s trust with his attention to detail and open communication.

The three levels of the home are spliced across each other like a series of layered wedges and the steel work involved in the structure of the house was extensive.

The detailing of the full height joinery was a crucial part of the success of the project and Sam could see that the methodology around how the joinery could fit into the steel framework could be improved for ease of construction.

“I was working closely with my steel engineers and architects to redesign the way the steel was put together to achieve the ceiling height joinery and to get the finish that the clients expected.”

The aim was to speed up the building process and gain back time that had been lost on combatting the soft ground conditions.

The shape of the roof was another crucial part of the design that involved great attention to detail and an unconventional building methodology.

The “box look” parapet design, which hides the Coloursteel roof, involved careful truss design and construction to achieve the angles required. A torched on continuous membrane internal guttering completes the slick, geometric look.

“We were working within very small minimum and maximum tolerances to achieve that flat look. The set out was quite tricky—every level was on a different angle to the next level, and there were some pretty major cantilevers. It had to be bang on.”

Sam says the clients were great to work with and required a high level of attention to detail that he feels very comfortable with. He worked alongside the clients to achieve all the interior detailing as well as the slick exterior spaces.

The exterior cladding was one area where the detailing was incredibly important. The main part of the build is clad in cedar, while the tiled horizontal cladding around the outdoor fireplace was designed to highlight the change in angle of the building and delineate the outdoor entertainment area.

The roof over this space was also key to the design.

“It shoots out on an angle that incorporates the outdoor fireplace—that was also carefully constructed so that it looks like an architectural feature and highlights the roof.”

Sam says working with such exacting clients was a pleasure and he was able to showcase his ability to problem-solve difficult construction methodologies, as well as his ability to achieve a high-level finish.

“It was just a fun project—I was project managing while building and it was a really enjoyable process with awesome owners and a great design. Definitely a highlight build for me in my career!”

Photography by David Straight

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We are builders who practice craftsmanship.

Our work begins long before we get to site – before the foundations are laid, even before plans are drawn.

Our work begins the moment your vision is conceived, because our job is to make your vision real.

We are builders who practice craftsmanship. Or as we call it, purposeful practice. Because to us, craftsmanship is not a skillset.

It’s a mindset, put into action – an attitude in practice.

Or as we call it, purposeful practice. Because to us, craftsmanship is not a skillset. It’s a mindset, put into action – an attitude in practice.

Purposeful practice demands absolute attention, dedication to detail and commitment to creativity.

With this mindset, we have crafted some of New Zealand’s finest new homes by collaborating with masters of design and architecture, to achieve our clients’ original vision.

It’s our long term commitment to purposeful practice that drives us forward and sets us apart.

So each day when we get to site, we don’t just get to work. We practice our craft with purpose.