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From concept to reality

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This Tuscan-inspired solid masonry villa is a testament to craftsmanship from the floor up

From concept to reality


When you've worked hard and are in a position to reward yourself by building a house for your family, you want to ensure that your chosen builder has the expertise to realise your dream. You also want your builder to understand what is important to you, and to incorporate that into the finished product.

For the owners of this house, designed and built by John S Macdonald Builders, these factors were particularly important, says founder John Macdonald.

"The homeowners approached us based on a referral from a previous client. As Chinese nationals they had very little knowledge of the complexities of New Zealand building codes, as well as a limited grasp of English.

"Putting their complete trust in us as their builder was initially a true leap of faith. This was also compounded by the fact that they were spending much of the time back in China during construction."

While there were challenges on both sides, the type of construction was decided on almost immediately.


"The clients visited me at my home, which also doubles as my office, and when they realised the walls were solid masonry, they instantly decided to build a masonry villa – as they would have done in China," says Macdonald.

The homeowners were also adamant that only the best materials were to be used throughout the house, being more than willing to sacrifice time for quality.

In keeping with this and the desire for craftsmanship, custom joinery manufacturer Mecchia was commissioned to complete all of the cabinetry, vanities and mirror frames, and entertainment units, says director Gavin Mecchia.

"The process was a very exacting one, from the choice of timber – Tasmanian blackwood – through to the design and installation.

"Our team worked closely with the interior designer, Heather Furniss, and with the owners to ensure the principles of Feng Shui were adhered to. In total, the job took around nine months and involved a number of onsite measures and mapping."

Tasmanian blackwood was specified for its linear grain, which had to match perfectly on all the cabinetry in accordance with Feng Shui, says Mecchia.

All external window and door joinery was designed and manufactured by Origin Windows, a leading window manufacturing supplier for more than 25 years, says sales consultant Maree Shepherd.

"We started with the architectural concept and then, in consultation with the clients, refined the plan until we had a design that they were happy with."

"Working to the specifications of the Origin First Residential series, we custom-fabricated 47 individually designed items. The clients chose the joinery colour, and this was teamed with bronze-tinted double-glazing, for extra thermal and UV benefits. All products were made in our facility and have a minimum 5-year warranty."

To contact John S Macdonald Builders, 91B Greenwood St, Frankton, Hamilton 3204, phone (07) 855 8855, fax (07) 855 8885. Email: Visit the .

First published date: 12 April 2011