Business North April 2023

72 | T T Sue Rusell Award winning home on a grand scale Judges described the 818sqm Orakei home on four levels as ‘grand and lavish.’ BUILDING Lewis Build Proud to be supporting Lewis Build Ph 09 479 8901 | | 19A Triton Drive, Albany Allied Exteriors Ltd Auckland wide •Exterior Plaster and Painting Specialists •All Work Guaranteed Call the office: 09 274 8500 Email: McWatt Group Ltd provides a dynamic mix of machines, trucks and aggregates. We can expertly take on any of your earthmoving projects. Accumen Shapes – Specialists in the manufacture of lightweight decorative shapes and mouldings Proudly supporting Lewis Build on an award-winning build 09 270 9228 Auckland residential building business Lewis Build has enjoyed positive growth, beginning small to now employing 15 staff between building sites and the office. Founder/director Ben Lewis today spends his time ensuring those out on the high-end projects they undertake have what they need to perform efficiently. He also engages with potential new clients and, given the nature of the builds they do, this relationship can extend over some months or years, something Ben says he enjoys. “Since 2019, we’ve concentrated on the high-end residential market and that’s really challenging and satisfying work. The team, which includes six apprentices, get to create really wonderful homes for our clients, where attention to detail is a constant,” says Ben. In 2022, Lewis Build entered two homes for consideration by the judges in the Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards for the Auckland/Northland/Coromandel region. Very different from each other, Ben says they were both amazing projects to be involved in. The homes, in Huapai ($2m - $4m) and Orakei (over $4m), tested the skills of the teams on each site. They were rewarded with both receiving a Gold Award, against strong competition. “The Orakei home is concrete masonry in Mediterranean style and is just a stunning home over four levels,” says Ben. With an Italian heritage, the clients wanted a style that spoke of home, designed by Auckland’s Jones Architects. Completed by Christmas 2021, work began in April 2019, so this was a long-term project. One of the challenges was the tight site. “Everything is quite restricted in terms of space. We had to build four levels to get everything the clients wanted in the home.” Excavating the site to create a 300sqm basement below was the first of many challenges the team rose to. The home overlooks Okahu Bay and the Hauraki Gulf and measures 818sqm. Judges described it as ‘grand and lavish’. The lower floor is home to garaging, a movie room, sauna and pool changing room. One floor above is the home’s main entry level opening to the living room, lounge, kitchen and scullery. A wine cellar completes this floor. Four bedrooms occupy the floor above, while the top floor has a second living area to enjoy the views, with bar, kitchenette and powder room. Each floor is connected with a lift and stairs. Outside is a large pool with a spa and tiled loggia. Landscaping perfectly complements the style of the home. “We were tremendously proud of what we achieved with this very special home.” The home was the largest one in scale that Lewis Build had undertaken, with four dedicated staff on the site day in/day out. Ben is a great believer in supporting the next generation of builders to gain excellent skills and he says the nature of their projects offers this to the apprentices in bucketfuls. “Our apprentices stay with us after qualification. They buy into the journey and the dream. It is more than a job, it’s a culture.” Part of the team is a QS who Lewis Build contract from Cambridge, Waikato. Currently, Lewis Build has two side-by-side villa restorations underway in Freemans Bay, along with a substantial brick country home in South Auckland. “We’ve just completed another renovation in Ponsonby and a boutique pool house in Karaka.” Ben says they especially enjoy renovations, as builders have the opportunity to see the history of the home. Leading the team, Ben says he enjoys early engagement with the client and architect and says the best outcomes flow from this. “You have to have excellent quality and very good communication to see projects of the nature we undertake through well.”