Building the dream

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David Harwood felt “totally elated” when he heard his name announced as the National Winner of the James Hardie Show Home Award in the Registered Master Builders 2009 House of the Year, in association with PlaceMakers.

Mr Harwood, of Harwood Homes NZ Ltd, had the dream of becoming a builder at age seven, and has now been building for 27 years. This year is the 14th year in a row that Harwood Homes has won an award in the local or national House of the Year competition — and Mr Harwood intends to make it to 20. 
“Competition at national level is very intense. The feeling of winning is hard to put into words, but it helps me to understand what it must be like to win at the Olympics,” Mr Harwood says. 

Harwood Homes NZ Ltd deliberately set out to build a demonstration home, and based it on 10 years of research and feedback from customers.
“We identified what was most important to them, the features and benefits they would like in a home, and what suited our customers’ needs the most.
“This home is built on our principle of building homes for a lifetime of living, and features the introduction of many energy-efficient features,” he says.

Mr Harwood and his team had a multitude of ideas to incorporate into the home, so had a big challenge of prioritising ahead of them.
“We wanted to build this home around low-maintenance principles to avoid costly repairs or renovations for a future home owner, while still remaining price competitive.
“We have gone above industry standards to ensure this home was built for a lifetime of living,” he says. 

Mr Harwood and wife Kirsty started Harwood Builders in 1988, which later became Harwood Homes NZ Ltd. They believe the company’s designs are so diverse that they are consistently producing a variety of differently styled homes.
Harwood Homes entered four houses in the 2010 Tauranga RMBA House of the Year, successfully winning the New Homes $600,000 to $1million category with a country manor in Papamoa.

“The owners wanted a grand American-style home, but designed with contemporary touches to suit the needs of their three young children,” Mr Harwood says.
He was overwhelmed after winning the regional prize. “If it wasn’t for the dedicated team we have on board, what has been achieved just wouldn’t be possible.
“Having a good balance of professionalism, yet being a locally-owned and operated business, means we can deliver a high quality product to customers in our area that we know well, because we live in it. We don’t allow ourselves to grow stale — we keep relevant.”

Harwood Homes NZ Ltd plans to display a number of homes over the next 12 months, conveying the variety of designs, with various budget offers, that the company presents.