Golden Bay builder ‘a true craftsman’


W Rothwell Builder’s renovation of a 1970s bach in Takaka caught the eye of judges in the Registered Master Builders PlaceMakers 2011 House of the Year.
Having once been a honeymoon retreat, judges say the home is now a tribute to the life and memories of its owner.

W Rothwell Builder director Wayne Rothwell is pleased with the acknowledgment he received from his first-time entry, which scooped the PlaceMakers Renovation Award $250,000 – $500,000 at the National Awards.
“It was really fantastic, actually. You never really know quite where you are in the building scene, so this was good recognition,” Mr Rothwell says.
“In a small place like Takaka, the word gets around that you’ve been given an award. It’s great for business, especially in a smaller area like this. It’s definitely good as a selling tool, too.”

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home at Patons Rock includes a hobbies room and a deck leading onto a paved courtyard, while the lounge features a raised exposed macrocarpa rafted ceiling, creating a bright aspect to the heart of the home.
Judges said respect for the strong original form has been complemented by subtle additions that enhance the original bach.
“Triangular vertical battens on new cladding sympathetically relate to the saw tooth roofline,” they said.
“A true craftsman has carried out the work with attention to detail in a renovation that has been cleverly executed with accuracy and thought, creating a comfortable and very special home.”

Mr Rothwell, who worked on the renovation with just an apprentice and a part-time labourer, said the renovation was basically a total house rebuild.
“It had a lot of good aspects to it. It had an interesting exterior roofline, and from the period in which it was built, up to the present day, it fits in really well,” Mr Rothwell says.
“I was lucky to have a very good client on this job. I always try to have a good rapport with clients, and I try to aspire to what their needs and aspirations are all the time,” he says.

Mr Rothwell was a member of Registered Master Builders when he was based in Franz Josef on the West Coast, and joined again when he moved to Golden Bay.
“I thought it would be a good organisation to get back into because I knew what they represented and how they worked. I get good support, go to a few meetings, and give feedback as well,” he says.

Mr Rothwell says joining the Registered Master Builders is worthwhile.
“When you’re a small business like we are, you need as much support as you can get. There are systems in place, and guarantees, so if things come unstuck with a client, you’ve got back-up within the system,” he says.

As for entering the House of the Year competition, Mr Rothwell says if you want to see where your company is in the market, it is a great thing to be involved in.
Entries for the Registered Master Builders PlaceMakers 2012 House of the Year have now closed.
The Awards are made possible through the support of PlaceMakers, James Hardie, Gib Living Solutions®, Nulook, Department of Building and Housing, Future-Proof Building and Master Build Services Ltd.

For more information about the competition, visit the Registered Master Builders web site at

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