A Kiwi developer’s brick show home embodies their unique approach
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Show time: how brick brings star quality to this NZ display home

New Zealand builder Federation Homes has unveiled a handsome residence featuring brick inside and out.
POSTED
24.02.2021

Federation Homes managing director Rob Bellerby and business development manager Oliver Mitch thought long and hard about whether to build a new display home near the company’s headquarters in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

“It was actually quite a difficult decision,” says Mitch. “How do you represent all the different designs and concepts that you’re able to deliver and all the clients that you might cater to?”

Unlike some companies that market themselves as ‘design and build’ firms but deliver cookie-cutter houses, Federation Homes creates a unique design for each client. And the results are wide-ranging.

Ft. Austral Bricks La Paloma in Azul
Federation Homes
Amanda Aitken Photography
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“On our build schedule at the moment, we've got a home with a $400,000 build cost and one with a $1.8 million cost,” notes Mitch. “That’s worlds apart.”

Mitch decided the display home at Quail Ridge Estate should incorporate his team’s favourite building materials plus fixtures and fittings at the more expensive end of the spectrum. 

“It’s a good representation of what most Federation Homes projects would incorporate,” he says. “In most show homes, the building company is showing off the highest level of what they would go to, whereas this is our default.”

Mitch chose to construct the house with La Paloma bricks in ‘Azul’ from Austral Bricks. “That particular brick has got a real depth to its colour,” he explains. “It's not just a flat black – it’s got all sorts of shades coming through.”

He adds: “It has a really nice and unusual profile, as well. It’s not your standard height, width and depth.”

“This particular brick option was fantastic: it ticks the box in terms of low maintenance, but also it has such an exceptional look to it, and the quality of the finish is amazing as well”

Oliver Mitch
Business Development Manager, Federation Homes
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“This particular brick option was fantastic: it ticks the box in terms of low maintenance, but also it has such an exceptional look to it, and the quality of the finish is amazing as well”

Oliver Mitch
Business Development Manager, Federation Homes

Mitch says the fundamental benefits of brick cladding made it an obvious choice for the display home. “In terms of maintenance, brick is fantastic, particularly if you want a darker colour for your cladding,” he says. “Just wash the brick every now and then and you’re good to go.”

He continues: “This particular brick option was fantastic: it ticks the box in terms of low maintenance, but also it has such an exceptional look to it, and the quality of the finish is amazing as well.”

Other features of the exterior include timber cladding around the dining area and a chocolate-brown steel roof. Interior highlights include a brick fireplace constructed from the same Austral bricks. 

Mitch says the house, which was opened in August, will serve as a starting point for a range of Federation Homes. But he’s keen to stress that the company is not constrained by what it has produced previously.

“Every single home is custom-designed for the client and their site, and it’s all done with our in-house architects,” he says. 

“We’re a small company, building maybe 10 to 15 homes a year, and yet we have two full-time architects on staff,” he continues. “That’s a huge resource. We also employ our own builders, our own quantity surveyor and our own interior designer.”

Mitch believes Federation Homes’ policy of directly employing staff, rather than outsourcing, yields superior results. 

“A good example is the builders we employ,” he says. “There’s a big trend in New Zealand where the builders are contracted, even though they might wear the company T-shirt. But that just doesn’t give you the same control over build schedules and quality and all the rest of it.”

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