AUGUST 29, 2018
Hutton Builders’ Lance Hutton says the project, which initially started out as just a bathroom do-up, has continued to grow into what is now a full-scale renovation.
“Our clients had always wanted to renovate and actually had some drawings done, but it wasn’t quite what they were after,” he says.
“As it happened, our architect had completed a concept drawing for previous owners of the property. We showed that concept to our currentclients, and they loved it – so it’s a project that has just kept growing and growing!”
Lance says that a renovation to a 100-year-old villa comes with many challenges – most importantly, seamlessly blending the old with the new.
“One of the biggest challenges with this project is the need to replicate the original intricate detailing with the products that are available today. Having a strong eye for detail is so important to achieving a finish that is modern, yet true to the villa’s heritage. Our aim for this project is to have the property look as though it has always been there.
“A key detail of this project has been levelling the floor heights. These were all different when we started, so we have done a lot of work to ensure the end-product is one level. We have also kept original key features, such as the staircase, a vanity, and a stained-glass window.”
Hutton Builders takes on all kinds of projects, but Lance says this renovation has been one of their most challenging. “With this renovation, we have had to have foresight and keep the big picture in mind – there has to be a cohesiveness and fluidity between the 100-year-old villa and the new upgrades. As with any renovation, we haven’t been able to start from scratch with a fresh palette.
“While we strive to mimic the style of the villa, it’s never going to be exactly the same – but that’s not a bad thing. The industry has evolved for a reason, and that’s normally because now there is a better way to do something, or a better product to use.
“Our Mitre 10 Trade Manager Marcus Lofroth and the rest of our local Mitre 10 MEGA Pukekohe team have done a fantastic job of supporting us and sourcing modern products that complement the character of this period property.
“Marcus is always there for us, whether it’s on the phone sourcing products or keeping us informed on timings for product deliveries. Even the store environment is great – ourguys really enjoy heading down to collect materials.”
Marcus says the Mitre 10 MEGA team has enjoyed working with Hutton Builders on this challenging but interesting project.
“We have been working with Hutton Builders for about two years. Lance has great organisational skills, which makes our job easy, and this renovation in particular is pretty amazing to be a part of,” he says.
“We have known most of our customers for years, so our relationships are relaxed and friendly. We focus on our team environment and delivering quality service, which means being reliable and communicating well with all our customers.”
Lance’s wife, Jana, says Lance prides himself on ensuring no corners are cut, the correct products are used, and everyone is held accountable for the standard of work.
“‘Quality No Compromise’ is our company’s motto. Lance is so passionate about getting things done properly and he has an unbelievable eye for detail, which is definitely being put to good use with this project – he is the first person to pick up any imperfections. Many people, including our subtrades, would say he is the fussiest builder around!” Jana says.
Without a doubt, this is a trait Lance inherited from his grandfather, George Hutton, who was a well-known builder in the Franklin area, and his father, Derek, who now works with the Hutton Builders team.
Hutton Builders also helps to mentor and grow young talent, with three apprentices in its team of nine.
“We have always had apprentices– it’s a no-brainer for us. We need to be bringing people up through the trades to fill in the spaces. We have always enjoyed bringing them on and teaching them. They are great addition to our team.
“Building is definitely in the blood. I left school when I was 15, completed an apprenticeship, and now I have been running my own business for 10 years. I can’t think of anything else I would rather do,” says Lance.