UCOL lecturer and qualified master builder Richard Sexton recently won 4 regional awards in the 2016 House of the Year competition.
The stunning 3 bedroom Landsdowne home in Masterton with private courtyard and office was the Local Supreme and Local Category Winner. It also won the Gold Reserve Award, the Local Craftsmanship Award, and the Gold Award for the Nulook New Home $650,000- $1 million category for the Wellington/Wairarapa region.
“This was a very unique project because it was a family build. My parents wanted a home that catered to their lifestyle but also a place where family and friends could gather. With my brother as the architect and myself as the builder, there was an easy exchange of ideas from the start,” Richard says.
The project brief emphasized on designing a home that optimised light and space. Part of the solution was to construct floor to ceiling windows to achieve seamless indoor-outdoor flow but also provided some architectural challenges. All beams had to be designed to fit inside the minimal roof space as well as ducting to provide a heat transfer system for the home.
A central fire place was another must-have – an inviting feature of open-plan living that added to the complexity of this build. Large bracing specifically engineered for the chimney were erected in order to meet structural and safety regulations.
“Winning the Craftsmanship Award was a real honour because it truly recognises the efforts that I, along with my team, have put into this build. The little things that we worked hard on did get noticed - like the soffit details which we successfully crafted to line up along the cedar corners.”
In 1999 Richard Sexton took a Certificate in Carpentry course from Hutt Valley Polytechnic that inspired him to pursue a building career. After completing his certificate, Richard continued on to an apprenticeship with M.B. Brown Ltd in Masterton and then relocated to Rotorua where he established Richard Sexton Builders Ltd.
Ten years later in 2009, Richard won his first House of the Year Gold Award for a new build in Rotorua. Later that year, Richard returned to his hometown of Masterton to grow his business with a focus on residential homes in the Wairarapa and Wellington region.
Now a lecturer for UCOL’s Certificate in Carpentry Level 4 in Wairarapa, Richard enjoys teaching students his trade and plans to upskill as a Quantity Surveyor at UCOL.
“There’s always room to grow – no matter what age or stage you are in your career. You can always look for opportunities to extend yourself.”