The 29-year-old with 50 Staff
Having spent months building cyclone-resistant homes in the Pacific has given Selah Homes’ managing director Mark Berryman an eye for the natural.
Selah Homes’ Gold Award-winning House of the Year property was created with the natural environment and culture of beautiful Riverhead in Auckland’s northwest, in mind.
“It was influenced by the black cedar from other homes in the area,” Berryman says. But that’s where any similarities end.
The chocolate cedar with white trim creates a point of difference outside, while the copper accents create further interest inside this stunning three-bedroom, two-storey home.
While the build was created with the woody surrounds of Riverhead in mind, Berryman says his work is also inspired by his time spent building houses in the Pacific.
He recently spent two months in Samoa overseeing the build of 39 cyclone-proof fales, along with seven of his staff.
“You’d think it would be different, building a fale with no walls. They don’t want walls because it’s so hot,” Berryman explains.
“You’d think, we’re just whacking up something quick and cheap but the clients have the same expectations, standards and problems - with changing their mind - as they do in New Zealand,” he laughs.
“I’ve realised you need to do a lot around giving people the right expectations at the start.”
The fales were gratefully received and back home, the Riverhead property in the sought-after Aston Park subdivision was snapped up for around $1.5 million mid-build.
Stepping inside, the oak kitchen, lounge and flooring add warmth to the home and tie it into its riverside surroundings, with two river views to be taken in from the living rooms and bedrooms.
“We designed it around the river views and were able to work out where the houses would be, to get the best views,” Berryman says.
Another point of interest is the open tread staircase which draws the eye upwards with the glass balustrades creating a floating effect.
Accompanied with chic bathrooms and a fourth multi-purpose room, the property leaves little to be desired.
The symmetrical elements of the roofing are becoming a bit of a signature style in Selah Homes’ constructions, as the company seeks to give customers something contemporary but also edgy, Berryman says.
Berryman says he’s proud to have his team’s work recognised in the prestigious Registered Master Builders House of the Year competition.
He is excited about future projects in Riverhead while also continuing to volunteer in the Pacific, this time in Tonga as well, to complete projects through the charity Habitat for Humanity.
He says it’s a privilege to work with Habitat to help vulnerable families in cyclone-prone areas into weather-tight homes.
“We’re set up in our business to be able to assist overseas aid development,” Berryman says.
“Building a house does a lot for families, it can break them out of the poverty cycle.”