Grand Designs NZ Container Home “Frequent and Sporadic Auction”

Grand Designs NZ Container Home “Frequent and Sporadic Auction”

When is an auction not an auction? When it comes time to sell, it gets pushed back further and further, which is exactly what happened to Tony Hodge’s Grand Designs NZ container home on Auckland’s Waiheke Island.

The home was featured on Grand Designs NZ late last year, and was first listed in July. However, the auction date has been changed several times, with the latest planned date being this past Saturday, November 4th. But that was not the case.

Listing agent Matthew Smith of Ray White, Waiheke, says the delay has been the whole time Auckland Council has been waiting to issue a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC). There were a few minor issues that Hodge had to address, but they were all resolved immediately. Now, finally, the house has its own CCC.

Grand Designs NZ presenter Tom Webster (left) and homeowner Tony Hodge stand on the driveway.

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Grand Designs NZ presenter Tom Webster (left) and homeowner Tony Hodge stand on the driveway.

“We had a lot of interest when it was first announced (in July), but unfortunately those buyers got tired of waiting and went and bought other things. Auckland Council had already pulled the chain, and it took a long time for the CCC to finally be established.”

Smith says that because there was no interest in holding the auction on Saturday, it was decided to take the property off the market. “Tony decided to lease it for a year and put it back on the market within a year.

“However, there is still a small window for a buyer to express interest, but they will need to do so before registering the tenant.”

The roof highlights the position of the container (with the side removed).  The space between two containers was covered and enclosed to create the living room.

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The roof highlights the position of the container (with the side removed). The space between two containers was covered and enclosed to create the living room.

Tony Hodge wanted a house different from the ones he had in the suburbs while he was working on cladding new buildings.  The inner walls of the containers (center) are painted light green in the stairwell.

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Tony Hodge wanted a house different from the ones he had in the suburbs while he was working on cladding new buildings. The inner walls of the containers (center) are painted light green in the stairwell.

Meanwhile, Tony Hodge suffers from the construction bug. He was hoping to sell because he is considering another development in Mangawhai.

“He says he enjoyed the (construction) process and might do the whole thing again,” Smith said when the property was listed. “But I’m not sure if this is another Grand Designs project.”

When the experience was still “preliminary,” Hodge told us he was glad it was over and didn’t think he’d do it again. He wanted to do “something different,” but he didn’t anticipate how complicated it would be to build a cliff-hanging container.

the "Goal" A black steel frame was inserted in the middle of the living area to provide structural rigidity – one of several measures to counter the problems that arise from opening containers.

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A black steel ‘goal post’ frame was inserted through the middle of the living area to provide structural rigidity – one of several measures to counteract the problems created by opening containers.

The kitchen is located within another container open to the living area.

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The kitchen is located within another container open to the living area.

The house consists of five 20-foot containers and two 10-foot containers, with the containers on the top floor offset at angles — just to add to the complexity.

He combined cedar cladding with the exposed steel of the containers, which can also be seen inside the house, creating an almost industrial look that tempers the visual warmth of the wood.

Viewers were fascinated by the way the builders had to solve problems of structural rigidity as the containers were cut into different angles. Hodge admitted there was an engineering overspend he had not planned for — to provide structural strength — which raised the cost of construction to $800,000.

“This is not a house that celebrates the structural qualities of containers; this is one that celebrates their aesthetic qualities,” Grand Designs NZ presenter Tom Webster said in his summary.

The bedrooms are in separate enclosures.

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The bedrooms are in separate enclosures.

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