Our client’s project brief was to replace a derelict 1920s sleepout in their steep inner-city backyard with a new dwelling. Previous approaches to designers and builders over many years had come to nothing, largely because the nearest vehicular access was 40m from the road, up steep public steps.

Location Brooklyn, Wellington

Area 60 m²

One bedroom

One bathroom

Client testimonial

My husband and I have been living in our Te Whare-iti home for nearly three months now and couldn’t be happier. It’s bright, spacious, thoughtfully designed and crazy well insulated. My Mum has always wanted to build a separate living space out the back of her home in Brooklyn, but due to the tricky nature of the site (Wellington slopes!) and cost of building on site that plan has always been on hold.

We discovered Te Whare-iti after they won a home design award and we were sold on the fact it could be built off site, craned in and customised to our needs.

Considering the project started during the pandemic, we were really impressed with how quickly it was delivered. We have friends who are doing traditional builds and they’re still ongoing, (some with no end in sight). It was also a big relief for my Mum to have a Project Manager to deal with the ongoing management of the build, including the council consents.

We loved being involved in the development and able to customise various elements – fixtures, cabinetry, colours etc. so that it looks stunning onsite nestled in the bush. We were also really impressed when we went to visit their building site to see our house being built, and there was basically no waste! Knowing that the construction industry can be really harmful to the environment, the fact Te Whare-iti is sustainable is a huge plus.

Now that we’re living in our new home, you can tell it’s been thoughtfully designed. The built in lighting, wet-room shower, soft close cabinetry, clever windows to ensure ventilation, even the window sill design! Most of our guests come by expecting to find a “tiny home”, but instead find it’s super spacious – the photos don’t do the high ceilings justice. One of our big concerns was storage, but we still haven’t filled out all of the space provided!

With NZ housing the way it currently is, I think prefabricated, modular systems like what Te Whare-iti have developed are the solution. I wanted to share our experience in case anyone is considering a similar venture. Would absolutely recommend it if you’re looking to build an intelligent, comfortable, and quality house.

Kitchen services with dining space on the left.

Read: Prefab home on Mum’s land allows couple to move on from group flatting – article by Joanna Davis, 3 May 2023.