The Mai Mai

The Mai Mai

A ‘mai mai’ is a hunting lodge or hide and was the inspiration behind this property in Canterbury.  An intriguing palette of building materials was chosen including a cast concrete wall, stone walling and tall external timber posts together with macrocarpa trusses, ridges and purlins designed and crafted by Timberworks.  Most of the rooms incorporated some exposed feature King-post trusses with ridge beams running between them and connected by purlins.  As the house was to be modern in design, the clients opted for a dressed finish to the timbers and together with the cedar ceilings this gave a rich, warm feeling to the ceilings. High Country Homes designed, project managed and built the home to a superb standard and we all await the results of this year’s ‘Registered Master Builders 2017 House of the Year’ competition to see if this quality of build will be acknowledged. This is one of several properties where Timberworks provided the exposed timberwork and High Country Homes managed the build.

Gazebo in Nelson

Nelson Gazebo

This gazebo had to be carefully designed to slot into a very specific and tight spot between a pool and staircase, over a BBQ area and allow room for a prized bougainvillea! The location is stunning, looking out over the ‘Cut’ and Haulashore Island in Nelson Harbour and our clients wanted a real ‘statement’ structure to complement their outdoor entertaining area. Access was rather awkward for the raising of the frame with plenty of steps involved but we had a perfect day and were lucky enough to be invited to cool off in the pool at the end of the day!  A macrocarpa tongue and groove ceiling and beautiful shingle roof complete the look.

Character living in a Mohawk barn, Motueka

Character living in Motueka

The standard Mohawk barn design was used here resulting in a character property in the Motueka Valley.  These clients opted not to have an open vaulted area as in the Mohawk in Rangiora but went for additional living space upstairs instead.  Again, the pale walls contrast with our timbers to give a clean, fresh look to the home.  Polished concrete floors on the ground floor and oak boards on the first make for a stylish property as does the decorating in one of the bedrooms!

Pergola for outdoor living and dining

Pergola for outdoor entertaining in Ruby Bay

Occasionally Timberworks is approached to design a structure for external use, perhaps a porch, garage or, as in this case, an outdoor living and dining area. Nelmac commissioned us to design a pergola for their clients in Ruby Bay who were carrying out an extensive landscaping scheme. The frame was to sit around a large fireplace with integral flue and provide an appealing space for outdoor entertaining. Our sketches were approved, drawings completed and a walnut stain chosen and before we knew it, a perfect Nelson day dawned for the raising.  The structure complements the hard landscaping perfectly, linking a patio and decked area to the house and will sit perfectly in the mature gardens once the planting has been completed.

NZ Woolsheds inspire stunning frame for new home in Tai Tapu

NZ woolshed-inspired stunning frame for new home in Tai Tapu

Our clients on this project have taken ‘involvement’ to new heights! The macrocarpa trees were planted (26 years ago), felled, logged and milled by the client. He then bid them au revoir and had them transported from Christchurch to our workshop in Ruby Bay. Our instructions were to create a rustic frame, retaining all the wane (natural curve to the wood once the bark is removed) and natural features that we found in the timbers. The 10-acre section where these timbers were ultimately destined for is far from ordinary.  Rich planting of natives took place twenty years ago and there is a beautiful flower garden and established vegetable patch, so the new property needed to sit here comfortably; an organic approach was called for.

Ensuring the joints and housings matched up perfectly made an interesting change for the Timberworks crew as normally we’d be dealing with right-angles and square timbers but it was an extremely rewarding process and everyone was delighted with the end product. It was a fascinating journey for us to work with a client who had such intimate knowledge, not only of each and every timber on this project, but of plants and forestry in general. The lifecycle of these trees is clearly evident in the macrocarpa frame; many details which are normally removed during milling and crafting were actually retained, accentuated and celebrated; photos 15 & 16 show this clearly; sapwood as well as heartwood, wane, burrows created by insects etc. The walnut stain applied as the final stage brought all these details to life and gave a rich patina to the dressed but only coarsely-sanded, timbers.

We had a great team for the 4-day raising in Tai Tapu with the clients and their builder pulling their weight and putting in long hours. We had a clear, perfectly even ‘Magroc’ floor pad to work on and the whole building will be sheathed in these structural insulated panels (SIPs) which will make for a fast, straightforward build. The Canterbury weather was ideal and the week flew by; before we knew it, that enormous jigsaw had been assembled, the last piece ceremoniously inserted and the frame ‘topped out’ traditionally with a large sprig of macrocarpa. For now we must wish our clients good luck with the remainder of their build and we look forward to renewing acquaintances when we visit later in the year to see the finished product!

** April 2017 We’re delighted to hear that our clients are now happily esconced in their stunning new home having fought off the fires which raged all around them in February 2017. Their vision and attention to detail sing out in the finished property as these new photos demonstrate.

Great work by High Country Homes who were the principal builder and designer.

Pre-engineered design for Mohawk barn in Rangiora

Mohawk barn in Rangiora

We’re delighted to have some photos of a recently completed house near Rangiora. The exposed Macrocarpa internal frame contrasts beautifully with the white walls and the clients’ choice of furnishings showcases the timber in spectactular fashion. The drama of the vaulted ceiling can be appreciated from many different angles within the property and of course from both the ground and first floors.

Modern build in Nelson with King-post trusses

This modern spec-built house in Nelson used 5 King-post trusses with raised bottom-chord to creature a dramatic, airy living area with plenty of character.

Modern home in Nelson


Variety of Truss Shapes in Community Buildings, Gracefield

The architect on this project chose to include eight Macrocarpa trusses in the new clubhouse building at Gracefield Lifestyle Village.  There are three different truss shapes with two traditional shaped trusses supporting the gable ends outside, four ‘5-sided’ Trusses through the main open plan living area and two rectangular trusses in the spa room.  The trusses compliment the stone feature walls beautifully and add to the quality atmosphere.

Queen-Post Trusses over an open-plan living space in Mapua

Queen-Post Trusses create open-plan living in Mapua

Not all Timberworks projects are on a grand scale.  The addition of two Queen-Post trusses to this standard house-design transformed the finished home providing a fantastic feeling of space, light and airiness.  The resulting vaulted ceiling in the kitchen/living area had a real ‘wow’ factor compared to a more ordinary, 2.4m high flat ceiling.

Tasman Trusses in Tasman

Tasman Trusses with exposed Purlins and Rafters

This house is located on a small, rural subdivision in an olive grove in Tasman, Nelson.  The architectural theme for the subdivision was of a Tuscan style with all houses required to have clay tile roofs.  The designer and clients decided to compliment this theme with four Timberworks Macrocarpa trusses together with exposed purlins and ridge beams.  The pergola rafters with their decorative ends were also provided by Timberworks.

“We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with Timberworks on our home in 2006.  We particularly appreciated the follow up service… We tell everyone who admires our lovely trusses where they were made.” – Trevor and Mary Furness-Weir

Hope Community Church Hall

Timberworks-designed Tasman Trusses for Hope Community Church

The design brief for the renovation of a 1918 church building asked for a vineyard/café like atmosphere.  The designer chose to use seven trusses plus some feature river stone elements, plywood feature paneling and timber pergolas to create this feel.  The inclusion of Timberworks trusses has helped change what could have been a utilitarian building into a warmer more inviting space.  The Macrocarpa trusses are connected with partially hidden steel connections which are painted black where exposed.

King-Post Trusses over an open-plan living space

King-Post Trusses create an open-plan living space

Four Macrocarpa King-Post trusses using the Timberworks hidden steel-plate connection system.  Please note the chip carving in photo 4 which is an option for all Timberworks clients.

Ruby Bay Vineyard

Hammer-beam trusses for Ruby Bay Vineyard

Local clients wanted to include a couple of attractive traditional trusses in the main living room of their new house on their vineyard.  Of Scottish descent they chose an ornate Hammer-beam truss design which reminded them of home. Macrocarpa was used and an oil based red-beech stain applied to match the red-beech joinery reveals through the house.

“…the feeling of confidence and assurity of receiving a totally unique and quality product from professional craftsmen…..We feel privileged to have such an awe inspiring focus to our home that reflects a heritage of time honoured, traditional craftsmanship.”  Audrey and Sam Watt – Ruby Bay Lodge & Vineyard

Hammer-Beam Trusses in a Stonewood Home in Hokitika

Hammer-Beam Trusses in a Stonewood Home in Hokitika

These clients sought a significant timber feature elements for their living room and chose three Hammer-beam trusses.  The traditional joinery was strengthened with partially hidden steel connections to handle the extra roof loads.

King-Post Trusses with Collar-Tie Beams in Christchurch

King-Post Trusses with Collar-Tie Beams in Christchurch

English clients in Tai Tapu chose three King-Post trusses with raised bottom chord for their double height dining room ceiling.  The Macrocarpa trusses are connected with exposed 100 x 100 Macrocarpa Purlins which ties the trusses together both visually and structurally.