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Constructive approach

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Using masonry construction, John S Macdonald Builders built a large home on this small site

Constructive approach


Most sites offer challenges of one sort or another to their architects and builders, and the house featured here is no exception.

A peat base meant this small lakeside site provided an unstable building platform. To maximise the site, a concrete block boundary wall also forms an exterior wall of the house, separating it from a walkway to the lake. Because of these factors, a masonry system was chosen for this house built by John S Macdonald Builders.

"Before building could begin, we had to sink 120 piles 18 metres deep to create a stable building platform," says John Macdonald. "Challenges such as this only make a project more interesting."

Because of the construction method, all plumbing and electrical wiring had to be laid in conduits before the base floor slab was poured. They were then run through the concrete blocks up to the second level.

The 450m2, two-level house has Firth masonry blocks for all exterior and interior walls, and floors are made from honed exposed aggregate.


John S Macdonald Builders builds both small and large masonry and timber-framed homes.

For more information, contact John S Macdonald Builders, phone (07) 855 8855, mobile (0274) 863 653. Email: .

First published date: 03 May 2005

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