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Exceptional Craftsmanship Cements House of the Year Win

Exceptional craftsmanship cements House of the Year win

Hein & Nikki MacKay always planned to make their new Beachlands home something special, but they never imagined the Scandi inspired property would take out the prestigious title of House of the Year.  

Winning the Volume/Group Housing New Home $450,000 – $750,000 category, the MacKay’s partnered with builders Jeff Wilson and Jean Dougherty of Stonewood Homes Auckland East to bring the family’s vision for their new forever home to life. 

“It is quite a surreal feeling to win,” Mr MacKay said. “The family is so excited.”

Self-titled ‘Beautiful Chaos’ by the family of five, it is the couple’s third home build and was a customisation of an existing Stonewood home design (name). 

“We are ‘house nerds’ and we love to create things you can’t get in an existing home. When we decided to move to Beachlands we visited a Stonewood display home and the level of craftsmanship really stood out and is why we trusted them to build for us, even though it was the first time we had used a volume builder.”


Stonewood Homes Auckland East General Manager Jean Dougherty said it was a pleasure to create the home for the MacKays who deserved much of the kudos for the win.

“Every aspect of ‘Beautiful Chaos’ was well-considered by the couple,” she said. “They are a great team, who plan meticulously, and the result is an amazing award-winning home.

“It would be remiss of me not to thank our team though, as it is their brilliant craftsmanship, attention to detail and care for providing exceptional service that makes the House of the Year award a reality. We are so proud to be acknowledged by the industry and deliver families amazing homes like this one!”   

Described as an entertainer’s paradise, the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home’s showpiece is a large open plan kitchen and living hub that leads to an expansive outdoor area featuring a wraparound deck and large swimming pool, ideal for summer fun and enjoying winter sun. 

‘There was a lot of time spent on making sure the home could take full advantage of a north facing perspective. It was all about being able to take advantage of the kiwi lifestyle all year round,” Ms Dougherty explained. 

An ode to Scandi, the white on white colour scheme keeps things sleek and simple, enhancing the light, bright feel achieved through raked ceilings and large glass bifold doors. Wood-plank flooring adds texture and flow out to the deck.

A mix of classic weatherboard and modern plaster cladding created beautiful road appeal for the 243sqm home.

Stonewood franchisee Jeff Wilson, who has operated the business for a decade, said it was a career highlight to win House of the Year. 

“It is a very special moment for Stonewood; the tip of the game for us. To get the top prize is a big achievement. I can semi retire now,” joked Mr Wilson. “Seriously though, it is pretty cool to be at the top of your game and be recognised for it. We pride ourselves on the quality of our builds and this award just proves what we have always delivered. 

“‘Beautiful Chaos’ is an exceptional house that from the moment you walk in leads you on surprise after surprise. We are grateful to Hein and Nikki for entrusting us to make it a reality for them.”  

Mr MacKay praised the builders for their craftsmanship and making the process so easy. 

“The team were excellent and every aspect of the build from start to finish was pretty flawless. It certainly gets easier each time you build but this was the first time we had used a group volume builder before but the process with Stonewood was so easy and fun. We have recommended them to a couple of friends already who have built with them too.


“We love our home and couldn’t be happier with it. Jean, Jeff and the team deserve the win.” 

Mr MacKay offered advice to anyone considering building a new home. 

“You have to be clear on what you want from a house and how you want to live. You need to consider every space and how it will be used now and in the future. 

“Work with your builder, trust them, they are the experts. Open communication is the key. A good builder will keep you informed and plan the build meticulously. You should know what is happening at every stage. 

“Be open to change because sometimes you realise things or want to change something through the process. And finally, always allow a little extra budget to accommodate your changes.” 


Winning House of the Year has topped off a huge year for Jeff and Jean and the Stonewood Auckland East team with House of the Year being the sixth accolade the company has claimed this year. The builders also proudly achieved:

  • Gold: Award & Category Winner:   Volume Group Housing New Home $450k-$750K
  • Silver Award Winner:  Volume Group Housing New Home $450k to $750K
  • Silver Award Winner:  Volume Group Housing New Home up to $450K
  • Bronze Award Winner: Volume Group Housing New Home up to $450K

More than 370 homes were judged as part of the Registered Master Builders 2019 House of the Year Awards by a team of industry experts. In its 27th year, House of the Year celebrates innovation and quality in building across a wide range of house styles and budgets. 

You can view images of the winning House of the Year at

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