After living in Auckland for the best part of 30 years, born and raised southerners Eunan Cleary and Gillian Alexander were keen to come home, but only for the right Dunedin home.
Having knocked back various Victorian and Edwardian-era homes suggested by local real estate agents, they were eventually tipped off about 22 Coney Hill Road, a 112 year-old brick beauty perched on the cliffs above the suburb of St Clair.
Large enough to have been split into four flats, it had a well-earned reputation for hosting raucous parties in the 1980s as part of an overall rich history, and provided 180-degree views of the coast and city.
Though it needed a massive amount of work, the potential was obvious and so began not only a relocation for Eunan and Gillian, but an extensive restoration.
A new roof was the start of a journey that will eventually include a room-by-room renovation and re-landscaping, and Eunan explains it was an important first step: “The terracotta roof was original and was badly damaged. Many of the tiles themselves were cracked or missing and there were obvious signs of mould in some of the rooms — even the ones downstairs.”
Keen to keep the traditional look, they investigated re-roofing in terracotta but were quickly put off by the cost: “We were looking at well over $120,000 just for the re-roof, which wasn’t really an option.”
The Clearys’ builder put them in touch with Horizon Roofing. It was also their introduction to Gerard as a roof system with multiple benefits: “Our engineer was adamant that we shouldn’t be replacing one heavy roof with another, and that Gerard was the ideal solution. When we saw that we could keep the original look at a fraction of the weight and cost, we were in.”
After considering Gerard Colortile, they eventually settled on Gerard Tuffcoat in the satin option of ’Marseille Clay’. Gillian explains they couldn’t be happier with the end result and the service provided by Horizon Roofing: “The Gerard roof looks fantastic, it’s enhanced the overall exterior and the weather-tightness meant we could get on with doing the rest of the house. The Horizon guys were also a delight to have around the site, and when you’re working with builders and tradespeople for a long period — for us it will be over a year — you need to have those great relationships and levels of trust.”