The recently completed project which featured on the television series Grand Designs was the realisation of a long-held dream for timber merchant Marty Verry; to build a rustic home incorporating all the timbers he loved. His search for the timber he would need led him to the website of Heritage Barns, an American company that specialises in the restoration and repurposing of barns for use as modern family homes. Drawn to the size, scale and solidity of the barns and the heritage of the buildings, Marty and his wife Morella promptly bought and imported two 230 year old New York barn frames that have formed the characterful core of the couple's new home.
While a team of American builders travelled to New Zealand and reconstructed the frames using traditional methods, local architectural designer Eddie van Uden assisted Marty with the design of the exterior which was then clad in pine from Marty's mill.
The larger of the two barns forms the heart of the home, with a bedroom wing and two covered decks attached, while the smaller barn has been transformed into a guest house. Offering super-sized living, the combined buildings are four times the average New Zealand house size and in the larger barn a 7.5m stud lends a cathedral-like vastness to the space.
When it came to choosing a roofing material, finding a product that complemented the huge proportions of the barns was a key consideration, says Eddie.
"The size of the barns took me by surprise, and while our initial idea was to use corrugate for the roof, the standard profile was too fine and shallow, lacking the definition required a building of this scale," Eddie explains. "We considered alternative roofing profiles, but I suggested True Oak Corrugate and Marty was pleased with what it offered the project."
He explains, "True Oak's profile is more defined than the standard and offered visually deeper troughs, providing a stronger, more character-filled look that was sensitive to the heritage of the buildings and matched the scale of the barns."
In addition to True Oak's aesthetic appeal, the strength provided by the deeper rib enabled a number of programme efficiencies.
"The pitch on the main roof is steep, but the two covered deck areas to the side of the house have a much lower four degree pitch and would have required a ply substrate had we chosen another style of roof. True Oak's strength and low pitch capability meant we could use it on deck roofs — without the need for a ply substrate," says Eddie. This significantly reduced the cost of the roof by saving on the substrate and reducing the build time.
While the barn project was Eddie's first experience using True Oak, he was more than pleased with the result. "I would now suggest it for other projects both traditional and modern, as it not only looks great, but offers the additional bonus of being suitable for roofs with lower pitches."
Marty's view of the roof — from the ground: "I'm very pleased with the end result, True Oak has taken nothing away from the heritage of the buildings."