Space-age prefab

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Call it a 21st century version of the traditional New Zealand hut. 

Arrowtown firm Space Rooms Ltd today launches a simple and potentially very popular building product – Space Moveable Homes. 

The product is a portable, prefabricated living or working room that can be plonked anywhere where more space is needed. 

The company has been formed by Arrowtown architect Maarten Hofmans and Queenstown builder Chris Cerecke, who owns the local Vernon Henry Homes franchise. 

Hofmans and Cerecke developed the concept in March last year and took it further after the catastrophic Christchurch earthquake in February destroyed many buildings. 

They’re building their first eight rooms on a 36-metre production line in Arrowtown. 

Rooms in their ‘Living Space’ product range – with 16 options – run from nine square metres, at $19,750, to 22.5sq m at $45,750 which includes GST. 

Hofmans says the range “evokes the classic miner’s cottage with pitched roofs, rolled barge flashings and French doors”. 

The ‘Working Space’ range, with 12 options, will launch within the next month. These are more contemporary-looking buildings with flat roofs and sliding doors. 

Company general manager Ben McGill says the buildings have a myriad of possible uses: 

A temporary home on a property before a house-build

  •  A means of providing rental income from a property
  • Premises for a new business that can’t afford to build or rent, or for a seasonal business
  • A home office
  • Accommodation for young couples or singles
  • A holiday home. 

McGill says the company also has a finance option with weekly payments similar to rental costs.
Rooms can also be hired out. 

The buildings meet NZ building codes and come with a Master Build guarantee, McGill adds. 

The company has also worked with Queenstown Lakes District Council regulatory arm Lakes Environmental to ensure each unit receives a code of compliance. 

“These are the only moveable rooms or dwellings we’re aware of in NZ that have a consent for the structure,” McGill says. 

But he adds buyers must check with local councils to see whether a resource consent is needed. 

McGill also believes his company has hit upon a unique building process. 

Their Arrowtown production line, employing three or four builders on labour-only contracts, can build three or four rooms a week, McGill says. 

“It allows us to be very efficient.” 

The pair guarantee a four-week turnaround on a structure once an order is placed. 

McGill says the first orders are already in. 

These include GP rooms in Christchurch, a community room in Banks Peninsula, a local bike rental store and a horse trekking office in the Catlins.