Design Builders making dream homes come true for 30 years


Every home crafted by Design Builders is built around a customer’s unique requirements, the views, the sun, their lifestyle and how they intend to interact with their new environment. They describe it as a home built around you.

When founders Andy and Brenda Bell took the brand nationally, the Waikato was one of the first partnership to jump on board.

Managing Partner Jeff Marra says the opportunity to design and build unique homes from initial customer brief to finished home is a really rewarding experience.

“The Design Builders’ magic that’s happening in the Waikato is a result of the years that came before us. We’ve adopted that process of creating architecturally designed, affordable homes. It helps with what we deliver today and we keep evolving to meet the needs of our clients.”

Styled for Life – This 451sqm home has been designed for the needs of a growing family

When Jeff says unique, he means it; Design Builders have no set plans because they understand that everybody is different.

“Being part of a larger team means we can offer our clients so much more; from standing on a client site with a blank sheet of paper and being able to do the full design, the council process and then the build is a satisfying process to be involved in.”

Not only is it rewarding for the Design Builders’ team, but Jeff believes it offers the client the ability to truly be part of designing and building their dream home.

“The very first step with the client is getting to know them and what they want. Getting to know their home aspirations is a crucial step in the process. We want to know our client’s style, needs and budget so we can bring their home to life.”

After all, it is the client who will be living with the choices made and Jeff knows that the collaboration between the Design Builders’ team and the client is the best way to get it right.

“I’m a little bit of a romantic and believe that designing and building your own home should be one of those outstanding life experiences.”

A New Yorker in Hamilton – Inspired by the classic New York loft. The living spaces are open and generous

Design Builders combine the advantages of an architect with the buying power and efficiencies that group house builders deliver, and Jeff says, it’s how the team are able to make home design and building an ‘outstanding life experience’.

Based in the Hawkes Bay support centre, the in-house design team is led by their resident architect and design manager who bring a perfect balance of creative flair and can-do practicality to every project.

“Our philosophy really is to provide New Zealanders access to custom-designed and built homes” Jeff says.

But it doesn’t stop with an architecturally designed home, Design Builders takes care of the whole process. From the highly experienced construction crew building to the highest possible standards right through to interior design experts’ décor advise, it all adds up to a beautiful and affordable custom home.

“To make sure you enjoy an outstanding experience, our team work will with you all the way. We are creating real value for our clients, not only financially, but in how they are involved through the whole process of building the home of their dreams.”

A builder of many years, Jeff was excited by the concept of offering one-off homes from one company when he signed up to the partnership in 2010. It’s a concept that hasn’t stood still and continues to challenge the team.

“Design Builders have a really great history of where we’ve come from, where we’ve been and where we going.  The designs have evolved and changed over the years. Every year does seem to get more involved and more detailed. And the standards always rise,” Jeff says.

He’s proud of the latest Waikato showhome at 5 Rivercove Lane in Hamilton which recently opened to public viewing.

The team have an enviable reputation for taking a stylish and imaginative approach to creating one-off originals.

The beautifully clean exterior is enhanced by remarkable vertical and horizontal painted cladding. The spacious interior features timber and concrete flooring that combines textures to stunning visual effect. With a nod to the Mediterranean, an arch motif is used throughout, including in remarkable feature windows.

“We decided to implement the arches when we started the design 18 months ago. In that time, we have really started to see arches trending. We like to think that we are at the heart of setting the new trends. Or putting something out there that’s different for people to consider, rather than just the same old, same old. We are look really looking forward to getting the feedback on this new showhome.”


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