Ironside House was extensively damaged in the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. We thought at the time: “How the hell are we going to fix this?” But we took the approach of “where there is a will there is a way”. It is listed as a Group 4 protected heritage building in the Christchurch City Plan so a repair was decided on and from there, we began a long journey with Harley Builders to restore the building to its former glory.
We were looking for a builder who was sympathetic to heritage work and who could share our vision of restoring Ironside House back to the original. We’re pleased that right from the start, Glenn and his team at Harley Builders bought into that vision.
The whole project lasted 3 years, which included bracing and moving the building backwards off its original site (after removal of damaged materials) and moving it back again after fixing the piles.
We got along extremely well with Glenn and he really enjoyed the challenge of the restoration work, which at times was a very big challenge indeed! The project was a continual moving feast and many unexpected things cropped up as you can imagine with a building of that age and the damage caused by the earthquakes. So not only was Glenn flexible in his approach, but was always very obliging and enthusiastic.
At the time we were dealing with Insurance companies and trying to secure Heritage grants for the repair, so it was a frustrating but rewarding project. Glenn was sympathetic to the timeframes and challenges along the way.
He helped as much as he could and we remember that in the early days – when the red zone cordon was in place – he came and shored up the house which had been red stickered and was leaning into Montreal Street. Basically the house would have been demolished without the work Glenn did then!
Glenn worked exceptionally well with the architect and other professionals that were involved in the project. He always had our best interests at heart.
We were particularly pleased with the quality of finishing from Glenn and his team. We were not prepared to compromise and were always focussed on restoring everything back to the original. Glenn bought into that concept and accommodated our requests where he could. He provided the right people to do it the right way. His sub-contractors were great and all seemed to work in well.
Jeremy, our son, worked on the project full time and he enjoyed working with Glenn and his team. It was always a tidy, well organised work site and it had a good atmosphere. Everyone seem to get along and often they would share a joke or two.
After having started the repairs we suffered more cracks and splits from the December earthquake. We remember saying to Glenn “How the hell are we going to fix that?” He simply said “Don’t worry, we will”. And he did!
The House has achieved some significant awards:
2012 Heritage Retention Award – Highly Commended
2013 Civic Trust Award
2014 Heritage Retention Award Winner