A Proud History

Since first entering the Registered Master Builders' House of the Year Awards, several of our projects have been judged among the very best, both regionally and nationally, for excellence in building and design.

We are particularly proud that the recognition BJ Carter has received covers a diverse range of projects - from affordable family homes to premier, high spec homes, as well as commercial work.

Our Latest Success

The Registered Master Builders' 2017 House of the Year
Carters New Homes $1 million - $2 million

  • Silver Award

See our Latest News page for more information on this project.

The Registered Master Builders' 2016 House of the Year
Carters New Homes $1 million - $2 million

  • Silver Award

The Registered Master Builders' 2014 House of the Year
PlaceMakers New Homes $350,000 - $450,000

  • Gold and Category Awards

Nulook New Homes $600,000 - $1 million

  • Silver Award

The Registered Master Builders' 2013 House of the Year
Category: Renovations Award up to $250,000

The Registered Master Builders' 2011 House of the Year
Category: New home $600,000 - $1 million

Regional (Southern) Category Winner – New home $600,000 - $1 million

  • Gold Award*
  • Gold Reserve Award*

Northwood House at NightPracticality meets style

The brief was simple: a modern, two storey, practical home, taking full advantage of the views within an urban environment. From the moment you set foot on this property the thought behind each structure is evident.

Walking up the exposed concrete aggregate driveway, with matching fence and mailbox, the cleverly structured angles become apparent in the roof line and winged veranda. Large Oamaru stone blocks passionately laid two storeys high create this solid home, along with cedar, river stones and concrete. Flat tray roofing, layered at different angles, gives this home a unique look, allowing it to make a statement within the sub-division.

The clever use of cedar weatherboards on the upstairs bedroom gives the impression of a room protruding through the brickwork. A huge focus in the building plan was the owner’s desire to have a low maintenance and energy efficient home utilising natural timber and earthy materials.


Northwood House BathroomThe owner's love for cooking warranted a large kitchen to be the focal point. This was achieved with low granite benches to gather around and a dining area close by. The striking granite and seamless Meltica really catch your eye as you first glimpse at the kitchen prior to entering the home. Granite splash backs meeting the strip window create the illusion of the window being part of the kitchen. Overhead cupboards merging into the window complete the effect. No space has been wasted in this kitchen’s creation and large storage and double ovens have made it a pleasure for the owner to work within.

As downstairs bedrooms and bathroom were built with grandchildren and elderly in mind, the shower is a generous 4m2 to cater for their needs. The north-facing lounge is perfectly poised to capture all-day sun with views of a private garden, and a gas fireplace to give it a warm ambiance during colder seasons. The small sun room off the dining area overlooks the parks and captures the afternoon sun. A Victorian ash stairway leads to the beautifully appointed master bedroom with additional sun room overlooking the park.

A large walk-in wardrobe and ensuite are located off the main bedroom. The ensuite boasts a combination of tried-and-tested products, with vinyl floor rolling up the walls, Seratone fitted to the wall with professional moulds negating any opportunity for error in workmanship. The bath is nestled under the window and a large shower, vanity and toilet suite complete this area.

The property's downstairs bathroom encompasses large shower, private toilet and generous hand basin, all combining to create a practical, yet luxurious bathroom.

The double garage houses the laundry and diesel burner, which heats the water cylinder and radiators throughout the house, making this home not only energy efficient but comfortable and cosy. A combination of locally-grown and sourced timbers gives warmth to this property. The house also has double-glazed windows with a north-facing aspect, and the low pitch roof was created to prevent cooling by winds.


The Registered Master Builders 2010 House of the Year - Category: New home over $2 million

Regional (Southern)

  • Gold Award*
  • Gib Living® Award*


  • Finalist (New home over $2 million)
  • Gold Reserve Award*
  • ‚ÄčPlacemakers® Heart of the Kitchen Award

*The Gib Living® Award is awarded for excellence in interiors, and is given to the home that delivers "a stunning interior living environment". Judges pay particular attention to the quality of the finish throughout.

*The Placemakers® Heart of the Kitchen Award is presented to the home that "best meets the lifestyle, family and entertaining needs of its owners".

*Gold Awards are given to builders whose entries achieve 90% of the points available, and are judged to be at least 80% above industry standard.

House of the Year

House of the Year

House of the Year

House of the Year

*Gold Reserve Awards - each year a maximum of 100 residential and 25 commercial properties reach Gold Reserve status and go on to the National Finals.


Step Inside the Home...

House of the YearHouse of the YearHouse of the YearHouse of the Year

A feat of architectural and design sophistication, brought to life by astute material selection, painstaking planning and precision craftsmanship, this home melds with its stunning environment and - quite literally - breathes with the seasonal extremes.

The brief was simple: a modern, functional holiday home, using large concrete panels as both the structural and design backbone. The result belies the significant logistical and technical challenges that were managed throughout the two-year build to deliver such an exceptional outcome.

Nestled in Queenstown Hill, the section's location prevented traditional blasting or jack-hammering. With a mere two-metre allowance either side, the BJ Carter team spent three months carefully carving out rock with a digger to create the home's footprint, overcoming unexpected service pipes, as well as considerable water run-off, along the way.

With each concrete panel and glass pane weighing 22 tonne and 280kg respectively, and 400sqm of schist to move, just transporting the materials onto, what was, a difficult, "tight fit" site required a 100-tonne crane - and particularly prudent site and safety management.

Concrete is, undoubtedly, the clever cornerstone of this two-level home, serving multiple purposes and bringing many benefits. Not only does it provide a robust shell, it moves with the area's climatic extremes, without compromising structural integrity.

What's obvious, immediately on entering this residence, is that the concrete allows it to "breathe". The home retains warmth during sub-zero winters and, conversely, provides a cool sanctuary during the area's hot summers. Coupled with its superior insulation qualities, the concrete also offers excellent sound-proofing.

Careful handling - from managing cartage to ever-cautious drilling - was employed vigilantly. As a result, not a single panel, each of which arrived finished, was damaged. The concrete's rigidity and pre-finishing, however, left no room for error, calling for meticulous planning and execution throughout the build. 

With some of the concrete panels underground, special attention was also needed in terms of weather-tightness, including ensuring each panel was well-waterproofed and drainage correct.

Aside from the supreme functionality, strength and inherent insulation properties, naked concrete walls also set the aesthetic scene for an interior that is as user-friendly as it is striking. Clean, minimalist lines denote the design, complemented by schist, sourced from nearby Gibbston Valley, Victorian Ash and Western Cedar.

An accent on simple, yet precise, lines meant scrupulous workmanship and exacting standards from start to finish. More than 1000 mitre cuts were needed to ensure the perfect finish to the extensive Western Cedar features, which are a hallmark of this home. Victorian Ash was hand-scribed into a pre-laid concrete floor, using Jasper volcanic rock from Hauraki Gulf. The concrete-crafted floating staircase, a focal point on entering the home, accentuates the spaciousness, creating a "suspended in air" feel.

With a premium on future-proofing, the home's state-of the-art lighting and audio systems are fully smart-wired and automated. The top-of-the-line audio system is easily accessible and user-friendly, with indoor and outdoor LCD keypads. In line with the home's over-arching style, all technological features are unobtrusive, or specially designed to be shut away completely when not in use.

Outdoors, the street frontage fencing draws on the schist and Western Cedar theme of the interior, resulting in a visually impressive entrance and a fitting gateway to this private haven. Lakeside, glass doors give way to a deck, designed to make the most of the spectacular vista, while over-sized eaves provide shelter, and usability, in all seasons. A 10m by 5m pool sets off the ultimate entertainer's area, which comes complete with a gas fire that transforms into barbecue.

A substantial outdoor table is the deck's eye-catching centrepiece. With a large glass insert to cradle the ice and champagne, this polished, handmade work of art serves as a celebration of the very concrete that shapes both the look and feel of this unique home.

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HOY 2011 Res Cat Winner HOY 2011 Res Gold Award HOY 2010 QM Res - CMYK Nat Winner FINAL- (JPG - 9kb) HOY 2010 QM Res - RGB Lifestyle FINAL (JPG - 10kb) HOY 2010 QM Res - CMYK Gold FINAL (JPG - 9kb)

When it came to our latest building project to be honest we didn’t even consider using any other builder than James. B J Carter had completed a renovation we had done a few years back and we had been thrilled with the high standard of workmanship and the ease of working with James and his team.

Our latest project was a large and detailed one and we knew that James would give us the quality of workmanship we were looking for. There were so many challenges and technicalities with our home: the hand-scribed floor, the extensive woodwork, a floating staircase, and much more. We knew that with James and his team the job would be done once and done correctly. If any problems did arise they were dealt with in a quiet and professional manner.

James is brilliant to work with from a client’s point of view – he takes everything in his stride; I don’t think I’ve ever seen him rattled. We can only give our highest recommendation and are delighted with the way our new home has been completed.”

2010 Registered Master Builders'
House of the Year Award Winner

Judges' Comment

The joiner has crafted an exquisite kitchen with hidden spaces and automation that blew the judges away. Every piece of the kitchen is superbly crafted from the corian benchtop to the steel cladding, to the timber, to the clerestory window bringing natural light into the kitchen. The kitchen joinery integrates beautifully and consistently with quality joinery throughout the home, with high levels of craftsmanship in the timber and faultless invisible work. Nothing was left to chance with all of the kitchen furniture custom designed and made. Not only beautifully designed and crafted, this is a functional kitchen that is very much the heart of this home.”

Judges’ Comments
2010 Placemakers’ Heart of the Home Kitchen (National Winner)