James Hardies Northern Region Sales Manager Troy Spence hasn’t seen much of the Building Hope home yet. The arrival of his son at 11 weeks premature in April has meant that most of his time has been spent dashing between the hospital and his wife and 14-month-old daughter at home.
But he and the rest of the James Hardies team have still managed to contribute around 20k worth of cladding materials to the project.
With his tiny boy in ICU for the past two months, Troy says that the Building Hope message has really hit home.
“I certainly recognise the importance of time with your kids, and how things like this can really disrupt a family.”
Although his son is fine now – “just early” – it’s been touch-and-go. Troy said the most difficult part was trying to split the time between their son and their daughter at home.
“You soon realise that days get filled up very fast, and how much you need that time for family.”
It only strengthened his resolve to help out with the Building Hope project. The team were approached by the organisers back in March and were able to lend some smart advice to the design. Although the original plan for the front of the home involved using vertical timber weather board, Troy’s team had a better idea.
The key to building a quality family home, he says, is to keep it as low-maintenance as possible, for as long as possible.
“We talked to the guys about what they wanted to achieve. They wanted a low maintenance home, so we suggested switching up to fibre and cement.”
He says the fibre cement alternative is perfect for New Zealand’s ever-changing conditions and doesn’t require a lot of looking after.
“It’s a more durable alternative to timber weatherboarding. The idea is that you should spend more time enjoying your home than maintaining your home. It’s all about bringing your family into the picture.”
Troy missed the first Building Hope milestone event in April due to the unexpected birth. Having only seen photos of the home so far, he’s now looking forward to seeing the his materials on site at the second milestone in July.
“It’s a great cause. Anything that causes complications for kids is just heart-breaking, so we just jump at the chance to help.
“It really tugs at the heart strings to know you can do something that benefits families who are facing adversity. It’s nice to be out there doing something good, not just thinking about business.”