A house meant for the scrap heap is heading to the sales block thanks to an industrious group of South Auckland students.
The wannabe tradies from five schools across the region are part of a pilot programme that has seen them restoring houses meant for demolition as a hands-on way of getting building experience.
And on Saturday, the first of those houses will open up to the public to showcase the house and the students’ hard work to the public.
It’s the culmination of more than a year’s work, with the students gutting, repairing, repainting and replastering the four-bedroom house.
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It wasn’t always easy as they were interrupted by Covid-19 lockdowns and supply shortages, that saw work sometimes stalled for months at a time.
The deal with the group which was originally meant to buy the houses once they were done fell through earlier this year when the person organising the sale moved overseas.
But there has been promising interest from other groups, said William Malakai​, the builder in charge of the project.
And while many of those who started the project weren’t around to see it finished, Malakai said the teenagers had a lot to be proud of.
With more than 20 years experience as a builder, he said the Ara Education Charitable Trust (AECT) project was “a really good footstep for them to get into a trade.”
“They’re really proud of themselves and the work that they’ve done to get the house looking good.”
He has already organised for 12 of the students to go into apprenticeships, and is finding more places for those who show enthusiasm for the work.
James Cook High School student Nia Tokelau​ said being part of the project had given him important skills he had taken home to help build things with his dad.
“It feels good when you make an ugly house look brand new,” the 17-year-old said.
Not everything was done by the students, with the plumbing and electrical work done by certified tradies.
The sale of the four-bedroom house will provide the necessary funding for them to continue the House Renovation Project for future students.
There are already three new houses that have been donated, and students next year will begin work on a new build for Kainga Ora.
The open home will be at 46 Nixon Rd, near Auckland Airport, between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, September 24. There will be food and entertainment as well.
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