Restoring this 150-year-old heritage building to its former glory

Caretaker's Cottage, Myers Park, Auckland

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Built in the 1850s by early French settler Charles de Thierry, what is now known as the caretaker’s cottage in Myers Park, is one of only two kauri buildings of this era remaining on Queen Street.

The project:

In 2005, the cottage, now owned by Auckland Council, was damaged by vandals, leading to it being boarded up for several years. In 2020, the council embarked on a project to restore the property, preserve its heritage value, and use it as an office for council staff. To achieve this, they engaged our services as quantity surveyor.

We provided cost consultancy services throughout the project’s duration, including preparing initial cost estimates, financial administration, and preparing the final account. The historic nature of the building meant that the project team had to address numerous unforeseen circumstances but ensured that no detail was missed from a cost management perspective, and that the full scope of works was captured and understood by all parties.


Our value add:

To help the client (Auckland Council) better understand the potential costs associated with variations, we developed a tender schedule that allowed for several different rates to be pre-agreed based on various criteria. This helped the client to make informed decisions before incurring costs. Additionally, the inclusion of proxy days for the working day rate added tender tension, ensuring that the project and potential variation costs were clearly set out before the contract was signed.

Once construction began on site, we discovered that the site conditions were worse than anticipated, requiring a number of variations. To ensure fairness, the team reviewed these variations and extension of time claims by verifying on-site measurement together with the main contractor, taking into account the actual site conditions and challenges.

Finally, a pre-construction asbestos survey had highlighted the likely presence of asbestos in a small area. When this was confirmed by the contractor, we expedited a review of the testing and removal costs to ensure it could be dealt with quickly (within three working days), without affecting the project’s critical path.

Through robust and effective processes, we ensured that the heritage restoration project was completed within budget and to the client’s satisfaction.

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Client Testimonial

“[Maynard Marks’] client-focussed systems and processes are well-developed and the quality of their resources is high…Documentation has been exceptionally well-detailed and easy to interpret, quality cost planning advice has been provided throughout the project, the budget has been well-managed despite numerous challenges. In most cases [regarding progress payments] we are at least three days ahead of the deadline and [the team] respond fairly to the continued cost escalation due to supply chain issues…and ensure that the advice provided is fair to the contractor and principal.

 “The level of professionalism displayed by the company has been exemplary.”


Andrew Case, Programme Manager (Full Facilities Contracts), Community Facilities, Auckland Council