Strong client relationships key to success

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And last year the company took out the national Department of Building and Housing New Homes under $250,000 category for a property in Ashburton.
Project manager Andrea Lee says the company prides itself on its good relationship with clients.
“I meet the clients from day one when they walk in the door, I hand them the keys when it’s finished, and I do a lot in between,” Mrs Lee says.
“My husband is one of the builders on site, so we’re both directly involved with the whole process,” she says.

Mrs Lee acknowledges that it’s rare to be a female in the construction industry. “It can be a battle at times, but I enjoy the challenge,” she says.
“I think I look at things from a different aspect. I keep a very close eye on the finishing details, and I’m very fussy with painting and obtaining the best results we can for our clients. I go around and clean the house on the last day and make sure there’s nothing we’ve missed.”
“It’s important for me that our clients get the best out of their home,” she says.

Mrs Lee says the company’s House of the Year awards play a big part in consumer confidence.
“Our clients become so proud of their houses they’re happy to recommend us to people, and it gives our new clients some reassurance about the quality of our building,” she says.
K Fowler Homes (Ashburton) Ltd’s 2010 national award-winning property is a modern style townhouse boasting a range of features which make it an extremely spacious and functional home for the owner.

Judges said this “delightful” house “makes playful use of light, bringing warmth and character to the very liveable open plan layout”.
“This is an example of what can be achieved when good design is considered, even in this price category, delivering a lovely home for its owner,” the judges said.
Mrs Lee says the competition is “scary” and “nerve-wracking”, but for builders considering entering, “if you’re proud of what you do, don’t be afraid to be judged”.

This year’s competition saw the Ashburton company receive two Silver Awards in the regional competition — one in the New Homes $450,000 – $600,000 category for a property in Ashburton which also won the Ashburton Guardian Interior Style and Finish Award, and another in the New Homes $600,000 – $1 million category for a property in Staveley, Ashburton.

The property in Staveley also took out three Lifestyle Awards — the Pink® Batts® Ultra® Energy Efficiency Award, the PlaceMakers Heart of the Home Kitchen Award, and the PlaceMakers Bathroom Excellence Award.
“This is the most unique site we’ve ever built on,” Mrs Lee says. “It was a challenging site, in an extremely high wind zone, perched on top of a hill in a snow area. It has a two kilometre clay road up to it, which became a river when it rained.”

Due to the harsh environment, the house has been placed for maximum sun and designed to make the most of the magnificent views, with almost every room looking out across mountains and the Canterbury Plains.
“The whole house was built for comfort and the view,” Mrs Lee says.

The Awards are made possible through the support of principal sponsor PlaceMakers, and supporting sponsors James Hardie, Gib Living ®, Pink® Batts® Ultra® (Tasman Insulation), Nulook and the Department of Building and Housing.

For more information about the competition, go to www.masterbuilder.org.nz.