Ross Styles

My father bought a block of land on Grandview Crescent in 1947 and built a fishing shack with his brother and two mates from the war. It was about 20m2 in area and of basic hardwood timber frame construction with compressed fibre cement cladding. It was used by the family as a cherished jewel for summer holidays. I bought it from my father in the early 1970’s and undertook modest improvements such as adding a deck, building a sleeping loft in the roof space and adding a small bathroom and storage area at one end – increasing the area to a substantial 28m2.

After more than 60 years of valuable use, there was a need to extend the building but it had to be done in a way that was sensitive to the original historic context. As an architect, I prepared a design concept that respected the existing structure by integrating the new additions into the existing form . It was to be a modest two bedroom , low-key beach house.

I needed a sensitive builder who understood the emotional attachment the family had to the place. The builder needed to have a skill with detail and needed to be someone I could work carefully with in a co-operative way. I prepared detailed drawings and finishes and equipment schedules. I sought the names of recommended builders in the area, interviewed 10, looked at completed or in-progress projects and called referees. I selected 3 good builders to tender, one of which was Brad Paterson of Paterson Builders.

I was so pleased that Brad submitted was the lowest price as I knew his work was immaculate and I felt he was a person I could work well with. I was also attracted by the fact this was a family business with his 2 sons Tim and John working with him on site and his wife Wendy providing administrative support. Brad’s tender was thorough and he offered a range of suggestions for cost savings and technical options.

Brad was an absolute joy to work with. He was so caring about the quality of the work and respected the fact that I was after a fairly high level of communication. I enjoyed talking to him about progress and options for improvement. He genuinely loved the project. There were a limited number of changes and I considered the cost variations submitted were fair and reasonable. I included 5 Prime Cost items in the contract – security, PV panels, some joinery items, hot water system and the water retention tanks. Brad managed these well as he integrated them into the main scope. He used quality sub-contractors and their work was well co-ordinated. Documentation for invoices, variations, etc was thorough and clear.

Constructing an architect’s own house could potentially be a challenge. Brad respected and enjoyed the design interface. I couldn’t speak more highly of the overall experience – the quality of Brad’s construction and the professional manner in which he worked . I would actually say I found the ideal builder. Consequently, I am pleased to recommend Paterson Builders to any potential client.

I would be pleased to provide clarifications or further information if required.