James requested he tender for our build after he was made aware of the situation we found ourselves in. Our chosen Housebuilder failed to fulfil their contract at a very early stage of our project at. From the onset, James demonstrated his ability to grasp both our aspirations for the build and the architect’s plans and vision for the house but also to challenge both when necessary for the benefit of the project. Through the tender process it became clear that of the four companies tendering, Bennie Builders were by far the most committed to understanding and delivering the project.
On commissioning James, he mobilised to site within a week and was already well under way with his preparations. He was already liaising with Masterbuild and various contractors to navigate through a particularly difficult contractual arrangement regarding the transition from the previous housebuilder. This clearly confirmed the sound relationships he has with Contractors in the region, Masterbuilders and also his ability to negotiate.
Throughout this stressful period for us, James was reassuring but realistic in what could be achieved and by when. His explanation of the timeframe and programme was clear, concise and practical, leaving us in no doubt that the build would take the time he said it would. Communication was key for us and the level of information conveyed was appropriate and never ambiguous.
Building started in earnest in April 2018. Auditing of what had already been constructed (foundations preparation and drainage) immediately threw up a number of errors that the team quickly rectified. James made the call to replace or move some of the existing infrastructure where glossing over these areas and accepting what was already in place would have resulted in more serious issues.
The team were always punctual, hard working and very conscious of our living on site in temporary accommodation. They would go out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and not inconvenienced in any way. The team regularly worked weekends in the early stages to ensure that the project accelerated. Throughout what was a particularly cold winter, often with heavy frost or snow on the ground, they always managed to get work done and missed only a handful of days due to bad weather and road closures.
The workmanship of the team was very apparent from the beginning. Elements of the setting out were checked and checked again before any commitment to fixings etc. Where the design and plans presented building challenges, the team would always consult with each other before deciding on the best way forward. If this meant a change in final form or design, communication with us was always timely, with the solution being presented to us before we were even made aware of the problem.
A particularly good example of this was the challenge the roof geometry presented to its physical construction and how it would impact on the final form of the guttering, flashings, valleys and sofits. Instead of accepting the architect’s plans, discussion over a number of days resulted in the plans being changed and redrawn and a pragmatic solution being developed without altering the overall vision of the architectural appearance and at no expense to us as the client.
What was also apparent was the pride that each and every member of the team had in their work, not only their own but that of their colleagues. They clearly relished in the challenge of the build and wanted the finished product to be as perfect and seamless as promised. Again, always searching for a more aesthetically pleasing look or ergonomic outcome for our benefit. Our changes of heart or late design tweaks were only ever accepted with the promise of an acceptable solution or a compromise reached and completed without fuss or aggravation.
Communication with regard to invoicing, variations and unexpected costs incurred have been dealt with succinctly and openly. Discussion was always had before any extra work was undertaken to ensure we knew why the work was required and our agreement confirmed.
James and Mia delivered the tendered project on time and on budget with the initial variations coming in at less than 5%. Where we required extra work to be undertaken at our request, James always managed to negotiate the best option and deal for us and managed it within the build programme without any delay.
Over the last 18 months, James and his team have not only delivered us a great product, but have become friends of the family and household. They are always welcome to come and go as necessary, and do so with respect to our privacy, friendliness and to get the job done. It reflects the quality of their work that we have received numerous compliments on our house and that James often presents our house to potential new clients as an example of their work.
We cannot recommend Bennie Builders highly enough and would not hesitate to approach them again should we ever have the ridiculous notion to build over. It is without doubt that Bennie Builders helped us through one exceptionally stressful time for us, with confidence and assured professionalism. They have delivered a home that all involved with are extremely proud of.
I bought a house at Jacks Point Mid 2018 , at that time I was living in Auckland. I decided I needed a wall removed to make a media room bigger, that was joined by a small bedroom. I contacted James via a phone call after having googled him. I have to say I was very impressed. Although James was really busy he took time out to look at my very small job, (in his eyes!). I told him what I required. Next time I came down I left a key outside and within frame time my job was finished. Wall out, door shifted, electrician, plasterer and painter. I was thrilled with the job. I would not hesitate to recommend Bennie Builders, small or big jobs.
P. Le Heron
Registered Architect, and Partner of Assembly Architects Ltd
Construction Manager for Naylor Love
Owner of Vudu Café, Vudu Café and Larder and Bespoke Kitchen