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Building a lifestyle in Golden Bay

Building a lifestyle in Golden Bay
Golden Bay builder Steve Chamberlain has made the most of an elevated Takaka site building his own stunning 310sqm home.

Professing a claim of quality is the norm for most home builders today, but according to Steve Chamberlain, of Golden Bay Builders, it can’t be just lip service. “Building in Golden Bay isn’t easy, you’ve got to be on top of your game or you simply won’t survive.”

Steve knows full-well that in a population of 5000, you can’t be anything but organised and provide quality work when you get most of your work via word of mouth and appreciate repeat business.

“We offer a Master Build Guarantee of course, yet we work hard to make sure the build goes without a hitch. We stay focused.” Steve is testament to this.

His company has provided many renovations and new builds for more than 20 years, ranging in price from 250k to over $1 million.

Word-of-mouth is Golden Bay Builders’ most effective marketing technique, and it’s not unusual for his clients to be absent. The company has built for clients based in Wellington, Christchurch and overseas and keeps clients up to date via email and phone.

Steve has seen housing companies start to dominate the building industry and witnessed the squeeze this has placed on the self-employed builder. Yet he’s also seen housing companies fail in the bay.

“You can’t expand too quickly and stretch your resources to the point you start to compromise quality. We would rather do less houses and alterations and do them well rather than compromise on workmanship.”

His recipe for success has been founded on basic principles; providing quality work, establishing a good core group of hand-picked local contractors and competing with the housing companies headon.

Building a lifestyle in Golden Bay

A retracting louvre system to cover the deck, extensive decking, cedar cladding and lots of glass to maximise the views are features of builder Steve Chamberlain’s home in Takaka.

But also by going a step further by offering more than standard house plans with little deviation to designing a dwelling to suit the section and the owner’s requirements – and budget.

Golden Bay Builders provides an experienced inhouse designer and effective project management.

The company works with the client through the entire consent process, project managing access, power, phone, and all the site services.

Steve and his team ensure the projects undertaken are fully compliant with the 1992 Health and Safety at Work Act giving total peace of mind to their clients.

“Our design process doesn’t stop at the plan presentation. We have good suppliers backing us, working with our subcontractors and clients, from full kitchen design, through to carpet and colour schemes.”

“We have a dedicated team of six to eight guys who know their stuff in both residential and commercial work, and we focus on a couple of builds at a time.

We’ve established sound trading relationships with our suppliers and as a result, we’ve gained some good standing when it comes to buying competitively.”

Having built more than 50 new homes in Golden Bay, Steve knows the area requires homes to be designed to suit their sections, taking into account the views, the site contour, the aspect, and energy efficiency.

These key factors have been applied to one of his current projects – the build of a 310sqm home on an elevated and prominent 7500sqm Pohara site, which has been developed over the past 12 years “It’s a passive solar house, we have thermally broken aluminium joinery with Low-E glass” he says.

“There is a lot of glass to take in the 360 degree views.”

The house has underfloor heating throughout with ceramic tiles on concrete floors “thermally broken” also a large interior concrete block wall for thermal mass, which acts as a great heat sink. Steve has also included a mono pitch roof with large eaves.

“One of the things I’ve learned in our climate is how eaves can help with the daylight angles to keep a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.”


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