Craftsmanship the key for award-winning firm

Craftsmanship the key for award-winning fi rm
Bowater Builders undertakes a diverse range of work from architectural projects on diffi cult sites, additions and alterations to existing homes, boat shed and boat slip repairs through to landscaping and playgrounds.

For Greg and Andrea Bowater, the directors of award-winning Lyttelton construction company Bowater Builders Ltd, craftsmanship is the lifeblood of their small family-owned and operated business.
While receiving the Canterbury Region Craftsmanship Award and National Gold Reserve Award in the $2 million plus category at this year’s Master Builders House of the Year Awards is testament to the company’s ability, it is Greg’s passion for his trade that really speaks of craftsmanship.
“Craftsmanship is having specific knowledge and being able to apply it,” says Greg. “It’s all very well knowing how to build a house, but if you can’t actually do it to a high standard what’s the point.
“Having the skills to build a home and perform the craft is what it’s all about in a nutshell. What underpins a quality craftsman builder is enjoyment of the craft and the want to provide excellence.”Learning the traditional building methods from his father, Greg has been building for the last forty years, taking over the running of Bowater Builders Ltd twenty years ago.
Undertaking a diverse range of work from architectural projects on difficult sites, additions and alterations to existing homes, boat shed and boat slip repairs through to landscaping and play-grounds, Greg places huge emphasis on doing the project right.
“We believe building a new home or changing an existing one should be an enjoyable experience for the client,” says Greg. “I don’t leave any rock un-turned. Every piece of wood is looked at. You know, if something can be improved then in my view you haven’t finished it.”
With a traditionally trained workforce, restoration and repairs to older period homes is one of Bowater Builders strengths.Continuing with his father’s commitment to bringing apprentices through the trade, Greg says there are always one or two apprentices on the books gaining a solid understanding of their craft.
“I enjoy training people and that’s one of the things that provides us with an edge with these more complex projects. “It gives us the opportunity to train people the way you want things done to ensure quality workmanship.
“Over the last 10 years we’ve taken on quite a few adult apprentices and they come with existing work and life skills. It’s really nice to work with people bringing in fresh ideas from their past experiences.”
Pivotal to the business, as well as running the office and keeping everything in shipshape condition, Andrea is a qualified quantity surveyor and very much part of the team.
Proud of Bowater Builders’ reputation for quality craftsmanship developed over the last forty years, Greg says that reputation flows through to his sub-contractors.
“I’m quite selective about who works for us. We set high standards and I expect that of our subcontractors. We work with a regular set of subcontractors and know the standard of workmanship we’re getting.
“Winning the most recent Master Builders Craftsmanship Award reinforces why we have quite a clientele base. Since winning the award past clients have congratulated us, saying they’re grateful they have one of our houses too.”
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