Central Otago’s building market is very strong and Cromwell is every day becoming more of a hub for the building industry, says builder Brook Carr. Many of the main trade stores are based there, and there’s no sign of things slowing down in the near future.
Like neighbouring towns of Queenstown and Wanaka, Cromwell is growing with strong investment in commercial and residential sectors.
“We can do anything to suit the budget,” says Brook. Renovations or new builds, his team of four builders has been working around Central Otago for the past four years doing a “bit of everything.”
Brook’s preference is in doing renovations, especially the higher end ones. “I enjoy doing something that people have got a bit of pride behind,” he says.
One of his current projects is the full reconstruction of a 135-year-old villa back to what it was like in its hey-day, with three lounges, two sunrooms, four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Transported down from Christchurch in six pieces, it now overlooks a vineyard in the Lowburn Valley. The company is also doing restoration, modernisation and extension on an early last century home in Old Cromwell.
With the rising cost of housing and building new, Brook says he’s seeing more of his clients tidying up and adding on to older homes – mostly kitchens and bathrooms – rather than buying new.
However also on the books right now are new builds at Bannockburn and Pisa Moorings. “We also do a bit of group home building, such as for Classic Builders,” he says.
Recent projects include the refit of the Black Rabbit Kitchen and Bar at Bannockburn and the Fusee Rouge kitchen in Cromwell, some light commercial work, and building his own family home.
Growing up in Otago on a dairy farm, Carr gained his pre-trade experience in Invercargill and completed his apprenticeship in Balclutha before moving to Cromwell six years ago.
He finds most of his business comes through word of mouth, or from social media. Being a member of the NZ Certified Builders Association (NZCB) and offering the Halo 10 Year Residential Guarantee gives customers confidence in his business.
“When you build with an approved member of the NZCB you’re protected by New Zealand’s most comprehensive 10 year building guarantee.” The guarantee covers new homes and additions or alterations.
Brook works with clients from the concept plan stage and looking at the budget, getting working drawings, building consent and right through to the finished building .
While most of his work is in Cromwell the team will travel throughout Central Otago. “We can offer from small renovation jobs to full builds that include carpets and drapes.”