Young firm making a big impression

Young firm making a big impression

Leaving school at 16 to pursue a career in the construction industry, James Brownie has never looked back, instead finding the stepping-stones to success in his chosen career.
From apprentice builder to qualified tradesman at 19, site manager to qualified quantity surveyor and construction manager, James has followed his passion right through to ownership of his own construction company.
Completing his apprenticeship in 2010, James moved to Christchurch to undertake a study course to achieve his quantity surveying qualifcation, while also establishing Brownie Homes Ltd.
Starting as a one-man operation, James has built his business up through a reputation for quality craftsmanship and attention to detail and now employs a team of 10 comprising of qualified tradesmen, apprentices and labourers.
Rebranding as Brownie Construction Ltd earlier this year, the new name reflects the diverse range of work now undertaken by James and his talented crew.
“We do a wide range of residential work including new builds, major renovations, some earthquake repairs and landscape work. We also do some light commercial contracts. A lot of the residential work we’re doing is in the high to medium end architectural bracket but we’re also doing entry level first home builds.”
Initially focused on the Christchurch area, James has expanded his operation to include Queenstown, basing half his team there and working around the Queenstown, Cromwell, Wanaka and Alexandra area.
James’ right hand man, Joshua Lee has been with James almost from the start and is now site manager for all the Christchurch projects, while James looks after the Otago projects and maintains general oversight of all operations.
Speaking highly of his team, James says his crew has an abundance of energy along with a vast amount of experience and diversity to meet the demands of high profile and challenging projects.
“I’ve got guys who’ve specialised in renovation work and guys who’ve specialised in new architectural homes. Then there is Josh who has worked on high-rise commercial buildings.”
Brownie Construction was recently contracted to build the first stage on a stunning new development
of eight townhouses in Queenstown, for Blueview Developments.
Located in Arthurs Point, Coronet Grove, the townhouses are just 4 minutes from the turn-off to Coronet Peak ski-field.
Built in three stages, the high-spec two-storey homes are 170sqm each and feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms, open plan living and dining along with internal garaging. “They’re very nice concepts,” says James.
“There is a lot of cedar timberwork along with plaster on the exterior. Each apartment has a substantial heat transfer system to combat the cold.”
Having completed the first stage to a very high standard, Brownie Construction has been engaged to undertake the second stage of the project with stage two being completed by the end of this year.
James says his passion for building is all about the end product and putting the hard work in to achieve a high-quality finish.
“I like the stages you go through to get it to the end product, completing a nice tidy job that the customer loves.”
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