Father-and-son team have plenty on
Brendan Graham established his building business in 2001, though he has operated as a residential builder in and around Levin since 1998. Six years ago, son Paul joined the business as an apprentice.
“There’s just Paul and me and it works well for us. We tend to work in close proximity to Levin where we are based but have carried out building work in the wider area, Foxton across to Tokomaru and down to Waikanae.
“These days Levin has evolved into a very competitive building environment with a number of builders coming in from Palmerston North,” Brendan explains.
Brendan and Paul are currently working on an architecturally designed home being built just south of Levin with work expected to be completed by the end of October.
“It’s quite a complex build with underfloor insulation, which includes concrete slab edge insulation and underfloor heating,” Brendan says.
“The heat comes from water heated by a heat pump combined with an electric hot water cylinder,” he says.
The house is clad in colour steel and vertical cedar and the roof is longrun Colorsteel. The home will be insulated well above the minimum requirements of the building code.
“We are using Pro Clima products to create an air tight barrier on the inside of the exterior walls and ceiling.
“This system reduces the amount of heating appliances that are needed and enables controlled ventilation of the house.
“When it’s completed I think it will really be a stand-out home in the district and I am finding it very enjoyable and challenging.”
Brendan says he and Paul are happy with the size of the company.
“It’s ticking along nicely and we have got enough ongoing work to be usefully employed.”
Along with the new home Brendan and Paul are also building Paul’s new home in Levin.
“We have access to the Certified Builders plans and Paul’s house is one of these designs called Kakapo,” says Brendan.
Certified Builders offers a range of architecturally drawn plans to suit any location and all plans can be altered to suit the individual location and the client’s personal ideas.
Levin and surrounding areas are definitely in growth phase Brendan says, with demand increasing in the last twelve to eighteen months partly with people shifting north from Wellington.
“Land is becoming a problem with demand outstripping current available sites to build new houses on. Horowhenua has a lot of life-style blocks but Levin itself hasn’t grown a lot as there is no sub dividable land with a lot of market gardens close to the town.”
Brendan says that when the expressway has been extended up to Otaki, close to Levin, there will be another wave of demand for residential builds.
Carrying a background originally working in joinery gives Brendan the benefit of a very good eye for detail and quality of workmanship.
“While I don’t do a lot of joinery work as such these days, the fact that I did my apprenticeship and worked for many years as a joiner means I know what great timber work is all about.
“It certainly has been a benefit for me and for the business to carry this into the projects we take on.”
Renovations and alterations have remained a speciality of the services the company offers.
“I like the variety you get with smaller jobs along with major new builds. We’ll tackle just about anything. As a small building company we work in well together, understanding the standard of work we wish to deliver to our clients.”