Enjoying the challenges of building
Havelock North’s Phillip D’Ath says although he comes from an apple orcharding background, building and creating has always been his strength.
His building career began 12 years ago when, as a 19-year-old, he began an apprenticeship with a group housing company.
Over this time Phillip cultivated a real eye for detail and was successfully running whole projects early in his career.
“I enjoyed this time but always knew I wanted to strike out on my own,” says Phillip. He started his company in October 2013 with wife Megan, a midwife, as his business partner.
When Business North Central spoke with Phillip he was three weeks away from completing his own home. He designed the home himself then took the concept to one of the architects he uses often.
The home offers a sense of space with vaulted ceilings in the living area extending from a 3.6m stud to 4.5m. The 3.6m stud continues throughout the rest of the home and there has been a focus on good quality ﬁxtures and ﬁttings with high specs throughout. The home has a very high R value for insulation.
“I’ve always been drawn to simple, uncluttered, open design to live in. This house is really userfriendly with no more internal walls than necessary and such a sense of space.”
As his business has evolved Phillip has made a point of seeking residential builds across a range of designs and budgets, saying it’s important to be versatile.
D’Ath Construction has a number of exciting projects coming up in both the residential and commercial sectors.
Supporting this level of activity is a team of ﬁve builders and depending on how much work is on his books Phillip uses qualiﬁed contractors as well.
He puts his success down to doing the basics well and top of the list is communication. “It’s absolutely essential to a great build that right from the start the quality of communication is solid.
“If you communicate well, are honest and open with clients then it’s easy to build trust.
“We understand that we are working with people on one of the most important things in their life: their home. They are investing their hard earned money on it. You have to get it right.
“Then there’s the quality of work, the standard you set yourself that you don’t go away from and ﬁnally, you have to have a good team with you. “We also have a great team of sub-trades that work alongside us.”
In the team are two apprentices, one half-way through his training. A site foreman is responsible for overseeing their hands-on learning.
“I think it’s important to be a part of developing our building workforce,” say’s Phillip. Phillip is mindful about taking on more than his team can handle, not wanting to let down his clients.
However is keen to grow his business, focusing towards the higher end market as his goal.
“We aren’t just your ‘run of the mill’ house building company; we love to build custom-built homes for people who want to be different.”
D’Ath Construction is a business member of the Certiﬁed Builders Association NZ, so his clients can have peace of mind that their project is in good hands and is backed by Halo, a comprehensive 10 year residential guarantee.
Phillip is interested in focusing on energy-efﬁcient technologies and design in his future projects, feeling that it is the way of the future.
“It’s responsible building in this day and age and there are some exciting developments especially with passive heating.”
He doesn’t swing a hammer so much these days, preferring to put his energy into the necessary and important admin processes.
“I’ve got a very solid and experienced team of top-quality builders who understand the standards that we build to.”