Versatile firm keeps pace with region
Whakatane-based HBL Builders has a long history of building in the region. The company was started in the 1961 and present company owner, Gary Hunt, started working there in 1978.
He took over the business around nine years ago and since that time it has grown rapidly due to demand in the region for new homes and commercial buildings.
Gary lists the company’s versatility as a real strong point: “We do anything from fixing a sticking door to home alterations, new residential and commercial builds and industrial projects,” he says.
“We are proud to be locally owned and operated and have built and altered many new homes, schools, shops, offices, banks, farm buildings, service stations and cool stores over the years.
“We have worked on projects of all sizes, from small home renovations to large hospital and commercial building upgrades. Due to this extensive work portfolio, we have built up the best pool of experience and knowledge in the area,” says Gary.
One recent example is the company’s work at Allandale Primary School in Whakatane, where it has completed a number of projects over the years.
HBL Builders constructed a learning centre and refurbished the main entrance of the school. More recently the company refurbished a toilet block and replaced exterior doors.
Gary says that HBL Builders completes a lot of work for schools and has also built a new administration block and gymnasium for Whakatane Intermediate School and completed an innovative learning environment upgrade for Waiotahe Valley School.
HBL Builders has built up considerable expertise working safely in the sensitive school environment, fitting in with the schools’ schedules for the least disruption possible, says Gary.
Another high profile local project that required specialist expertise was subcontracting to Fletcher Construction to complete the external framing and cladding along with internal works at Whakatane Hospital.
“We are versatile and multi-disciplined. It’s about knowledge and experience as well as being flexible.”
It’s no surprise then that the company has won many awards over the years at the Registered Master Builders House of the Year competition and a New Zealand Institute of Architects award for its work on the Otuawhaki Visitor Centre in Whakatane.
HBL Builders employs its own team of carpenters. Gary and his son Karl are both quantity surveyors with Karl taking a project management role making HBL Builders a real family owned business. HBL Builders works in the eastern Bay of Plenty and right down the east coast.
The company completes aspects of jobs in house that commonly builders out source, such as precutting and nailing of wall framing. Gary says this gives superior quality and the right end result.
He is proud the company’s name is held in high regard in the community. “You don’t stay in business this long if you are not doing something right,” he says.
“We have a good reputation as being trustworthy qualified builders. We proudly sponsor many local schools and community groups.
“The market is busy here and we plan to carry on doing what we have been doing well for decades – completing successful projects on time and on budget.”