Compliance key to quake repair work
Christchurch’s re-build landscape provided fertile ground for an unﬂinching building company and if there is one thing that Jim the Builder relishes more than anything else it is a technical challenge.
And yes, there really is a builder called Jim. Experienced craftsman/builder Jim Stenberg founded the Christchurch based business back in 2005, after a quarter century in the building game.
Shortly after the 2011 quakes, Andrew Clark joined the business, bolstering capability by bringing with him extensive business administration and construction project management experience.
Already passionate about complex and challenging high-end architectural builds and renovations, Jim the Builder was well placed to get its technical sleeves rolled up for the enormity that lay ahead post quake.
Assuming the mantle of Operations Director, Jim led an extensive construction team of project managers, quantity surveyors, licensed building practitioners, qualiﬁed carpenters and apprentices. With the safety of the crew paramount, a dedicated health and safety manager was also appointed.
Andrew took the post of managing director, making good use of his skill sets. Collectively, Jim and Andrew have navigated the Christchurch-based construction company through the turbulent post quake period, building a solid reputation with customers and insurers alike for handling the most technically complex builds and repairs.
The more challenging technical work has found its way to Jim the Builder due to their experience and reputation for getting the job done well.
“You know, if we’re doing a repair, ultimately weput our name to it for 10 years so we have to ensure the repair methodology is technically feasible and will stand the test of time.”
Andrew says Jim the Builder has been involved in a vast range of claims, helping settle a lot of difﬁcult claims and often negotiating with insurers and home owners to get the appropriate outcome for all parties.
“Everybody seems to have become an expert and everyone has an opinion on how a repair should be done. We’re at the coalface of the issues and understand that insurers have policy requirements and limitations, whereas the clients can have other expectations.
So it’s a matter of trying to ﬁnd a common ground and a cost effective repair methodology while being code compliant.” He says that’s the key – compliance – that’s peace of mind for the client.
“Ultimately when we’re looking at a job we put the insurance policy to one side and say well this is what is required to actually ﬁ x the property in our opinion. From there it’s up to the insurer and client to agree how the policy should respond.”
Andrew says a lot of repair scopes are signiﬁcant because of consequential damage; a challenge with earthquake repairs.
“If you have a house that’s cut into the hill and it’s all ﬁne apart from the retaining which is damaged, the consequential work might be partly dismantling the house to do the waterprooﬁng again – those sorts of things are signiﬁcant.
With all repairs we work with engineers & designers to develop the required scope and make the property compliant again.”
While Jim the Builder’s target market has always been the technically challenging architectural and hillside builds Andrew says that at the end of the day they are a building company and happy to ply their skills to all bespoke residential work along with light commercial and ofﬁce ﬁt out work.
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