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Building beautiful things key driver

Building beautiful things key driver
A large covered-in deck is a feature of builder Brent Higgins’ own home.

A passion for building and creating beautiful things is the driving force behind Christchurch architectural builder Brent Higgins, managing director of Tech Neat Builders Ltd. With 35 years in the industry and holding fast to the tools, Brent says it’s personal for him now.

“As you get older you tend to appreciate things more and what the client enjoys. It’s a buzz seeing what the client likes at the end of the day – building something for them and getting enjoyment out of it.”

Tech Neat Ltd is a two-man operation – Brent and his main-man Peter Mackie. Together they deliver the craftsmanship, building high-end homes and the renovation of bungalows.

Brent says his main point of difference is that he is on site every day, on the tools – building that strong rapport with the client. There is no middleman and that’s why it is personal.

Following the completion of his apprenticeship and the big OE, Brent moved to Auckland where he spent 10 years learning the art and craft of working on bungalow and villa renovations.

He developed a passion for the work, loving the challenge of ensuring the renovation was seamless with the original character.

Moving to Christchurch in 2002, Brent and his wife established Tech Neat Builders Ltd, bringing with them the passion for villa and bungalow restoration.

While restoration work has been the mainstay of the business, Brent says the business has also done a number of shop fit outs throughout Christchurch and has recently moved into highend architectural builds – bringing the same attention to detail and craftsmanship required for the restoration of older villas.

“The last three jobs we have done have all been high-end architecturally designed builds on the hill. We’ve just finished a massive deck recently on a residential property.

It’s a big two-story deck with steel structure and glass balustrading. Tech Neat Builders most recent project was the completion of Brent’s own home ‘on the hill’ in Huntsbury.

A builder’s own home, it is special, show casing Brent’s attention to detail and craftsmanship. Designed by Brent, the two-storey 4-bedroom home covers 350sqm with a deck providing commanding views of the cityscape.

“We tried to make the home as thermally insulated as possible—it’s not quite a Passive home – but it’s not far off that benchmark. It’s got six-inch walls and higher levels of insulation in the exterior walls than required by code. The ceiling insulation is twice as thick as code. It has a ducted central heating system throughout the house and a heat recovery ventilation system.”

A massive covered-in interior/exterior deck has been designed so that it could be heated allowing for year round use. The use of black aluminum vertical shadow line cladding on the lower level of the building is complemented with horizontal cedar weatherboards at the upper level.

The overall effect is stunning. The finish of the home is a credit to Brent’s craftsmanship and explains why his work is all attracted through word of mouth.

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