Quality workmanship the key for Glenn

Quality workmanship the key for Glenn
Glenn Wilkinson Builders is used to working in remote - and stuninng - locations such as with this home in the Catlins.

Two recent projects undertaken by South Otago company, Glenn Wilkinson Builders (GWB), turned the morning commute to work into a 4WD adventure.
Owner-operator Glenn Wilkinson describes the access roads to one of the off-grid properties as “a bit of a goat track”, but says any challenges in get-ting to work were paid off by amazing views from the job sites.
One of the Catlins properties required all of the building materials to be helicoptered to the site, a first for Glenn.
“It took a fair bit of planning to line that all up, but it went off smoothly.”
Because the job site was so remote, the ongoing work required excellent planning and management.
“With that kind of access you definitely didn’t want to be going back for any gear you’d forgotten.”
Over the last few years, the bulk of GWB’s work has been on new residential builds, however the company will happily take on a full range of projects, including high-quality renovations, extensions, and commercial work.
Glenn likes the variety that comes with taking on a diverse range of projects, but maintains that efficiency and quality workmanship underpin all his company’s work, regardless of scale.
A large amount of GWB’s business comes from return custom and personal recommendations, and for Glenn, this positive word-of-mouth testifies to satisfied customers.
“That’s our marketing really – having happy clients at the end of a job.”
Over his time in the industry, Glenn has seen a developing focus on energy efficiency, and believes that prioritising high-quality insulation that goes beyond minimum requirements will deliver long-term pay offs for homeowners.
Quality workmanship the key for Glenn
“There’s no benefit in cutting corners. If you do it once and do it well your clients will see the results in their power bills down the track.”
Because of this, Glenn encourages clients to choose six-inch external wall framing to improve heat return, teamed with good quality insulation and optimal glazing.
In recent builds, his team has used thermally broken aluminium windows instead of standard double-glazing.
“It’s quite surprising how much heat loss you still get with standard double glazing, whereas thermally broken, low E argon filled glass can be equivalent to triple glazing.”
Glenn built his own house at Kaka Point by extending an original crib into a larger, modern family home.
He says this experience gave him a much better awareness of the challenges and pressures his clients experience when they decide to build or renovate.
“There are so many decisions to be made when you’re designing and building a house, and doing my own home definitely gave me a new perspective on what our clients go through. It makes you even more committed to getting things done efficiently, and keeping the project moving so that people’s lives don’t go on hold any longer than they need to.”
Glenn has worked in the building industry since leaving school, and now manages a close-knit team of 4, including one apprentice.
“Being the manager means there’s a bit more time for me spent on planning and organizing jobs, but I’m still on the tools with my team. We’re all mates and we work well together, so that makes it easy.”
When he’s not on the job, Glenn makes the most of the coastal lifestyle, spear fishing, free diving for paua and crayfish, and coaching rugby for his sons’ teams.
His three boys are often found trying their hand at some of Dad’s on-the-job skills.
“They’ve quite regularly got a nail bag on, handing me screws – or just trying to lose my hammer and tools!”
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