Joel’s passion for building shines through

Joel’s passion for building shines through
JD Build Group concentrates on the Auckland residential market, undertaking all forms of building work.

It was always Joel Dunlop’s dream to establish a business building high-end luxury homes under his own name and on 17 March 2016 he did just that in the form of JD Build Group Ltd.
He and his team of four other builders, concentrate on the Auckland residential market, undertaking all forms of building work though over time Joel says the focus of activity is tending more toward the architecturally designed higher-end market.Two of his team are apprentices each in their third year.
Joel feels the apprenticeship pathway is well structured though thinks more could be done at entry level to prepare those new to the trade with basic information.“We have enjoyed a very good year and are booked up through 2020 as well which is very satisfying.
“All the jobs at the moment have been passed on by referrals from previous clients and also architects I have worked closely with.”Two stand-out projects, one up in Mangawai and the other in the centre of Auckland have occupied the bulk of Joel’s time these past 18 months.The Mangawai project was a collaborative effort right from the start, as Joel explains.
“The client wasn’t really sure what he wanted but had some basic ideas so we set about using a draftsman along with my own design ideas and eventually got the plan the owner was delighted with.”Good use has been made of the long 40 metre section in the floor plan.
Inside concrete polished floors and a minimalist feel enhance the sense of space and fl ow while outside the combination of weatherboard and vertical cedar random-width timber creates a stunning visual experience. The home’s 200sqm footprint contains four bedrooms.
“We took a little bit of the cedar cladding used outside into the home which works very well in terms of connecting the two.”The other project, an old inner-city Villa renovation in Mt Eden proved satisfying for other reasons.
“We were approached to take over the project after stage 1 had been completed,” says Joel.This project, like so many villa alterations involved blowing out the back of the house and extending it, in this case by a further 40qsm.
A new lounge/dining space was created, along with an extra bedroom with ensuite and kitchen.“With projects like this the new extension is relatively simple in nature, it’s tying it together in a way that looks seamless and works that is the challenge.
“We also had quite tricky double gable roof/internal gutter work to do but looking at the completed home it is a very successful project.”The company is now getting underway on site prep work on a build on the Te Atatu peninsula.
Situated close to the water the groundwork has presented with challenges with a large amount of fill being discovered resulting in a redesign of the concrete slab the home will sit on.
Joel says there are a lot of advantages in owning your own company but with the success comes the challenge of balancing work and family life. “I hope one day my two boys will want to follow in my footsteps and take over the business.”
As for now, Joel says he has no intention of put-ting down the tools.“Building is my passion. I love what I do and this reflects in our work.”
He’s proud too of the fact that while industry-wide it is common for there to be end-of-build disputes or disappointments by clients in the finished product he is yet to have had one negative experience. “I do all I can to help clients save money with detail changes and suggesting other ways to go at the build and I know this is always appreciated.”
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