Orewa Builder Mike Reidy is a straight talker – he is up front and tells it like it is. He needs to because his business, Mike Reidy Buiders Ltd, specialises in the complex and uncertain world of large-scale residential alterations and additions.
These are the big jobs that involve renovating and altering homes that might be 30, 40, 50 years old—adding a whole new wing, recladding or it might be removing the roof and adding a whole new level.
It could be basement development requiring ground excavations under the house.
They are jobs that might cost $400,000 or more—taking 4 to 9 months to complete because every job is so different. And there is always risk and uncertainty involved and that is why Mike needs to tell it like it is.
“When you’re dealing with an old house you never really know what you’re going to get until you open it up – it’s a bit like Forrest Gump and his box of chocolates,” says Mike. “You don’t know what problems are going to arise until you open the house up.”
Challenges arise when old houses haven’t been built correctly – they are out of square, out of plumb, the roof lines are all wrong, the electrical work needs re-doing or the plumbing has seen better days.
Mike says the list of issues could go on and on and often the client has absolutely no idea.
“You have to educate them when you’re doing your pre-lim work and explain what can happen and what the pitfalls are.
“By the time you start the job they understand what could happen and the risks. “I would rather lose the job before it starts rather than get half way and they run out of money.”
Mike has been in the business a long time and he knows all about risk assessment. After completing his apprenticeship in 1987 he ventured overseas for nine years travelling around the United Sates, Europe and Britain. He did a bit of building while there but predominantly worked as a professional ski patroller.
Returning to New Zealand in the mid 1990’s, he again worked for a brief time as a ski patroller in the South Island before heading home to Auckland and establishing Mike Reidy Buiders Ltd in 1996.
Now based in Orewa, Mike ﬁnds most of his work there but operates as far aﬁeld as the Whangaparoa Peninsula, North Shore and Warkworth.
Serving on the committee of the Certiﬁed Builders Association for a number of years Mike is passionate about training apprentices.
Currently with two apprentices signed to him Mike has put seven through in his time and he’s justiﬁably proud of that.
Any apprentice serving their time with Mike can be assured of a very robust and inclusive building experience.
“We’re basically doing everything in terms of the house structure—we put our own gib on, the ceiling battens and wall framing, we put the windows in ourselves—there are all these elements we do, which is kind of old school building.”
Mike says what really sets his business apart is the project management service that he provides
“I’m actually there for the clients and I’m very involved with them on a day-to-day operational point of view and decision making. I really immerse myself in the game.”
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