Catering to demand in booming Riverton
Riverton builder Blain Allen regards himself as an old-school tradesmen, meaning he and his team are prepared to put their hand to anything from basic concrete work to renovating bathrooms and kitchens or to building new homes.
He runs his business, Blain Allen Builders, with his wife Philippa and has completed numerous projects varying widely in scope, around Southland and in Te Anau and Queenstown.
The couple have witnessed considerable change in their picturesque seaside hometown.
Riverton has experienced a mini-property boom during the past two decades and, while it has been more restrained than the likes of Queens-town, property prices in the area have increased considerably.
An obvious difference is that Riverton now sports some impressive million dollar homes rather than just the traditional Kiwi cribs and modest family homes, Philippa says.“Riverton’s gone ahead so much.
I think a lot more are coming to retire here because of the beautiful little town we live in and travel to Invercargill is only 20 minutes.”
To keep up with the demand for both new builds and renovations, Blain Allen Builders employs eight staff, of which five are qualified builders.
“As well as having a great team of our own we also have excellent subcontractors who are mainly Riverton-based and fi t in with our crew very well.”
Blain Allen Builders extensive experience has recently been put to good use on a major house renovation and extension in Riverton.The project started out as an alteration and an addition on to the house, but developed into a full internal rebuild; the house was totally gutted, taking it back to a “skeleton frame”.
Blain says the nature of renovations, particularly not knowing the soundness of the likes of substructures until work begins, means it is important for clients to be well-advised and to understand that original cost estimates could vary significantly.
The house’s original Hardiplank cladding has been replaced by Envira rusticated weatherboard, a kiln-dried radiata pine product manufactured in Southland.The end result will be a house that looks new, both inside and out, without having to build from scratch.
Blain Allen Builders has a good relationship with designers who can initiate the process of turning a client’s dream for any project into reality.
One of those, Aidan Barron of Invercargill, is a former builder and former building inspector.
Blain says his pragmatic approach to a design is invaluable to both himself and his clients, while streamlining the first stage of the process up to the building consent application.
With six projects currently in progress and no sign of the construction market softening, Blain, who has been a member of the Certified Builders Association for 18 years, continues to be upbeat about the next year and beyond.
“We’ve got a lot of work on and a lot of work coming up.”
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