Michael Wilson started his residential building business ‘Wilson Designer Homes’ in 2016 and since then he hasn’t looked back. Michael had a goal to work for himself and be in charge of his own destiny.
To do this he was going to create an innovative construction company, providing exceptional quality, and a genuine commitment to his customers through personal design, timeframes and service.
He understands just how important it is to keep part of his head in the future, securing new work for the team to take on, in a booming, but often very competitive market.
“Yes, it’s a responsibility when you employ carpenters. There’s a commitment that goes with it to have enough work on the go, so one of my most important roles is to engage with potential new clients,” Michael explains.
Michael’s business is based in Te Awamutu, though his projects are often spread over Waikato provincial towns, such as Cambridge, Matamata and Otorohanga.
He employs ﬁve builders, two qualiﬁed, one about to become qualiﬁed and two apprentices. He says this size works very well, allowing the team to split in two at busy times.
“We try to have a few large long-term projects on the go coupled with smaller jobs. It means there’s plenty of variety for the team, especially the apprentices.” Michael’s ﬁance Jade is also an important part of the business, helping with the behind-the-scenes administration. Although the company is busy now, Michael plans to see it grow in measured steps.
Two busy years after starting the core work, Wilson Designer Homes takes on are new residential homes with a 200- 250sqm footprint. All the homes Michael and the team have built have been original designs.
“We engage an architect and every plan is speciﬁ cally designed with the site in mind.” Michael tracks his building journey back to 2011 when he began his apprenticeship.
He remembers compiling a plan and a list of goals on a white board in his room for each year ahead of him in his building career. Once qualiﬁed Michael became a Licensed Building Practitioner and joined Certiﬁed Builders along with other builder/property groups.
“It’s important to keep your head in the game and up to date with what’s going on around you,” he says. The ongoing increases i n costs of materials is a real concern impacting across the whole sector Michael says.
“Timber prices and many other building costs have increased dramatically and often by up to 40% in the past two years which places a lot of strain and risk on the contracting process in terms of quoting a price for a build.
“Sometimes by the time you start a new build for someone, the cost to build it may have risen 5-10% and all of a sudden your margin starts to disappear,” he says. “In our contracts the price is valid for 90 days and of course once building is underway that price is guaranteed.”
He enjoys the busyness and demands of being on the tools, project managing and running a business, but knows as the business grows he will need to spend more time “on the business” instead of “in the business”. “I’m a pretty sociable fellow and the team of guys I work with are great.
“There’s not many other jobs where you can show up and work alongside your mates getting it done, but also having a yarn along the way”.
Michael encourages anyone looking to build, or even just thinking about building to get in touch with him to discuss their options.
He offers free consultations including selection checklists, preferred suppliers materials; advice on best architects for your project, consent questions, help with ﬁ nance and anything other questions clients may have.
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…
- Clarity Brickwork
- Wilson Designer Homes