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How Do I Choose the Right Builder?
  • Posted Monday, 4 August 2014
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  • In Articles

How Do I Choose the Right Builder?

North Queensland born Bret Nixon, director of Nixon Build, and his team of twenty have developed a new focus in the North Queensland region over the last four years. This multi award winning company received recognition based on the delivery of quality workmanship side by side with employee development. Now well recognised and respected in the Townsville region Nixon Build is forging ahead with emphasis on a number of elements which Bret considers to represent the future in the domestic sector of the construction industry. Although the lion’s share of their revenue comes from domestic renovations and specialised housing, they also have a committed focus toward the commercial sector. However, for the purpose of this article we are focusing on necessary change in domestic construction and retro work to existing buildings.

Nixon Build’s reputation derives from delivering quality renovation at an affordable rate, without compromising aesthetic value in a property. There are many tricks of the trade which distinguish satisfactory from excellent. Bret and his team of highly skilled employees cover a large range of activities within the industry.

"It is not just about skill, it is skill with the right attitude which counts. If you do not look forward to getting up to go to work then you are in the wrong job” says Bret. "Our employees are enthusiastic and take ownership of their respective tasks; it is a joy to be in their presence and observe the development of projects throughout the year. I am pleased to say they embrace their position with respect not only for a job well done but also for the skills of their colleagues. I believe that it is this synergy which gives us results and makes this point of difference for us”.

The future in building, whether it be new-builds or renovation work, must focus around resilience and efficiency. Understanding design so that we can, in a natural way, cool a building, provide ventilation and produce something which looks and feels good without costing the earth. We focus on these points whether we are doing a small extension, a renovation or an architectural new build. If you are spending the money let’s not just optimize what you get in square metres, let’s provide the most efficient use of material and the best looking result” said Bret.

Nixon Build’s speciality is to provide an integrated service from first enquiry, through design, engineering and construction to hand-over; a turn-key service which eliminates or at least minimises the stress which can be involved in a construction project. Those who have lived with it will understand that this is a highly regulated industry with many road blocks if you are not familiar with the pathway. The reality TV shows put an exciting spin on renovating but reality it is not.

To help control cost and programme commitments, Nixon Build’s team includes internal electrical, plumbing and carpentry. Many of the tradesmen are qualified builders in their own right and bring invaluable skill and knowledge to a project. It has been well recognised that the skill level in Queensland has diminished over the recent decades. Nixon Build is committed to training apprentices in electrics, carpentry and other disciplines. The company has recently engaged Construction Skills Queensland to develop a training programme which will provide an opportunity for all company employees to engage in post-apprenticeship training and industry certification including management and administration. Our training programme also includes a serious commitment to providing work experience with local schools and training organisations such as Tec NQ, TAFE and Gtec.

Nixon Build is also committed to an indigenous training programme having been nominated as the primary builder for Gtec, a state government supported programme for indigenous individuals in the construction industry. Many of the enrolled students spend time on Nixon Build projects to gain experience and to help them become work ready. The company’s workforce includes a meaningful number of indigenous employees. "Our most recent performance review conducted by an external human resource company confirmed that some of our most valuable employees are indigenous” said Bret. I am not only proud of their commitment to their position and the company; these guys are ambassadors for the indigenous community and I would like to encourage any employer to support their training in skill based trades. It is imperative to our future to have solid representation from the younger generation of that community”

Nixon Build also encourages women to demonstrate their ability and their potential in what has been seen traditionally as a male dominated industry. Nixon Build is proud of the HIA Business Partner Award for North Queensland won by employee Vicki Carter, the Business Manager in 2015. Also the Master Builders Women in Construction Award won by its Contracts Administrator Christine Kong in 2014. In addition the company employs a female Quantity Surveyor and Office Manager.

Although Nixon Build is a relatively small company it strives to progress by embracing work methods and technology which best suit today’s environment. Our homes will be the power house of the future and our thinking needs to be about optimising efficiency and the best use of technology, Bret explained. We are living in a competitive world where prices are compared both locally and globally. The new norm will be about sustainable and resilient construction and living. The future of our planet is dependent on our attitude to design and minimising our carbon footprint with the construction industry relying on plantation timber and recycled materials which are branded to have a long life with structural integrity. "We all have a responsibility to do what is right not what is easy and it is this change in attitude which will be the catalyst for a new and sustainable future”, Bret said.