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True design and build


In the home building industry, offering a complete design and build service can be an attractive marketing tool, but whether a company can actually deliver is another matter. Craig Freeman, Director of David Magill Builders says you need to look behind the glossy websites and smooth commentary to discover if a company really ‘walks its talk’.

 

 

The team at David Magill Builders offers design and build in its purest form, demonstrating upfront transparency, true flexibility and an unbeatable ‘can-do’ attitude that puts the client ahead of business.

Flexibility lies at the core of a true design and build service; to earn the title it must be about making ideas into reality in the way the client wants it to happen.

“While we have strong relationships with local designers specialising in every type of home, we happily work with your chosen designer and products you like. We also have our own highly skilled, longstanding sub trades, but can work with contacts and resources that you might have, as long as their standards match ours. It’s a point of difference that we are very proud of!”

Brought to every detail of each project is Craig’s legendary attitude.

“I challenge others saying ‘it can’t be done’ – we disregard reasons not to and through lateral thinking we zero in on how we can get it done,” Craig says.

So intent is Craig that he will engineer solutions himself.

“Bespoke is more than a word; it’s being able to do it. We make it in the workshop or on-site using hand tools – and if you are not doing that you are not true design and build.”

The craftsmanship skills gained from ‘old school’ carpentry experience has bridged the gap between old and modern high-tech systems; resulting in some impressive ingenuity in design and build – often only seen in architectural homes.

For one owner, a copper front door was a heart’s desire.

Difficulty in product supply resulted in Craig and his team custom making it in-house for a fraction of the cost.

Meanwhile an existing house with a double stud height lounge room was designed to have a circular mezzanine floor added to create a library space.

The engineering plans specified an octagon with a circle inside – an ‘outside the square’ request.

An expensive continuous circular 100mm-deep beam was required, so Craig made it in-house, drawing the beam on his steel bench, calculating the dimensions, dividing the circumference into six individual pieces, making a form in the workshop to press the laminates together, cutting and fitting the pieces, before fixing the beam on site.

The end result: another very happy client. Now that’s design and build!


 

Let’s talk architectural builds: David Magill Builders


New landmarks are rising in central Christchurch on a satisfyingly regular basis and the latest building to catch our eye will break ground before Christmas.

 

 

Built by David Magill Builders, this three-story home on the corner of Cranmer Square and Chester Street West will be a milestone on your journey north across the city, planting its roots and taking its place in the 170-year history of Cranmer Square.

In fact, we can look forward to a long future association with this home – its foundation comprises piling down to 16 metres, with a raft floor laid on top of that, and a comprehensive structural steel superstructure by Blueprint Consulting Engineers. The striking silhouette created by the semi-rooved deck on the top floor is complemented by the unusual charred cedar cladding. Originally a Japanese technique, the charring is done by Christchurch-based company Chartek. Once sealed the blackened wood weathers, but does not require the maintenance that ordinary cedar does.

 

The owners of the home are current inner-city dwellers who are keen supporters of a thriving centre and love the CBD lifestyle. Architect Kelly Rush of Krush Architecture has designed a clever home where owners and guests can operate independently if they choose.

The top floor hosts the master bed, ensuite and wardrobe and opens out to the partly covered deck. The middle floor contains the kitchen, lounge and living area plus another deck, while the ground floor is dedicated to three bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.

Director of David Magill Craig Freeman says completing this home will take 12 months, as it’s an interesting design located in a busy area which impacts on access. “This build is right in our ball park – all of our buildings have a degree of difficulty, whether that be design, location, client, or sometimes all three, and we are very comfortable with that.”

 

Craig assumed ownership of the company on the retirement of David Magill in 2016. Dedicated to continuing the values that David instilled in him and the rest of the team, Craig says, “Everyone has been together for a long time, including our subcontractors. The mission has always been to be well-respected among our peers, and we are so proud that no-one ever has a bad word to say about us.”

Craig brings a unique and desirable skill set to his role. In a previous life he served the country in the New Zealand Army. Discipline in all areas is innate to his approach, while communication with people is a real strength. “I can talk with anyone, and zero in on what is important to them.”

His training brings an incredibly valuable agility to a project. “We are not stuck in any comfort zone or set routine, so we react quickly and positively to any road block.”

 

Craig places a lot of emphasis on being proactive, rather than reactive. “It buys us a lot of time.”

Every job is worked on by in-house carpenters. “It is vital that their trade and craftsmanship is top notch”. The company works with contactors that they have had a relationship with for several years. “I went through my apprenticeship with a lot of the people who are now leading the companies that we work with,” Craig says.

David Magill Builders happily runs a gamut of homes from $2 million to first home and retirement homes, with five house and land packages becoming available at Ravenswood for $500k, and an entry-level show home at Ravenswood open next year. “What our clients have in common is that they want well-designed, bespoke and interesting homes but with value for money. They seek top-quality products but not necessarily the designer label on them,” Craig says. “And you shouldn’t have to compromise on your quality, your tradespeople, design or the interest on a modest budget.”

 

Driven by a determination to do a good job and honour all promises made to clients, Craig cannot understand why anyone would take the ‘over-promise under-deliver’ approach. He ensures his team go out of their way to hit targets and do a great job. “Regardless of size or price, in 20-50 years, I want people to say ‘who built this incredibly well-constructed home?’”

Visit www.davidmagill.co.nz.