Just another reno column? Maybe… hopefully not…you be the judge!I WAS asked recently if I was an ‘actual’ builder. 

It threw me slightly as my first thought was the question implied that there might be people in the industry who were builders, but not ‘actual’ builders – whatever that meant. 

Maybe I’m getting lost in semantics but you see my confusion. 

Then it dawned on me that in the world of renovations there are many great renovators and building companies offering a range of services, who may not actually be registered builders. 

Often, due to the scope of works and services they offer, the need for a registered builder isn’t required. 

Furthermore, and far from uncommon, other companies (and ‘actual’ builders) are ‘registered’ on the basis that they have a registered builder working for them, which doesn’t necessarily mean the builder is supervising the projects. 

One ‘story’ I heard pertained to a significant company whose ‘registered builder’ was the in-house draftsperson – go figure! 

While for many renovation projects you wouldn’t need to engage a registered builder, it’s my humble opinion that should you have a need, it’s worth checking who the registered builder is and if they are actively supervising the projects. 

So, I had intended to write this ‘introduction’ as my first offering to the Herald back in September last year. Suffice to say, it’s been a while in the making. 

Not so much like a fine wine or indulgent French cheese, which has matured over time and subsequently tastes that much better for the wait. 

No, more a case of poor time management, expiring gym subscription, addiction to ‘Blacklist’ and, arguably, a dab of laziness; I prefer honesty over a more dramatic and interesting excuse for the delay. 

So, apologies made and excuses given, I hope you like it and look forward to putting my own spin on the world of renovating, extending, adding and in some instances, subtracting from various projects that I’ve been involved in or those that have somehow aroused and maintained my interest for long enough to write about them. 

I’ll get this out of the way early, so to avoid being perceived little more than a proponent of self-promotion. 

I currently own a relatively small, slightly quirky yet perfectly formed, renovation business – Barefoot Renovations. 

During the last eight years of this business and seven preceding years in a similar business, I’ve managed to weave my own way in an industry rife with stereotypes and stories of woe; many of which I fear are well-founded. 

Notwithstanding several industry accolades and more than a few grey hairs, I’ve picked up a thing or two about renovating along the way, covering all aspects of residential building and renovating, from bathrooms and kitchens, second storey additions and granny flats to apartment refits, $1m+ extensions and everything in between. 

Historically and currently, I’ve partnered in two other companies which have been party to a tumultuous array of projects from high-end architect-designed homes in excess of $6m to a 120-seater beachside restaurant fit-out, refurbished a working hotel and created an additional 32 rooms, crowbarred eight luxury apartments between two buildings with only street front access and sandwiched two sea containers on top of a garage for a funky granny flat. 

We design as well as build, play with interiors as well as exteriors, love coffee, pinot noir and surfing but most of all I love what we do. 

I say all of this merely to provide a degree of substance to my meandering thoughts and opinions and, I hope, to add a modicum of credence to some of my advice. But as the title goes…you be the judge! 

Hope you enjoy it. 

Registered Builder
No. BP104253 

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