I was born in the Catlins and after finishing school worked here in New Zealand for three years before heading to Australia. In 1976 I started working in the steel industry building large steel-framed building, bridges, lodges, motels, ski lift towers and general engineering.
In 1993 I had the opportunity to get into the cold rolled steel framed buildings because I could see that this was the way of the future and if I wanted remain competitive I needed to go down this direction. It was difficult in the beginning because builders and customers were used to the idea of heavy steel beams and timber as the only way to build. After I built my first display shed in 1993 people were able to see how simply they were to put up and could feel how strong they were that things changed in the construction industry.
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Customers then started buying kit garages from me, put them up themselves with the aid of the plans and instruction manual. From this the word spread and people on lifestyle blocks brought farm sheds and barns and did the same.
In 1999 I got out of the heavy engineering business and concentrated solely on the cold rolled formed steel-framed building. I then designed some of these buildings to be lined out for houses, for a start as cribs or bachs (depending on were you come from) then as houses on lifestyle blocks. My last house before I moved back home was a Quaker barn, which was very comfortable to live in. It was very well insulated to cope with extremes in temperature (from –13 to +40 degrees)!
In 2003 I sold my business in Australia and moved back home to New Zealand and started the same business. At first I found the same resistance to the concept as when I first started, but people now see the advantages of the steel framing and the all important cost savings in the material costs and the on site labour cost because of the speed in which the buildings go up. I have been with the Fair Dinkum group since 1993 and I like the concept because there are no set increments, they can just about be any size or shape you like. I work increments of 1mm so if you have an existing space that you need to put a building in I will endeavour to design a building to fit that space.
Over the years I have been involved cold rolled steel framed buildings from 1.5m long by 4.0m wide To 20m wide by 60m long.