A personal touch
Castleprime Construction is a Perth-based builder where flexibility, communication, quality, passion, and attention to detail drive every project. Each home they build is individual and personal, and is made to totally fulfil the desires and requirements of the owner.
“We’re very hands on and passionate about what we do,” says Mark Hughes, one of the two directors at the company. “We have a reputation for not taking a cookie-cutter approach to the jobs that we do. Every job is different from the last, and they’re all architecturally designed.”
Mark and his partner are involved in the business on a daily basis, and they endeavour to make the building process as easy as possible through careful planning and execution of each project. This starts from the initial meeting, whether a client comes to the company with their own plans or are looking for a builder to handle all the design and planning stages.
After that, one of the directors or supervisors is always there to work with them from day one – no sales people are ever involved at Castleprime, and the company limits the number of projects handled by supervisors to provide a high level of service and a one-to-one approach.
According to Mark, every detail is discussed and documented from the outset. He says that’s how you form the backbone of a successful and stress-free project, which is what Castleprime has built a reputation for delivering.
“There’s a lot of pride in our service,” he says. “We take a lot of time to go through the plans, get the details just right, and ask a lot of questions – get everything relevant up front and out of the way. That’s the approach we like to take, so that everything can run as smoothly as possible.”
“In terms of literal communication, we keep the clients updated on a weekly or fortnightly basis, and we meet with them, generally speaking, at least once a week in some shape or form,” he adds. “That might be through the architect or with the client directly. We try and communicate through meetings, emails, and phone calls, and clarity is the most important thing on what and when things are happening, or any changes that are occurring.”
“We also make sure that everyone has our phone number – which we’ll pick up whether it’s ten at night, six in the morning, or eleven on a Sunday. We’ll get out of bed and go out and deal with your problem or fix whatever’s wrong. We do whatever it takes.”
“There are also rewards to that level of intimacy with customers,” he continues. “We tend to keep very good relationships with our clients – they’re not just a number in a system. That makes it a bit harder to juggle, but all our homes are a labour of love and we enjoy what we do.”
“At the end of every project, we want to make sure the client has their dream home,” he says. “We want them to have something they can be happy with for quite a few years, if not the rest of their lives, and we do everything we can to make that happen. It’s that sort of effort that sets us apart from other builders.”
Building towards recognition
Recently, Castleprime was nominated for a 2013 Master Builder’s Award, ranking as a finalist in the Renovations & Additions category. The nomination was for a major renovation and two-storey addition to an older character home in Nedlands, which comprised three bedrooms, two bathrooms, study, conservatory, laundry and garage, as well as a full remodelling of the existing residence and external works.
“It’s a tremendous honour,” says Mark of the recognition. “Any builder would say that, but for us especially. We’ve entered twice based on the projects we’ve had, as we’re not the type to put anything and everything in. We won the first award we entered for, and this time we were a finalist.”
He’s particularly proud of the nomination because of the high calibre of the competition, he adds.
“There are not many renovations/additions that happen in Perth that I know of for over a million dollars, so we we’re in the top category with the big boys as a fairly small, under-the-radar builder. That makes recognition mean a lot, especially on a personal level.”
“It’s great to achieve that respect – to be at a level in the industry where people are shaking your hand and saying ‘well done.’ It’d be nice to do another ten or twenty of those types of projects in the future.”
On the topic of the future, Mark says that Castleprime may start doing more of their own developing.
“Much as we’ll continue with the type of work we’re doing, that part of the market is getting tougher and full of headaches. In three years we’d like to focus more on doing design ourselves – picking the land on day one and then designing and constructing from there.”
“A lot of builders do this already,” he concludes. “Joining them in that practice means we’ll be able to get involved at projects at an earlier stage. From there, we can make all our future construction faster and more economical without changing the architectural integrity of the design.”