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Aerial shot of a housing development with several family homes
Simon Hinds of Competitive Homes Kapiti explains how Bunnings Trade helped save time and money, while avoiding disruptive delays during the development of his latest subdivision, Hudson Place.

 

Paraparaumu is a bustling town on the Kapiti Coast, framed by long white-sand beaches and a dune-filled paradise. It’s also among the fastest-growing urban areas in New Zealand, with city commuters retreating there in droves for a more relaxed lifestyle. In the centre of this picturesque seaside town is Competitive Homes Kapiti’s new Hudson Place development – a perfect base for families with Paraparaumu College, two primary schools and preschools all a stone’s throw away. Plenty of spacious, modern family homes cater to this community of home buyers, all with modern architectural features, offering large living spaces which are light and sunny, generous bedroom sizes, premium fixtures, fittings and uncompromising attention to detail.

With Transmission Gully opening in 2020, easy commuting options to the Wellington region’s larger towns are about to get even better, making it a perfect escape for executives who’d like a slower pace of life outside of work and outside of the main centres. Hudson Place also includes numerous high-spec, executive smart homes with advanced automation and premium finishes like scullery kitchens for those in the high-income bracket.

Aerial shot of a completed home, with garage, driveway and dark wooden panel walls

The Hudson Place development began in late 2016. Now, 50 houses are already complete and another 70 will be built by the end of 2021. Usually a large-scale development of this size isn’t without its challenges, due to delays with consents and materials. Problems are to be expected and are built into costs and delivery timeframes.

But Simon has seen few delays or disruptions in this development. In large part, that’s due to using Bunnings Trade as a sole supplier for all the materials, from pre-nail frames and roofing through to appliances, light fittings – and the kitchen sink.“The main benefit for me is using one supplier to get product onsite at the right time,rather than having to juggle multiple” says Simon.

“The main benefit for me is using one supplier to get product onsite at the right time,rather than having to juggle multiple” says Simon. “It can prove very hard to get product at the moment but working with Bunnings we’ve had no unexpected delays; everything has been onsite when we need it” says Simon. Simon works closely with his Bunnings Account Manager, Nod Edmonds, to plan and pre-order all the materials and components before building starts on each house, so that the materials are sent to site in the order they’ll be needed.

“There’s no point having the windows delivered before the roof’s on, and if I had multiple suppliers then that’s the kind of thing that can happen” says Simon. “Working with Nod has been great. We spend time together at the beginning of each build to plan what I’m going to need onsite and when, and he makes it happen – he knows how the world turns, how the industry works, and that makes it easy for me.”

Nod says his 17 years’ experience teaming up with tradies helps him to know what his clients need – sometimes even before they do. “Because I supplied the floor, then I know he needs the frames. Once he’s got the frames, I know he needs the trusses, and so on” he says. “I work with builders like Simon onsite to create a roadmap of the products they’ll need. Then my reps in store manage and order the materials, and handle the deliveries, so that everything happens in the right sequence.”

Aerial shot of the framework of a house, with empty lots, a lake and a soccer pitch in the distance

Nod says sourcing materials, even at short notice, isn’t an issue. “Bunnings carries a wide range of product, from materials to appliances, and there’s usually several Bunnings stores in the same region, so it’s easy to get product shipped from another store nearby if our local store is out of stock for some reason” says Nod. “We carry a range of the most popular items in every Bunnings store, so there’s everything a builder would need to complete a home in one place.”

“All the Bunnings stores nationwide operate out of the same database so the builder still gets one bill, even if orders come from multiple stores” says Nod. “Our customers have an online account they can access from anywhere, with their complete order history. It also has quotes loaded, so they can go to any Bunnings store and pick up products for the same price they’ve been quoted in another store, making it easier to cost up jobs.”

Simon says his Hudson Place homes are selling well and generating positive feedback in the market, largely due to the quality finishes and innovative building materials he selected from the Solution Studio, part of Bunnings Trade. “We used BGC weatherboards, as well as high spec windows and insulation products from the Solution Studio” says Simon. “All these products have high levels of insulation, our new builds have six and a half star Homestar ratings, which is more than double the legal requirement for new builds in this area. It’s a real point of difference for buyers – knowing they’re going to be snug over winter without the electricity bill going through the roof.”

The Bunnings Solution Studio is designed to showcase a wide range of high end and innovative trade products that includes smart technology, trade quality and cost-effective materials. “We bring in innovative products that aren’t widely available in New Zealand and sell them exclusively to our trade clients” says Steve Ellis, Area Sales Manager for Bunnings Trade.

“All of the Solution Studio products give our clients an edge in the market” says Steve. In some cases it’s price, a reduction in labour or construction time. Take Maglok DragonBoard magnesium-based flooring – this product is fully waterproof, will never rot and is incredibly strong. It can span 600mm joist centers and eliminate nogging, which means the amount of timber needed in a build is reduced, providing a significant cost-saving for the builder.

In other instances, innovative products such as Sengled Smart Lighting LED Bulbs, which connect to WiFi, play music, and even act as security cameras, give developers a competitive edge by offering ready-made smart home functionality to clients. “It’s all part of offering a Total Build Solution” says Steve; we have a one-stop-shop where builders and developers can get everything they need to build a home, and access to the best technology and cutting-edge materials.”

Aerial shot of a darkly painted home with grey fences, driveway and white painted windows

Simon says his clients often ask him about how environmentally-friendly his homes are. “It’s always been an issue, but even more so now after the recent plastic bag ban brought these issues front and centre. Our customers want to know they’re getting a fantastic product, but that the environment is being protected at the same time.” With that in mind, he selected J-Frame laminated veneer lumber for the framing, along with using Bunnings sustainably-milled timber, to make sure all the timber in the Hudson Place development was sustainable and high quality.

Steve says Bunnings has a sustainability policy that’s been a key focus for the whole business for a few years now. “Sustainability is important to us because fundamentally, it’s the right thing to do and customers and our Team Members expect it.” “Over the past decade, Bunnings has made significant progress in reducing energy usage and becoming more self-sufficient with our water supply. Other areas of ongoing focus have included responsible sourcing, reducing waste and active education and awareness programs” says Steve.

“We have a team of buyers working to make sure everything we stock is sustainably sourced – such as timber procurement – our customers and Team Members can be reassured we’re not chopping down rainforests to build new homes.” With procurement and ordering in hand, innovative materials giving him a competitive edge, and a focus on environmentally friendly building supplies, Simon says Hudson Place has been a dream development so far, coming together without a hitch.

“Our team of around 11 builders have just been moving down the street, starting the next houses as soon as the current builds are finished. We’ve had very few delays; consistency in design and materials and a good rapport with the locals has helped to speed up Council consents – which is a godsend. Plus, all the planning we do at the start of the build means materials have been here on-time when we needed them.”

Hudson Place is the biggest development Competitive Homes Kapiti has undertaken to date, and so far the risk is paying dividends. “It’s a large investment, so there’s been a lot at stake for us financially, but so far it’s gone smoothly” says Simon. “Bunnings Total Build and my relationship with Nod has been big part of the success of the project, and I’m looking forward to working with the team on the next 70 houses and seeing what new innovations we can implement there.”

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