Testimonial 2

Reference for Garry O’Garra, builder

In March 2009 we sought tenders for major renovations to be carried out on our house in Tutukaka.  The specifications for this work included:

1      Extending the property upward to create an upper floor thus lifting the roof and building a new living room, bedroom, two bathrooms


two dressing rooms.

2      Installing full length sliding windows/doors to the back of the house.

3      Building two balconies to the back of the house

4      Extending and replacing a large deck to the back and side of the house.

Plans for the work done were drawn up by an architectural designer but project management was to be largely in the hands of the builder as we are not resident in New Zealand for much of the year.  Thus the builder would be required to consult on a regular basis with the architect locally and by telephone with us in the UK.  The tender given by Garry was accepted for three reasons:

a)     We were impressed by the professional manner in which the job was discussed and we were invited to view work being done on two other properties.

b)     Verbal references were very positive from work carried out with previous clients

c)     The price was in line with our expectations and building could take place during our absence

Our confidence continued to grow from the time Garry took over the project.  It became clear that his level of commitment to


his part of the contract to the highest standard and to fullest specification was unquestionable.   The project presented a number of additional challenges which were dealt with head-on and resolved to a high level of satisfaction.  These included:

  • Discovery and rectifying of a large number of deficiencies in the original build, e.g. untreated timbers; missing support beams;  leaking windows; rotting floors; major damage to the wiring caused by rat infiltration in the roof, etc.
  • Inclement winter weather with fierce coastal storms tearing the tarpaulins off the exposed building (being prepared to rally a team of helpers to face the storm and protect the property beyond the working day.)
  • Sourcing and managing a variety of contractors, such as for roofing, plumbing, rewiring, new septic tank, fully redecorating inside and out, glass fencing for the deck and balconies.
  • Garry kept us full informed by telephone every Sunday on progress on the project, discussing and agreeing each significant step.
  • Despite significant extra work being required, the job was completed on time so that the property could be moved into and utilised immediately for a variety of guests (attending a family wedding). Increases in costs caused by extra work were discussed thoroughly before being incurred so there were no ‘after-event’ surprises on this aspect.

The outcome has been a house that delighted us from the moment we arrived back in New Zealand.  The quality of workmanship has been admired by our many visitors and we have no hesitation in recommending the services of Garry O’Garra as a master builder. Since the major rebuild, we have used Garry on several smaller jobs around the house and continue to do so.

Mike & Maggie Steel (mcfsteel@yahoo.com)   November 2013.