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We engaged Lilleybuild for the renovation of our house in Wilden Street, Paddington.
From the beginning, we have found James to be the perfect interface between us and the builder. His skills have ensured the smooth, problem-free running of the job in the following ways:
Project management. This is obviously James’ forte and it alone justifies his engagement on the project. Perfect.
Communication. He understands that clients need to be kept informed of progress.
Flexibility. We have weekly site meetings at which issues are discussed and worked through to arrive at a solution that is acceptable to us.
Commercial experience. Having a businessman in charge of our building project gives us confidence that we are making sensible financial decisions with respect to our property investment.
Respect. When decisions need to be made, James gives us the benefit of his knowledge and experience but always leaves the determination to us.
Skill and diplomacy when dealing with owners of adjoining properties. Invaluable.
Efficiency. The project would have taken enormous amounts of our time if we had had to do all the work that James does. We can relax and know that the job is completely taken care of.
James initially met with us regarding a possible renovation project in June 2014. Shortly afterwards, we purchased a property with the intention of demolishing and re-building an existing extension, and renovating the remainder of the property.
James provided us with extensive services in this project:
Guidance and in-put during the development of the initial floor plan
Utilising James’ relationships with his regular draftsmen and building certifiers greatly expedited the BCC building approval process.
James’ relationship with a reputable builder (Phil Lee) and pool builder (John McKeown) expedited the quoting and pre-contracting phase of the project.
During the initial phase of the project, James met with us on-site a number of times to communicate the intended progress of the works, and to clarify a number of issues.
Once the project moved into the “finishing trades” phase, James’ assistance became invaluable. He was able to recommend reliable, high-quality suppliers for a number of finishes which we had not already sourced (e.g. window coverings). On a number of occasions he assisted to source a supplier for specified items (e.g. skylights) and James was able to liaise effectively between the carpenter, client and supplier to obtained a satisfactory compromise outcome. He also actively intervened and assisted in instances where the quality of finishes was not satisfactory – as a repeat customer with these tradies and suppliers, he had a level of influence which we, as the one-time customer, lacked.
In particular, on “virtual completion” of the project when final payments had been made, there were still various small items requiring attention. At this time, we REALLY came to appreciate James! The builder had provided a high quality and generally satisfactory product, but his attention to these remaining “loose ends” was not closely focussed after the final payment (and this is something which we have experienced this on a number of previous projects). However, James was dogged in pursuit of a satisfactory final product. And he utilised the promise of future work, to lure the most lax of sub-contractors into completing their obligations on our project.
We would highly recommend the services of Lilleybuild to anyone considering a substantial building or renovation project.
We are pleased to recommend in highest terms the services of James Lilley of Lilleybuild Pty Ltd. Mr Lilley was of enormous support and assistance to us in planning, designing and building our recent renovation involving a 2 story addition/conversion.
Having done a very large renovation 10 years ago, and other renovations, we are keenly aware of the challenge of communicating and coordinating with a long list of subcontractors. We were also often not in Brisbane during this project. James made it his duty to understand our detailed goals, to communicate them to subcontractors and to make it all happen in a seamless way. He took responsibility where necessary yet stayed coordinated with us. The project moved forward even when we were out of town. James’ follow up on final details was also impeccable.
We recommend James Lilley wholeheartedly and without reservations.
My wife and I were looking to build a new property at Wishart and had not built previously. We sought advice from James and Paula about the various options available, asked for and recieved some frank and honest advice in the “pre build or design” period that included shopping around for various builders, draftsmen and architechs. He sought, as part fo the process a quote from Phil Lee (P and R Lee Builders Pty Ltd) whom we eventually agreed terms with to build our new “owner occupier” home.
As we are both working full time, we agreed to have James and Paula as our project managers to sit between ourselves and the building team. In hindsight, this was a very sound decision on our part, saving us significant time and effort, not to mind being effortlessly guided through the multitude of decisions that have to be made on these journeys.
The “low effort” was nicely balanced against a top quality building product at the end of the journey and we have no hesitation in recommending the use of a project manager for either “buildinig novices” or experienced and/or time poor investors or owner occupiers.
Where did James and Paula add value:
Upfront advice on how to structure the contract (we went for a “turn key“ contract)
Spent time with my wife and I to understand exactly what we wanted from the property, both from a living style, practicality, and finish. Then explained what the investment was that we needed to commit to to reach those various choices or finishes. This meant we knew where we need to invest more IE Kitchen to reach the quilty we were expecting.
Advice on pitfalls to avoid, what to ask builders and the subcontractors that quoted on various larger aspects of the home such as kitchen, cabinetry, sound/audio systems, pool, air con etc…
Once started, coordinating times to meet with builders, supervisors and the various trades as we need to select or make choices. As simple as this sounds, having one person “manage our diaries“ made a heck of a difference and kept the project moving along nicely.
General negotiation on a range of aspects to ensure we got the best outcome that suited our stated needs. Where needed helping us challenge our choices where he and the builder saw some better methods/structure/design. James guided us through some practical challenges that we would not have known about and we felt he was that buffer and balance working for us, not the builder.
James’s fee was well earned in providing us with quality decisions and direction and we are very proud of the final product.
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