To Whom It May Concern:
Early 2017 we engaged James Dobie of Critique Building & Construction to undertake the renovation of our weatherboard Californian Bungalow in Caulfield South.
Through the use of a local draftsman recommended by James, we were able to carefully plan and design our renovation, enabling us to get the best result possible for our budget. James was consultative throughout this process and using his experience, he was able to \ provide a layer of insight and pragmatism as to how the floor plan, modern design and “liveability” could combine to achieve the renovation that we are nothing short of delighted with.
The quality of his workmanship from a carpentry perspective is first class and the project
management of the team of his trades meant that the build went smoothly and with minimal disruption (even with the additional changes and variations that we asked for along the way).
James is easy to deal with, and responsive to contact outside of core business hours, which was very handy for us, as we work long hours. Always responding swiftly and concisely.
Overall, we would have no hesitation with recommending James and his team at Critique Building. In fact, we have referred his details to some of our friends already, and we are more than happy to personally answer any further questions you may have.
To Prospective Clients of Critique Building & Construction,
I would highly recommend James (and have done already) to prospective building projects as I have been exceptionally pleased with the workmanship, attention to detail and professionalism of James.
I didn't want this to be too formal so I thought I'd write a few things that attracted me to James:
I think the key to a good builder includes:
Relationship: can you get along? - as you spend quite a bit of time together
a. To date, we have got on famously
b. I went out to a few other larger builders with my tender process and I found even though they presented well, they weren't on the tools, therefore the bloke you have a relationship with isn't even on site a majority of the time. I felt more like a number (one of their many projects) rather than their main client.
c. For me, I wanted a builder that was hungry, attentive, focused mainly on my project, was onsite to direct trades and talk directly to me to prevent anything being lost in translation.
d. He is also more than willing to assist in choosing products (if you need help) and draw on his extensive network to leverage better pricing whether it be on tiles, bathroom products, kitchen appliances, electrical equipment, lighting, pool paving, retaining walls, etc. I found this extremely useful, and have saved thousands.
e. James also makes my wife (and children) feel comfortable on the building site - which I also considered highly desirable.
a. James meets me at 7am or after 6pm on site to fit with my schedule, or on weekends. Nothing seems to be out of the question.
b. I have also met at his house - it feels more like a partnership than a work relationship.
3. Attention to detail/Quality of work
a. I have found that James is as concerned as I am to get the "right" result for the project. He will tell you when things don't look right, he has an opinion of what will be best and his previous building experience on high end homes gives him a competitive advantage in delivering a high end product at an affordable cost. All of these attributes were exceptionally important to me.
b. I feel James is quite particular when it comes to his work, and near enough isn't good enough. I think he keeps his tradesman honest and accountable.
c. I have also met a number of his key tradesman (ie: electrician, plumber, heating/cooling, etc). I have found all have had a similar work ethic to James and want to achieve a great result for the project. d. Despite the attention to detail and keen eye for high quality finishes, his timeliness has not been compromised. We are at lock up within 4mths, and have done quite a few extra items within main house.
a. For my specific project, James had the most competitive price which helped. However, his specifications within the project build did not cut corners – he detailed solid doors (not semi solid), automatic windows, frameless shower screens, high quality paints, etc. This is a massive grey area in building for inexperienced individuals like me, but I have not been disappointed.
b. To test his integrity and honesty, we even ask him to get quotes for all provisional sums to prevent budget blow outs and his figures were spot on.
c. I have found his pricing on the few variations we have had also competitive.
d. I have treated this project as a partnership - so I tell James when budget is tight and he tries to find a more affordable solution. We have an open and honest dialogue and I think (hope) it has worked in my favour.
e. He is more than happy to help on sourcing products at discounted rates and/or getting alternative quotes for paving pools to save on budget. He has no monetary reward himself, however it shows his dedication to getting the best result for the project at the right price.
I guess, in the end, it's a feeling you get. When I first met James, we jelled, he had an attention to detail, he was young, hungry and our lines of communication were open and honest. At no stage did I feel I was taking a material risk with having James as my builder, and to date, that has proven correct.
I am happy to discuss any aspect of the above further if you need to. My build has been as pleasurable as a build can be and I think James and I have worked well together.
"CRITIQUE BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION EXCEL IN CATERING TO THE NEEDS OF THE SOUTH EAST AREA. EXCELLING IN PRESTIGE BUILDING WORKS. FROM BATHROOM RENOVATIONS TO NEW BUILDS. WE STAND FOR NOT JUST WORKMANSHIP BUT CRAFTSMANSHIP. ALWAYS STRIVING TO GIVE YOU THE HIGHEST QUALITY WORK AND SERVICE."