Independent Builders Network members Dean Garwood, Richard Davey, Kristy Wilson, Bjorn Spiteri, Steve Graham, Tim Pitchford and Chris Ketchell. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER.
THE entrance of the national Independent Builders Network into Tasmania promises a more competitive home construction market. Six Launceston builders have banded together to start the network here, under the banner Independent Builders Launceston. Steve Graham, of G. & T. Developments, said the network was designed to help smaller builders compete with national franchise housing companies.“As an individual builder I can’t compete with those guys,” Mr Graham said.`We won’t be working as one company but we’ll be in a group so our buying power is greater.`Collectively we’ll be able to offer what the bigger builders can offer.” Mr Graham said that meant they would have the buying power of a company that builds 1000 houses a year.“The point of difference with us is that you’re not dealing with a salesman but with the builder direct.” The other builders involved are Richard Davey, Chris Ketchell, Bjorn Spiteri, Dean Garwood and Tim Pitchford. Together they employ about 25 people and 30 sub-contractors.`They’re all really good quality builders, which is important,” Mr Graham said. All six are members of building industry associations and are working with builders in the North-West and South to widen the network in Tasmania. “Statewide we’ll be building more than 100 houses a year.”Mr Graham said network members would retain their individuality as stand-alone businesses but work co-operatively. Clients will have access to a wide range of house plans and finance services through local Loan Market representative Kristy Wilson