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A WEBER BBQ! S U M M E R 2 016 -17

SEE PAGE 19

Y L R E T R A U Q

WAIUKU BUILDER’S WINNING PLAN

AUCKLAND BUILDING BOOM BY THE NUMBERS CONSTRUCTING QUALITY: COMMON DEFECTS AND INSPECTION TIPS IS YOUR SITE SECURE? PREVENTING TOOL THEFT

mitre10.co.nz/trade

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THE QUARTER UPFRONT

Derek Heard General Manager Trade

If you are a licensed building practitioner, cut out and safely retain this panel with your skills maintenance literature for future reference and audit confirmation. Ref. Trade Quarterly Summer 2016/17

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SEE PAGE 19

Y QUARTERL

WAIUKU BUILDER’S WINNING PLAN

AUCKLAND BUILDING BOOM BY THE NUMBERS CONSTRUCTING QUALITY: COMMON DEFECTS AND INSPECTION TIPS IS YOUR SITE SECURE? PREVENTING TOOL THEFT

mitre10.co.nz/trade

facebook.com/Mitre10Trade

Deon Neville’s team at d Build in Waiuku have had great success using Certified Plans. Read more on page 16.

Mitre 10 Trade Quarterly is published four times a year in association with Mitre 10. Managing Editor Adele Thurlow Art Director Marc Backwell Contributors Andy Burrows BCITO BRANZ Builtin Infometrics ITAB NZ Certified Builders NZMCPA Rightway Site Safe NZ WorkSafe NZ Print and distribution PMP Limited Editorial enquiries Chocolate Fish Media adele@chocolatefishmedia.co.nz 027 454 2131 Advertising enquiries Annalise Bagrie 09 442 3047 annalise.bagrie@mitre10.co.nz Private Bag 102-925 North Shore City, Auckland 0745 mitre10.co.nz/trade

THIS PUBLICATION IS RECOGNISED BY THE BUILDING AND HOUSING GROUP AS CONTRIBUTING TOWARDS THE SKILLS MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE LICENSED BUILDING PRACTITIONER SCHEME.

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I CAN’T BELIEVE we’re at the end of another year – and what a year it’s been. Our customers are working in one of the busiest ever construction cycles and, hopefully, can pause for breath over Christmas, take a little time out with friends and family, and prepare for what is going to be another very busy year in 2017. This final issue for 2016 features, among other cool stuff, Gareth Kiernan, Chief Forecaster at Infometrics, discussing some of the issues relating to Auckland’s building boom (page 8), while Deon Neville from d Build talks about gaining his share of the work in a busy market (page 16). Busy customers make for busy store teams across the country, and they’ve had a lot going on this last 12 months. Just for starters, a new store in Ruakura now gives tradies two stores to choose from in Hamilton, while Dave in Motueka is pretty proud of his brand new drive-thru, providing customers with an extended range under one roof. We’ve also been pretty active across our communities, and it’s been amazing getting out to the regions, spending time with our stores and customers and seeing what they do locally (page 7). Mitre 10 Trade is going from strength to strength and that would not be possible without your support, so thank you. Have a safe and pleasant break, if you’re able to take one, and we’ll see you in the new year.

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Mitre 10 Trade Quarterly is subject to copyright in its entirety. The contents may not be reproduced in any form, either in whole or in part, without written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved in material accepted for publication unless initially specified otherwise. Opinions expressed in Mitre 10 Trade Quarterly are not necessarily those of Mitre 10 nor the publisher. No responsibility is accepted for the suggestions of the contributors or the conclusions that may be drawn from them. Although the publisher has made every effort to ensure accuracy, the reader remains responsible for the correct use and selection of any tools, materials, and systems followed, as well as the following of any laws or codes that may apply.


CONTENTS 7 WE’RE FROM HERE A flyover of Mitre 10 Trade news from around the country.

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8 AVOID CHOKING ON AUCKLAND’S BUILDING BOOM The data on Auckland’s building boom and how it may affect tradies.

11 IMPROVING THE FOUNDATION OF THE BUILDING PROCESS Inside info from the New Zealand Master Concrete Placers Association.

12 SUMMER CONCRETING: AVOID CRACKING IN THE HEAT Hard facts from the concrete professionals.

15 BUILDING SAFE IN SUMMER Keep yourself safe onsite this summer.

16 PLANNING FOR SUCCESS This Waiuku builder has nailed every aspect of his business.

19 A BUILDING PROJECT FOR ALL Mitre 10 lends a hand on an impressive West Coast bike trail.

20 NEW HOUSE CONSTRUCTION QUALITY Navigating smoothly through the CCC process.

22 FUTURE PROOFING New tradies are encouraged into the industry.

24 KEEPING YOUR TOOLS SAFE Sharpen up: Look after your assets.

26 BEAT THE BURNOUT Tips to keep you and your business from cracking under pressure.

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28 THE THREE DEADLY BUSINESS SINS Avoid common traps for new businesses.

29 THE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL HEALTH AND SAFETY TOOLKIT Stay on top of health and safety with help from WorkSafe NZ.

30 THESE FOUR WALLS NZCB’s pre-drawn architectural plans add value.

32 TRAINING: TAKE YOUR TIME AND GET IT RIGHT Sound advice for successful apprenticeships.

33 STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE A French apprentice is numéro un at the 2016 Carpentry Apprentice Challenge.

34 OFF-SITE HIGHLIGHTS A wrap-up of Mitre 10 Trade customer hosting events in New Zealand and abroad.

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FROM THE REGIONS

WE’RE FROM HERE

In this section, we’ll briefly update you on news from Mitre 10 Trade across the country.

Hamilton tradies have two Mitre 10 MEGA stores to choose from With the opening of Mitre 10 MEGA Ruakura in December, Hamilton tradies have convenient access to Mitre 10 MEGA stores on both sides of the river. Mitre 10 MEGA Ruakura and Te Rapa owner Terry Wilson says many of the Te Rapa store’s trade customers have been eagerly awaiting this development.

Mitre 10 Crofton Downs customer wins big at landscaping awards Long-time Mitre 10 Crofton Downs customer Aspen Landscapes has received four Landscaping NZ Landscapes of Distinction Awards (gold, two silvers and a bronze) for their stunning work across three properties. Aspen opened their account with Mitre 10 in 2003, back when they were a home-run operation and have since grown into a thriving business with 30 staff.

New trade Drive Thru in Motueka Mitre 10 Motueka unveiled its newly expanded store in November, complete with a Drive Thru designed to suit the needs of tradies. Store owner Dave Richards says the team at Mitre 10 Motueka is excited to support local builders with a full range of product and supplies, adding that they’ve also extended store trading hours to deliver even better service.

Mitre 10 Westport makes river trail a reality Mitre 10 Westport recently helped the Buller Cycling Club (BCC) to complete the Kawatiri River Trail, a project six years in the making (see page 19 for details).

Mitre 10 MEGA Petone runs night operations for trade Earlier this year, Mitre 10 MEGA Petone introduced a night-fill service to meet the needs of an expanding customer base. The evening team works from 4pm until 11pm restocking shelves and picking and loading orders onto trucks for faster deliveries the following day.

Mitre 10 MEGA Nelson and NMIT lend a helping hand Mitre 10 MEGA Nelson, in conjunction with Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), is refurbishing a local Scout lodge as a part of their Helping Hands charity initiative. The collaboration involves apprentices studying at NMIT assisting in the rebuild of the Gilwell Scout Lodge, while Mitre 10 takes care of the landscaping.

Mitre 10 MEGA Queenstown gets behind the chippie challenge Mitre 10 MEGA Queenstown sponsored a team, through the supply of building materials, in a chippie challenge that was hosted by Remarkables Primary School. The challenge teams (mostly made up of school dads) were tasked with creating a piece of indoor furniture and the Mitre 10 MEGA Queenstown-sponsored creation was designed by Ben Hudson from Warren and Mahoney, and built by Naylor Love.

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AVOIDING CHOKING ON AUCKLAND’S BUILDING BOOM

Gareth Kiernan, Chief Forecaster at Infometrics, gives his take on Auckland’s building boom – laying out the numbers and what they could mean for tradies.

an average of 3.1 people per household, that growth equates to almost 16,000 new dwellings required. With the residential build rate still sitting below 10,000 per annum, it’s obvious things are not moving fast enough to keep up with demand, let alone address the undersupply of more than 30,000 dwellings accumulated

over the last decade. The extent of the growth required in residential activity in Auckland dwarfs the rebuild in Canterbury over the last five years (see graph at right). With residential work winding down in Christchurch, there is scope to shift some of the building industry’s resources northward to help

YOU THOUGHT THE CANTERBURY REBUILD WAS BIG? New dwelling consents (annual running totals) 18,000 16,000

“CAPACITY” IS A word often heard in reference to Auckland’s current building boom. The stresses are not surprising, given that residential consent numbers in the region have almost tripled since 2011, while there has also been a 43% surge in the volume of non-residential consents in Auckland over the last 11 months. The trouble for Auckland is that the upturn is far from finished. The city’s estimated population increased by almost 50,000 people over the last year and, with M I T R E 10

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14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Auckland

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Canterbury


BY THE NUMBERS

out in Auckland. But the critical issue facing everyone, from home owners to training organisations and businesses, is how the industry is going to cope with the persistence of very strong demand. For tradespeople, it becomes increasingly difficult to attract and retain staff. Responses to the NZIER’s Quarterly

Survey of Business Opinion show that for firms involved in the building industry, getting skilled labour is the most difficult it has been in over 20 years (see graph on page 9). Unskilled labour is also hard to come by, although the fact that the labour market is not quite as tight in some other parts of the economy means that unskilled

HARDEST TO FIND LABOUR FOR BUILDERS IN OVER 20 YEARS

Net responses on ease of finding labour comapred to three months ago 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% -20% -40% -60% -80%

1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 Skilled

workers are easier to come by than they were in 2004 and 2005. Pay rates are forced up, and with high workloads, these cost increases often get passed on to the customer. Expanding your business in response to prospects of more work can bring its own challenges, particularly for a small business. Taking on new staff members often means covering additional costs upfront, with the increase in work or revenue taking some time to flow through. Cashflow needs to be even more carefully managed than normal to ensure your business doesn’t bite off more than it can chew. The increased volume of work also intensifies the need to keep a close eye on quality. Rushed jobs and overworked staff have the potential to result in mistakes, but tradespeople who are in for the long haul will be keen to maintain their standards and protect their reputation. Upward pressure on labour costs has also resulted in some contractors trying to source componentry directly from overseas to offset their increased wage bill and avoid having to pass on higher costs to their customers. However, this approach runs the risk of leaving the customer with substandard product that will not stand the test of time. As we’ve seen before in the building industry, cutting corners has the potential to result in big problems further down the track. Bearing these issues in mind, now is a great time to be involved in the construction sector in New Zealand and in Auckland particularly. The industry can invest in further expanding its capacity, both in terms of labour and capital resources, in the knowledge that the pipeline of work, particularly in the residential subsector, stretches out to 2021 and beyond. Infometrics help you make sense of economic problems. They provide industry, regional, and general economic analysis and forecasts that assist organisations in making planning, policy, and strategic decisions. To find out more, visit infometrics.co.nz.

Unskilled

Source: NZIER; negative numbers indicate more businesses find it harder than easier

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7 THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR A QUALITY INTERIOR FINISH.

MS E T YS S ARD O RB E T AS ® PL GIB

These recommendations are not a substitute for the full information contained in the brochure ‘Interior Finishing – The fundamentals of a quality finish’. 1 Ensure timber framing is dry (less than 18% moisture content) and straight before fixing GIB® plasterboard. This will help prevent shrinkage, cracks, nail popping or other problems in the future. 2 The use of GIB® Rondo® metal ceiling battens is recommended on all ceilings as they hold no moisture, so will not shrink, bend, twist or warp. Metal battens help achieve and maintain a straight and true ceiling. 3 It’s recommended that thicker, stronger 13mm GIB® plasterboard is used on all ceilings for extra rigidity and to help fight the effects of gravity and structural movement.

5 No. LITY I A QU

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OR

IS FIN

H

No matter how smooth wall and ceiling linings may appear, they’ll never be 100% physically flat and blemish free. This applies to any interior surface comprising jointed sheet type materials including fibrous plaster, plywood, MDF, plasterboard and even glass.

4 Fixing GIB® plasterboard sheets horizontally instead of vertically on walls reduces the number of joints, helping to achieve a more uniform appearance.

Horizontal fixing reduces the risk of shadowing from glancing light.

5 Choosing the right decorative finish is important, e.g. certain paint types and colours reflect light and tend to accentuate even the smallest surface imperfection. Light colours and flat or matte paints soften the effects of any surface irregularities. 6 Incorporating recessed downlights or light shades combined with soft diffuse bulbs will help to channel light downwards and reduce the amount of glancing or critical light.

The following guidelines will help make any GIB® plasterboard surface imperfections less visible. For more information, refer to the brochure ‘Interior Finishing – The fundamentals of a quality finish’. To request your FREE copy, contact the GIB® Helpline on 0800 100 442 or download at gib.co.nz/install

GIB® is a registered trademark.

7 Avoid positioning narrow windows hard against the end of a wall or ceiling, particularly on long walls or ceilings at the end of a room or hallway. Making a window wider and placing it away from the room corner should reduce the critical lighting effect.


SOLID ASSOCIATION WHAT FUNCTION DOES THE NZMCPA SERVE?

H A R R I S R E S I D E N T I A L - W W W. H A R R I S R E S I D E N T I A L . C O . N Z

The NZMCPA offers a range of support mechanisms designed to assist our members in producing a consistently high standard of work, while conducting themselves in a professional manner. All members have access to an array of resources ranging from fellow concrete contractors and material suppliers through to practical advice, business assistance, and regulatory updates. This equips them to better meet customer expectations.

DOES THE NZMCPA OFFER ANY GUARANTEES AGAINST DEFECTS − SUCH AS CRACKING − ON WORK DONE BY ITS MEMBERS?

IMPROVING THE FOUNDATION OF THE BUILDING PROCESS

We speak with the organisation aiming to lift the standard of concrete placing in New Zealand. A CONCRETE POUR can be a big part of any job, so when using a concrete placer you want to be confident that everything goes smoothly and to plan. That’s what the New Zealand Master Concrete Placers Association (NZMCPA) wants too, and it is dedicated to lifting the standard of concrete placing in New Zealand through supporting and educating its members. We asked NZMCPA President Brad Robertson to tell us more about the association and what builders should know about its members.

WHAT CAN BUILDERS EXPECT FROM NZMCPA MEMBERS AND THEIR WORK? All NZMCPA members have demonstrated a high level of competency in concrete placing and finishing and are required to adhere to a code of conduct. Customers

The NZMCPA does not offer any guarantees on behalf of its members. As a variable product, concrete has the potential to exhibit inconsistencies in terms of finish and colour. The fact that concrete shrinks as it hydrates and some associated cracking may occur must also be considered. However, NZMCPA members are encouraged to discuss all possible outcomes during the planning stage of a project, and are educated in a range of good practice steps to reduce the likelihood of defects. Such steps include but are not limited to: the correct preparation of sub-base; use of steel reinforcing mesh; appropriate placing and finishing measures (such as vibrating and curing); and control joint layout. Note: The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has produced a document – Guidance: Guide to tolerances, materials and workmanship in new residential construction 2015 – that provides assistance to contractors and home owners who may be unsure of what constitutes a defect for the purposes of the Building Act 2004.

can expect a professional approach from NZMCPA members throughout any job, from initial consultation through to project completion. Members also place a premium on clear communication and are encouraged to have all relevant paperwork available onsite, including quotation, project schedule, terms and conditions, and health and safety policy. 11

To find your nearest NZMCPA member, visit mcpa.org.nz/find-members

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SUMMER CONCRETING: AVOID CRACKING IN THE HEAT

A guide to successful concrete placing during New Zealand’s searing summers.

hardened state. Cracks which form before the concrete has fully hardened (usually not less than eight hours) are known as plastic cracks. Plastic cracking occurs as either shrinkage cracks or settlement cracks.

PLASTIC SHRINKAGE CRACKS

SUMMER’S HIGHER DAYTIME temperatures and dry winds combined with low evening temperatures are a perfect recipe for the creation of cracks in concrete. Knowing the reasons why cracking occurs, when concrete is at the greatest risk, and how to minimise those risks will help you to better understand concrete placing and finishing, as well as get the most out of this incredibly versatile building material.

PLASTIC CRACKING Cracks in concrete can form prior to the concrete setting or after it is in its M I T R E 10

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Most concrete, after it is placed, “bleeds”. This means that water rises to the surface as the solid particles settle. After concrete has been placed, vibrated, screeded, and floated, it is left so this bleed water can rise to the surface. The slab cannot be finished until it is hard and the bleed water has evaporated. The bleed water will appear within about 15 minutes of placing, and the slab will usually be ready for finishing after several hours – depending on the concrete temperature. If the top surface of the concrete is allowed to dry before final finishing – i.e. the rate of evaporation at the surface is greater than the rate at which water within the concrete can migrate to the surface to replace it – then plastic shrinkage cracking may occur. The risk of plastic shrinkage occurring is greatest when: ■■ The temperature difference between the concrete and air temperature is large. Cracking can often occur when an area of setting concrete is exposed to direct sunlight. 12

■■

■■

There are days of low humidity and/or high wind speeds. Using low-bleed concrete mixes (such as superplasticised mixes and/or mixes with high quantities of ultrafines). The more concrete bleeds, the less likely it is that the surface will prematurely dry out. As such, greater precautions are required when using low-bleed concrete mixes.

WHAT DO PLASTIC SHRINKAGE CRACKS LOOK LIKE?

Usually, the cracks occur either while finishing or within 30 minutes to six hours


CONCRETE EVIDENCE of finishing, and form without any regular pattern, ranging from 25mm to 2m in length. They may be straight or jagged, and often intersect each other, forming T-junctions or acute angles. The cracks vary in width from a hairline to around 3mm. While these cracks are surface-related, they may extend deeper with subsequent drying of the slab.

HOW CAN PLASTIC SHRINKAGE CRACKING BE AVOIDED? The most effective way to reduce the risk of plastic shrinkage cracking is to prevent rapid loss of moisture from the surface of the concrete. Practices to achieve this are: ■■ Dampen the subgrade and formwork, while also ensuring any excess water is removed prior to placing concrete. ■■ In hot weather, lower the temperature of the fresh concrete by using cool aggregates if possible. ■■ Erect wind breaks to reduce wind velocity over the concrete surface. ■■ The use of polythene sheets on the top surface of the concrete will prevent both evaporation and air movement. These should be used with caution, though, when trying to obtain a consistent colour to the slab. ■■ Use a proprietary evaporation retardant spray. These are inexpensive and provide a good degree of protection if used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. ■■ Add polypropylene fibres to the concrete mix. The use of polypropylene fibres works by evenly distributing many small reinforcement fibres throughout the mass of the concrete in all directions and intersecting any micro-cracking that occurs when the concrete shrinks. Fibres are typically added at the batching plant and, therefore, their use requires planning. The ready-mix concrete supplier will be able to advise on the appropriate dosage. ■■ Commence curing promptly after finishing is complete and ensure the surface is subject to continuous curing. Providing a fog mist spray to increase humidity above the concrete is a good means of achieving this, although it may be difficult to get a uniform application during windy conditions. It is important excess water is not added to the surface.

PLASTIC SETTLEMENT CRACKS Another form of cracking which occurs during the plastic stage of the concrete setting process is plastic settlement cracking. When the bleed water evaporates, there is a loss of total volume. If there is no restraint on the concrete, then the net result is simply a very slight lowering of the surface level (i.e. the concrete has “settled”). However, if there is something near the surface, such as a reinforcing bar, which restrains part of the concrete from settling while the concrete on either side continues to drop, there is potential for a crack to form over the restraining element.

WHAT DO PLASTIC SETTLEMENT CRACKS LOOK LIKE?

Settlement cracks tend to follow a regular pattern replicating the lines of restraint, usually the reinforcement or a change in section. Generally the cracks are not deep, but because they tend to follow 13

and penetrate down to the reinforcement, they may reduce the durability of a structure.

HOW CAN PLASTIC SETTLEMENT CRACKING BE AVOIDED? Plastic settlement cracks may be prevented, or rather closed, by re-vibrating the concrete after settlement is virtually complete and it has begun to set. However, the timing is critical, and considerable experience is needed to know when that critical time is. If re-vibration is done too early, more settlement could occur, and if it is done too late, it could damage the bond between the concrete and reinforcement.

Other procedures which may help reduce plastic settlement cracking include using: ■■ Lower slump mixes. ■■ More cohesive mixes. ■■ An air entrainer to improve cohesiveness and reduce bleeding. ■■ Increasing cover to top bars. This article is based on the New Zealand Master Concrete Placers Association’s (NZMCPA) leaflet Placing in Practice 3 – Hot Weather Concreting. The Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand’s (CCANZ) Information Bulletin IB 73 Cracking contains more useful information about concrete cracking. It is available to download from ccanz.org.nz M I T R E 10

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∫ Introduction to managing external moisture

∫ Introduction to R-values

∫ Moisture in materials

branz.nz/e-learning | Technical Helpline 0800 80 80 85 Inspiring the industry to provide better buildings for New Zealanders


THE HEAT IS ON

BUILDING SAFE IN SUMMER

Keep safe onsite this summer with these tips from Site Safe New Zealand. WHEN THE WEATHER is warmer and drier, building and landscaping can be big business, but be weary of the hazards it poses. The team at Site Safe have a few tips for staying safe onsite throughout summer.

■■

DEHYDRATION Anyone building or landscaping in the heat of a summer’s day is at risk of dehydration. This could be due to working in the direct sun, working near heat-producing processes, or simply from the physical nature of the work (whether indoors or outside). The effects of working in heat range from mild discomfort through to life-threatening heat stroke. With that in mind, please consider: ■■ Planning ahead: Try to avoid or limit prolonged exposure to extreme heat, and work in the shade when

■■

possible. Ensure there is adequate air flow or ventilation to help keep the temperature down. Wear lightweight clothing if it’s safe to do so. Keeping up the fluids: Most people need about eight glasses of water per day, but if you’re working in the heat, it’s likely you will need more. Make sure you and the team drink plenty of water throughout the day, and limit sugary or caffeinated drinks. Products with minerals and electrolytes are a good option. Recognising the signs: Signs of dehydration include headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness or fainting, mood changes or confusion, or changes in heart rate and breathing patterns. At its worst, it can lead to heat stroke, with convulsions, dilated pupils, or coma.

FATIGUE If you’ve been waiting for good weather to get cracking on a job, it can be tempting to push through and extend your working day. But ignoring the signs of fatigue in yourself and your workers can be a real risk. Think about: ■■ Work scheduling: Take regular breaks and consider extra breaks if the work is demanding. Monitor and place limits around overtime, and avoid incentives to work too many hours. If you need to work longer hours, consider staggered start and finish times, and longer breaks and periods off work. ■■ Better ways of doing things: Use the right tools and resources for the job. Consider low-vibration handheld tools and, where practical, install low-vibration seats in machinery. Rotate tasks between workers, and make sure workloads and deadlines are realistic.

SUN (UV) EXPOSURE It may seem obvious, but it’s an easy one to overlook, and can be fatal given New Zealand’s high rates of skin cancer. So even though it’s great to enjoy the sunshine while onsite, make sure you and your team follow basic sun-smart rules such as covering up, wearing a hat, and using a good-quality sunblock. ■■ Safety sunglasses: Protecting eyes both from flying objects and UV rays is a good idea. With any sunglasses, always check the impact and UV rating. Site Safe is a not-for-profit, membershipbased organisation that promotes, inspires, and supports a culture of health and safety in New Zealand construction. For a free guide on preventing fatigue and other useful industry information, check out sitesafe.org.nz 15

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PLANNING FOR SUCCESS

Builder Deon Neville aims high in all facets of his Waiuku business. “THE GREAT THING about the building industry is the satisfaction of seeing the finished product,” says Waiuku-based builder Deon Neville. “Clients come to us with a picture in their head about what they want their ideal home to be, and we help them make that dream a reality.” Deon and his company – d Build – are building more than a few dreams in Waiuku these days, with no sign of a slowdown in the influx of families looking for a bit of space not too far from Auckland but with a small-town feel. Winning that work relies on more than

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just availability, competitive pricing and having a great team working for him. Deon says that client communication is also a key factor, especially in an industry that relies on reputation and word of mouth. “Nailing the sales pitch process is vital. That wasn’t something that came naturally when I first started out on my own, but over the years, I’ve learned how to make our services more efficient and appealing to clients.” “It’s important to be genuine in your approach. What resonates with clients is not a builder trying to be a salesperson, but an honest and upfront builder who knows

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their stuff, understands what the client wants, and shows that they can deliver.” A key factor enabling d Build’s ability to deliver is the New Zealand Certified Builders’ Certified Plans range. Deon describes them as a great tool for the initial client meeting that saves time and helps to meet expectations. “In the past, we’d often lose out to housing companies due to the delay involved with using architects, but Certified Plans gives us the advantage of showing clients a plan straight away. This creates more direct interaction early on and


NAILING IT

speeds up the process, which has definitely helped to secure more business.” For the build pictured above, Deon worked with the client to customise the “Kowhai” plan, which features three bedrooms, two bathrooms and two living areas. “The clients liked the mono-pitch style with the weatherboard, but they also wanted a fireplace and bit more room in the kitchen, so we changed the design to include a kitchen scullery as well. “We have another build in the planning stages where we’ve combined two separate plans – incorporating the living area of one and the bedrooms and garage of another. Once the changes are uploaded into the database we usually get the redrawn plans back in a few days, so the clients get to see their custom design take shape without much delay.” Once the planning is completed, Deon encourages weekly client site visits and is regularly in communication with them by email and phone. He says that efficiency in the build process relies on communication and responsiveness, and that applies

The building process for d Build’s clients is made more efficient by owner Deon Neville’s commitment to regular communication and weekly site visits.

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IN STORE While Deon likes to stay on the tools whether they’re checking in with clients most of the time, some days he’ll find to get their selection on products and himself with a pen or a mouse in his colours, or when working with suppliers. hand more than a hammer. Mastering “We have a good relationship with the paperwork is our local trade an adjustment for supplier, Mitre “BOTH PHILIP AND CRAIG every trade business 10 Waiuku,” says TAKE A KEEN INTEREST IN owner, and Deon Deon. “Both WHATEVER PROJECTS WE says he’s improved Philip [owner] HAVE ON AND WORK HARD and Craig [trade TO DELIVER WHAT WE NEED. his methods along the way, and found manager] take IF THEY KNOW WE NEED handy tools to a keen interest in SOMETHING AT 4.30PM improve efficiency. whatever projects ON A FRIDAY, THEY WILL “Having access to we have on and GET IT TO US, NO PROBLEM.” the Mitre 10 Trade work hard to Hub helps a lot with the quoting process. deliver what we need. If they know we Instead of always going into the store or need something at 4.30pm on a Friday, calling up, I can see all of my materials they will get it to us, no problem.”

Mitre 10 Waiuku Trade Manager Craig Chambers (left) and Store Owner/Operator Philip Baird (right).

SERVING BUILDERS IN WAIUKU WHEN PHILIP BAIRD took ownership of Mitre 10 Waiuku six years ago, he was entering uncharted territory. The former builder had always enjoyed his interactions with Mitre 10 as a tradie, and liked the idea of doing something different that still used his trade knowledge – but the world of retail was brand-new to him. “I’ve learned a lot during my time as a retailer, but where I found I could put my M I T R E 10

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two cents in right away was trade. From day one I was pricing plans to help the store win jobs. Pretty much doing what I trained to do as a builder, just while wearing an orange shirt.” While the industry has changed, Philip says the fundamentals of trade are still the same. “It’s still about relationships and doing right by builders through being organised and on time, with the right price. 18

right there on the website, choose what I need, get the quote, and even send it straight through as an order. “It’s all working towards the larger goal: Creating a great result for the client. I’ve learned that to create consistently high-quality builds, it pays to plan well and use every advantage.”

Deon helped to trial the new Mitre 10 Trade Hub website – now available to all Mitre 10 Trade account holders. It’s a fast and convenient way to access individual pricing, create an estimate for a job, place an order, check your account, and catch up on the latest industry news.

Builders expect you to be as organised as they are, and that’s what we aim to be.” The store’s trade manager, Craig Chambers, notes that Mitre 10 Waiuku has been growing its trade customer base by doing the fundamentals right and looking after builders through regular contact and by following up on their needs. “Many of our trade customers will call through in the morning, and that gives us a chance to get across their projects and see where we can help. Our trade team members also go out for site visits to see how projects are going and stay up-todate with their requirements.” Like all stores in the Mitre 10 cooperative, Mitre 10 Waiuku can produce schedules of quantities derived from the Certified Plans range to create even greater efficiency for tradies like Deon Neville. “It’s another way in which we can support our trade customers and help their businesses run easier,” says Philip. “When customers come into the store and see the owner out in the yard, they know they are working with people who have their skin in the business and who care about local tradies.” “You’ve got to get them the gear when and how they want it,” says Craig. “The best way we can support their business is to follow up on every enquiry promptly, be upfront and honest, and do as we say we’re going to.”


COMMUNITY  MINDED

A BUILDING PROJECT FOR ALL

Mitre 10 contributes to a spectacular Westport bike trail. For six years, the Buller Cycling Club has been working on the Kawatiri River Trail, a 5km long route connecting Westport to the Buller River. The final piece of the puzzle was the floating basin boardwalk which turned the trail into an impressive recreational loop. Mitre 10 Martin Westport donated around $14,000 – mostly in materials – towards the boardwalk, helping to complete the track for the cycling club as well as for the Westport community.

A section of the Kawatiri River Trail

The boardwalk took 12 weeks to complete and officially opened in September 2016. The cycling club was the main contributor to the project, and they hope to get a lot of use out of it now it’s complete. “We’ve been getting a lot of good comments from the community,” says the club’s treasurer Glenn Irving. “I’m excited to see it get even more use over summer.”

Mitre 10 Martin Westport supplied materials for the boardwalk, pictured under construction (right).

WANT TO WIN A WEBER? Head over to Mitre 10 Trade on Facebook (facebook.com/Mitre10Trade) and comment on the post pictured below to be in to win a Weber Family Q. All you need to do to be in to win is include the name of any Kiwi town in your comment.

BE IN TO WIN! Entries close midday 1st February 2017  Draw date 2nd February 2017 Terms and Conditions: www.mitre10.co.nz/social To be valid the entry must include the name of a Kiwi town

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C H E C K I N G T H E N U M B E R S:

NEW HOUSE CONSTRUCTION QUALITY

All tradies want their building inspections to go smoothly and to pass without difficulty. Here are some common defects and tips for making the CCC process easier on yourself.

INSPECTION DEFECTS: ALL INSPECTIONS Wall insulation fit Window reveal fixing Straps/nogs protrude

BRANZ RECENTLY RELEASED a report looking into the results of a 2014 new house construction quality survey. The survey inspected 225 new homes at various stages of construction to assess the quality of work, problems that the builder experienced, and code compliance. The inspections were carried out in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch. Defects found during the onsite inspections were placed into two categories. First was the building code compliance category, which can affect the durability or performance of a house, and second was a quality or appearance category, which is mostly related to interior surface finishing.

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Most houses had one or more of both types of these defects. It was found that 8% of new homes are likely to have four or more compliance defects. There was an average of more than four quality defects per house.

DEFECT INCIDENTS FROM ALL INSPECTIONS

Interior paint finish Loose wall underlay Bowed wall frames Head flashings Cladding penetration seals Large framing cut-outs HD bold edge dist Vanity/shower seals Window reveal seals Ceiling insulation Underlay penetration tape Peaking/popping Window scribers Poor door fittings Cracked linings Trim finish Brick mortar Path/earth clearance to cladding Windowsill bar Underlay/tape over head flashings Wiring/plumbing work Roof cladding damage

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Almost 65% of houses inspected had a quality defect with fitting of wall insulation. Some were too loose, short, or torn, or had inadequate overlaps. Over 60% struggled with window reveal fixings not fixed at the required spacings or having protruding straps and nogs. 60% had issues with the finishing of interior paint. Some houses had drips and runs, while others had a rough finish or not enough coats of paint.

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Quality defects

Wall clad damage/loose/gaps Tapes at wall openings Spouting Soffit timber bead Stop-ends head flashings 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%

MOST COMMON DEFECTS: ■■

Compliance defects

Apron flashings Sealing cabinets/benchtops

% of houses with the defect

BRANZ, inspiring the industry to provide better building for New Zealanders. Download the free report on the BRANZ website (search SR335) along with heaps of other handy resources. To check them out, go to branz.co.nz [Credit: BRANZ Report SR335, I.C. Page]

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QUALITY CONTROL A CLOSER LOOK AT QUALITY: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN AUCKLAND? WE ASKED IAN McCormick, General Manager of Building Control at Auckland Council, to give his take on new house build quality in Auckland. “Most tradies are not actively looking to cut corners, and there is a genuine commitment seen by most to provide quality buildings,” Ian says. “However, there is a small minority out there who let the rest of the industry down.” Ian also notes that over the past year, the fail rates have reduced, so it’s clear the message about ensuring the building work is ready and compliant is getting through

to many in the industry. “Professional affiliations have been working with their members, [Auckland Council], and others in the industry to bring home the quality message,” says Ian. “We believe working closely with the industry via our regular public presentations, inspectors bringing tradies up-tospeed on code matters, and working with learning institutions are all contributing to an industry-wide approach to upping the game of quality building. “We continually strive to upskill our inspectors so the people onsite have a consistent source of information available to them.”

INDUSTRY VIEW: BUILD QUALITY IN AUCKLAND This year an independent survey was requested by The Building Industry Federation of New Zealand (BIF), and conducted by experienced industry executive Paul Taylor, in response to the assertion that 40% of building control inspections in Auckland were failing. The report, Identification of Issues for Industry Attention within Auckland Building Activities (May 2016), found that in the last three years the average failure rate at building inspections was only 23%. The highest failure rate peaked at 35% in August 2015, and that was caused by many factors, including changes in Auckland Council’s policy and the booming house market

ADVICE FOR TRADIES TO HELP INSPECTIONS GO SMOOTHLY

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Make sure you’re ready for inspection. “If everyone doublechecked their work before the inspection, we would see a huge increase on first-timepassed inspections,” says Ian McCormick, General Manager of Building Control at Auckland Council.

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”If you substitute a product/material or change the design, be sure to discuss this with the inspector before the change happens,” says Ian. If it’s only a “minor variation”, then the inspector will look to try and approve this onsite during the inspection. But in some cases, they will need to research a product’s compliance, and this may delay the approval process. “Occasionally, a change is considered more than minor and would need to be submitted as a full amendment... It is important we get these submitted as soon as possible in order to reduce any possible delays in the building.”

3 placing tradies under pressure. The report found no key driver when it comes to failing building inspections but, instead, there are many factors that contribute to a failed inspection which can be addressed within the industry’s current regulatory framework. It identified certain areas in need of improvement, including additional tradie education 21

around the inspection/ compliance requirements – involving more technical/ installation information being available, especially onsite – and discusses the need to develop quality assurance programmes for builders as part of a proactive industry response.

Make sure you have all of your required certificates and other paperwork when applying for the Code Compliance Certificate (CCC). “Nearly all of CCC requests result in a request for further information, which prevents us being able to issue it,” says Ian. “Having these documents prepared and available at the final inspection would help the process run much more efficiently.”

You can find the full report at nzcic.co.nz M I T R E 10

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FUTURE PROOFING

BCITO has a strategy to build the next generation of tradies.

THE FUTURE OF building and construction is through apprentices, and the team at BCITO, New Zealand’s largest provider of construction trade apprenticeships, is working hard to ensure great apprentices are joining the workforce. BCITO has been rolling out creative and targeted initiatives to encourage career-seekers to join the industry, including this year’s Not Your Average Shed, Big Construction Tour, and Build-Ability Challenge initiatives.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE SHED BCITO showcased the efforts of eight building and construction apprentices as they built their interpretation of a classic Kiwi shed at Auckland’s Sylvia Park shopping centre from March to May.

BIG CONSTRUCTION TOUR This took place in July, involving more than 1,000 high school students from 127 schools nationwide and giving interested students a close-up look at career opportunities within the construction industry.

THE BUILD-ABILITY CHALLENGE This competition ran from June to September and involved high school students from 19 schools around the country, challenging them to design and build a playhouse to be donated to a local community group. The project also incorporated Building and Construction and Allied Trades unit standards, spearheading BCITO’s relationship with schools and opening a pipeline from schools to trades. M I T R E 10

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Clockwise from top: Not Your Average Shed apprentices; students on-site at the Big Construction Tour; the winning team from the Build-Ability Challenge.

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STRATEGIC THINKING TAKING ON AN APPRENTICE

To find out more about these initiatives and how they’ll improve industry labour shortages, we spoke to BCITO Chief Executive Warwick Quinn. What results have you seen from your initiatives? “We’ve seen a great response in careerseeker enquiries, and we now have more than 10,000 apprentices actively working towards qualifications in the industry. This is an extremely important milestone, but we need even more if we want to meet the current and future building boom. “Our career-seeker audience includes school leavers, their influencers (parents, teachers, and other mentors), and those looking for a change of career. Including their influencers, we know that there’s a total of one million Kiwis who are interested in what to do next after secondary school. “We’re confident our initiatives are helping to change perceptions about the trades. We’re continuing to reposition the construction industry as an excellent career opportunity and attract eager, motivated people into BCITO trades.” Is enough being done to address the shortage of apprentices in this industry? “To meet demand for new houses and other builds, the construction sector needs an extra 64,000 workers by 2020. We are making positive inroads, but still need to increase our apprentice numbers to meet demand and retain the capacity and capability of our sector. “Our main message to tradies concerned about the industry labour shortage is to get on board with training within your business. To be an apprentice, you first need to be employed in the industry, and we all need to work together to give young people a chance at a successful career and a great life. “Any builders who are looking for assistance in finding a suitable apprentice should consider contacting their local secondary school and becoming involved with the Gateway Programme [see sidebar}. They can also contact BCITO directly – we operate a dedicated job matching service and may know of suitable candidates in their region who are looking to join the industry.”

From left: Scott Fisher, 10,000th apprentice; Warwick Quinn, BCITO Chief Executive; Niall O’Neill, AJ Saville Builders.

What’s the best advice you’d give to a tradie to maximise the benefits of taking on an apprentice? “When you have oversight into the training of your workers, you can understand their strengths and areas for development. “Take them under your wing and help them to be the best they can be. Give them opportunities to learn new tasks, and work closely with your BCITO Training Advisor so they can progress efficiently through their apprenticeship. They’ll become valuable, qualified workers in no time at all, and you’ll also find it very rewarding.” Similarly, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone starting an apprenticeship? “Always turn up on time, give it all you’ve got, and make the most of every opportunity while at work. Try to learn something new every day and stay on track with assessments, and you’ll be a qualified professional and a great asset to any business.” To find out more about BCITO’s initiatives or to learn about taking on or becoming an apprentice, visit bcito.org.nz 23

Warwick Quinn, BCITO Chief Executive, says that “productivity is higher, reworks happen less often, and site management and quality control are improved” when you have people in training. Working with an apprentice allows you to teach them according to the standards of your business. That means you can develop a high level of consistent craftsmanship and have confidence in the skill of your workers. Taking on an apprentice helps you to give back to your industry. “You were an apprentice once; someone gave you the opportunity to gain the skills of your trade,” says Warwick. “To make sure the industry has enough qualified professionals to be sustainable, we need skilled and willing employers to help shape the next generation of qualified professionals.”

BECOMING A GATEWAY EMPLOYER Gateway is a work placement initiative for senior secondary school students funded by the Tertiary Education Commission – more than 340 New Zealand schools currently participate. Becoming a BCITO Gateway employer gives prospective apprentices still at school a glimpse into the industry and allows you to evaluate potential new employees and see whether they’ll fit within your business. Get enthusiastic, onsite help at regular intervals (one to two days per week during the school terms), and offer students some extra work experience in school holidays. To become a BCITO Gateway employer, contact your local BCITO skills broker to ask about the specific carpentry Gateway package, or visit bcito.org.nz.

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KEEPING YOUR TOOLS SAFE

Take preventative measures to protect your best assets, as theft can cause costly delays.

ACCORDING TO BUILTIN Insurance, tool theft has been on the rise around the country, and this has resulted in a substantial increase in insurance claims. Builtin urges all tradies to take extra precautions while onsite and to ensure tools are securely locked away at night, ideally out of sight from the road.

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As well as tools being stolen from vehicles and sheds, Auckland police say they have seen a rise in vehicle theft. There is no particular trend in the types of vehicles being stolen, but many tradie vans are being targeted.

INSURING YOUR TOOLS AND MAKING A CLAIM

Keep your asset register up to date To make a claim under a tools and In Wellington, police have warned equipment (also known as mobile assets) contractors and tradespeople to secure policy, you need to prove your loss. Make valuable tools and equipment after sure your tools/asset register includes an an increase in thefts targeting item description, model number, serial construction sites and work number, date of purchase, and purchase vehicles across the region. price. It’s also a good idea to keep invoices/ In the Wellington region, there were 96 receipts and photos of all insured items. reported cases of vehicles being broken into between April and July 2016. The Only your tools and equipment majority involved “trade professional” are covered type vehicles such as utes, 4WDs, and A policy covers tools owned by the insured small-medium sized vans. entity (e.g. the company). It does not cover Between May and July 2016, there tools owned by subcontractors on a site were also 49 reported cases of burglary – they need to organise their own insurance. where mainly tools were targeted from Employees may both homes have cover under and commercial A POLICY COVERS TOOLS their own contents building sites. OWNED BY THE INSURED insurance in some In Auckland, police ENTITY. IT DOES NOT cases and also under arrested a “prolific COVER TOOLS OWNED the terms of some property crime BY SUBCONTRACTORS employment contracts. offender” earlier in ON A SITE – THEY NEED If you employ staff and the year, after seizing TO ORGANISE THEIR contractors, make sure a large amount of OWN INSURANCE. they understand this. stolen property, If you are an employee, check your contract including several thousand dollars and/or contents policy to find out. worth of trade and electrical tools. Builtin has also heard from Auckland Indemnity/market value vs builders who have had tools stolen from replacement value cover the back of work utes by people just Indemnity or market value polices will walking past, even though they have only pay what the tool is worth when the only stepped away for a few minutes claim is made. While the premium can be to ferry materials and other equipment cheaper, it means that for a five-year-old into the property.

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item you’ll only receive what the insurer considers it to be worth at the time of loss. On the other hand, replacement value cover will replace any item (that can’t be repaired) for new, irrespective of its age or condition. The sum insured must be the replacement value of your tools. Beware, as some policies that claim to be for replacement value will revert to market value on items more than a few years old, so check the fine print. Theft in the open air vs forced entry (burglary) Tools and mobile assets policies make a distinction between theft and burglary.


STOP THIEF

MAKING IT HARDER FOR TOOL THIEVES ■■

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Theft is generally considered to be when an item is stolen “in the open air”; that is, without any sign of forced entry. So, it would be considered theft if tools were stolen from an unlocked van, but deemed burglary if locked doors were forced to gain entry. The same applies to tools stolen from onsite or other types of storage. Some policies may include burglary but not theft in the open air. Even if your policy does include theft in the open air, theft excesses can differ. It’s common to see a $1,000 excess for burglary, but $2,500 for theft. You can find policies with options for lower burglary excesses, and specialist insurers may also offer a $1,000 excess for theft.

IN A NUTSHELL Having your tools stolen can be a massive inconvenience, cause delays, and cost money. Taking preventative measures, keeping good records, and having the right insurance cover will ensure that if something does happen, you can be back to work quickly and not be out of pocket.

Builtin Insurance is a specialist in insurance and guarantees for builders and trade professionals. For more information visit builtin.co.nz or contact Ben Rickard at ben@builtin.co.nz or 0800 BUILTIN 25

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Police urge builders, project managers, and contractors to be vigilant and take steps to reduce the opportunity for offenders to target construction sites. Security around construction sites is essential. Fencing acts as a deterrent, but good locks are important too. Police advise any company with valuable tools and equipment to make sure they are not left in unattended vehicles that aren’t kept in secure premises overnight and at weekends. This extends to construction sites, where owners and contractors are encouraged to assess the risks of leaving valuable equipment and tools at vulnerable sites. At a minimum, make sure keys are removed and vehicles locked. Where possible, vehicles that contain tools should be garaged or parked off the roadside and alarmed. If you have a container onsite where you store tools, this should be fitted with a heavy-duty, lockboxstyle steel cover to prevent the padlock being cut. Portable alarms are also recommended for onsite storage containers. Police recommend people record serial numbers of tools or engrave them, which makes it easier to recover them under search warrants or at secondhand dealers and to prosecute offenders.

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BEAT THE BURNO

Five tips for running a profitable business without running yourself into the ground.

BEING YOUR OWN boss and running your own business is definitely harder than it looks. Of all the small business start-ups in New Zealand in 2010, only 50% were still standing after four years. However, a lot of businesses are succeeding, especially in the trades. To help your business stay among them, we asked our friends at RightWay for some advice.

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DELEGATE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT

You’ll end up working yourself into the ground if you don’t let others share the load – just ensure they uphold the same expectation for the final product as you do. Be sure to let your employees handle their own projects where possible and gain opportunities to learn from trial and error. This will help them to develop 26

faster, which will add new skills and value to your business. This advice still applies for those who run a one-person operation – don’t be afraid to ask for help on a job, bring on some temporary assistance, or even train a BCITO Gateway student to get some extra onsite help (page 23). It’s a good way to get some low-cost, part-time support that has the added benefit of giving back to your industry by helping to train the next generation of tradies.


PLAN TO SUCCEED Financial administrative tasks are best done online as well. Using online accounting software such as Xero or MYOB not only keeps everything in order and up-to-date, but also gives you a snapshot of your business at the touch of a button, whenever you need it.

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STAY UP-TO-DATE AND GET SUPPORT

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SAVE TIME ONLINE

Administrative tasks can be painstakingly time-consuming, eating away at precious time that is better spent onsite or growing your business. But in the digital age, that really doesn’t have to be the case. Online portals like the Mitre 10 Trade Hub help to automate processes like quoting for jobs – simplifying both pricing and invoicing, giving you a faster client response and more time to devote elsewhere.

An example of this could be incorporating sustainable practice that follows global and national trends. Home owners are increasingly concerned about having sustainable homes which are healthier, more efficient, and warmer to live in. Developing the knowledge and skills to create sustainable features on a build, both big and small, adds greater value of service for clients, and it also could help to differentiate you from competitors.

There are great support resources for tradies to take advantage of. Whether through a professional association or from industry or BE KIND TO YOUR government organisations, it’s never been CLIENTS AND easier to get advice, stay up-to-date with YOURSELF the latest industry developments, and learn One of the best ways best practice. A lot of information can be to gain work is still through found online and it’s useful to sign up to word-of-mouth. Clients will refer you to e-newsletters and industry publications others based on the quality of your work, as well, to make sure you’re updated when but also based on your friendliness and new developments occur. ease of interaction. A recent industry Creating a network to support your survey pointed to clarity of communication business will also help your day-to-day and the ability to receive client input and operations. Taking advantage of business feedback as key features in a positive and accounting advisory services allows client-tradie relationship. you to act confidently when making Don’t forget to be kind to yourself decisions, knowing as well. Manage that you're backed the expectations IT’S ALL TOO EASY TO LET up by the right of both clients THE JOB EAT INTO YOUR information and and coworkers PERSONAL TIME BY WORKING so that everyone expert advice. EVERY AVAILABLE MOMENT Attending has a clear idea OF THE DAY, TAKING AWAY conferences and of what is realistic TIME THAT COULD BE SPENT seminars is a good and when they can WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS way to stay upexpect work to be AND ALSO NEGATIVELY to-date with best completed. It’s all AFFECTING YOUR HEALTH. practice, and also too easy to let the a great opportunity job eat into your to network. personal time by working every available Creating mentorships and collaborating moment of the day, taking away time that with other tradies not only strengthens could be spent with family or friends, and your business, but also generates more also negatively affecting your health. Our opportunities for referrals. advice is to remember that doing what’s best for you is also what’s best for the business. The two are linked, and neither KEEP THINKING OF should be prioritised at the expense of THE BIG PICTURE It’s easy to get bogged down the other. in the daily tasks of each job, but every so often you This article was brought to you by should think about where the industry is RightWay – providing financial and heading and how you want your business business insight to help your business to evolve. There are always new ways to succeed. For more information go to get the job done faster or better, and there rightway.co.nz are deliberate steps you can take to help shape your business and the service you [This article is based on a post that first appeared offer clients. on the RightWay blog on 18 August 2016.]

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EVASIVE ACTION

THE THREE DEADLY BUSINESS SINS

Avoid common traps for new businesses with these simple tips.

IF YOU’RE IN the process of starting your own business, or early stages of its growth, there are pitfalls you need to avoid. Andy Burrows, the Trades Coach, explains three of the worst traps below and gives some useful tips to avoid them.

THE THREE SINS 1) FAILURE TO RESEARCH AND PLAN Doing research, knowing your customer base, and making a comprehensive plan seems obvious, but it is often something that new businesses overlook.

2) UNDERCAPITALISATION Every new business owner needs accurate information so you can be realistic about how much working capital your business needs to stay solvent. Fail to do this and the business won’t last long.

3) POOR MANAGEMENT

to potential clients and learn what motivates them, their fears and hopes, and how you can best address them. Use that knowledge to show each client why they should choose you. Place: Your business’s location and segment in the market. Learn from your competitors – watch what they do. At times be prepared to do the opposite and find your own niche in the market. Positioning: How do you stack up to your competitors, and what makes you different? If you’re up against competitors who are bigger and more experienced than you, then explain to the client what makes you better suited for this particular job. Your unique selling proposition or

It’s essential to establish bookkeeping, record-keeping, and reporting systems that give you the timely information it takes to run your business. Not knowing how to set them up and failing to ask for help can be a deadly combo for a business.

HOW TO SET THINGS UP SO THAT YOU STAY ON TOP KNOW YOUR BUSINESS A good place to start is with the “P3” formula – it will help you focus on the things that will make a difference. People: Know your client base. Listen M I T R E 10

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“USP” can be anything, as long as it adds value to the client that your competitors aren’t offering.

KNOW YOUR NUMBERS Make sure you can answer the following questions, and if not, then find the help you need to stay on top of them. What is your magic gross profit percent figure you need to hit on average with your projects to survive? How much working capital do you need to have to stay solvent? What markups do you need to generate your required profit? Can you run regular (at least monthly) financial reports, and can you understand the basics?

MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT Set your path after you’ve done the research. One-page plans are fine, but write it down and regularly review it. Want some more help with your young business? Visit The Trades Coach Academy at tradescoachacademy.co.nz and sign up for the free video series.


WELL AND GOOD

THE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL HEALTH AND SAFETY TOOLKIT WorkSafe New Zealand is making it easier for businesses, tradies, and construction workers to stay on top of health and safety.

WORKSAFE HAS SPREAD the message that health and safety is everyone’s responsibility, and that we all have a part to play in making sure every person goes home safe and well at the end of the day. But it starts at the top – and, to assist tradies and small businesses with their health and safety obligations, WorkSafe has created the Absolutely Essential Health and Safety Toolkit for Small Construction Sites. It’s a starter course in the basics of good health and safety practice; a useful guide that you can keep in your vehicle or onsite. The toolkit is broken down into a number of sections, including general management, working at height, hazardous substances, personal protection, and how to handle emergency situations. At its heart, a lot of good health and safety practice boils down to sound planning. When you are managing a building project, ask yourself these fundamental questions: ■■ Are you giving enough time to planning, organising and controlling your work? ■■ Are you checking what actually happens and stopping dangerous practices? ■■ Do you have someone to turn to for health and safety advice? ■■ Do you take pride in your standards? ■■ Do you think about health risks as well as safety risks (it may help to think of them as “slow-acting accidents”)?

These five simple questions are a great place to start if you want to check whether your business is taking health and safety seriously enough. Don’t just ask them once – ask them again and again. There’s a lot more practical advice in the Absolutely Essential Health and Safety Toolkit for Small Construction Sites, 29

which you can pick up at your local Mitre 10 or Mitre 10 MEGA, and is available at construction.worksafe. govt.nz (where you can also sign up for WorkSafe’s Construction newsletter). Please note: This toolkit is a guide only and does not cover legal requirements. M I T R E 10

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THESE FOUR WALLS

NZCB clients have access to a range of architectural plans designed specifically for Kiwi lifestyles.

CERTIFIED PLANS IS a service from New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) that allows its members to give greater value to their new home clients. It does this through access to a range of high-quality pre-drawn architectural plans that remove the need for an architect to be actively involved and allow for direct builder and client interaction. The service offers a range of house plans – first released by NZCB in 2014 – that has now been updated to include 32 designs catering for all housing needs and lifestyles, and continues to be popular with both NZCB’s membership and the general public. NZCB Chief Executive Grant Florence says that the direct client-builder interaction generated by the Certified Plans service is a key benefit for tradies, as surveys show that most builders gain work from their reputation and from word-of-mouth referral by satisfied customers. The range of Certified Plans, which can only be offered to clients by Certified Builders, has exceeded NZCB’s expectations, and Grant says they are a great way to support members in creating positive client-builder interactions that generate referrals and gain new work. “A BRANZ report, based on a new house owners’ satisfaction survey in 2015, showed that new owners are more satisfied with their house and builder if they have had input into the design and build process of the house,” says Grant. “This confirms anecdotal feedback that many clients want to deal directly with their builder, rather than a sales agent, for example, so they can communicate regularly, have input into design, and easily address any issues. “Certified Plans is a response to that, allowing clients to deal directly with their builder, creating greater trust and confidence in the relationship as well as having the potential to deliver cost M I T R E 10

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EFFICIENT AND ACCURATE FROM START TO FINISH “We teamed up with Mitre 10 Hokitika for the build of the Ponga Certified Plan, and we are over the moon with the final finish –and so are the new home owners. Not only did the pre-drawn plan make the build process a breeze, but so did the exceptional service we received from Mitre 10, time and time again – they never dropped the ball. Mitre10’s quote turnaround time made our job easy, without needing any chase-up calls. The pricing and quantities supplied for the Ponga Plan were perfectly accurate. The timely delivery of materials and pre-cut frames and trusses meant productivity for our team was consistent and we had minimal hold ups – keeping both the boss and the client happy. Thanks, Mitre 10 – top job!” ~ Hayden Simpson, Simpson Residential Ltd

savings for them.” The range of Certified Plans was developed in conjunction with design professionals as well as an advisory group of Certified Builders from across New Zealand. Grant says gaining builder input from around the country was important, as housing markets in different regions of New Zealand have distinct needs, and this 30

ensured that the designs were suitable for home owners nationwide. “The plans have been specifically designed for the New Zealand lifestyle and conditions, including coastal, rural, and urban areas,” says Grant. “This has given Certified Plans both a local regional perspective as well as resulting in very buildable homes that look great.”


KIWI BY DESIGN

KNOWLEDGEABLE SERVICE “Mitre 10 MEGA Tauranga has been our main supplier for over three years. They have competitive pricing and excellent service, with a knowledgeable team in the Trade sections, working with our Certified Plans. Our clients appreciate Mitre 10’s knowledgeable staff when selecting their bathroomware, kitchen, tiles, lighting, and paint colours – all under the one roof.” ~ Zach Jeffries, ZJ Builders Ltd

“For example, in the rural range, we’ve included an area in some plans so that farmers can come inside and take their gumboots off without needing to trek mud through the house,” says Grant. “It’s little details such as this that make the difference”. Each plan is a template which can be customised to a certain degree, allowing builders to meet each client’s specific needs,

although Grant points out that many plans are built as-is, indicating that the association has hit the nail on the head when it comes to the designs. “When you combine NZCB’s Halo 10-year residential guarantee with the solid template a Certified Plan provides, as well as direct interaction with builders, input into the design, and potential cost savings, the 31

whole package is very compelling for clients.” Mitre 10 has worked with NZCB to produce schedules of quantities derived from the Certified Plans range in a format ready for the Mitre 10 Trade Hub website, saving additional time for both builders and their clients. NZCB members who have subscribed to Certified Plans can get access to these schedules by contacting their local Mitre 10 Trade team. To view NZCB’s extensive range of plans, visit certifiedplans.co.nz and for more detailed information, contact info@certifiedplans.co.nz New Zealand Certified Builders is the country’s largest association of trade-qualified builders in terms of membership, and approximately one-third of all builders in New Zealand are members of NZCB. M I T R E 10

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TRAINING: TAKE YOUR TIME AND GET IT RIGHT

Research your options before entering into an apprenticeship to create the best foundations for a successful long-term alliance.

WE CAUGHT UP with Industry Training Association Building (ITAB) Development Manager Nick Matthews to chat about apprenticeships and get his advice for employers and apprentices. What would you say to employers and apprentices who are looking to get the best value from apprenticeship? ■■ Just as it’s important for apprentices to find the type of building they want to do, it’s also important that they find M I T R E 10

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an employer they connect and enjoy working with – and vice-versa. A good cultural fit provides the ideal environment for apprentices to follow guidance and learn from experience, and ensures employers will be training someone who could be a long-term asset to their business. Talk about what assistance can be offered to help the apprentice achieve their trade qualification. There are a range of options, from providing a higher rate when milestone benefits are reached, to offering a tool allowance. Whatever is decided should be negotiated in the apprentice’s 32

employment contract. Apprentices shouldn’t be in a rush (and shouldn’t be pressured) to get qualified as soon as possible. Coming out of the time-served component of an apprenticeship too soon could mean the apprentice misses out on developing important industry skills and knowledge – and ultimately providing less long-term value to their employer.

What is your advice to anyone who is considering a carpentry apprenticeship or encouraging someone else to do one? ■■ Prospective apprentices should always do their homework, talk to apprentices/ builders, and find out if a career in the building industry is right for them. They need to be physically fit and motivated to learn as they work. ■■ Onsite experience will provide valuable insight into the industry and its daily routines, which will allow for a more informed decision prior to launching into an apprenticeship. ■■ When seeking an apprentice or an apprenticeship, both employers and prospective apprentices should take their time to explore the variety of options available and find the “right fit” for them and their career or business. ■■ Prospective apprentices should consider what team dynamic and work environment will work best for them, as it can vary greatly between each organisation/type of construction, and they should also consider working hours, workloads, and future career pathways. Started in 2002 by New Zealand Certified Builders, ITAB gives apprentices and employers an alternative to other larger apprenticeship providers and offers the traditional four-year time-served apprenticeship by combining it with polytechnic-based learning. Practical components that happen on the building site are backed up by theoretical knowledge learned on-campus. For more information on ITAB and their apprenticeship programme, visit itab.co.nz


IN THE BEGINNING

STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE EXPAT FRENCHMAN CLÉMENT Richer recently wowed the judges at the 2016 Carpentry Apprentice Challenge with not only his industry skills and knowledge, but also his impressive pronunciation of “20mm cavity battens”. The Carpentry Apprentice Challenge is a national competition where apprentices from throughout New Zealand compete to win more than $15,000 worth of prizes, including trade quality tools and an Outward Bound scholarship. Clément counted himself fortunate to even progress to the national final, let alone win, saying that the quality of his fellow competitors was impressively high. “The Challenge was tough and it would have been hard to pick a clear favourite. All the finalists were quality apprentices, sharing the same passion for building with, no doubt, a bright future in this industry.” Before progressing to the finals, the apprentices’ technical skills were tested during a regional event, where they were tasked with building a children’s playhouse to set specifications within an eight-hour time frame. The 11 regional winners then attended the finals, held at the 2016 NZCB National Conference, which involved a panel interview and presentation to test both their theoretical knowledge of carpentry and their communication skills.

GRANT FLORENCE ON THE CARPENTRY APPRENTICE CHALLENGE

“The whole competition really tested my ability to think under pressure while competing against the best of my peers,” says Clément. “Beyond the challenge itself, one of the things I valued most was the opportunity to interact with the other apprentices, building practitioners, and industry partners who attended the NZCB conference. “It was an invaluable experience and, as far as I’m concerned, I got the chance to meet and compete against 10 great men who are a credit to the apprenticeship programme; the industry will thrive with builders of this calibre.”

“As the only building trade association that requires trade qualification for membership, a major focus for NZCB is fostering more quality apprentices. “This is one of the reasons why we run our Carpentry Apprentice Challenge, as well as to recognise the talent coming up in the industry – and I’m not just talking about young talent. “The age of our Challenge finalists in 2016 ranged from 19 to 41 years, and half of them were over the age of 25. There’s a growing number of people who are seeing building as an attractive career path and retraining later in life, which is great.” ~ Grant Florence, NZCB Chief Executive

The Carpentry Apprentice Challenge is run by New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) and the Industry Training Association Building (ITAB), in conjunction with industry training providers across New Zealand.

TOM WALSH: TRAINING TO WIN Recently qualified carpenter and New Zealand Olympic medallist Tom Walsh is a former ITAB apprentice. While completing his industry training, it was important to Tom that ITAB lessons be tailored to suit each apprentice’s learning

needs and were supported by the additional resources of the polytechnic environment. “The [apprenticeship] programme was flexible enough to allow me to compete at the highest levels of my sport while still gaining my

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qualifications,” says Tom. “My tutors were all trade qualified carpenters who had a teaching qualification, and it was important to know I was getting taught by individuals with experience in both areas.”

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OFF-SITE HIGHLIGHTS

What a year! Throughout 2016, Mitre 10 Trade teams across the country have hosted their customers and key suppliers at memorable events to thank them for their ongoing support. These events continue to be an important part of Mitre 10 Trade’s culture. We hope to see you all again in 2017.

BLEDISLOE CUP SYDNEY 2016 Taking our largest group yet, the highly anticipated annual Bledisloe Cup trip to Sydney in August was a massive weekend for many Mitre 10 Trade customers, key trade suppliers, and the national trade team. A great mix of organised activities,

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including a sailing regatta on Sydney Harbour, an ambrose golf tournament, and plenty of free time was the perfect build-up to the main event – the clash of the All Blacks and the Wallabies, with the positive result topping off the weekend.

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TRADE TREATS LOCAL RUGBY HOSTING 2016 has brought some great rugby events throughout New Zealand. Mitre 10 Trade teams made the most of this opportunity, taking customers to the All Blacks vs Wales matches in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin, as well as to the Auckland Bledisloe Cup fixture, among other international matches. The Mitre 10 Cup has also proved popular, with each region passionately backing their team.

MITRE 10 TRADE RACING Hot lap events are an action-packed, adrenalin-filled day out and provide Mitre 10 Trade teams the opportunity to host more than 500 customers for a fun, high-speed spin in a V8 racing ute. Customers can try out their own driving skills with New Zealand’s fastest electric go-karts and compete against each other at the laser clay bird shooting. Customers were also invited to cheer on the Mitre 10 Trade Racing V8 ute at the race meets.

HIGHLANDS 101 Mitre 10 Trade hosted 250 South Island customers at the annual Highlands 101 in the exclusive Mitre 10 Trade marquee. Customers were treated to some worldclass motor racing, including a modern take on the renowned Le Mans running start, rounding up another great day out.

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THE NEW MITRE 10 TRADE HUB. EASIER, FASTER, BETTER.

Do business easier on the go with the new and improved Mitre 10 Trade Hub. • Instant access to your pricing • Create estimates faster • Thousands of products to use at your fingertips • Manage your account online • Easier to use from your mobile and tablet Whether you’re online, in the office or on location, Mitre 10 has got you covered. Contact your Trade Account Manager for a demo.

Visit mitre10.co.nz/trade

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Mitre 10 Trade Quarterly - Summer 2016-17  

Mitre 10 Trade Quarterly - Summer 2016-17  

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