Buisness World Magazine - Edition 6 - Vol 1 Articlie Releaded on the 15th Feb 2016

Feb 11, 2016 | Brett Highlands | permalink

NorthWest Builders – Broome's Finest

NorthWest Builders is a multiple award-winning residential contractor based out of the scenic coastal town of Broome, in the North West region of Western Australia. The company is highly regarded for building creative, high-quality homes that complement the region's natural beauty – and they are known for doing it at an affordable price, with most of their custom house and land packages selling for under $550,000. The local market has responded favourably to this offering, as NorthWest Builders is fast becoming Broome's top choice for dwellings in their price range.

The company hit the ground running when it was founded by Brett and Sarah Highlands just over two years ago. Brett, a licensed builder with a diploma in Building and Construction and 17 years of industry experience in the Broome market, covers the construction-side of the business. Sarah, a former local real estate agent, brings her own industry experience to the table from her time working with a large building company. Today, she covers the business's "behind the scenes" operations. She also has a penchant for visual creativity and is working towards a diploma in Interior Design and Decoration.

On the strength of the Highlands' complementary skill-sets and their shared passion for building custom homes, NorthWest Builders was able to earn four industry awards for the first house they ever built. The awards include Custom Built Home Up to $500,000, Custom Built Home of the Year and North West Home of the Year at the 2015 HIA North West Housing Awards, as well as Excellence in Cabinet Making at the 2015 MBA Kimberley/Pilbara Building Excellence Awards.

Sarah recalls the experience of winning the awards so early into the company's existence, which caught the pair off guard considering the level of competition at the regional level.

"We were absolutely gobsmacked when we won the MBA award, but to then take home all the awards from the HIA – it really boosted the morale and confidence of the company," she says. "Those awards showed that while NorthWest Builders might be the new name in town, we're certainly capable of building quality homes."

Brett is quick to share credit for the project's award success with his team of highly skilled subcontractors. According to him, his many years working in the Broome building industry afforded him the luxury of being able to handpick some of the best tradesmen the region had to offer, which has been quintessential to achieving the high-quality results the company is known for.

"Having worked in Broome for the last 17 years, I've developed not only partnerships, but friendships with subcontractors who I would recognise as being the best quality tradesmen available," he says.

As the site supervisor, Brett personally oversees the team to ensure each project runs smoothly. This position also allows him to maintain a hands-on role, which gives clients the peace of mind of knowing that they're dealing directly with ownership at every stage of the building process.

"Clients can rest assured knowing that I'm the one out there applying my skills as a builder and putting my name on the jobsite."

Moreover, those clients benefit from NorthWest Builders' commitment to designing homes that suit the client's unique and individual lifestyles. The company employs an experienced local draftsman who works closely with clients to help them create a home that delivers everything they're looking for – within their budget. Sarah also uses her expertise in interior design and decoration to take their designs to the next level.

NorthWest Builders' ability to design and build homes that get the most out of their clients' budgets has already garnered plenty of positive feedback for the young, up-and-coming company. In addition to seeing a steady increase in the number of referrals coming their way, the company also regularly earns rave reviews from ecstatic clients who are delighted by the quality of service and workmanship they received from beginning to end.

"After meeting Brett and Sarah Highlands of NorthWest Builders, my husband and I were confident and happy to build our new dwelling with them," said one client via customer testimonial. "We have built three homes previously and were impressed with Brett's easy going but quietly confident style. We can say it was a very pleasant experience, with not one problem an absolute dream run and a very high quality home which was finished on time."

"All in all we were extremely happy with the beautiful home Brett has built for us," the testimonial continues. "We can't recommend NorthWest Builders enough. Percy and I would like to wish them all the best in their new business and wouldn't hesitate to build with them again."

An Excellent First Impression

The first home NorthWest Builders delivered as a company – which netted them four major industry awards in the process – was built on a narrow 330-square-metre block of land in Cable Beach, a suburb of Broome.

The company didn't waste an inch of land in building the property, which is described as "a modern Coastal Pod home that brings the outside world in to the living space." The home's efficient design makes the most of the limited land space, fitting three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a powder room, an external laundry room and an alfresco area onto the slim block by utilising an open floor plan. It also features a separate, self-contained pod section for visitors or tenants to stay in.

"The clients have it rented out at the moment, and the people who are staying in it absolutely love it," says Sarah.

Even more, the "beachy feel" home was built using a wide selection of high-quality materials sourced from local suppliers, such as black bamboo floor coverings throughout the main house, light oak vinyl plank flooring in the main suite and acrylic benchtops in the kitchen.

Externally, the home features colour bond steel walls along with rendered parapet and block fencing walls, timber decking throughout the outdoor entertainment areas as well as surrounding the home, and western red cedar that was used to finish the property's external ceilings.

NorthWest Builders skilfully tied all those elements together to deliver a multiple award-winning home on their first kick at the can as a newly-formed company. Moving forward, they will have plenty more opportunities to add to their awards collection as word of their masterful offering spreads throughout Broome.

"Without the confidence of the people of Broome, we wouldn't be where we are today," Sarah declares.

As the company continues to grow in both size and prestige, both Brett and Sarah remain committed to keeping the business family-owned and operated, ensuring clients receive "that personal touch" every time they work with NorthWest Builders. To that end, the pair is hopeful that their three children will become interested in joining the family enterprise when the opportunity presents itself.

"It would be amazing to get them into the industry and grow with the business," Sarah concludes.