Feature Business – Riverstone Custom Homes

Our Feature Business of the Month is Riverstone Custom Homes. We spoke with Director, Tim Marshall, about Riverstone and the differences that set this family business apart.

Q. How long has Riverstone Custom Homes been operating? 
Tim: We have been in business since 1995. The company was started by Paul Marshall (my father) and Mark Stratfold who shared a passion for building high-end custom residential homes. This is still the core part of our business and something we are still very passionate about today.

Q. Why did you choose the home building industry?
Tim: I started working in the business part time while attending university and I found I enjoyed building more than what I was studying. I switched courses to do my Diploma in building and my pathway was set. Working in the family business was something I valued.

Q. What type of home build do you specialise in? What are you known for? 
Tim: In the early years we were known for limestone homes. This was beneficial early on as it was unique and got us noticed. However, it limited us in the market, so we made a conscious effort to expand our portfolio. Now we are known for a variety of styles but all high quality custom homes.

Q. Who is your typical customer?
Tim: Someone who wants a custom designed home rather than an ‘off the shelf product’. They appreciate quality both in materials and workmanship, and have an appreciation for good interior architecture.

Q. How many days a week do you work in a typical week?
Tim: We try to keep work Monday to Friday but work hard during the working week so we can have our weekends free. However, 10-12 hour days are not uncommon. We appreciate our weekends and family time. If work is needed to be done on the weekend, we know our team will pitch in and we value this greatly.

Q. What has been your favourite build so far and why? 
Tim: Very hard to narrow down over a long period of time! But our current display home in Cottesloe was a great project to work on. We partnered with an investor who gave us complete control over the design and finishes.
 [You can see the ‘Lennox Beach‘ here and pictured at the end of this article.]

Q. How long have you been a client of Versatile?
Tim: Our relationship, I believe, is over 10 years. We have valued the service we have received from Versatile, initially from Zarko who was one the best operators we have ever worked with, and now with the next generation who are carrying on his great work.

Q. What top 5 Versatile products will we always see on your orders?
Tim: Not specific products but all our brick hardware, fixing hardware, doors, mouldings and shelving.

Q. You’ve been a wonderful loyal customer to Versatile. What makes you return time and time again?
Tim: Hands down the service and relationship our team has with Versatile. Both businesses have a mutual understanding on how each other works and it is a good match.

Q. Where do you hope to be in 10 years’ time?
Tim: Continuing to build high quality homes! We have never strayed too far from our core business and it has served us well. We hope to be afforded the opportunity to continue to do this.

Q. Do you have any advice for the new builders just starting out?
Tim: Be passionate with what you do and understand all that is required of you as a builder. It is a lot of responsibility to take on and I am not sure everyone starting out appreciates this (I know I didn’t). Grow gradually – ideally take on 1 or 2 jobs to work out if they are profitable, and adjust to suit as you go on. And have a good system for tracking costs.

Words of wisdom from Tim indeed! Thank you for being our June Feature Business of the Month, Tim. See more of Riverstone via the website www.riverstone.com.au

Feature Business – CJ Carpentry

Off-the-bat for our first ever Feature Business of the Month is CJ Carpentry! We chatted to CJ about his long-running and successful business and why he continues to be a loyal Versatile client.

Q. How long have you been in business?
CJ:
 I’ve been running my carpentry business for the last 18 years. I started the business in the UK and then transitioned it into Australia when I arrived at the end of 2012.

Q. Why did you choose carpentry as a profession?
CJ: 
Carpentry was a profession I fell into, assisting my brother in-law with a job he secured when he started up his construction company, I took a couple of weeks holiday from my sales job to help him out. Those two weeks changed my entire outlook on life and my career, I enrolled in night school and for the next 3 years spent every Wed/Thurs night 6-10pm studying to become a carpenter/joiner.

Q. What area of carpentry is your speciality?
CJ: 
Our business services all aspects of carpentry/joinery, high-end residential works. We became the Hamptons “go to” carpenters for achieving an authentic look. We also have a joinery shop which allows us to manufacture items off site for installation on site. We have also been known to (when space permits) set up an on site joinery shop to manufacture large scale custom joinery items such as doors/windows.

Q. Who is your typical customer?
CJ: 
Our client base varies. We carry out works for architects/builders and the general public.

Q. How many days a week do you work in a typical week?
CJ:
 Too many… 6 days generally!

Q. What has been your favourite job so far and why?
CJ: 
There have been so many over the years like working on the Royal Shakespeare in the UK, heritage listed projects both in the UK and Australia and luxury Hamptons homes. But our most recent project is up there as one of my favourites. It was a new build combining a luxury crossover between modern Farmhouse & Hamptons chic to deliver a family home. It allowed us to working closely with the designer and home owners to ensure their home was both authentic and liveable. Demonstrating our ability to work off plans, from an idea in the form of a simple sketch and drawing on our skills and knowledge of various products to hit the brief. We undertook all the carpentry for the project including doors, architraves, skirting blocks, verandah lining, joinery work, creating authentic wainscoting with fixed panels to create visual depth at the wall, and 4 pairs of garage doors custom made on site with each pair scribed to their individual openings measuring 2.6m wide and 2.8m tall with an arched opening!

Q. How long have you been a client of Versatile?
CJ: 
We’ve been using Versatile for the last 5 years after being introduced to my sadly now late but great and infamous friend Zarko through one of my high- end residential builders.

Q. What top 5 Versatile products will we always see on your supplies orders?

CJ:

1) Sika11FC – because fixing your work is important!

2) Friulsider Nylon anchors – especially when securing into hollow bricks.

3) Design Pine – an extremely durable, hard wearing timber which is H3 treated, it’s perfect for decorative and structural applications.

4) Some kind of CFC sheeting or another.

5) Doors incl Hardware and everything in between for the installation.

Q. You’ve been a wonderful loyal customer to Versatile. What makes you return time and time again?
CJ: 
Over the last 5 years I’ve invested time to build a successful relationship with all the staff at Versatile which is built on respect, loyalty, trust and service- this is what ensures my repeat business. Nothing is too much trouble for the team at Versatile. They always strive to go above and beyond when sourcing products/items for our business and they’re consistently competitive on price to the point that even if they are slightly more expensive the level of service received far outweighs heading to a competitor. Not many companies can be called at 10am or 4pm and get you items sent out the that afternoon or next morning respectively.
You can’t put a price on that.

Q. Where do you hope to be in 10 years time?
CJ: 
Looking to the future our 10 year plan is to attain my builders license and build luxury echo timber frame homes for like minded clients.

Q. Do you have any advice for the young carpenters just starting out? CJ: Get to know your suppliers: go and introduce yourself to counter staff, delivery drivers. Find out what materials they stock and can source. Understanding their business will afford you the knowledge to grow yours. Help the delivery driver unload your material on site (you never know when you may need them to  assist you….) – trust me I’ve been saved by Frank and Kye!

Thank you CJ for being our first Feature Business of the Month! CJ is an active social media user and you can see some incredible videos and reels of his work. Check out the links below:

https://www.instagram.com/cj_carpentry/

https://m.facebook.com/CJCarpentry/

Would you like to be our Feature Business for next month? Please email marketing@vbp.com.au

Shane Howell, our Rockcote BDM & Sales Specialist WA

Shane is our Rockcote Man! He can answer any and all of your questions about Rockcote products and connect you with our Rockcote Client Account Manager, Stefan for your orders. We caught up with Shane for an in-depth look at Rockcote.

Q. Presently, what type of Perth businesses are showing the most interest in Rockcote? What is their feedback?
Shane: Currently, Rockcote is receiving an extremely warm and inviting reception from a variety of WA businesses. I am spending more and more time with Render & Texture applicators who want to support ‘Australian made’, but also want the very best products (that outperform competitors!). Once an applicator tries our products it very hard for them to go back to what they have used in the past! Quite simply this is because Rockcote costs no more, yet offers a superior finish, is easy to apply and is Australian-made. The other side of my time is with architects that, again, want to support an Australian product but also want the back-up support and warranties that Rockcote provide. In both instances the feedback is always “WOW, you were right Shane, it truly is fantastic.”

Q. Builders and tradies know there are other cement, rendering and paint brands out there, so why would they choose Rockcote?
Shane: That’s easy. Rockcote is a 100% Australian family owned and operated business spanning 40 years. Rockcote reinvests into maintaining and creating the very best products available, hence why they are the largest on the east coast and are now focused on becoming the largest in WA as well. If a builder wants the best they choose Rockcote. The great thing is, you don’t pay more to have the best  – it’s really that simple.

Q. You recently worked on a project with insta-influencer and Perth Exterior Designer, Ascher Smith, who has a following of over 33,000! Can you talk us through which products she used on her project?
Shane: Yes this is the fun part of my job! Ascher and her family are just a fantastic, fun loving bunch that enjoy creating stunning interior and exterior finishes. One of Ascher’s projects is her own home. She has chosen a few products from our range to completely change the look of her home. Covering the old brickwork is our PM100 (Polymer Modified Render) and the finish she has chosen is our stunning Smooth Set – giving her home that classic white finish that is still warm in appearance. Ask Ascher herself what she thinks of Rockcote and she’ll undoubtedly say:  “I love it!”

Q. What are the current best-sellers, and why?
Shane: That’s a hard question as we are selling more and more in each range every week. Obviously our PM100 render (being the very best available) is selling extremely well because of the different substrates on job sites. These days it’s perfect because it will not ‘craze’ and will not create efflorescence like site mix can. Another strong seller because of the easy of application and finish is our Tuscany Texture. We are finding due to Ascher Smith’s influence we are having a massive uplift in popularity of Smooth Set and Concrete Finish . These products create a stunning, smooth, decorative finish for both internal and external jobs.  Word has also gotten out regarding our Primers, which are excellent, so sales are on the up! These primers WILL block efflorescence if you choose to use site mix giving the owner or builder complete peace of mind.

Q. What is your personal favourite Rockcote product and why?
Shane:  You do ask the hard questions … how do I choose… Rockcote’s entire range including Natural Materials, I just love. However, if I had to choose it would be the very high-end Sandcote Hydratech. This is just an amazing texture that has a wonderful appearance, utilising some genius technology. Sandcote Hydratech has built-in water repellency and when applied using the Rockcote system comes with a 15 year warranty with no need for a top coat membrane. It is an absolute game changer in the texture market – and I can’t wait for word to get out about this product!

Q. What do you enjoy most about your role as our Rockcote Business Developer?
Shane: It’s just the best job in the world. Bob and Chris (Rockcote owners) are just fabulous people and everyone within the company are just amazing in their field – nothing is ever too hard and you will always get the right answer no matter what.
Every single day is different and exciting. On one day it might be dusty on-site talking with the important guys that are applying the products, then the next day you could be in meetings with designers and architects discussing what products to specify on what substrates to create that “special feel and look” for a 20 storey project.
The variety is fabulous, whether its an owner builder wanting to create a Zero VOC Home in the bush or one of our local developers creating beautiful looking multi residential units, or the applicators enjoying using great products that makes their lives easier. I enjoy it immensely.

Cheers for your time, Shane! 

Want to talk Rockcote right now? Drop Shane a line:
0436 637 089
SHowell@rockcote.com.au

Winners! Mitre 10 Trade Store of the Year 2020!

We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded the Mitre 10 Trade Store of the Year 2020.

Wow!

It has been an exceptionally tough year  so we are especially grateful and humbled to receive such an amazing commendation.

We certainly would not have won this award without the loyal support of our wonderful clients and suppliers – so thank you to you all!

Getting to know Damien Stanoevski, Account Manager

Meet Damien, one of our Versatile family Account Managers and all-round company guns! Diligent, hard-working and personable, he’s been here since birth (give or take).

1.  How long have you been with Versatile Mitre10 Trade Centre?
Damien
: Officially 8 years, unofficially 26.

2.  What does your role involve?
Damien: Managing customer accounts, overseeing Warehouse operations and general customer service

3.  What aspect of your job do you most enjoy?
Damien: I enjoy being able to come to work each day with good, down to earth co-workers who make work an enjoyable ( but sometimes stressful) place to be.

4.  Can you tell us a little about your career/work history?
Damien: Attended university but that only lasted a short time studying Geographic Sciences. From there I moved and completed a Diploma in building and furthermore since then a Diploma in Leadership + Business Management.

5.  Unsung Hero: What is one service or product that Versatile offers that most people do not really know about?
Damien: Our service itself is our best product we can offer. It’s our commitment to you to be the best store in town to ensure your jobs run on time, every time.

6.  What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Damien: Sleep on big decisions. Your pillow will do the thinking for you.

7.  A few fast facts:
Favourite sports team? Essendon Bombers.
Favourite past-time? Fishing.
Where would we most likely find you on the weekends? If the weather is good and I am not working…fishing.

8.  What are you most looking forward to in 2020 with Versatile?
Damien: Ensuring Versatile maintains its commitment to being known for great service and stocking reputable products.

9.   Anything else you would like to add?
Damien: A small thank you to all of our loyal trades, builders and customers that have supported us through the years and through the trying times that we are all currently facing. Being part of the family business makes me appreciate you all, from the smallest trades to our largest builders. Without you, the customer, we would not be where we are now, servicing the building industry for so many years now and for what I hope is many more to come. Thank you.

Great, thanks so much for your time Damien!

Getting to know Frank Rechichi, our Warehouse Manager

Frank Rechichi has been a stalwart loyal employee for over three decades here at Versatile. Frank’s seen it all, and he’s still turning up every day with a grin on his face. Onya Frank!

  1. How long have you been with Versatile Mitre10 Trade Centre? What does your role involve?Frank: 31 years, managing the warehouse and preparing orders.
  1. What part of the job do you most enjoy?
    Frank: Working with colleagues and serving customers!
  1. Tell us a little about your work history.
    Frank: I was a furniture upholsterer for 6 years prior my time at Versatile.
  1.  “Unsung Hero”: What is one service or product that Versatile offers that most people do not really know about?
    Frank: We actually have a specialised team that installs our plasterglass products (ie. Cornices, ceiling roses, fire place framing) here! (Download our information brochure here. )
  1. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
    Frank: Work hard and take pride in what you do.
  1. Who is your favourite sports team?
    Frank: West Coast Eagles.
  1. How do you like to spend your time out of work?
    Frank: Watching movies and spending time with family.
  1. Lastly, what are you most looking forward to in 2020 with Versatile?
    Frank: To have a successful year and continue serving customers.

Great, thanks so much for your time Frank!

We welcome new brand ROCKCOTE to the Versatile family!

Introducing Rockcote

Rockcote’s vision is to create the best commercial and residential render products on the market that perform superbly with all modern building substrates, under the harsh conditions of the Australian climate.

On the east coast, Rockcote has rapidly expanded and is respected for:
> toxin-free EcoStyle paints and textures,
> high performance renders,
> complete render systems,
> their pioneering work in creating natural building materials that suit modern design and construction methods.

Have a browse through Rockcote’s Ranges and Case Studies – the application of the range is impressive: rockcote.com.au/galleries 

Versatile will proudly be WA’s major Rockcote stockist, offering a wide and comprehensive range. Rockcote will rival the likes of Dulux and offer you, and your clients, a top quality, eco alternative for all your render and paint needs.

If you would like to be contacted by our in-house Rockcote specialist, Stefan, please email versatile@vbp.com.au or phone us 9249 2333.

Our Launch Event

Over 50 clients attended our Rockcote Launch BBQ held on Friday 21 February, making our first event of 2020 a great success!

We captured a few moments from the afternoon which included meeting the Rockcote Representatives and learning about the products, walking through our purpose-built mixing room and fully stocked shelves, catching up with familiar faces, and filling our stomachs with a delicious spit roast and BBQ.

Our in-store events are offered to all of our account holding clients.

Getting to know Domenic Stillitano, our Managing Director

Domenic Stillitano, known as ‘Dom’ by most, began his business with a vision to offer the widest range of quality building supplies coupled with the best service in WA. We spent a few minutes with Dom, pictured above with his wonderful wife Nancy, to get to know him a little better …

Q:  Tell us a little about your experience and history of Versatile Mitre 10 Trade Centre. 

Dom: I have been involved in the manufacturing, building and fit-out industry from my first job at age 14. I opened Hardware at our present Malaga site in 1985, followed by a second store in Karratha afterwards.

Q. What do you enjoy most about the business?

Dom: Most pleasing is the fact that we are one family as most of our staff have been part of our growth since inception.

Q. Unsung Hero: What is one service or product that Versatile offers that most people do not really know about?

Dom: Firstly, our Delivery Service (7 trucks) with tracking system that offers a new level of service to our customers. Secondly, our complete range of building products, including our own on-premise manufacturing of plaster products that we have been manufacturing for over 50 years. (Download our information brochure here.)

Q. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Dom: My mother had so many simple sayings, but one that comes to mind is: “Early mornings make the Day”. It really resonates with the building industry.

Q. What is your favourite sport?

Dom: As a teenager, I played soccer, so am familiar with this more than other sports, however with 7 grandchildren playing different sports, I have learned to love them all!

Q. And do you have a favourite past-time?

Dom: I enjoy the odd fishing outings on the boat with the grandies.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2020 with the business?

Dom: We have gone through many changes and adding new products relevant to our customer base, so now consolidating is the agenda.

Great, thanks so much for your time Dom!

Get in touch

Speak with the team today

Call one of our helpful and friendly team now on 08 9249 2333 for details of our extensive range of building products.

OR CALL 08 9249 2333