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

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