PG Martin Builder is a family owned and operated builder based in the Young region. Peter Martin, who had moved to the area from England the year before, established the business in 1975. He has since grown the company within the Young area and the surrounding region, carrying out a wide variety of specialist building works with his son, Brett.
In addition to offering specialised works including new homes, extensions and renovations, and re-roofing of existing houses, PG Martin also provides a design service, obligation free quotes, and will walk clients step by step through the building and planning process.
“We have developed our business alongside new technologies and building products that have become available on the market,” says Brett. PG Martin has studied a broad span of materials and methods to determine which work best within the company’s sustainable practices.
With a portfolio spanning four decades, PG Martin’s history of works spans a number of different sectors, including motels and the Young Tourist Centre. One of the company’s most challenging works was the conversion of a church located on the town’s outskirts in 2012. “With the age and size of the building, and what the client wanted us to accomplish, the logistics presented a significant challenge,” says Brett.
Adapting to the changing preferences of Young’s residents, PG Martin currently focuses on home extensions as opposed to new builds. The company is also working to develop more cost-effective methods of building environmentally sustainable designs, with the goal of reducing costs to those normally associated with the construction of conventional homes, while giving the owner lower running costs in the future.
“We’ve developed a strong reputation here in town, considering we’ve been working in the Young area for 40 years,” Brett says. “We pride ourselves on our quality of work.” Over the company’s years of operation PG Martin has become well known in the region for their high-profile works, including its participation in the construction of the Olympic village, as well as the development of one of Young’s major subdivisions. “We’ve built many houses for a number of clients, who we get repeat business from, so we’re quite happy with the way our business has developed.”
For Brett, one of the most important aspects of being in the building business is developing great relationships with suppliers, particularly trades and subcontractors. “If you don’t have a good relationship with them, your productivity suffers, and your work doesn’t get finished on time,” he says. “As well, if you don’t have good suppliers in the chain, it really hold things up.” The business has also developed close ties with the HIA. “It’s good to know that you have that backup of resources if you ever do need it.”
Brett has found that the greatest challenge of working in Young is the rising number of council fees that render many projects less affordable for the client. “They put a big cost on top of the builds themselves, which clients are unaware of at the time that we’re quoting for them.” Brett explains. “The council just seems to keep adding new fees, which can come up to 5 per cent of the actual build, or even more.” Rising labour costs have also become a growing obstacle for companies like PG Martin. “Just getting value out of your money for labour is a challenge,” says Brett. “Everyone’s entitled to a pay rise, but sometimes it seems that the cost of labour is just getting out of control.”
Brett has worked alongside his father at PG Martin for the last 15 years. “Having that good working relationship between myself and my father has been great over the years,” he says. “I feel we’ve gotten to know each other a lot better as well. Moving from England 40 years ago to build his business was a big move, and to have such a successful business is a big achievement for him, and something he’s very proud of.”