Building on a strong foundation: A Q&A with Nick O’Shea

Queensland’s most promising builder, Nick O’Shea tells us more about his job

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How did you start doing what you do?

Some say I was born to be a builder, following in my father’s footsteps, as well as my mother’s, who was an interior designer. I think this played a big role from an early age because I found a passion for creating new and wonderful spaces. It’s the creative side of me that loves turning a dream into a reality.

Why is building needed?

We all need a home to live in but at O’Shea & Sons Builders we believe your home should be your happy place. It needs to incorporate all the things that make you happy and comfortable. We know how to achieve this, with our clients’ needs put first.

What are the things that consumers want to know about your field? (What are the common questions that are asked?)

How much is this going to cost me? Yes, price is important and a budget is crucial in making a project actually get off the ground in the first place. But it’s very important to choose a builder who will be able to deliver on the things that mean the most to you. Often expectations of price versus reality can be two different things. Choose a builder who you feel you can have a good working relationship with, and work at achieving your primary goals from the start within your budget.
The second most common question is, how long will it take? Naturally the size of the build has a bearing, as well as our existing schedule. It’s critical that we only take on the volume of work that we can deliver on. It’s all in the preparation and planning. The time spent on planning and defining the specs can drastically improve the build time.

Are there any common misperceptions about this field?

There’s a belief that builders are out to pull the wool over clients’ eyes. Yes, there are cowboys out there, as in most industries, but 95 per cent of builders try to provide professional services to help you achieve your dreams. It’s very important to research who you are going to be working with and get testimonials from previous working relationships. After a few conversations, you will soon know the type of builder you are looking at.

What are the best ways for a consumer to get a great outcome in this field?

Involve the builder from the start. Find a good designer/architect and work together as a team in order to get an outcome that suits your desires and your budget. It’s all about collaboration. One of our interior designers calls it “the collaboration of the minds”. If potential clients could capture the buzz and interaction on our building sites, they would soon realise we are a happy bunch. All our trades are like extended family. There’s lots of banter, laughs and hard work all rolled into one. So if the measure was workplace satisfaction, O’Shea & Sons would be up there with the best.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Builders are generally highly skilled and educated tradespeople and also successful business owners. Their time and experience should be valued. Your builder is the person you will deal with the most, rely on the most, and trust the most throughout your project. It’s a very important role in one of the biggest investments in your life. Make sure this relationship is solid. This requires trust and appreciation from both parties.