BY Jacquie Walters | PHOTOGRAPHY TIM CUFF
Entering the new Milestone Homes purpose-built offices on Lower Queen Street, you feel a sense of relaxed luxury. The welcome area is appointed with a comfy, beautifully upholstered couch, coffee machine and a contemporary print on the feature wall.
Branching off from this is the large pre-construction meeting room and private consultation rooms with frosted glass windows, and blinds on the windows leading out to the car park. “Clients don’t want to feel like they are in a fishbowl while they are potentially making one of their biggest life decisions,” says Adam Hills, general manager. Adam, together with Richmond local Simon Collett are proud that Milestone Homes have built over 300 homes in the Nelson/Tasman region in the past 13 years. Always focussed on building quality homes for great value, they have established themselves as a very successful brand and business. Adam, who has worked for Milestone Homes since 2007, describes the reasons for their success. “We know what we do, we know who we build for, and we do it well. Or, as we sometimes say, ‘Stick to your knitting’. We aren’t driven by being the biggest home building company, nor do we need to win awards to get satisfaction from what we do. Our aim is that no matter their budget, every client will be given good advice, enjoy the experience and get a great home at the end of it.”
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Two years ago, Milestone Homes jumped at the opportunity to secure the anchor tenancy of an office space on Lower Queen Street, enabling them to purpose-design their offices to align with their vision and match the needs of their clients, staff and stakeholders.
Spaces speak volumes about the people who inhabit them. The spaces home builders choose to create for themselves are like style guides to their entire practice: not just what they believe is good design, but how they wish to be perceived. For the Milestone Homes team, a sense of conviviality, welcome and professionalism, without company branding plastered everywhere, was essential to the design aesthetic behind the new office build. Adam says, “We wanted to provide an open, airy workplace for our staff, whist offering utmost privacy and confidentiality to our clients, suppliers and subcontractors.” Location was also important. Adam tells me that if you miss the seven-metre-high sign, you probably shouldn’t have a driving licence. Not only is the new Milestone Homes office building easy to spot from the road, it is convenient for you to drop in and have a chat.
Milestone Homes understand from experience that for many new home builders, much of their apprehension stems from the unknown, and the difficulty in appreciating what the finished home will look and feel like from the plan. “When you go to an open home, you see exactly what you are going to get. You like it, you want to live there. However, building a new house is often perceived as too difficult – there is an overwhelming number of decisions to be made, and it’s hard to visualise how your home will look or feel from a piece of paper,” says Adam. Which is one of the reasons why Milestone Homes have built their show home to mirror the specifications of their 30 proven, well-considered house plans.
Ideally located on Berryfield Drive, two minutes from their new office space, Adam says; “Once they’ve toured the show home, our clients have a realistic impression of how their own home will look and feel. Regardless of the size home they want to build, the on-site specifications are the same, right down to the doors and taps, although each home has a different façade or look from the outside, as nobody wants to live in an identical house to their neighbour.” With each house plan, there is the flexibility for change – whether it is adding/removing a bedroom or a walk-in pantry for example – meaning there are approximately 100 potential plans available. Milestone Homes use proven suppliers, who supply consistently good products. Adam says; “Rather than our clients having to research every fixture and fitting on the market, if they want to choose a different option, we already have three alternatives that have been pre-priced and narrowed down by our suppliers, based on quality and what is on trend. Our suppliers maintain up-to-date samples on site at our show home, so that our clients can visualise how the alternative will look in their own home.”
Milestone Homes take as much of the hassle and apprehension out of the building process as possible. They strive to place building a new home on a par with buying an existing home for ease of process, but with a much better outcome in terms of personalisation and all-important capital gain. Adam says; “Clients know that they are making a good investment, because they are always going to create equity when they build a house.”
Adam describes their incredible team of tradespeople and builders as being crucial to their success and trustworthy reputation. “We are very proud to be a Registered Master Builder. Our tradespeople and builders have been with us for 13 years. Our construction manager is a former Apprentice of the Year and also a shareholder in the business. With the number of homes we build each year, we are able to consistently achieve a good-value, quality product. And if something isn’t right, one phone call puts it right.”
Besides building in the region, Milestone Homes are consciously engaged in the wider community. Milestone Homes are a major sponsor of the ‘Big Give’ Christmas appeal in association with the Fifeshire Foundation. They support this via their annual ‘Make a Difference’ appeal and gifting a tree at the Richmond Mall. “It is easy to forget that there are people living in hardship in our region. Last Christmas we helped over 400 families. We felt very lucky to be part of that and try to spread some cheer at what can be a difficult time for a lot of people,” says Adam. On top of this, they are in their fifth year of being major sponsors of the Top of the South speedway. Adam describes; “The Speedway Association is doing great things for our region. The speedway fits in with our local client demographic, offering family-based entertainment,
and it is great to be involved with
From a building industry perspective, Adam is on the executive team for the Nelson branch of the Registered Master Builders, which he appreciates. Comprised of key suppliers, building merchants and a cross section of building representatives from residential to commercial builders, the Master Builders executive team discusses issues affecting the wider industry in the region and participates in focus groups with councils in an attempt to further the construction industry in the region.
The experienced, friendly Milestone Homes team welcomes new and existing clients to visit them at their new office premises on Lower Queen Street, or to their show home at 58 Berryfield Drive for a complimentary, no-obligation discussion. In keeping with their team philosophy of having fun along the way, keep your eyes peeled when you visit their show home, as you may be lucky enough to spot one or two of the Milestone Homes crew members in a photo frame!