I started my building career properly in 1979 after several years of sheep shearing and constructing rural fencing all around the North Island.
For the first year I worked with J. Jobbins & Associates Ltd and assisted with the construction of cantilevered, laminated beam factories around Auckland.
From 1980 up to 1984 my time was primarily spent constructing Modulock Homes with J. Jobbins & Associates all around the Hibiscus Coast.
Construction entailed building the dwellings in their entirity: -
- Setting out for the position of the dwelling on the section
- Excavating the footings for either concrete floor or piles.
- Installing the piles or laying the concrete floor.
- Assisting with the erection of hollowstone block walls if required.
- Installing bearers, floor joists, flooring.
- Erecting the frames for the dwelling, roof rafters, purlins & bracings.
- Installing fascia boards, soffits & roofing material.
- Installing exterior wall coverings & windows.
- Installing doors, interior lining, skirting & scotia.
- Installing kitchen & bathroom units.
- Installing door handles, shelving, etc.
- Prepared & constructed concrete drives & paths.
- Constructed decks, steps & handrails.
- Prepared & often painted interiors, fascias, handrails, etc.
From 1984 up to 1988 I worked for Jenkins Construction in Mt Roskill. My main focus was building upper market homes that were architechurally designed by Simon Carnahan and Ron Sang. During this time I also constructed the Modulock Showhome in Howick for Modulock Industries Ltd.
From mid-1988 to 1990 I did a large variety of building work all around Auckland and as far afield as Huntly. Apart from new homes, additions and alterations I worked on the Orewa New World Supermarket construction for several months.
During 1990 I contracted to Signature Homes and built homes all around north Auckland and Whangaparaoa / Orewa.
In April 1991 I had an operation on my lower back after many months off work. Because of the condition of my back I was forced to take a break from building work for a while.
In 1995 I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma cancer and started radiotherapy treatment in October of that year.
Again I was forced to take a break from building work for a time.
Building working continued thereafter and I've preferred staying away from city-side construction jobs. I favour jobs in the local area now and have specialised in refurbishing villas and bungalows.
From 2010 to 2011 most of my focus has been on restoring the Puhoi Church to it's original condition, replacing rotten weatherboards and framing, removing the leadlight windows and their frames and reinstalling them when completely renovated. Work has also included replacing the roof, replacing rotten interior lining boards, installing a sprinkler system and painting the building inside and out.
We have used the offcuts from the rotten Kauri weatherboards to make various items that are for sale on the Parish Website www.holyname.org.nz. All proceeds from these sales go towards the restoration and ongoing maintenance of the Sts Peter & Paul Puhoi Church.
The church was originally built in 1880 & opened in 1881, so the Kauri timber we have been recycling is at least 130 years old.