Dear Oppidan,

On behalf of Karyn and myself, we want to thank you for building us such a beautiful home.

The project was a big one and required many varied trades. All the trades were perfect in how they did the job.I would like to thank you all in no particular order Gavin, Gary and Steven for all your exceptional input into building this home. Many times during the construction and finishing did we have the feeling that you were not just building a house, but were taking a personal approach to the task as if you were building your own personal homes.

We can go on forever singing your praises but most importantly we would recommend your company to any prospective clients as a company that fulfills its promises and delivers to the client more than was expected.

Well done for a superb job.

We hope not to be building in the near future but we would never think of using any other company to build for us.

Best Regards,
Mark and Karyn Moskow

Dear Steven,

I write to provide you with a reference with our experience with Oppidan during our recent renovation to our home. We are delighted with the result and have, throughout the process, been very comfortable that your focused professionalism and skill in choosing the right people has meant that we have a quality product for a reasonable price.

As you know both Andrew and I are both busy professionals – I am a lawyer with Minter Ellison and Andrew is in HR at Macquarie Bank – who required a level of timeliness, commercial judgement and professionalism that many of our friends who have renovated or built have found lacking in both their architects and builders.

The difficulty of the task was compounded by a number of factors, not the least of which, was our decision to take a secondment opportunity offered to Andrew in New York which meant that we were away for the entire building phase. Oppidan rose to the challenge and provided us with regular updates and very focused weekly “virtual” site meetings. In many ways us not being there meant that when we spoke decisions had to be made and therefore the building timeline was shortened. We were always confident that Oppidan’s quality control was keeping the process on track and to the highest standard.

In addition to the long distance ,we recognise that our’s was a very difficult renovation: access was very limited and the parts of existing house – which we wanted to keep -were in a terrible state and yet you respected our wishes. Whilst there were variations – Oppidan’s practical advice, cost control and quality oversite meant that we do not believed that we have paid any excess.

We arrived home just as the building phase was being finalised which meant that we have had the opportunity to meet and watch work most of the tradesmen as they finished our home. Overwhelmingly the quality of the subcontractors’ workmanship and commitment to get it right has been very impressive. In the few cases where there perhaps hasn’t been that level of commitment from the supplier/tradesperson the drive to get the job done and done right has meant that difficulties have been resolved. And it is here that we got our value for money, Oppidan’s professionalism meant that any battles – be it a defect in a basin, the wrong fitting on a window, an architrave not painted as well as it might be- were not ours to fight but yours. Indeed the defects, (I should note that there were not many and they were only relatively minor) were mostly not spotted by us but by Oppidan.

We are so happy with the result that it would be our pleasure to discuss our experience with your potential clients.

Kind regards,
Jane and Andrew

Hi Steven,

As promised, I wanted to jot down just a few thoughts on paper that you may be able to use as a reference regarding the recently completed major renovation of our home conducted by Oppidan. Please feel free to also refer people to talk to me direct if they would like to discuss in more detail.

As we’ve discussed, we are delighted with the result – we now have a beautiful home that exceeds the (high!) expectations we started out with in every way. The quality of the workmanship and finish is (as you promised from day one) excellent and had drawn many comments (and one unsolicited offer to buy the house) from others already. Not easy to achieve when the natural constraints of a renovation vs. a new build are taken into account.

Importantly for me though is something that I never expected – Louise and I actually enjoyed the whole process from start to finish. Being renovation novices and having heard the many horror stories from friends about what could go wrong with the relationship with the builder, this has been a very pleasant surprise. The fact I can say this fresh after the event is a real testimony to the talent, dedication and customer focus of the Oppidan team – in particular yourself, Gary and of course Gavin. From what I can see this really sets the Oppidan team apart from the pack and is something that prospective clients should really prize highly – reducing the pain and stress of a major project like this is a huge benefit, particularly to people with busy jobs and young families. The fact that one doesn’t seem to pay a big premium for this makes it the best bargain in town. When the time comes to ‘go again’ (never thought we’d want to) Louise and I will be back in touch.

If I peel apart what it is that leads me to say this I can think of a number of aspects with specific examples (some seemingly small) that really stick in my mind:

You always had our best interests at heart: We quickly grew to trust the advice the team were giving us on all facets of the project. Recommendations on suppliers and tradesmen to use in addition to how things should be done and what would look best finish wise were invaluable, and always made with our interests in mind. Now with the benefit of hindsight my only regret is that I should have taken more heed of Gavin’s advice on a couple of occasions where we chose to disregard it (choice of air-conditioning contractor being one that springs to mind – Gary’s management efforts made sure that our mistake didn’t disrupt things). Next time I’ll know that when Gavin says it’s worth spending a bit more on something it’s likely to save pain and cost in the long run.

Exceptional attention to detail and quality: Gavin, Gary and the core group of your regular tradesmen are some of the fussiest, most quality focussed people I have come across. I knew I had high expectations but these were exceeded by the standards of those on the job on a daily basis. A few examples spring to mind; the tilers hand filing the edges on the travertine to get the perfect mitred finish on the corners; Gary sending the kitchen sink back 5 times before he got one he was happy with – and then making the supplier come on site to polish it (I would have accepted the first one by the way); Gavin continually spotting small issues I would not have noticed (e.g. swapping supplied as standard plastic sink wastes for more durable metal ones); and everything that Gordon worked on, particularly the finer details at the end (can we please keep him?). The list could go on.

A can do / no arguments approach: Inevitably in any big project, things don’t always go to plan. On the few occasions where issues did arise we never felt we have to push to get things resolved. We had a quick conversation, agreed the plan and sat back stress free as things were taken care of. The most significant example is the roof – we always knew that the flat design would be a challenge so were not really surprised by the fact that the torrential rain and high winds just after we moved back in resulted in a leak. A quick phone call with Gary and the commitment and plan was in place to resolve things. No argument needed and now the problem is fixed. Compared to some of the confrontation stories we’ve heard (particularly regarding fixing post completion issues) this is a stark contrast.

A great relationship with clear and honest communication: Frequent, open and honest communication was a consistent feature of the experience. We always felt involved, listened to and up to date on what was going on. There were also good disciplines about monthly cost updates, variation control etc. A big part of what made it a fun experience though simply came down to the fact that the Oppidan team are easy and fun to get on with. This shouldn’t be underestimated given how much time one ends up spending together over the course of a project. This extended beyond yourself, Gary and Gavin too – I know Louise really appreciated the fact that she felt she could visit the site and have a chat with the tradesmen who were unfailingly friendly and listened to what she had to say. Once again this is a contrast to the situations friends have found themselves in.

These are the things that stand-out for me… of course what I am completely ignoring is the fact that all the ‘basics’, including delivery spot on the cost budget were achieved. I suspect that for many people even the basics are a struggle.

When all is said and done we have a great home that we enjoyed building with you and the team – and we would happily ‘go again’ with Oppidan.

Let me know if you have any questions and stay in touch.


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