Builder-installer Lewis Lewis of All Power Constructions is such a fan of CSR products that he is using most of the product range, including AFS Rediwall for a prestigious residential development in the outskirts of Sydney.
For Lewis, the key to a successful building project is integration and cohesion, and a single point of contact means an efficient build.
Lewis was approached by the owner of a large new residential project in Bardia, NSW (in the Macarthur region). The homeowner had been admiring projects on Lewis’ Instagram account and had been looking for a contractor to complete ‘the full package’ as he explained.
“He knew that I’ve been using AFS Rediwall and that we also do Hebel and Cemintel,” explains Lewis. “So he was looking for someone who could run the project, instead of employing supervisors.”
With work underway, Lewis says that the client is happy with the progress, as well as the fact that communication has been easy.
“By using my company, he can find one contractor to look after all of these products whereas usually you would have to find a different contractor for each individual trade,” he says.
“It’s worked well so far,” he adds. “We’ve done a fair bit of the structure and the basement, and we’re going to be doing the externals, which is mostly Hebel, as well as all the render on the AFS Rediwall and Hebel. The final part of the project for us will be the Gyprock.”
Lewis has always worked with AFS Rediwall permanent formwork, starting with his first build. “I first started working with AFS on my first-ever job and I fell in love with it,” he says, explaining that he appreciates the adaptability of the product on different sites.
“You’re actually using your brain with AFS,” he explains. “I like difficult sites where you are put on the spot and you have to think of a solution. AFS is just so durable and so easy to work with. And when you finish a level it looks like you’ve actually done work!”
“It is so fast to install and you can see how much work you’ve done at the end of the day. It makes me happy and it’s something I love working with. Same thing with Hebel; we love working with Hebel as well.”
Lewis’ company is a small outfit and he plans to keep it that way, working on quality, rather than quantity in terms of the builds he works on, which are mostly high-end residential projects.
“My customers come to me,” he says. “They know the work that I’m going to be providing and the quality they deliver.”
His current team includes 10 installers, five painters, and 10 renderers, building the business slowly.
“I want to control the expansion,” he says. “I don’t want to expand to a point where I can’t control the quality. I don’t want to employ too many inexperienced workers and have the quality go down. I’d rather get young people, teach them and make sure they’re good before I start bringing in others. This means that the existing team can teach the new ones, so they are not all like headless chickens running around.”
For the Bardia project, which is located on an acreage property, AFS Rediwall was used to create the huge basement, which measures about 400 square metres. Another 400 sqm of Hebel is being used on the upper levels.
The inclusion of basements is hugely popular in prestige housing at the moment, says Lewis, who adds that he always uses AFS Rediwall for basements, wine cellars and retaining walls.
“Basements are a good investment,” he says. “They are worth the money. You might spend $100-150,000 on a basement, but at the end of the build, you’ll get double what you spent on it in terms of value, especially the way the housing market is going at the moment.”
“It’s all about less land, more house, so this is a smart way to achieve those aims.”