Interview: Dave Owens – Owens Building
When you live next door to a building site you can quickly determine a builder’s workmanship, their ability to communicate and the timelines that they keep. I can confidently say that the level of detail and effort that Dave Owens and his team put in to their projects, is first rate.
Dave is renowned for building some stunning architectural homes here in Wanaka and our neighbour’s home did not disappoint. Despite having a number of projects on the go, he was able to spare thirty minutes to answer a few questions for me.
If you are looking for a very good local Wanaka Builder, I would encourage you to meet with Dave and discuss your plans.
How long have you been involved with building and where did you learn your trade?
I was always interested in building but my first experience on a building site was as a labourer in Whistler, Canada in 2005. Returning to Christchurch I completed my apprenticeship and had a few years with that company before setting up Owens Building in 2011.
What was the attraction to Wanaka?
Building here a few years ago cemented the idea that this is where I wanted to be, so when the opportunity to move permanently came up, my wife and I jumped at it relocating in 2016. Wanaka is a special place – and to be able to live and work is this setting is pretty special.
What type of work are you known for building?
We build bespoke architectural homes. Each has its challenges but is equally rewarding, and delivering something tailored to our client’s vision is important to us. Our main focus is getting the best results for our clients and we work hard to achieve this.
What has been your most rewarding building project to date?
Our project on Hollyhock Lane. We were privileged to build this home for friends and have our efforts recognised with a Registered Master Builders Gold Award in the 2018 Southern House of the Year competition, and to be named a finalist in the National Gold Reserve category. (Below)
Are there any significant changes or trends forthcoming in the building industry that property owners or prospective owners looking to build should know about?
I think the move toward thermal efficiency is an important one – certainly it is something we have focused on with designing our new home.
What advice would you give potential owners looking to build?
Building a home – from design to completion – is an involved process and an emotive one. Choose your builder and designer carefully, because you will be working with them for some time and will get to know them very well. Communication is key. Also, don’t underestimate the number of decisions you will need to make and (sometimes) the speed that you will need to make them. Do your research so you are well prepared.
Does Wanaka differ from other NZ regions for your line of work in terms of climatic conditions impacting your specifications? If so, how so?
With the obvious contrast between our hot summer months and cold winters, it is not only heating you need to consider. Designing to achieve a cool comfortable home in the summer should be equally considered.
Best place to get coffee in Wanaka?
The Little Black Caravan on Gordon Road (on route to Placemakers).
It’s 10am on a Sunday morning, where would we find you and what are you doing?
Either riding Deans Bank, or cooking up some breakfast at home and catching up on a few things in the office.