Shane Hackett

Backyard Blitz & Boat Shed - Ascot, Brisbane

Andrew Thian managed a $110k 'backyard blitz' at my Highgate Hill property, transforming an ugly, small, steep, unused space into a beautiful and very functional garden, entertaining, carport and storage area.

The property itself is only 410sqm in size (40m x 10m) with a level difference of 7m from front to rear boundary.  As you can see from the 'before' photos, the rear of the property consisted of a steep rocky bank (Coorparoo Shale) with an existing single driveway crossover to the street.

Our brief to Andrew was to manage the level change through retaining walls, ensure exceptional drainage to avoid water issues at the house, establish both flower and vegetable gardens, create a boatshed for my 6m fishing boat plus a car space with automatic gate entry and last but not least, an outdoor spa.

I asked Andrew to manage the entire project from start to finish since I work full-time, Monday to Friday with no time for organising contractors etc.  I sketched my initial thoughts by hand and sent them to a landscape architect (JW Concepts) to draw up, then Andrew took care of the rest.  From start to finish the job was done in 3 months, without any hassles for me.  Importantly to me, Andrew always consulted me before making key decisions such as modifying the height or location of retaining walls to make things work better.

Andrew is a problem solver.  He was very creative in finding solutions to the challenges that arose as we progressed, and drew on his extensive experience in a really wide range of construction activities to make things work.  Nothing was a problem because Andrew came up with several options for each situation, checked in with me then went for it.  He managed the sub-contractors (excavators, plumbers, electricians, painters etc.) really well because he has done most of this work himself, enabling him to speak their language and challenge their thinking.

Four years on, I can honestly say that I haven't had a single problem with the construction.  The large concrete slab for the boat/car area hasn't cracked, the retaining walls haven't moved, the drainage has been unbelievable even during the January 2011 rainfall and also the Australia Day storms in 2013.  My wife loves the gardens, which are maturing really well and we spend a lot of time in the vegetable garden.  Most importantly to me, the boatshed is the envy of my mates.  As a fisherman himself, Andrew made sure it was built to suit my needs, right down to the fish cleaning area and 'man shed'.

If you are looking for a versatile, experienced and easy to get along with builder to manage any size residential project for you, I definitely recommend contacting Andrew.  I couldn’t be happier.

Shane Hackett

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