Troy completed his apprenticeship in 2006. He had started at the bottom of the building trade, cleaning sites, digging holes, and moving materials. Once he proved he was committed and could be relied on, he was introduced to the building game and never looked back. Before Troy had even completed his apprenticeship, he had already moved up the ranks to the positions of leading hand and Junior Foreman.
Troy was regularly given the responsibility of starting jobs or taking jobs over in a range of different situations. His confidence grew and, eventually, he was put in charge of some of the same guys he had trained under. After a few years working and managing high-end renovations on some very large Remuera projects, the itch had finally become too much. It had been seven and a half years, so Troy decided the time was now.
He started trading as Qualified Solutions in 2008. Things changed drastically for him at this point as he went from running large and complex renovations to fixing fences, rebuilding retaining walls, and installing letterboxes. He had come full circle and found himself needing to earn respect from clients on smaller jobs to build a name for himself. After nearly two years of doing small projects, he scored his first large renovation in Hillsborough.
This was the turning point and from there, things took off. The job went very well, so another renovation came into play in Onehunga. Suddenly, friends of clients were calling and asking for quotes! Over two years, Qualified Solutions completed dozens of medium-size renovations and obtained some great testimonials.
In 2011, Qualified Solutions became a limited company as Qualified Building Solutions Limited (QBSLTD). At this time, Joel Dunlop, a life-long friend of Troy’s, jumped on board. They were now able to run two sites at once while growing the team and advancing their knowledge of pricing, communication, and generally running a business.
In late 2011, QBS built a brand-new house in Grey Lynn (33 Dryden Street), really showing what we could do. It was a complex architectural build that was as difficult as they come. The house consisted of pre-cast panels, 132 pieces of steel, a glass roof, an interior bridge, and ceilings that were 6m high. Add a couple of 3m cantilevered decks and you start to get a feel for the complexity of this house (which was designed by ROWE BATTENS ARCHITECTURE).
The house was a success and, even today, photos of it are still displayed on the website, Facebook, and Instagram. At the same time as this project, QBS took on a second impressive build. It was run by Joel and involved building a brand-new monster modern villa at 9 Parawai Street, Grey Lynn. Over the next three years, QBS completed multiple re-clads, renovations, and new builds across Auckland, adding to a growing CV of projects. In 2013, Joel moved on to work on his own, developing and building properties.
Troy decided to grow the company and went from two sites to five/six sites at once. He recruited a foreman he had previously worked with and hired some experienced builders and keen apprentices. The team grew to 20 builders and Troy moved into full-time Project Management, overseeing sites and dealing only with clients and foremen.
There were new things to be learned and, of course, there were some growing pains. With some small tweaks, however, Troy managed to get a system going and business began to boom! The year 2014 brought a new team member by the name of Martin Laidlaw. Martin quickly moved from carpenter to foreman and, when The Block NZ came knocking, he was Troy’s immediate choice to run the QBS Team on this well-known, high-intensity, and controversial TV show.
This made Troy nervous as any mistake would be broadcast to a NZ-wide audience. This would be a huge deal as potential future clients would see it. Despite this risk, Troy went for it. He got the guys looking sharp with matching logos (the first on the show to do so) and went in with a bang! QBS & the Yellow Team (James & Maree) would take second place in the Pt Chevalier series. Martin turned into a celebrity builder overnight and NZ couldn’t get enough! Over the next 12 months, QBS featured in popular home magazines while Martin got his own monthly builders’ tips page called “Marty’s Building Hacks” in the NZ Home & Garden magazine.
In 2015, QBS returned to help Hayden and Jamie on The Block NZ Villa Wars edition. Again, the team smashed the ball out of the park every week! QBS accomplished insane amounts of work to the highest standard, day in day out, in the rain, mud, heat, and wind. This all took place while cameras stood watching and hoping for any sort of slip up! Following on from the show, work enquiries ramped up for QBS and the company grew to 33 builders and 7-8 sites across Auckland at all times. QBS also began doing large developments of high-end housing along with more new builds than usual.
Unfortunately, Troy could not keep this sort of work rate up with only him. Over the break at the end of 2015, he decided to pull back rather than continue to grow. He wanted to have fewer but better-skilled guys, enabling him to give clients and his team more of his time. He also wanted to spend more time with his wife and kids too. As a result, 2016/17 were great years for QBS. We completed over 25 projects in those 24 months, including a 700m2 monster renovation which is QBS’s largest project to date (254 Point View Drive). This project let us display our superior renovation skills and ability to deliver a high-end project with a magazine-quality finish. Today, QBS has 17 builders including Troy, two office staff, and a full-time truck driver.
We have over 60 sub-contractors too who we can rely on to provide an excellent service to our clients. In addition, QBS uses the newest accounting and technology tools available including online client portals for schedules, tracking, file management, and project messaging. We have three very experienced foremen and two junior foremen who are being trained under Troy’s guidance. Under these foremen, we have teams of handpicked and qualified builders and apprentices that form 3-4 teams. Troy says his vision for QBS in the future is to take on as many of the most difficult renovations or new builds as possible. This will give him and his team the opportunity to work on the type of projects that will be raved about in the pub for many years to come.
And, most importantly, Troy wants to provide his clients with a service so good and so impressive that current and future clients have no option but to build with QBS as no other company can provide what QBS can. QBS IT!