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Conrad Coom (DIY Con Structor)

Name: Conrad Coom

Occupation: Con Stuctor

How did you get into building and construction?
I was labouring while studying landscape design at Wellington Polytechnic (now Massey University) to support my young family and my boss at the KGB (Kevin Giles Builders) offered me an apprenticeship. That was 19 years ago! And I've been building ever since.

How would you describe your general approach?

What do you enjoy most about this work?
Seeing the fruits of my labour, especially when it makes my clients happy. A good renovation can change someone's life.

What do you find most challenging?

Are there any skills that took you a long time to learn?
Dealing with clients.

What is a project you're particularly proud of, and why?
A multi-million dollar renovation on Brougham Street, Mount Victoria in Wellington. With no architect on the job I had to be creative and my team turned out a stellar build. We transformed a 120 year old villa from run down student flats into a high end luxury family home.

What would be your dream project?
Building my own home with unlimited budget.

What advice would you give to someone starting out with a bit of DIY?
 The three Cs:
- Conscientiousness
- Consideration
- Confidence

Measure twice, cut once.

And the four Ps:
- Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

You talk about the three C's - can you explain those again to us?
These are the keys to successful DIY and building.
- Conscientiousness: making sure you've got the right tools for the job and being aware of your environment
- Consideration: Let your neighbours know about big projects that might impact them and is this the right project for you?
- Confidence: When you're nervous you make mistakes. Don't be scared to make mistakes.

 I think the 4 Ps speak for themselves.

What's the most common mistake people make when they're starting out with DIY?
 Forgetting the three Cs.

On a personal note, what other things do you enjoy besides building?
 Arts and performing. Playing soccer with my team The Sunday Blazers, watching my partner play roller derby and seeing my brilliant kids grow up.