In the five years since Dee Copeland, Jase Williams and their business partners established Barrett Homes Central Otago, this boutique design and build company has grown to emerge as one of the most prolific and successful building companies in the Cromwell area.
Dee puts a good part of the company’s success down to keeping things simple for her clients, by including all the costs at a fixed price, right from the outset – and also starting with a high bar, by including an exceptional level of fixtures and fittings in the base cost. “I believe our standard specs are set high – so you get stone benchtops, garage carpets and fully insulated doors, for example – the little things that people wouldn’t normally expect to be there are all included in our fixed price.”
Cromwell’s Heritage Precinct is one of Central Otago’s best-kept secrets. When the Clyde Dam was completed in 1990, the town’s main street disappeared under the newly formed Lake Dunstan. However, some of the historic buildings dating back to the gold rush of the 1860’s were saved and lovingly rebuilt on higher ground, creating the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. A walk around these streets is like stepping back in time into the gold rush era; the heritage buildings, now host a selection of boutique shops, art galleries, and cosy cafes all located on the shore of beautiful Lake Dunstan.
As well as a core group of locally based builders and subcontractors, Barrett Homes has a team of architects based at their head office in Tauranga that can draw up house plans from scratch.
“Everyone is different and every site is different, so for me, it’s about getting the design bespoke for each site and the way each family wants to live and function in their home,”
As mentioned, every Barrett-built home comes with a high level of specification as standard – they are also extremely comfortable and efficient homes to live in, thanks to insulated rib-raft foundations, high-performance, double-glazed joinery, and under-tile heating. Dee says that every home can also be fitted with an optional DVS system and high end heating options.
The show home Barrett Homes are planning to build at Wooing Tree, under Dee’s guidance, is a twin pavilion design that will come with all the bells and whistles. It will feature a large open-plan living area with soaring cathedral ceilings, plus three bedrooms and a flexi-room. It will also have a double garage.
Dee says her relationship with Steve and Thea, the owners of Wooing Tree, goes deeper than simply business. “They are mates. Our sons are the same age. We chat on the side lines of the rugby field,” she says. “They also have one of my paintings hanging over the fireplace at their tasting room.” (Dee is also a talented portrait artist in her spare time).
“Other than its great location, as the gateway to Cromwell, the vision Steve and Thea have for their new subdivision is really unique – they have an emotional tie; their heart and soul is in it, and that’s key to their existing Wooing Tree brand… and also to the people they know and love in our community.”
“Personally, as a resident, I feel that Cromwell is happily different to Queenstown and Wanaka. We have a nice community here. It’s a workingman’s town in a lot of respects – a mix of down-to-earth retired farmers, young working families. People here are just a bit more laid back and approachable… and ‘country’. It’s got peace and quiet, and it’s a nice fit for how we like to live our lives.”