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Housing : March 2009
Trade Contractor Profile Two tradies are working hard to put the ‘trade’ back into tradesman, writes John Dodds. eagerbeavers T here is nothing like a good idea as the foundation for a successful business – especially combined with years of experience and skills to complete the formula. Adelaide’s Beaver Building Group, co-directed by Gary McMahon and Nathan Wilson, is a classic example. Their good idea was to put together what might be best be described as a supermarket of reliable subcontracted building industry trade skills. They are very selective about the subcontractors they engage for their business Beaver Building was established in Below: Adelaide’s Beaver Building Group is a one-stop-shop for anyone needing a tradesman. July 2008. Initially it essentially involved the amalgamation of separate businesses run by Gary and Nathan, each providing a variety of skilled trade services. Gary says: ‘It was just fate that our paths crossed. I’m the old man of the group. I started 30 years ago in Sydney as an electrical fittermechanic, went out on my own at 21, established an air-conditioning company and ran that for nine years. ‘I had a problem with my roof at home. I saw the ad for Nathan’s business and gave him a call. We started to talk about what we each do – and the rest is history.’ Nathan started 18 years ago, at 15, as an apprentice carpenter in Melbourne with his grandfather’s company. ‘That took me to China, Hong Kong, and New Zealand … In China we used to do a lot of construction work in housing and factories, and expensive resorts. Then I decided to move to Adelaide in 1997 and started my business Woody’s Maintenance there.’ In Adelaide, Gary started a company Bright Buildings, which he ran for six years before meeting Nathan and the subsequent amalgamation of their two companies. They aim to improve the reputation of 82 HOUSING MARCH 2009