Kirrawee - Forest Rd
We were looking for sustainable options in our knock-down rebuild to minimise our environmental impact. We also wanted to address social sustainability issues to meet our needs as aging owners and also those of our daughter who has a disability. So we decided on a single-storey concept with environmental features such as hempcrete construction, passive heating and cooling, etc. The next challenge was to find an architect and builder who were on the same page. Few were willing to contemplate the use of hempcrete (or even know what it is). We were lucky to get connected with Nick, who introduced us to Tracy our architect. Together Nick and Tracy created a duplex home that meets our needs and which is a delight to live in. Nick also listened to our budgetary constraints, and provided advice as to where we could compromise or contribute ourselves without sacrificing too many features or any quality. Nick’s attention to detail is outstanding, both for functionality and aesthetics. For example, he built to precise measurements and built ‘square’, which made the fitting of windows, doors, bathroom furniture, etc., so much easier and more precise. As a result the finished appearance is excellent and there is a coherent insulation envelope. Overall, the quality of the build is outstanding.
Dr Carroll and Dr Nick
Russell Lea - Lucas Ave
A thoroughly professional team - start to finish. The quote was accurate and there were no surprises. The work was commenced on the expected date and, more importantly - it was finished in the 12 week time frame. Guidance was given in regards to unexpected plumbing and electrical problems and the job was still finished on time. I would absolutely recommend Nick and his team.
Chippendale - Bartley St
We have had more than a few renovations over the years and this was by far and away the best. From the time we first met Nick to discuss the project right through to the end the whole process has been managed brilliantly. Nick really listened to what we wanted to do and communication throughout the build was great - every thing was discussed and nothing was a problem. Nicks attention to detail is fantastic and he thought of a whole lot of things we hadn't considered and we ended up going with every one of his suggestions. Nick has a great team working with him (special shout out to Geraint the carpenter and Alex the tiler) whose work was outstanding. We ended up with a result that was far better than we had hoped for and we couldn't be happier. I can't recommend Nick highly enough.
Adam and Nancy
Strathfield - Victoria St
Sowden Building Solutions undertook a challenging project on our Strathfield home during 2013. It involved rebuilding our family room, back verandah and modifying the front of our house, implementing an original design by Hector Abrahams, heritage architect. The work included extensive hand crafted decorative timber work, indoors and out, at the front of the house and the back. Delicate and precise work was required with the raising of the roof of the family room to achieve maximum ceiling height whilst integrating the new roof with the old. An L shaped set of stairs to the backyard also posed a problem to be solved. Nick oversaw the installation of extensive wrought iron work, including a bespoke clothes line and gate and two traditional awnings, one at the back door and the other at the front of the house, both using traditional English terracotta shingles. The choice of materials included the use of aluminium roofing with integrated insulation and thermally efficient “Comfort glass” doors and windows. The decking used for our new verandah featured a hidden nailing system so that the look of the deck is clean and the Australian hardwood timber is shown to its best effect.
I was impressed by Nick and the people he contracted. He took great pride in his work and was openly enthusiastic about the the project. He has a particular interest in up to the minute building techniques particularly sustainable and energy efficient solutions. He showed excellent problem solving and with good communication skills was able to offer real reassurance through the course of the project. He was very transparent in relation to budgeting and costs and kept us well informed using weekly e-summaries. He also had a cooperative attitude and worked well with the architect and the array of tradesmen employed on the project. My wife and I would highly recommend Nick to any homeowner.
Balmain - Reynolds Rd
I was very satisfied with the work Nick carried out on our extension. His initial estimates for both cost and time proved to be accurate and he tried at all times to obtain competitive prices for the various trades and materials. His workmanship was also of the highest order. I would be happy to recommend him to any prospective owner.
Greenwich - Balfour St
Following an extensive renovation of my home in 2012, I am pleased to provide this testimonial.
Nick and Sowden Building Solutions were engaged as the principal building contractor to construct and otherwise deliver an extensive renovation of my home. The work, which involved renewing, reconstructing and extending some 50 percent of the built works at my home, was executed over a period of five months from June to November 2012.
The work involved extensive carpentry, joinery and ironwork, both of a detailed and structural nature and which Nick performed himself with appropriate assistance, organising other trades, labour, supplies and landscaping. The work was performed at a very high level, under the largely “hands-off” supervision by one of Australia’s leading heritage architectural firms and practitioners, Mr Hector Abrahams, then of Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners and now the principal of his own firm. The work at all times met with Hector’s approval, and it was clear that Nick took considerable pride and enjoyment in working on the project with a leader in his field, with whom I understand he continues to work.
Nick and his team were at all times polite, punctual in their attendances and efficient in their work. Matters left to Nick’s discretion were thoughtfully and effectively addressed. As the works were such that the family could continue to live in the larger part of the house, Nick was also mindful of liaising with us and of staging the works to not unduly adversely impact our amenity.
What I particularly appreciated was the personal attention and pride shown by Nick in his work, and his ability to attract trades and suppliers who shared a similar approach to their work and product. Post-completion, Nick and his wider team have willingly made themselves available for additional and follow-up works. I have no hesitation in recommending Nick and Sowden Building Solutions.
Ashfield – Bank St
We are absolutely delighted with the finished product of our renovation, and people more qualified than us have attested to the quality of Nick’s workmanship.
We had a great working relationship with Nick. He managed to organise the construction with a family of 5 living in the house! His interactions with our children, and also those of all his “subbies”, were always positive, without any poor behaviour often observed on-site. He also developed good relationships with our neighbours, frequently adjusting his timetable to accommodate their requirements.
Nick prides himself on the sustainability of the construction. In our specific construction, all the required bricks were sourced from those previously removed. Also, waste was kept to an absolute minimum; we only needed a few “skip” bins over the whole job! It was only after the completion of the project that we truly appreciated how much the “old was incorporated into the new”.
Nick always dealt with the inevitable discussions of altering design or finishing details with professionalism. His input was always constructive; he frequently made suggestions or identifying potential obstructions that were of benefit to us as clients. He often went beyond what might have been expected, even going with us to choose materials.
Nick was honest in all his words and actions. We would have no hesitation to recommend him.
Tim and Alex A.
I would like to recommend Mr. Nick Sowden of Sowden Building Solutions, for any building extensions or building work.
I have known Nick both personally and professionally for more than 10 years.
Nick has completed major and minor building and carpentry work for my property business. I have a number of properties requiring on-going maintenance and upgrades/extensions depending on the investment strategy. Nick has played a pivotal role in helping me make the right decisions for the required outcomes. He has then gone away and completed the project to spec with no oversight or budget modification.
I have found Nicks work to be very precise and detailed. He is quick to think things through. When on the work site the quality of the finished product never comes short of being perfect. He is an excellent worker and also fits in socially when planning with the occupants of my properties.
Feel free to contact me at any point should you have questions about this recommendation.
Glebe – Glebe Point Rd
Nick Sowden has successfully undertaken many jobs at my 1880’s terrace – mostly to do with problems with water leaks and undercroft water drainage. I have found him very easy to deal with, honest and reliable, and prepared to discuss ways in which a problem could be addressed.