“We used Pat and ATB for a major renovation – replace and remodel existing kitchen with new, new en-suite, new kids study, pergolas, plus renewal of floors and electrical fittings. We are delighted with how the project ran and particularly the result. Well done Pat! Would use them again and recommend.”
Sam Kennard, Longueville
“Having renovated before we were nervous about going in again, but Pat and his team were great! All the boys were punctual, polite and so tidy! We were impressed with their understanding of our family living on site and their ability to accommodate this. Pat was always able to answer any questions we had, and was approachable for all changes we required during the build. Our house is now the home we hoped it would be and we would happily recommend Pat and his team to anyone looking to renovate.”
Claudia Fulford, Mt Colah
“Pat takes the stress out of renovating. We would highly recommend All Things Building and would engage Pat again for future work. Pat is a fast, quality builder who is really reasonable with variations. His relaxed, friendly, ‘can do’ approach meant we got the final product we wanted and now we live in a home we love being in!”
Emily Hargreaves, North Balgowlah.
Emma Carrera’s interview with the Ladies Renovating Collective about her experience using All Things Building for her home renovation
I’ve been wanting to share tips and stories from our members for quite a while now and when I saw that one of our top contributors, Emma Carrera was coming close to the end of her renovation, I thought it was the perfect time!
Yvette – In my words, ‘your builder can make or break your build’…what is it about Pat and All Things Building that has made your experience as good as it has been’?
Emma – Gosh, where do I start!? I have said that statement many times over because I’ve seen my fair share of horror stories and if there’s anything I can impart – it’s to trust your gut. It’s that instinctual feeling of who you can “work well with” day in, day out, for the next 3, 6 or 12 months!
I believe the reason our experience was so seamless – was Pat’s, and also his teams’, solutions-based approach. For us, being inexperienced for a renovation of this size, he was the calm to the storm, the yes to a no, the straight forward honesty that’s hard to find in a crowded space. We bounced off him and his team with what was doable, what was worth fighting for, and what was worth sacrificing – but ALWAYS coming up with some type of solution that we were happy with. In a nutshell; strong communication, excellent trades, flexibility, cleanliness, and laughter along the way!…
Yvette – What is the best piece of advice you have for someone about to embark on their renovation journey?
Emma – BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET. Actually, did I mention Budget??… When Pat first uttered the words “google docs” – he had me at “hello”. It may seem painstaking and laborious, but it’s worth every second of your time to price out as much as you can before commencing – and it’s where a spreadsheet can navigate your build to success. I did my research from this invaluable community and priced out options rather than just going off what you might think. I was surprised at how competitive local suppliers can be – you just have to ask! Having a running sheet on the go helps you work out where you can pull funds from to achieve what’s most important to you. The one part of the build I would always allow more for – is electrical.
Yvette – Any regrets/tough lessons learned?
Emma – No regrets as everything’s a learning experience, there really wasn’t anything we had a “hard lesson” on.
It’s also worth mentioning there are other options other than architects. We used Action Plans in Manly and we never felt we compromised with the finished design and product at a more affordable price. Bill Derrin worked closely with Pat at the end stage of our plans so we knew we wouldn’t submit a DA – have it approved, only to find out you couldn’t afford to build it! The chicken or the egg analogy – our discussions with Pat allowed me to go to Action Plans with an idea of what we could create with our budget.
Yvette – What are you most looking forward to when your house is finished?
Emma – Anyone who knows me – knows I love a cold beer/glass of wine while having people over – and our whole build focused on entertaining, bringing family and friends together in an open, beautiful, stress-free space that could double for “adults” after hours as much as it could provide for kids play-dates, sleep-overs, a home office for me and functionality that would see our family carve out a lifetime of memories over the next decade and then some. A house for now – that we could grow into.
As much as “the house” is important, I often think the part that gets neglected in a build is integrating the outdoor area once the house is completed – and Pat ensured we never lost sight of this. Bedrooms, after all, are just for sleeping. The heartbeat of your home life is where you “hang out”. Pat’s team went the extra mile and ensured all our outside areas met the match of what was inside – no easy feat when you’re working to a budget. There’ll be endless days and nights, kicking back and just soaking it all up, indoors and out – I guess “living – not existing” is the best way to describe it!
“We knew from the outset of our project that working with Pat and his team was going to be a great experience. His relaxed but professional attitude fitted right in with our approach to the build, whilst his energy and enthusiasm throughout made sure things ran according to plan – we finished well within our expected timeframes. He also has a great friendly team who work with him. Their ability to multi-task deserves special attention – not everyone can endure the attention and questions from our 3 small children whilst also doing one of their many building tasks! The attention to detail and craftsmanship was second to none – we’re so pleased with the results, and should we ever need to do another build, we’d absolutely use All Things Building once again.”
Philip Bracken, Frenchs Forest
“Pat and the All Things Building team are a pleasure to work with. As an interior designer, I am very particular about finishes and details and Pat always listened and followed through. He communicated exceptionally well, always picks up the phone and is happy to talk through any issues that arise through the project. We begain using ATB with our master bedroom and were so impressed we engaged them to build our massive renovation downstairs which involved a pool, stairs, rumpus room/home office and bathroom. We love our home now and would not hesitate to recommend All Things Building to anyone looking to build or renovate their home.”
Susie Trainor, Northwood
“We have employed the services of All Things Building on two separate occasions in recent years.
The first project was a major reconfiguring of our home’s master bedroom, small ensuite, family bathroom and hallway. We now live with a more spacious bedroom, beautiful well-planned ensuite, walk-in wardrobe, linen cupboard and a glamorous family bathroom. All Things Building were fastidious in meeting our brief and we were thrilled with the result! So much so, that we jumped in the queue to get the next available gig.
When All Things Building returned they replaced a large, tired and poorly maintained wraparound deck, pergola and outdoor stairs and built us a fabulous freestanding garage. Once again, their workmanship was flawless and we have lived very happily with the results.
We would have no hesitation in recommending Patrick Toner and his team. We honestly enjoyed having them onsite each day. Every one of them was cheerful, kind and helpful. They all enjoy each other’s company and treat each other, and their clients, with respect. This makes for a very productive but happy workplace.
Patrick always consulted us, and gave us plenty of lead time, so that we could make decisions and meet deadlines without any tension. He was helpful with advice and referrals to suppliers whenever required. We’d also like to note that whenever he required help, from subcontractors or other trades, he choose individuals with the same work ethic, consideration for client and attention to detail as his original team.
Please feel free to use this testimonial in full or in part as you see fit. We give our unstinting support to All Things Building and feel lucky and grateful to have had them work for us.”