Local lad wins national prize for luxury Coast home

YOU are never too young or old to learn. That is the philosophy of 30-year-old Kawana builder Joe McGuirk who has returned from Canberra with a Master Builders Australia award for housing.

The award to J Co Constructions for best project house $251,000-$350,000 was presented at the Parliament House.

It follows the former Sunshine Coast Grammar student having won the Master Builders Sunshine Coast president's award for affordable housing under $350,000 for the past two years.

Noosaville-based Rycon Constructions took out the national award for medium density housing - two to five dwellings.

Queensland builders secured a record nine wins at the 2016 National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards.

Sunshine Coast regional manager Will Wilson was excited to see two Sunshine Coast projects win at national level.

Joe McGuirk and Anita Bouwman of J Co Constructions at the 2016 Master Builders Australia Housing and Construction Awards at Parliament House, Canberra.
Joe McGuirk and Anita Bouwman of J Co Constructions at the 2016 Master Builders Australia Housing and Construction Awards at Parliament House, Canberra. Contributed

"J Co has won the past two president's awards for project homes that epitomise quality and value on the Sunshine Coast.

"They are an example of excellence in customer service and are building a strong business in a competitive industry.

"Rycon's Howard Street duplex is a perfect addition to the Noosa landscape.

"Luxury and opulence, with no expense spared - it is within walking distance to the river and foreshore.''

Joe McGuirk has been in the building industry since the age of 17.

He has worked in central Queensland as well as the Whitsundays before establishing J Co Constructions four years ago with Anita Bouwman as general manager.

"It's easy to learn from the mistakes of others as well as your own,'' Mr McGuirk said from Canberra Airport before returning to the Sunshine Coast.

"I learnt early that quality goes a long way with clients.

"We intend to concentrate on giving that personal service the company has been built on.

"Last year gave a lot of satisfaction winning the president's award too. That was our first year in awards.''

J Co's winning design at Brightwater features a striking facade and private garden off the main bedroom suite of the three-bedroom waterfront house with office or extra bedroom.

The facade included a "hidden'' garage door while the main living areas with nine-foot ceilings were on the ground floor and looked over the waterway.

A wide hallway attracted a lot of natural light from a void to the upper level as well as a second, north-facing, courtyard opening off it.

The design catered for the guest bedrooms upstairs as well as a media room or office that could serve as an extra bedroom.

Winning the award was good for the Sunshine Coast, Mr McGuirk said.

"It looks like the industry is in for a good couple of years.

"Between Harmony at Sippy Downs and Aura at Caloundra we are in a fortunate boat.''

His advice to other young builders was to "work hard, learn from the people around you and don't get ahead of yourself.

"Keep your eye on your cash flow, not on the end game.

"I'd like to thank Anita for keeping such a good eye on that side of things.''

Master Builders Queensland CEO Grant Galvin congratulated all the winners who represented the state at a national level.

"The level of competition at the national awards is extremely high and we are tremendously proud that our members were selected from such a strong field of competitors.

"Achieving this recognition at a national level is one of the highest industry accolades a builder can receive."

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