The idea for Indigo Homes began after Chris spent ten years with a leading project builder, most of that time as its first Queensland State Manager.
“I’d always had the ambition to have my own business,” he says, “and I thought I’d just do something small, like about 15 or 20 homes a year.”
He knew he could do it. Before helping set up and run the Queensland operation of this building company, Chris had spent 14 years on the tools and nine years running a subcontracting carpentry business.
On holidays shortly after he made the break, he had phone call after phone call from prospective clients. “I realised it was going to be a bit bigger than I’d thought,” he recalls.
When he returned he spent the next 6 months working on designs, finding offices and arranging suppliers and staff.
Indigo Homes was registered in June 2003 and started the first home in January 2004.
“At the end of the day, it’s a good feeling to get people into homes, know we build a great home, and get their appreciation of our homes,” Chris says.
“I used to open up a magazine and see a home and think I’d love to build homes like that one day. Something that featured good design that I’d be proud to own as my own home. Now it has eventuated,” he says, “and it creates the biggest buzz to see our homes on the ground and hand them over to the proud client at the end.”
Almost a decade on and Indigo Homes now builds over 150 homes a year in Brisbane, and on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. The company has won numerous awards for its display homes. For example, in 2007 alone, the company won:
Although he is hands-on in the business today, naturally, Chris doesn't do everything. Chris works closely with the designers (“I’m a frustrated designer, and ideas just pop into my head all the time,” he says), and has input into product mix, design issues, and direction.
He is supported by an experienced team of construction supervisors, purchasing and estimating experts, in-house and external designers, colour consultants, salespeople and customer service staff.
Many of the things Chris has set in place at Indigo Homes are the result of being prepared to keep evolving and improving, and trying to look at the experience of building for the client, not just the product.
For example, Chris says that one of the toughest things for clients is getting to a final price. “There are too many hidden extra costs that they just don’t get up-front from lots of other builders.”
“The biggest thing for them is sorting the wheat from the chaff,” he says. “There are so many once-in-a-lifetime offers.”
“That’s why we give a total fixed price and no unexpected costs.” “We really just want to make it easy. For clients, staff and all the trades building for us.”