Keeping Clients Satisfied

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

After many successful decades in the construction industry, Donato Belperio says the answer to gaining new clients and earning repeat business from existing ones is simple: it all comes down to customer satisfaction.

“When you always make the customer happy, you get more work,” says Donato, Director and Owner of family-run Lodge Construction and Building Pty Ltd. With offices based in Burton, Donato has learned a great deal about Australia’s building industry over the years. Prior to forming Lodge Construction and Building about 25 years ago, he learned in the trade in a variety of roles, with a particular focus on concrete work and solid plaster.

Today, the company continues to pride itself on creating quality work for customers in a range of sectors and continuing to be a leader in the Australian building industry. Growing the business over the years has resulted in countless quality projects, a high degree of customer satisfaction, and a company of over 40 employees with a fleet of 35 vehicles, and growing. It is in many ways a testament to the hard work Donato himself has invested into the building industry for over 40 years of his life.

Back in the eighties during the company’s early days, Lodge Construction built many quality boutique homes, which Donato would then sell to new home buyers. It was these homes – known for the quality of construction and details of their finishes – that became the foundation which helped Lodge Construction and Building become the respected entity it is today. “We always did some new home construction, but we have expanded that line in the past four or five years,” says Donato. “Years ago, we built about 15 to 20 houses per year; today, we’re up to about 80 to 120 new homes a year.”

Today, the company takes on not only new home construction, but is active in other areas, including the building of seniors residences for Life Care, local government projects such as the Gawler Community Centre, and much more. Lodge Construction and Building regularly takes on home and office renovation projects, extensions, and maintenance work, and has its own kitchen shop, where the team makes quality, custom-built cabinets. The ability to manufacture cabinets from scratch gives the company a definite edge over its competition, and has proven to be a tremendous advantage for clients.

“Since we have our own large kitchen workshop, we can do all the work ourselves, and do it straight away,” comments Donato. “If we have to go to [an outside manufacturer], sometimes I have to wait two months for a kitchen. Doing the work ourselves helps us, and is good for our customers.” When the company’s Kitchen Manufacturing Plant became part of Lodge Construction and Building in 2006, it quickly became a major competitor in its field. With its own showroom, the kitchen side of the business is able to display its wide range of quality crafted cabinetry, which includes everything from textured laminate finishes to fine products made from solid timber.

At Lodge Construction and Building, the company is able to offer not only a wide range of services and products, but complete start-to-finish turnkey solutions. In addition to assisting clients with securing permits, the company works with contract draftsmen to create all the necessary blueprints. “A lot of times, people want to put a couple of extra rooms onto a house, an ensuite, or a new kitchen, and we are able to handle all aspects of that,” says Donato.

Rather than spend great amounts of money on advertising, Lodge Construction has chosen over the years to focus on creating quality products in all areas, and on ensuring customer satisfaction. This forward-thinking attitude has earned the company not only a great deal of respect in the industry, but countless satisfied clients who know they can count on Lodge Construction to get the job done right from inception to completion. This has ensured the company business in all areas, including building maintenance for the Government Department of Families and Communities, a commitment between the Department and Lodge that has been in place for the past 25 years.

At any given time, Lodge Construction and Building is working on 50 to 60 housing projects, says Donato, with just as many other projects in the pipeline and ready to go. One current housing development is Viva Gold. A 98 home subdivision in Munno Para West in South Australia, the majority of the blocks are sold, with Lodge being responsible for building about 48 of the three bedroom, two bathroom houses.

Once completed, Viva Gold will present a prime opportunity for new home buyers, situated amongst extensive wetlands, water features, landscaped parks, open spaces, children’s playgrounds, and an extensive network of walking and cycle paths just 50 minutes from Adelaide. Along with the construction of four new state-of-the-art-schools, Viva Gold will feature new child care centres and adult education opportunities, just steps from lifestyle and leisure facilities, cafés, services, and plenty of neighbourhood shops.

Along with Viva Gold, Lodge Construction and Building has been involved in numerous other quality housing developments at Angle Park, a north-western suburb of Adelaide 10 kilometres from the Central Business District, and other Adelaide-area suburbs located in Parafield Gardens, Gilles Plains, historic Klemzig (the first settlement of German emigrants to Australia in the 19th century), Findon, and other locations in South Australia.

At present, the company is also involved in the Heartlands Estate, a subdivision currently under development in the suburb of Whyalla Stuart, for which Lodge constructed about 66 of the area’s 88 spacious, three-bedroom houses. “We work all over,” says Donato of the company, which is itself located in a hub of future development in South Australia, and ripe for development opportunities.

With 25 years in business, Donato is proud of the company’s contribution to Australia’s expanding housing industry, and its commitment to quality from start to finish. Although there are no immediate expansion plans in place, he feels it will happen when his daughter Anna and two sons-in-law, Dino and Anthony, take over the business one day. “They want to carry on, and there is always room to improve.”

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

January 21, 2021, 9:46 PM AEDT