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"Exceptional Customer Service from Start to Finish”

“Our options were restrictive. We were keen to go with a prebuilt offsite home but every house we looked at was too wide to go through the Crofton Downs Bridge. Able Spaces was the only company that could deliver to our site in Makara, rural Wellington (between Johnsonville and Karori).”

Initial Impressions

“We popped in to take a look. Norma had left for the day but one of the builders showed us inside their premises. From that point, we were already convinced we were going with them.

When we met with Norma, nothing was off limits. Norma explained the process of how the houses are built, and gave us all the information in terms of how the payment process works and even recommended Westpac to us. She provided us with all the stepping stones of the process we needed to go through. We had plenty of prep work to do but had all the information we needed.

After our meeting with Norma, we felt extremely positive.”

Important Considerations

“Non-negotiable was the pantry – I needed to have a scullery. It was also important to us to have a warm, dry home that had a nice flow and open plan living area."

"We wanted a big family home, so we got a house that was purposely built in modules so we can easily add extensions later in the future.

We took one of Able Spaces original designs (Glenconnor) and adapted it to suit our needs. We deleted the ensuite and created an extra entryway/mud room and a second toilet which also has our laundry in it. It was great to be able to move things around and we also added in a bath.

We liked that we could design a home with Able Spaces and build an extension as a kitset later. We’ve purposely left a section that we’re going to be adding a master suite to in 5-10 years’ time. (We actually took out one of the windows from the initial design so that we could add a module into that section down the track. We haven’t designed the module yet, but Norma understood what we wanted to add on later, so she made it possible for us to be able to do that in the future if we choose to.)”

Navigating Challenges

“We initially reached out to Norma at the beginning of 2022 but due to personal circumstances, we ghosted everyone for a few months. We got back in touch with Norma in September and she took us back on like nothing had ever happened. Norma was really amazing and highly adaptable.

Out of all the challenges we faced, Norma and Able Spaces were the easiest and most accommodating part of the entire process. With the ability to design our own home, we got overwhelmed and Norma really helped us through the process.

As the project progressed, Norma supported us or recommended who to chase or what to do. We got our resource consent (for the cut in the hill we needed to do our driveway) but we forgot to get the building consent for the services and connect the house on the site, so we couldn’t install the piles to put the house on the land. Norma’s response was, “Cool, we’ll work around that – we’ll start our process and when it comes through, we’ll move forward.” She was really accommodating. No question was a dumb question. Norma very much understands it’s not something people do often and she provides lots of hand holding which we really appreciated.

I didn’t realise I was project managing it – all the extra things – like electricity, water, internet – we didn’t know anything about any of that. I hadn’t realised Norma could project manage the entire process. Looking back, I would have asked Norma to just take care of everything.”

How was your Experience Overall?

Norma was amazing, she kept us updated all the way along and she was so adaptable. Our experience with Able Spaces was incredible. I definitely think Norma herself was really accommodating. She never at any point made us feel like we were causing her any trouble. At one point I was calling her three or four times a day! She’s been really kind and something special is the extra customer service – even from the very beginning, Norma called us by name.

I feel that Norma has done superbly well to manage all those contractors down to the plasterers – especially for a woman that’s in a very male dominated industry. She handled it with a lot of professionalism and also grace.

Also, the cost comparison with other places we looked at was quite comparable, so I was shocked that when we had some adaptations to the plan, the price hadn’t changed (maybe due to removing an ensuite). We feel we got our three-bedroom home at a great price. Plus, the time management and execution was absolutely amazing. The fact that you can have a house ready to live in in 10 weeks is just ridiculous!

This story was written from Shellie and Jayden Hamilton’s experience with Able Spaces. Their home (AS175) was delivered onsite on 13 September 2023.