When Robert and Natasha McIntosh decided to take the plunge and start their own business in a new town, they knew their finances would be stretched thin. A challenge especially felt while raising their two young children, however, as Robert says, “Having Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) funding meant we could push forward with our goals without the worry of cost.”

Between the husband-and-wife duo are more than 20 years’ experience in their respective fields. Robert is a Widgee builder with more than 14 years residential industry experience and Natasha has a Diploma of Business, with over 6 years office administration experience. Theirs is a partnership which combines family and a fine attention to detail with all things residential.

“My wife, Natasha and I started a partnership in 2019 when I went out on my own completing minor renovations, but during my Cert IV courses we started developing Traquair Homes, and as soon as I had upgraded my qualifications we started trading as the company,” Robert said, “It was only two months after upgrading my qualification that I signed a contract for Traquair Homes first new home!”

Robert says undertaking his Cert IV in Building and Construction was made easy by Master Builders:

“We had taken out a Master Builders membership when we started the partnership so that made applying for the course really easy, I think I enquired online and someone at the Sunshine Coast office called later that day to lock in details and it was done.”

The Master Builders Cert IV program covers building construction theory and practices related to low rise buildings, providing the knowledge and skills required to manage a residential building business.

“Completing my Cert IV has allowed us to excel from minor renovations to new homes.” Robert says, “The course was much more involved and challenging than I expected regarding the amount of information we had to absorb and understand.

“It’s taught me so much more on how to manage the entire construction process from legalities, scheduling of suppliers and subcontractors, how to work with the clients from contracts to site meetings … and what I found most important was how to set and apply our company standards.”

The McIntosh’s goal is to become the leading custom home builder in the Gympie region, and they are well on their way to success. Looking back at their first year of business ownership, Robert recalls their greatest challenges,

“I think the biggest thing that challenged us at the very beginning was creating trade accounts and developing a reputation in the industry.

“No one knew who we were and at times we felt our ages had some people questioning our ability to run a company. When it came to creating accounts, all companies would request trade references, and some outright refused because we hadn’t been established for two or more years,” he said.

Luckily, the McIntosh’s were able to pull through with connections they had developed through their time with McIntosh Homes, the business started by Robert’s father. Registered in 2021, Traquair Homes is nearing its third year of trade; with a strong blend of industry experience and excellent behind the scenes management it is sure to succeed.

We can’t wait to see their success unfold further!

Click here to learn more about CSQ-funded courses