CCBR Business Review

4 177 Avoca Drive, Avoca Beach | Telephone 4382 1286 Visit our new showroom With the largest exclusive range on the Coast of designer handles, locks, hinges and sliding door tracking, sourced from the world’s leading manufacturers. AUSTRALIA WIDE REPUTATION Supplying luxury home builders for over 35 years • Locksmiths - Locks repaired and re-keyed • Deadlocks supplied & fitted • All types of keys cut • Restricted master key systems • Mobile workshop Covering the Central Coast • All hours service 0412 437 327 CO V E R S T O R Y Trevor Hargreaves – Central Coast Shopfronts & Architectural Windows – Do it once, do it well TREVOR HARGREAVES WAS still a teenager when he won his first award in window manufacturing. Presented by Rotary when he was working for Sterland Brothers at West Gosford, his first job after leaving school in year 10, the award was called: ‘Do it Once, Do it Well’. The trophy still takes pride of place amongst others in Trevor’s office 41 years later. More sig- nificantly, it represents a core value he has upheld throughout his career and business journey and one he has always expected of his team. Celebrating 33 years in business in January 2021, Central Coast Shopfronts & Architectural Windows has stood the test of time and continued to grow from strength to strength – largely because of this attitude to perfectionism – while many others have come and gone. As the long- est-serving owner/manager of a window company on the Central Coast, Trevor is deservedly proud to be where he is today. While around 95% of the company’s work is in Sydney, the born and raised Coastie wouldn’t be anywhere else. Trevor was promoted to foreman at Sterland Brothers at the age of just 19 and worked there for 6 years before being poached by Coastline Windows where he worked for a total of 10 years. In January 1988, Trevor and two workmates from Coastline joined forces to start their own business. Being the start of ‘the recession we had to have’ and months of heavy rain, commercial shopfronts represent only around 15% of their turnover with the remaining 85% coming from the premium residential sector. “Our target market spans from Palm Beach right around the Harbour to Malabar. In Mosman alone, we’ve done a house on just about every street, all from word of mouth referral and repeat business through architects,” said Trevor, who added ‘architectural windows’ to the business name 15 years ago to reflect the renewed focus. “We’ve never been in opposition to Stegbar, Trend and Wideline etc. They wouldn’t tackle some of the jobs we do because they’re too involved. They just want to build a window, put it on a truck and deliver it. We don’t work like that. There is substantial effort involved in the fitting of our windows which is why we very rarely do supply only.” Central Coast Shopfronts & Architectural Windows is an end-to-end business, with all manufacturing performed in-house, and the finished product is supplied and fitted onsite by their team of installers. Trevor does not sub-contract any work out in order to maintain quality control from start to finish, with all jobs triple-checked before the job sheet reaches the factory. Most materials are locally sourced and rejected if they have even the slightest defect. “Every piece of metal that comes in here is inspected on all four sides. If anything’s not up to scratch, even though it may hold the job up, we won’t let it through.”Trevor said the timing was far from ideal, but it was a case of now or never. “We each left a $500 a week job for a weekly wage of $60,” said Trevor. But the gamble paid off. After four years’ renting a premises in West Gosford, the partners purchased land in Lisarow on which they built their current premises and, after realising the benefits of looking after the manufacture, supply and installation process in-house, created a new company, Lisarow Glass, bringing in a highly expe- rienced glazier to run it. As the company grew, three partners became two and even- tually the other partner also sold his shares to Trevor, leaving him to head the company on his own. Right from the start, the plan was to be a niche player, concentrating on high-end residential projects and the commercial sector. “I didn’t see the project home market as being lucrative because the big boys like Stegbar and Wideline were in that space and I saw no point in us being there as well. In any case, I never wanted to do multiple windows for little profit,” said Trevor. Having completed several high profile commer- cial projects over the years, including the Manly Pacific, Coast Bar and Grill (when it was Iguana Joes) and Platinum Erina, Trevor made the decision 15 years ago to limit the commercial work to small projects after being burned several times with impossible demands and the withholding of payments. As a result, staff numbers were reduced from a peak of 34 to the current 22. Today By Phaedra Pym CENTRAL COAST BUSINESS REVIEW DECEMBER 2020