Celebrating 30 Years of Design Builders

In 1992, Home Alone 2 and Lethal Weapon 3 were the top grossing movies. Boyz II Men and Whitney Houston were enjoying spectacular chart success. And, that very same year, Andy and Brenda Bell started their new home-building business.

They called their fledgling company the “A&B Bell Partnership” and worked under that no-nonsense handle for a while, until a brilliant idea popped into either Andy’s or Brenda’s head: ‘“Why not call ourselves ‘Design Builders’? After all, that’s what we do – we design and build unique homes – good quality, original one-off homes, with creative flair.”

The name and philosophy stuck. Up until 1999, Andy and Brenda did everything – meeting clients, taking briefs, running open homes, and everything else a young construction company needs. When they needed extra hands, they simply roped in family members.

1992 photo - Building the Company
House of the year certificates

Like all good things, word and reputation soon spread. Helped along by the company’s first House of the Year Award in 1999, Design Builders were in hot demand. Short of cloning Andy and Brenda, the business needed to grow to meet that demand. It was the classic dilemma: how to take on more clients without compromising quality.

The answer lay in bringing in like-minded partners, experienced professionals who could take the Design Builders brand to the next level. The company grew year on year, as regional offices popped up all over the North Island, offering unique homes to clients. Qualified partners would use the company’s tried and trusted approach, and it’s a model that we continue to use today. The client is at the heart of everything.

These days, the company is steered by our Design Builders team headed up by CEO Andrew Price. The original philosophy of “a home built around you” is still our guiding principle, as we bring unique homes within reach to more and more New Zealanders.

With well over a hundred awards and many hundreds of delighted clients, we have enjoyed an incredibly exciting journey. There’s more to come. The Design Builders story continues, and we have a pile of exciting plans to take us into the future. The first Design Builders office in the South Island has just opened in Canterbury and is already attracting clients.

Design Builders Home, Dark Wood Sunset

Over the next few months, we will be pointing our spotlight at the success stories, the people and places from our 30-year journey. While we look back and celebrate the journey that got us here, we know it’s just as important to look forward… to the next 30 years.