THE Master Builders Association South East Region Building Awards of Excellence were held in Ulladulla on Saturday.
In front of 140 builders and industry representatives, relative newcomer, Nowra builder Lucas Harlor claimed the title of New Builder of the Year.
Mr Harlor also won the Renovation and Addition $300,001 to $500,000 category.
The house for which he won the award, is on Penguin Head Road at Culburra Beach, and was a complex addition to an older structure.
The owners wanted the original beach shack to remain with the new addition built over and around it.
The judges acknowledged “the task Mr Harlor undertook in the conversion of the old single-storey cottage into a fine two-storey home was enormous.
“The standards of workmanship achieved in the finished project are testament to this builder’s abilities.”
Mr Harlor started his building apprenticeship 15 years ago but he and his wife Louise only began their building company four years ago.
“I started with maintenance jobs which led to renovations and then new homes, and now higher end homes.
“With the house in Culburra the biggest challenge was the fact that we couldn’t fully knock down the old house and build on the same location on the site.
“So we devised a plan to leave as much of the old house as we could.
“It was tricky at times, but I’m very proud of that job.
“Local designer Craig White designed it and his plans are good.”
Mr Harlor said it was his first time entering the awards and to win in two categories was a complete shock.
“We only entered for the experience and honestly did not expect anything to come of it,” he said.
“It was only my wife and I representing us, while other more established building companies had big groups.
“It felt a bit like David and Goliath.
“We were stoked to win the addition under $500,000 category, and then to win New Builder of the Year, that was massive,” Mr Harlor said.