A “ridiculously simple” product is now saving many group home builders a lot of money.
So says Alan Dick of Hiandri Solutions Ltd, makers of the Hiandri bottom plate packer.
He says there’s been a huge uptake of the product by builders and architects thanks to some very targeted brand advertising.
The product was invented around 10 years ago by industry stalwart and one of the owners of Hiandri Solutions, John Oliver, who made his name in the brick industry.
“Essentially, the cavity in a brick is what makes a brick building waterproof, and he used that cavity experience under the bottom plate in response to the leaky home problem,” Mr Dick says.
Should a house ever leak for whatever reason, water travels down to the bottom plate and is absorbed by it, rotting it out. By the time it’s discovered it’s too late.
Identifying leaks quickly
“By having a cavity under the bottom plate, the water lands on the floor and goes to the next driest thing, which is either the carpet or the skirting.
“Both of those show water quickly — identifying any leak incredibly rapidly. The home owner can then have the leak repaired before any major structural damage occurs.
As someone who’s also running a building company himself, Mr Dick says he’s built more than 450 houses over the years.
“Our company has been using Hiandri for more than three years now, and we’ve seen the benefits many times — in particular when a back-to-wall toilet leaked and, in another instance, when a hot water cylinder pipe was leaking.
“We went straight in and repaired the pipe — job done — and we didn’t even have to replace the carpet/skirting, and certainly not the bottom plate.
“Without Hiandri packers, those leaks, when eventually discovered, would have cost thousands of dollars to repair,” Mr Dick says.
Cashflow affected by wet frames
He says the main reason companies are buying the product though is because the bottom plate dries incredibly quickly, and there are no hold-ups and delays on the job.
“If your frames are wet you can’t line. This means the builders can’t carry on, you are waiting for your next progress claim, and you’re paying for dehumidifiers and heaters to dry the house — basically affecting your cashflow and costing you money.
“Many of the larger companies have taken it on board, and are making Hiandri mandatory on all their builds all year round, because they understand the vital issues associated with timelines and getting clients into their homes on time.
“They say that Hiandri packers don’t cost them money — they save them money,” Mr Dick says.
“One company trialled Hiandri in a subdivision by using it on one house and not on another one right next door.
“Both homes were started in the same week, and the outcome was that the Hiandri house was being painted before the Gib was going in on the other one.
“That company is now one of our largest customers.”
Demand has driven the expanded distribution of the product, with major suppliers now stocking it nationwide, and two of the largest building merchants now fitting Hiandri packers at all their frame manufacturing plants nationally.
“We got a Codemark for the product, and that got us across the line very quickly.
“Merchants and builders want to know that the products they’re stocking and using are fully code compliant and thoroughly tested.
“The industry has problems at the moment with products from overseas not being properly proven or tested for the New Zealand market — something that is not the case with New Zealand-made Hiandri packers,” Mr Dick says.
“Before we launched officially, we made sure we had the Codemark — which means the product had been completely proven to meet the New Zealand Building Code, and which makes Hiandri bottom plate packers an acceptable solution.”