From a one-man operation to a 30-strong workforce
In the past 12 years, Carruthers Complete Cladding has grown from a one-man operation into a thriving business.
In the process it has established a strong relationship with Hebel and its products.
Initially known as Carruthers Carpentry and Cladding, the South Australian business was started by Todd Carruthers after he completed a carpentry apprenticeship and worked as a builder’s supervisor.
After going out on his own, he began doing second fix and eaves carpentry, as well as some cladding for builders. As his work became recognised, he became busier. “I hired an apprentice, started another gang, kept going – and then the cladding business really began to boom in South Australia,” he said.
That was about eight years ago. With no time left for carpentry, the growing business took on its current name of Carruthers Complete Cladding with Todd as the Director.
‘A good, easy system to install’
It was also around this time that Todd learned the benefits of Hebel external wall systems – even though he needed some persuasion at first.
“Some builders I was working for asked me to do Hebel jobs for them, but I said no, because I was pretty busy at the time and also I had the idea that Hebel was heavy and difficult to work with,” he said. Then one of the builders convinced him to do a Hebel cladding job.
“We just took off from there,” Todd said. “I realised it was a good, easy system to install. If you have a good routine and do it the right way, it’s not difficult at all. I would say 75% of my business is now CSR Hebel related.”
For Todd, the major benefits of the Hebel PowerPanelXL wall system include the speed with which the installation can be completed combined with the quality of the finished product.
“We can clad, texture and paint many more square metres than someone could brick in the same time,” he said. “It’s a lot faster. It also gives the client the look and colour they want. As well as that, with the Hebel cladding they get a high fire rating as well as great acoustic and thermal properties.”
While Carruthers Complete Cladding has its office in Clovelly Park, its teams work throughout South Australia, specialising in the supply, installation and coating of Hebel external wall systems, as well as some flooring.
Todd’s current workforce comprises about 30 employees and subcontractors. They carry out the Hebel cladding work for the various Longridge Group brands including Longridge Homes, Sarah Homes and Gallery Living, which offer a diversity of single dwellings.
Hebel is a good fit for multi-residential developments
“We also do a lot of work in multi-residential developments because Hebel is such a good product for that type of housing,” said Todd. “There’s a lot of that type of work in South Australia now because the government wants to encourage medium density living in order to reduce urban sprawl.”
While business is good, Todd acknowledges that the building industry can be volatile, with consequent ups and downs for business owners.
“When people ask me for advice, I say, ‘It doesn’t come easy. Don’t think it’s going to be easy to run your own business,’” he said. “There was a time when I considered going back to be a subbie but I knew that wasn’t going to make me happy, so I hung in there and I’m glad I did.”