{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research and forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports and data Inspiring Australia's building professionals HOUSING The only place to get your industry news Newsroom
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host an HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder and manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies and tool insurance Paperwork gone digital Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HR Docs SafeScan - managing workplace safety Planning and safety services Building and planning services How can HIA Safety help you? Independent site inspections Trusted legal support Legal advice and guidance Professional services Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials and products Concrete, bricks and walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Hear what our apprentices say Advice for parents and guardians Study with us Find a course Get your builder's licence Qualifications Learn with HIA
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Mates Rates What we do Mental health program Charitable Foundation GreenSmart
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Australian Housing Awards Awards program National Conference Industry networking Events
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Products Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping and delivery Purchasing terms & conditions
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faTimes
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Address
Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Born to thrive

Ensuring continued business success during a global pandemic isn’t easy, but HIA member Sheridan Building in Victoria has strong foundations to see it through.
{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes

The ongoing pandemic has ushered in an economic recession, with many businesses and workers in the building industry hit hard across the country. But for Melbourne-based Sheridan Building, these uncertain times have coincided with an unprecedented period of growth for the bespoke building business.

But this isn’t surprising. Construction is, after all, in their blood. Brother duo, Jarrod and Travis Sheridan, who started the company in 2007, are third-generation builders (and third-generation HIA members). They grew up completely immersed in the trade, surrounded by builders like their father, Stuart Sheridan, who has over 50 years of experience in the industry and stewarded his own successful building company, S & C Sheridan. The business specialised in quality renovations and extensions, and also managed to thrive during a global recession.

Ash Whitehill

Photo courtesy Sheridan Building
Jarrod and Travis Sheridan, with their father Stuart Sheridan, who remains a crucial collaborator and confidant in the business
Stuart Sheridan has over 50 years of experience in the industry
A newspaper article in the 1980s, celebrating Stuart Sheridan's success
The Sheridan brothers kept their grandfather's original HIA membership certificate from 1977

‘What recession, says busy builder’

This headline ran in a newspaper article in the 1980s, celebrating Stuart Sheridan’s success. Travis and Jarrod say their father’s experience working successfully through a recession always reminds them of the importance of local work. 

‘It is always important to maintain a local presence in the community, but even more so during a downturn,’ Jarrod says. ‘You need to stay front of mind for potential clients in your area at all times.’

From their father, Jarrod and Travis have gained an unmatched, in-depth knowledge of every facet of construction, especially when it comes to combining old structures with new works. 

‘After working on hundreds of homes and seeing what works and doesn’t work over time, his experience is invaluable,’ Jarrod says. ‘He also has a real gift for developing a good rapport with clients and subcontractors, which ensures every project runs smoothly.’ 

Stuart remains a crucial collaborator and confidant in his sons’ business. The family best works together by delegating roles based on special expertise and skills. ‘We find that each person has a different skill set which ensures we can cover all aspects of the business effectively,’ Jarrod adds. 

Sheridan Building offers a full design and construction service, including a virtual design studio allowing homeowners to walk through the proposed concept, even down to the furnishings they may wish to incorporate and where. Jarrod says when their clients utilise the in-house design service, the team oversee the entire project from start to finish. 

‘This ensures a more cohesive and cost-effective build process and results in a higher-quality end product,’ he says.

The experienced builders pride themselves on high-quality workmanship and exceptional attention to detail, while delivering projects on time and within budget. Travis says they approach each construction project as if it were their own home and are involved in every aspect of the building process – from early consultation all the way to completion. ‘For us, nothing is more important than fulfilling our clients’ vision for their home,’ he says. 

These values and practices have led the Sheridan Building team to a number of accolades for their building work, including multiple HIA awards, though the brothers are quick to point out their achievements are not defined by external awards. Instead, they say they are proud to be contributing to the quality of residential construction and training new trades to walk in their footsteps. Sheridan Building has one of the highest completion rates for apprentices in the region, and as a result of working alongside the passion, drive and dedication of their employers, a number of these apprentices have been inspired to start their own successful building businesses. 

Stuart Sheridan on the tools today
The business specialised in quality renovations and extensions

Staying the course during a pandemic

Like their father before them, Jarrod and Travis were forced to contend with a global recession – the Global Financial Crisis – right about the time they launched Sheridan Building. The pair remember well the lessons learnt from surviving the GFC and are applying it to the present day recession. 

They are using this time to finesse their business by resolving inefficiencies and expanding the services they offer to clients. This, they hope, will help them to better position their company in the eventual recovery. ‘We anticipate clients having to reduce the scope of their projects as credit becomes tighter,’ Jarrod says. ‘We are positioning ourselves to be able to assist clients to meet a restricted budget by offering a detailed cost analysis of their project. 

‘This is to give them complete control over where their money is spent. We expect this will help ensure projects do proceed, albeit at a slightly lower overall cost.’ 

Working on their business has also involved hiring the services of marketing agency, Sea Salt Marketing, to help target their niche market, fix irregular workflows and increase turnover. Nine months in, and their marketing activities – including brand awareness across Facebook, Instagram, signage and newsletters – have provided a significant boost to their business. Sheridan Building believes investing in marketing will help them stay afloat during the economic downturn. 

‘Most builders have a trade background, so may not fully comprehend what marketing is, and how it can affect their business,’ Travis says. ‘I would advise them to view marketing not just as a sign at the front of their site and a website, but to view it as every interaction the public has with your business, from delivery drivers through to old school friends on Facebook. Each one of these interactions builds your image, so they all matter.’ 

Another great tool he says has been their HIA membership, which has provided crucial industry updates, legal advice and insights on the latest in new building technologies. 

Sheridan Building offers a full design and construction service
Photo courtesy Alex Reinders
'For us, nothing is more important than fulfilling our clients’ vision for their home,' Jarrod says.
The experienced builders pride themselves on high-quality workmanship and exceptional attention to detail
Photo courtesy Alex Reinders
They remember the lessons learnt from surviving the GFC and are applying it to the present day recession

Future challenges 

Beyond the economic issues facing builders right now, Sheridan Building believes keeping on top of the ever-increasing amount of administration and paperwork involved in each build is one of the biggest challenges for small construction companies. Jarrod says working with a bookkeeper and using quality software helps small builders maintain their focus on construction.

‘Try to focus on what you are good at and enjoy doing, and employ others to do the rest. There are risks in increasing your overheads, but there may be greater long-term risks in not doing this,’ Jarrod says. 

In the future, Sheridan Building hopes to stabilise its workflow, maximise efficiencies, retain a consistent margin, increase turnover and continue building a strong team of dedicated employees. If the company’s growth in the past year is anything to go by, it is certainly on its way – even in the face of another recession.