{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research & forecasting Economics Housing outlook Economic reports & data Tailored market research Advocacy & policy Advocacy Policy priorities Position statements Submissions News and inspiration Industry news Member alerts Media releases HOUSING Online
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services How can safety solutions help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Professional services Industrial relations Member savings Toyota vehicles Fuel savings Handy pay See all
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & 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 See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives HIA Building Women GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2023 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping & delivery Purchasing T&Cs See all Products Purchase NCC 2022 Building codes & standards Economic reports Hard copy contracts Guides & manuals
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Change location
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Love what you do

Story: Bianca Ross

Love what you do

Story: Bianca Ross
{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
A family-operated business focused on quality building work and service is on a trajectory for continued success, with HIA providing resources, information and advice when needed most.

There are some people in life who were born to do what they do. Builder Ben Tass, co-founder and co-owner of Sydney-based Tass Construction Group is one of them. Dedicated to his craft, he is one half of a talented duo steering the dynamic home building firm toward solid growth and success.

Specialising in custom builds and high-end renovations, Tass Construction Group is all about offering a collaborative and holistic design and build service where quality is found just as much in the process as the outcome.

Housing sat down with Ben to talk through his journey on becoming his own boss, partnering with his brother Aaron and how they are fast turning Tass into a respected name within the residential building industry.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a builder?

I’m lucky because I always knew I wanted to build, right from a young age. At school, I took a construction subject and started off making little knick knacks that soon progressed to bigger items like a picnic table and a custom work bench. When I began my four-year carpentry apprenticeship, I was fortunate to learn from a premium builder, working in a small company on high-end residential projects. My skillset grew rapidly and I was exposed to many aspects of the business, often being part of a collective effort to solve project issues as they cropped up. Under their leadership, ‘quality building’ was hammered into my approach.

For two years, I’d come home from site and do my builder’s licence course at night. It was a hectic time on top of my apprenticeship but I was committing to a path. I could see that if I worked hard, I would realise my dream to become a builder. I certainly didn’t have much of a social life back then! But it was all worth it. It’s a good feeling going to work every day to do what I love.

Directors Ben (left) and Aaron Tass of Tass Construction Group
‘My skillset grew rapidly and I was exposed to many aspects of the business’ 

Q: How did you start your family business?

I’d always wanted to have my own company and as I was putting the steps in motion, my brother Aaron was exiting his engineering career to try something new. It was never the plan to go into business with my brother but sometimes things turn out better than expected! The Tass stars aligned and we officially started the business in 2016. Our mum was our first accounts person before our team expanded, and our dad, who was an engineer too, is still involved at times because he loves to stay busy.

Our first job together was Aaron’s house and we treated it is as a stepping stone to run projects for others. We figured if we put ourselves to the test on a personal build, we could truly tell our clients we understood what it was like to go through a building project. It boosted our confidence and gave us valuable experience and knowhow. We carried our learnings through to our next job, and the one after. And that’s where we are today – building homes we believe in for our clients to love to live in. 

Q: What were some of your early business challenges?

At the start we all did a bit of everything before we more clearly defined our roles and responsibilities. It was a lot of late nights setting up accounts and working on our business goals and branding after a long day onsite. At times it was a bit of a shambles as to who did what – while we were concurrently working on Aaron’s house. We soon realised that we needed to outsource elements that weren’t in our wheelhouse, such as marketing.

We had heard about Sea Salt Marketing, which specialises in the building and construction industry. The team helped us align our business objectives with our communication strategy, and they execute our marketing now. Our leads have been great and they’ve helped us build a business pipeline so we can get on with building beautiful homes. 

Q: What do you love best about building?

I love seeing the end result of what we created for our clients to move into and enjoy. We are lucky because we can showcase our work with a finished product. Our company ethos is: customise homes, change lifestyles, create memories. We have this written everywhere because it’s what we aspire to do, and our positive client testimonials over the past six years tell us just how well we are achieving our goals.

Overall, my favourite stage is the handover, seeing our clients’ faces as they take in their new home for the first time. Watching their reactions throughout the whole building process encourages me to do what I do. Our clients have complete trust in our ability to build their homes to the highest standard and we feel like that’s an absolute privilege.

‘I love seeing the end result of what we created for our clients to move into’
Tass offers a collaborative and holistic design and build service

Q: Is sustainability in building important to you?

We are accredited HIA GreenSmart Professionals and that means we are committed to improving the environmental performance of the Australian building industry. We do this in a number of ways. We put great emphasis on designing homes that minimise energy consumption over their lifetime. We then spend time to educate our clients on what is available with materials or selections, and the corresponding effects on the environment. This process carries across to our site teams where we are always looking at how we can best minimise waste and increase our recycling of materials. In our work and professional relationships, we hope to facilitate a change in the industry’s approach to sustainable housing so that best practice environmental management is integrated into mainstream building.

Q: What’s been the most valuable aspect of your HIA membership?

There are many aspects that are valuable to us. The top ones are: being able to call on an industry expert in a certain field for specific advice (we found this especially helpful through COVID with site shutdowns, and advice from the government changing daily); having easy access to information and documents, such as contracts; and access to HIA courses so our company can continue to learn and grow with a forever-changing industry. 

Q: When overseeing your builds, how do you ensure everyone’s safety onsite?

Safety is our number one priority. It trumps any target or deadline. We hold company-wide monthly meetings where we speak about all sorts of safety issues that may impact us. We also consistently undertake internal safety audits, and hold weekly toolbox talks to identify potential hazards. We also undertake courses and seminars for our staff, including training days to ensure everyone is safe at work. 

Q: What are some challenges and opportunities for yourself and the team in the year ahead?

The industry is experiencing the effects of trade shortages, material price increases, supply chain issues, and the impact of rising interest rates. And we’re dealing with these elements while having to prepare for the NCC 2022 changes. It’s a lot! However, this is business and we welcome these challenges. We grow and adapt, and as long as we’re sitting down periodically and addressing these issues, and the associated effects on our business as they arise, that’s all we can do. As the industry changes, we have to change with it.

First published on Sept 2023

You might also like:

Residential Renovations Awards Business and digital
Set up for success
National award winner Hudson Homes is focused on steady growth but not at the expense of the customer experience.
Nov 23
4 mins
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Australian Standards Building developments Innovation Business and digital
Build + Tech – Summer 2023
Builders, large and small, know one thing: whatever saves you time, negates risk and improves workflow and communication is bound to be the makings of a better business. 
Nov 23
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Australian Standards National Construction Code (NCC) Business and digital
Resources - summer 2023
Looking for technical information or design inspiration? Here are the latest tools to narrow your search and advance your knowledge.
Nov 23
4 mins
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Business and digital Trends Safety
Resources - spring 2023
Looking for technical information or design inspiration? Here are the latest tools to narrow your search and advance your knowledge.
Aug 23
2 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Business and digital Expenses Small business
What's in it for me?
HIA provides members with a large range of industry products and services to help you manage, operate and grow your business. Here are some benefits you can access today.
Aug 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Business and digital Business operations Construction Customer service Digital marketing
Pride and passion
From custom homes to specialised housing projects, Ben Garraway of Garraway Developments is passionate about quality construction and delivering beautiful homes in regional Victoria.
Aug 23
6 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
National Construction Code (NCC) Sustainability Accounting Business and digital
Resources - winter 2023
Looking for technical information or design inspiration? Housing rounds up the latest tools to advance your knowledge.
Jun 23
3 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Budget Renovations Construction Business and digital
To chatbot or not
A jump into virtual technology is resonating for Trendsetter Homes. With a clientele now wedded to life online, the dividends speak for themselves.
May 23
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Work Health and Safety (WHS) Wellbeing Safety Business and digital
Back in business
Addressing any back and neck pain you may be experiencing at work is necessary not just for your daily comfort but for your long-term wellbeing as well.
Apr 23
7 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Business systems Networking Small business Business and digital
How safe is your website?
Is your network secure? Your IT network security should protect you from within, but how do you ensure you have the right safeguards in your systems?
Apr 23
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Superannuation Financial planning Small business Business and digital
Boost your super
Superannuation may seem complex and – to be honest – not that exciting. But it becomes more appealing when you realise all the perks and strategies that will give your super a real boost.
Apr 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Business systems Education CPD Business and digital
Resources autumn 2023
Looking for technical information or design inspiration? Here are the latest tools to narrow your search and advance your knowledge.
Apr 23
1 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight