Adam Meech likes a challenge. When the commercial builder was asked to turn a rundown Californian bungalow into a state-of-the-art skin cancer clinic, he saw the project’s potential rather than its problems.
“When you work on period buildings, or even newer buildings, there are a lot of unknowns and you’ve got to find solutions as you go. There’s no text book for it. Sometimes there aren’t even plans,” he said.
“The journey on an old building can be painful but when you get to the end and the client is happy, it’s a win.”
Adam said his client, Doctor Charles Blair had tasked him with retaining the character of 53 Barolin Street. Supported by a team of talented local tradesmen, Meech Constructions replicated existing picture rails, archways and architraves throughout new sections of the building and brought a terrazzo floor back to life. They created a custom mould to manufacture ornate cornice that could not be found anywhere in Australia.
“Everyone has really enjoyed working on Kaleidoscope Skin Clinic because it’s different,” Adam said.
“What we do is driven by the client and their creative vision. We take their ideas and make it the best it can be. But the first priority should always be making the building fit for purpose. Who owns it? What is their budget? Who is going to be using it every day; and then work backwards from there. Don’t deviate from that purpose.”
“What we do is driven by the client and their creative vision. We take their ideas and make it the best it can be.”
Adam said he got a kick out of solving issues for repeat clients like Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Marquis Macadamias and Grace Family Practice.
“Our business model is client-based. It’s easier to keep existing customers happy than to find new ones,” he said.
“I like taking on jobs that other builders say can’t be done or have turned down, and getting it done. Then you’ve set yourself apart, because your client knows you’ll sort it. Certain tasks can seem like more trouble than they’re worth or you’ll do something and realise it’s 100mm out and think ‘she’ll be right’. But that mistake will be there for 20 years, when it could have taken 20 minutes to fix. In the heat of the battle, a lot of tradies forget that. When your client is sitting in that building for the next decade, that hard day or week is nothing.”
Adam completed his apprenticeship under long-serving former Bundaberg City Councillor David Porter, before going out on his own to start Meech Constructions.
“From Dave, I learnt hard work, long hours and the importance of getting it right then and there,” Adam said.
It’s his bite-the-bullet, hands-on, bespoke approach that has kept Adam and his wife Tracy in business for almost 20 years.
The pair met through Tracy’s brother at an apprenticeship awards night when Adam was 21-years-old. Together, Adam and Tracy have three children and spend their weekends at sport, tinkering with cars and riding motorbikes and buggies at their “fishing shack”.
Playing and working outdoors a lot of the time, Adam is rarely seen without a hat on his head. “I lost a mate to melanoma when he was just 25,” Adam said.
“He was an awesome guy. It started as a spot on his back. It’s one of the easiest things to check and yet most of us don’t.”