About Us

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James and Louise Laird, owners of Renovate Me

I started my building apprenticeship at the age of 21, living in a caravan in Queenstown (I did not leave for winter!) and building new homes. During this time, I took advantage of the building boom and learnt as much as he could about building ‘top-end’ homes. Many of these builds took many months to complete, and the focus was not speed but quality.

I finished my apprenticeship in Dunedin after meeting my soon-to-be wife, Louise who was studying at Otago University. I was able to work on was the Supreme Winner for the 2007 Master Builder Awards whilst in Dunedin, and managed to gain much experience in running large building sites, and see the high quality standard of work needed to make a fantastic home. These years working in top end residential construction have ingrained an ability to produce quality work and to also ensure the wishes of the client are the focus.

Together, Louise and I bought a home to renovate in Dunedin shortly after I qualified from my apprenticeship in 2007. This project was a huge success, and signalled the start of a passion of ours – home renovations. The house was a classic ‘do-er upper’ but what it became was a real prize! Like anything, we found it really hard to start, but as soon as we saw some results, and could see the vision of the home we wanted it to be, we could not stop. It was a very rewarding experience. It was this feeling that convinced Louise and I that our future would include renovating houses. The joy that comes from transforming an older house into something that oozes with personality, charm and comfort has become a sort of addiction for us.

Louise and I then took some much needed time off and travelled through South Africa (Louise’s homeland), Namibia, Thailand, Laos and Indonesia.

After some encouragement from my lovely wife, we finally made the move back home to Nelson in 2009. I continued working as a builder, and eventually became a site foreman and then a Project Manager for a large building company. After a few things fell into place, we decided in 2012 that it was a good year to 'go out on our own'. Due to a shortage of appealing land, and the rising costs of building new houses, we noticed that more people were wanting to renovate. So we decided to put our renovating skills and experience to the test, and what was to become Renovate Me was born.


With Louise's high IQ (she made me write that) and her skills in systems and processes from her law degree and work experience, combined with my building skills and knowledge we quickly had a business that we could be proud.

I draw on my industry-specific experience from swinging a hammer to project managing, and now delving into the depths of business ownership! I bring to the table many years of working through the processes involved in renovations, including the design phase, compliance stage and the actual construction.

Louise is a great support, and her years of education and public service have given us a head start in marketing systems and office management. She has been working away to develop systems to ensure all preparation before construction, and then a seamless execution on the building site. Louise also works behind the scenes to ensure Renovate Me is ahead of the latest compliance and regulatory requirements, and that the Buildertend software runs smoothly for our clients benefit.

It is important to have strong values within a company which is why we believe so strong in sticky to ours.

Our values are .....

  • Client relationships
  • Professionalism
  • Producing high quality work that our clients can be satisfied with


Behind every company is a team that keeps everything moving along and with Renovate Me that is no different, so take the time to get to know us!

Our experienced and knowledgeable leader!

With nearly 20 years experience in the building industry, and time spent as site foreman and project manager, James has seen it all. He not only prides himself in high quality workmanship and offering a professional service to his clients but he understands everything that goes when renovating or building a house. You will know your project will be well managed and you will be more than impressed with the end result.

James has extensive home building and project management experience, and worked on more than 50 renovations and extensions (and counting!), and over 20 new builds.

James specialises in:

  • Project Management
  • High quality craftsmanship
  • Expertise and experience
  • Premium renovations and new builds

James' skills are for your benefit! With all his expertise you can relax knowing he is on your job, so you can be assured you will enjoy the building experience rather than worrying whether you have hired the right guy!


Who else can say their Office Manager has a law degree?

Louise ensures behind the scenes operate as smoothly as possible. Finishing law and arts degrees definitely helped her get ready in terms of practising patience, which has come in handy both at home and for the business. Louise's appetite for systems and processes means the business is able to run smoothly and efficiently, and nothing is overlooked. The value for the client is an enjoyable, stress-free and seamless building experience.

Louise specialises in,

  • Systems management
  • Administration
  • Compliance
  • Financial management
  • Sales and marketing

Our onsite team!

The team…..

Steven Bowler (Builder)

Andy Hume (Site Foreman)

Duane Valentine (Site Foreman)

Ash Pickering (Site Foreman)

Dylan Boffa-Martin (Apprentice)

Martin Cech (Builder)

Cam Neynens (Apprentice)

James Laird (Owner and Project Manager)

Sound like a team you want to work with? Then enquire now!


At Renovate Me we have strong values and want to see our company grow the right way, so you can be sure of what we promise and deliver with your project.

Our Mission and Vision

It is quite simple really, our mission is to:

Provide an enjoyable renovating experience.

We want our clients to be happy that they chose Renovate Me, and want to have a relationship with us beyond their first project. We seek to achieve this by doing business in a way that reflects our core values.

Our quality service comes from an investment into nurturing our relationship with our clients, developing quality-assurance processes and systems, and growing a culture of  professional and reliable builders.

More than anything, we want to see a business well-received in the community, with a reputation as reliable, quality builders that provide a service beyond the physical changes to your home.


We can assure you we stand by our values and won’t let you down

Our Core Values

We had always envisioned how we would want to run a business and now that Renovate Me has become a reality we have a set of core values that we hold very strongly. After all, the values of a company are a reflection of the owners and we want our name to represent the following….

Client Relationships

We value very highly the relationships with our clients, as without clients we would not have business. To ensure our clients receive a great service, we have built systems into our daily operations that keep relationships, and communication with the client, as the central focus. We have customised project management processes that ensure the client is never left in the dark, and a guarantee that aims to ensure our clients are happy every step of the way.

Don’t just take our word for it, check out our guarantee!

Click here! 


You need to know that the team you pay to work on your property or home are going to be respectful and professional. Our teams will treat your home as their own. Our guys greet our clients with a smile and never leave the project messy after completion, it is the least we can do.

We take our commitment to compliance very seriously, and are accountable to what is required of us. Although safety, consumer protection and certain standards of work are required by law, we are proactive and ensure that these standards are incorporated into our systems to ensure they are never overlooked, or that corners are never cut. We use contracts from Certified Builders and a custom designed systems and processes to ensure every job is carried out with the same consistency.


Ensuring we continue to provide a high quality and attention to detail is paramount to us, we will not accept anything below our high standards as we want the name Renovate Me to scream quality. Which is why we have a ‘297 Point Quality-Assurance Check List’ that provides a certain quality control on all projects.

Don’t just take our word for it, check out testimonials from our happy clients!

Click here!