Clem Carpentry unique approach to challenges

Stairs, Clem Carpentry, design

When I spoke with Marc and Holly from Clem Carpentry, I figured that I would be writing about one of their projects. However, it was their business and how they have tackled some of the challenges that grabbed my attention.

Clem Carpentry’s niche market

Marc, Holly, Clem Carpentry
Marc and Holly from Clem Carpentry

Marc and Holly have found themselves in the niche market of high-end renovations, in their words “elegant restorations and renovations.” A boutique market that in my opinion puts a builders reputation on the line with every project.

I have a special spot in my heart for renovations, particularly with high-end and old buildings. The whole challenge, do you make your work plumb and level? Or do you match the existing building, so it all flows? The kind of work that tests all of us as tradesmen. From what Marc and Holly have shared with me, they are not only up for the challenge; they are excelling.


Stairs, Clem Carpentry, design
New stairs designed by Clem Carpentry

They are an impressive team; Marc is the carpenter and builder, and Holly is an interior designer. With their niche, they have the perfect team. They both enjoy working on older homes, which in Queensland Australia we call Queenslander’s.


Their well-suited teamwork is evident when a client asked them to replace the front stairs and restore the old homes character. They took what looks like an old 70’s style steel stairs and handrails and have created era perfect timber set.

Their attention to detail is second to none. With Holly providing well-detailed drawings and Marc’s attention to the seemly small details. For example, the priming of the step treads before being installed. And the housing out of the timber stump to allow the stairs to sit hard against the weatherboards at the top of the stairs.

Unique approach to challenges

Clem Carpentry attention to detail
Attention to detail

A challenge that the Clem Carpentry have been confronting is the expectations that reality television shows in Australia have put on the industry. Shows like “The Block” have been making renovating bathrooms, kitchens, etc., look achievable in a single week. And yes, we all know that it can be done, at a high cost and exceptionally long hours. Marc and Holly find that the younger generations have an unrealistic expectation of the cost and the time it takes to renovate.

I find it fascinating that sometimes our biggest hurdles in business are not always our direct competition. And the way in which people and business approach these obstacles is equally fascinating. How Marc and Holly from Clem Carpentry have approached the unrealistic expectations that reality tv has created is unique and well thought out.

To help their clients understand the time things take with a sensible budget, they turned to YouTube. Making short videos of the different projects, they have completed, not only demonstrating their work but also a realistic time frame to complete the work. By using time lapses, they have managed to combat the expectations reality tv has directly installed in different people.

Construction is a unique industry, and again I have been surprised how I thought one thing before meeting Marc and Holly from Clem Carpentry. My thoughts have been turned in a direction I didn’t expect, and I am so glad for the new direction.

Marc and Holly are easy going people following their passions and in the process making other people’s dreams a reality. I’m stoked that I got the opportunity to meet them.


Phone: 1300 400 431

Is Fix It Up shop fitting the future of construction?

Burrito Bar, Fix It Up, shop fitting, shop fitter


Burrito Bar, Fix It Up, shop fitting, shop fitter
Fix It Up shop fitting completed Burrito Bar.

When I first got in touch with Fix It Up shop fitting, I checked out their website, and my attention was immediately grabbed; they do ‘upholstery!’ That is not the only thing that’s listed, everything from joinery, to stainless fabrication and sign writing. I assumed they were talking about using subcontractors, the same as every other builder and shop fitter. But upholstery, on the other hand, is one thing I can see going hand in hand with joinery and shop fitting.

Upholstery, Fix It Up, shop fitting, shop fitter
Fix It Up shop fitting do upholstery, in-house?

So, I got in touch thinking I would have a chat over the phone and get to ask a few questions about the upholstery. I was thinking a shop fitter doing upholstery would make a great story. Instead of a phone call, Rou invited me for my very own private tour of their workshop. Now, how could I say no to an offer like that?

Before I meet with Rou, I was running early, so I grabbed a coffee at a little café around the corner and reviewed his website again. Their website definitely states they do the shop fitting, upholstery, joinery, stainless fabrication and sign writing in-house. I am still thinking they sub-contract out most of the work, just the same as all builders, right?

Do Fix It Up shop fitting really do everything in-house?

Once sitting with Rou, we started off chatting about some of their current projects. Then he mentioned that they do everything in-house, of course, I questioned what he meant by everything.

“Yes, we do everything in-house, we don’t use sub-contractors expect for plumbers and electricians’’. My immediate thought, “Holy shit, this could be the next generation of business, this could very well be the future of construction.” Here is a is a guy in his 20’s telling me they do everything “in-house.

Just think about that for a minute, they do joinery, they do upholstery, they do all metal fabrication, and they do sign writing; all in-house.

Think about the training that goes into all their staff; they are training their staff to be tradesmen. I mean, old school tradesmen. Real tradesmen, tradesmen that aren’t niched down specialists in a portion of a trade.

Now, I know to a lot of us that have been around the industry for a while are thinking “this is a recipe for disaster, there are too many moving parts, too many things to keep on top of.” From what I saw and experienced, Rou and Hossein (Rou’s father) and the Fix It Up team could very well be the ones to redefine what it currently means to operate a construction company. By this I mean, they now control just about all the variables. They are no longer held by third party subcontractors organisation skills.

Long lead items, like custom-made furniture and stainless steel cooking equipment, now become a thing of the past. Not only do they remove most of the long lead items, all the pre-determining that goes with the long lead items suddenly disappear.

Fix It Up is built on solid foundations

Fix It Up, Burrito Bar, shop fitting, shop fitter
Fix It Up’s recently completed Burrito Bar dining room.

How Fix It Up shop fitting got to this point is all on the back of Hossein’s diversity as a tradesman. Starting out as a one-man maintenance company, Hossein was working as the maintenance man for different food outlets. That is when Rou teamed up with Hossein, Rou took to cold calling hundreds of food outlets asking if Fix It Up could build for them. Rou took the time to get his hands dirty, putting in the hard work. Rou has taken the business from one-off projects to being the preferred contractor to some of Australia’s more recognisable food franchises.

As Rou’s background is in psychology, he has brought with him a fresh view of shop fitting. And it’s with this fresh view that’s been built on Hossein’s craftsmanship which is taking Fix It Up from strength to strength. As Fix It Up shop fitting grows they are now looking to expand into Melbourne and Sydney. It is exciting times for the Fix It Up team.  It will be great to come back in the future to see how business is progressing.

Fix It Up website:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0410 829 334