Marie O’Callaghan          Dr Geoffrey K. Chambers         Christine and Lawson Price

Shane Sorenson of S & S Sorenson Ltd, recently renovated my dated seventies home. He and his team were very competent and the workmanship was excellent. I would highly recommend them for any Building project.

Shane was totally professional and great to work with. One of his most valuable attributes was he was a very good communicator, keeping me informed every step of the way.

Shane was honest and completely trustworthy. There were no untimely complications or disagreements.

Thank you Shane for a top job. I now have the modern home I envisaged.

Marie O’Callaghan

Woburn, Lower Hutt

My wife Dorothea and I have contracted Shane Sorenson and his associates to carry out two successive building renovation/extensions (2003 and 2007) to our long-term home in Eastbourne. This is a 100 year old cottage in a prominent position close to the front of the section and on a street corner. It was very important that the work be carried out to a high standard keeping the new work in sympathy with the style of the established frontage. We were very pleased with the services provided in all respects. Indeed, the fact that we brought this firm back for a second and more complicated phase of the project is evidence of our satisfaction. The following provides a brief description of the work undertaken and highlights aspects of their performance.

Phase 1: Study and raised deck.

The job involved removal of an old porch and part of the dining room to give a clear line along the original exterior of the house. This was replaced with a study featuring large bi-fold multi-pane windows, reconstruction of the dining room to modern code standard and construction of a fairly large deck towards the back of the house. It also required extra elements including, re-roofing the kitchen, building a parapet in preparation for Phase 2 and installation of folding service window in order to link the kitchen to the deck.

Phase 2: renovation of kitchen and bathroom.

This was a much more complicated project and included restoring a large section of the dining room/kitchen area, a rear veranda to link with the existing deck and a complete renovation of the existing bathroom. The preparation work for the kitchen required enginerring calculations for the installation of a tricky supporting beam and building an extensive concrete pad to support the floor (as required by the present building code). Work for the bathroom involved aligning and regibbing walls for tiling, new window, moving the door, new plumbing and installation of an Infinity system, new fittings and a walk-in-shower. Unlike Phase 1 which was completed almost entirely by regular Sorenson staff this second phase required integration of building work with many other trades on subcontract, some to Sorensons themselves and some employed by us (e.g. kitchen floor and joinery).

General Comments

We were very happy with all aspects of the work carried out for us. The pricing of the estimates was realistic and when variations were in order these were always reasonable. All changes to and interpretations of the architect’s basic plan were discussed with us in advance and cost effective solutions developed. The work began on schedule and was completed on time, give or take the usual contingencies. Sorenson staff were on site all day, everyday. They were tidy, polite and helpful. The site was maintained in a neat and clean state throughout and all work was completed to the highest standard of workmanship.

Specific Observations

  1. There were no surprises. Bills matched estimates closely allowing for agreed variations. Work was started and finished on time.
  2. The building staff always gave close attention to detail and thought ahead. This saved everyone time and money.
  3. Consultation was regular, but never intrusive. The builders were proactive regarding suggestions for efficencies and improvements. They were always willing to explain why changes were desirable and/or necessary and able to come up with novel and often ingenious fixes for difficult problems.
  4. The quality of the work on both phases was excellent and is a credit to both operatives and management alike. Shane Sorenson was available to put in ‘hands-on’ effort at critical times, e.g. during the alignment and installation of the roof trusses.
  5. One Sorenson staff motto is ‘A clean site is a safe site’ and they consistently lived up to this ideal.
  6. Staff on site were very supportive in negations with subcontract trades. It is always difficult for house owners to know what standards they might expect form electricians and plumbers etc. It is also sometimes intimitading to have to deal with those who know more than oneself and who seem to speak a different language. Sorenson staff helped us to ensure that we got what we wanted and asserted our right to expect high standards.

In conclusion, my wife and I were 100% satisfied with the work carried out and more than 100% satisfied with the way that it was carried out. I would have no hesitation in either employing this firm again or in recommending their services to others.

Dr Geoffrey K. Chambers


This is an appreciation of the work undertaken by Shane Sorenson’s S & S Sorenson Builders Ltd at 37 Tui Street Alicetown, Lower Hutt.

The work entailed repositioning and replacing the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and laundry; extending the lounge and enlarging the master bedroom by incorporating a small study into the one room. Installing additional shelving and a storage cupboard in the library and replacing the roofing on the deck at the rear of the house. Removing a fitted cupboard and refitting the mantelpiece and fire surround. Replacing moulded ceilings; insulation throughout the alterations and re-gibbing throughout.

There was significant demolition in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and laundry which included removing a redundant chimney and brick fire place and all fittings.

All building work was undertaken by S & S Sorenson Builders Ltd; plumbing and gas fitting, tiling, and electrical under subcontract to Direct Gas & Plumbing Ltd, Tile Creations Limited and Superior Electrical respectively.

A heart rimu kitchen was made and installed by Style joinery Limited under a separate contract.

Tenders were sought from four firms and three submitted tenders. The S & S Sorenson Builders Ltd tender was the lowest price, when combined with the separate kitchen price, and was the earliest start option.

It was during the pre-tender process that Shane displayed an affinity with our requirements and taste and this made our decision to accept his tender easier. It was a decision we did not regret.

His team of Blair, Frances and Paul impressed from the start. The site was always tidied at the end of each day and at times this was a major undertaking, given the amount of destruction during the demolition stages . The team identified and remedied a number of problems with leaking water pipes, and substandard earlier work – some going back to 1937 when the house was built.

Nothing was a problem.

The co-ordination with sub-contractors and separate contractors for the kitchen, installation of heat pumps and painting was smooth and efficient with virtually no delays in bringing them onto site at the required times.

Inevitably we found things that we had not planned on when the job started and when we wanted these extras done there was no difficulties whatsoever and they were included as part of the overall job. All issues were fully discussed with us and explained in a way that we could clearly understand.

The workmanship, precision and finish was top class. This applied to all the sub-contractors – suffice to say we now know the best builders, plumbers, tilers and electrician that we have ever worked with.

We lived in the house, during all but the floor sanding, and that could have been a recipe for disaster with dust and noise but it was a much smoother operation than we expected and that is due to the performance on the team working on the project.

The outcome has been worth any inconvenience as we now have a home that has been “retirement proofed” and that we love.

We would have no hesitation in recommending S & S Sorenson Builders Ltd and all the contractors and sub-contractors mentioned here.

Christine and Lawson Price

January 2011