How it all began – Humble beginnings, humble abode.

It all began when business partners Dean Atkinson and David Pontifex met and became friends at four-year kinder and remained friends through primary school. After school, they both qualified as carpenters and joiners and together decided to follow their professional goals together.

Their first project was a rundown home they purchased in Beaumaris with the view to gut and renovate it, so set up their office in the garage. From there, the business grew organically by word of mouth as they slowly but surely gained a solid reputation for delivering high-quality builds to their clients. Thirty years on, they remain the premier builders in the Bayside area, mainly working with clients from Brighton to Beaumaris.

Dean and David's builds and renovations have featured in many architectural and house and garden magazines over the years however, they have never marketed the business in traditional methods through paid advertising. They are the quiet achievers whose results of elite craftsmanship are visible through their completed projects, outstanding industry reputation, client testimonials and referrals.

“We are constantly challenging ourselves to improve what we do in our business, and because of this, we put considerable time and effort into problem-solving, so our clients are rewarded with the best possible outcome. Our focus on all our projects is to do whatever possible to assist and facilitate our clients in building their dream homes.” Dean Atkinson

The building industry went through some rough times following the economic knock-on effects of the global pandemic. With a lack of materials being able to reach Australian shores, building costs were escalating to over 30% higher and with the beginning of the internet rate rises shortly after, prospective clients were putting their plans on hold. However, the business remained strong, and work continued to flow.

Looking good on the inside and out.

One of the market differentiators between Atkinson Pontifex and other builders is that they can incorporate and execute the landscape design and construction alongside their client's building project. David Pontifex has a great interest in gardening and believes the external natural surroundings of the home are just as important as the inside, and both are integral to family living.

Sam Gray has worked with Atkinson Pontifex for 9 years and has seen the business grow from strength to strength by establishing a respectful name in the community. His primary role in the business is landscape design, but he also helps manage client projects, business operations and human resources, your classic jack of all trades.

Before Sam joining the business, Dean and David were so passionate about incorporating their creative vision for gardens into their business that they decided to team up with landscape designers and submit their entries to the Royal Horticultural Society – and the famous Chelsea Flower Show.

In 2007 they won their first Silver Medal Gilt award for their garden construction designed by Mark Browning. Then in 2008, they took home their first Gold award designed by the popular Jamie Durie and additional Gold Medals in 2010, designed by Scott Wynd and in 2013, designed by Philip Johnson.

“With regards to landscaping – not many other builders do this. David has always had a huge interest in gardens and believes that first impressions are important, as is street appeal. Often, it’s the garden that gets noticed even before the new build.” Sam Gray


Three bespoke builds in Black Rock and Brighton.

Keen on Green

But the business knows it's not all about aesthetics; the feel of a home being surrounded by nature and being able to relax in a garden of any size is good for people's wellbeing. 80% of their clients will now incorporate landscaping designs into their building or renovating plans. It can be extremely beneficial to design your garden at the same time you are building or renovating your home because it can save a lot of money.  There are several times during a project when you lose access to your home, so we forecast what needs to be done and plan accordingly. This could mean planning on how to crane in advanced trees to plumbing and irrigation considerations and roughing in the wires for external mood lighting.

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