Testimonials from Cavern Homes Customers

On Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 3:57 PM Clint Latour wrote:

As a first time homeowner in New Zealand we were nervous at the start. Working with the Cavern Homes team proved to be delightful. We felt as if they were part of our vision and dreams working with us like friends to embrace the new build challenge giving us fresh perspectives and assurance along the way. Ken and his team have become friends and we plan to use them again soon for our expansion phase on our country home. What a quality build, on time and in budget. Cavern homes managed the contractor teams with precision at every step over the 6 months whilst the building project unfolded. We highly recommend them to anyone looking for an honest, reliable and friendly build team to tackle your next big dream project.

5 stars- Team Cavern Homes.

Fond Regards Clint and Sonia Latour

We have just had our new house completed by Cavern Homes. Ken and his team of dedicated tradesmen have done a great job and we are very pleased with how our house has turned out. We have found Ken to be a man of his word as he has been able to stick to his fixed price quotation and we think this is very important when you build. The only extra costs came about from our desire to up the spec some aspects of our build, so this was our choice.
When building a new home from scratch there will always be hurdles to overcome and whenever we had one, Ken was there to sort it out in a timely manner.
So overall we were very pleased and I would recommend Cavern Homes to anyone looking to build in the Mangawhai area.

Kind regards,

Warren and Lorna Wilks – October 2017

All ready to sign with another company, a friend in the industry suggested that we contact Ken Dugdale at Cavern Homes for one last quote.
From that first phone call, I was impressed with the professional manner in which Ken started us on a painless journey building our dream home. We already had our plan but Ken quickly showed us ways in which our building costs could be saved, and how we could take advantage of our amazing views.
Ken and Karen (his wife and interior design consultant) are professional, organised and dedicated to building an absolutely quality home.
Communication is great, regular updates from Ken and panicked phone calls from us are dealt with stress free.
In Ken’s words, ‘Nothing is a problem’. He is there to take the stress away from us we continue to build our dream home with a team of professionals.

Robyn Sibtsen and Dean Phillips

We recently moved into our new home built for us by Cavern Homes in Mangawhai, and are delighted with the result.

We gave Cavern Homes the challenge of a strict budget, a difficult building site and a request for a downsized version of their Mangawhai Show Home. They achieved everything we asked for and the house was completed almost on schedule despite the fact that we built during a very wet winter.

At all stages we were impressed with the quality of materials and workmanship. Consequently, their recent Master Builders Award for Workmanship, Creativity and Innovation came as no surprise to us, confirming as it did our experience with the company.

At all times during the build the Cavern Homes management team were approachable, co-operative, understanding and flexible to ensure we achieved the best result possible for our budget. And we really enjoyed meeting the “subbies” employed on the job who were, without exception, always helpful, professional, and ready to share a joke.

As with all such projects the negotiations and preparation are all important. Cavern Homes were thorough during this process and ensured we were comfortable with what we had decided before work commenced.

We would recommend anyone thinking of building to consider Cavern Homes.

Lynne & Dennis Mischewski
December 2015

We are delighted to recommend Cavern Homes as builders of very high quality, competitively priced homes which are completed within financial and time parameters.

Ken Dugdale has guided us through the design and building process for the new home which we have just moved into and the process has been exciting and highly rewarding. The house exceeds our expectations and feels like a five star hotel!

The experienced, highly competent building team are overseen by John Hancock and have all been friendly, pleasant and helpful. John’s wealth of building experience and technical competence are evident and his ingenious and innovative suggestions have been invaluable.

At all times Ken and John have ensured that we were in touch with what is happening and have been available to discuss each aspect, providing opportunities to make changes as the building evolved, resulting in a home which surpasses our expectations.

Meticulous attention to detail, listening to us and keeping in touch have been integral to the building process throughout, supported by an ethical, reliable, professional approach and delivered at a very competitive price.

We have been completely delighted with the results and now have Cavern Homes building for us again!

Karen and Bruce Miller
November, 2015

After approaching several local builders about “design & build” possibilities for a new house on our Mangawhai Heads section, we relatively quickly entered into a building contract with Cavern Homes. We chose Cavern Homes because of the fast response by Ken Dugdale and his architect in developing sketch plans to our requirements, our confidence in Ken (proven fully justified), and the all-inclusive fixed contract price. Having a fixed price was particularly important to us – We did not want any of the “variations” (i.e. price increases) that we had encountered on previous projects with other builders in spite of no changes to specification or scope of works being requested by us. As promised, Cavern Homes honoured the contract price without question even though aspects of the site may have turned out to be a little more challenging than expected.

It was a pleasure dealing with Ken and we are very happy with the house which has been finished to a high standard. Cavern Homes also made a very good job of cleaning up the site and reinstating/re-contouring the ground. In other words, all the outside “heavy” work was also done for us and we really appreciate that.

Michael & Christine Silvester
October 2015

We are currently having a new house built by Cavern Homes on our section at Mangawhai Heads. In January this year we approached several local building companies looking for a “design and build” offering to suit our sloping site.

Ken Dugdale of Cavern Homes responded quickly and enthusiastically with a suggested floor plan, but more significantly with a “footprint” and construction concept which he thought would suit both the site and our stated budget. By merging our own ideas on floor plan with Ken’s design concept, his architect (again quite quickly) developed sketch plans to a stage where we could approve the design and Ken was able to offer us a fixed-price all-inclusive building contract.

None of the other builders we had enquired with were prepared to offer this and the fixed-price aspect was particularly important to us. We were also impressed with the construction timetable and completion date being established at the point of entering into the contract and consequent advance notice of requirements given to suppliers and sub-contractors.

At time of writing our new house is close to lock-up stage and does seem to be on target for completion to a high standard and close to the originally planned date.

Michael & Christine Silvester
Mangawhai Heads
June 2015

Re: Ken Dugdale, Cavern Homes

Just over 5 months ago we met Ken Dugdale purely by chance. We were having a look at a 4 acre section on the Mangawhai Ridge Farm Park. We knocked on the door of the neighbours house they could give us some advice on the area. It was here we met Ken’s wife Karen who was very friendly and helpful. When we mentioned we were looking to possibly build she said what a coincidence, that’s what my husband does!

We felt instantly at ease with Kens approach and he struck us as an honest guy that gave us some great advice. It was from this very first meeting, Rachael and I decided if we were going to build in Managawhai, Ken would be our man.

On our return to Auckland we purchased the land that week from a friend of a friend whose circumstances had changed.

The land came with plans and building and resource consent.

We sat down with Ken and Bridget Selby, a local real-estate agent to discuss plans. We were very keen on building with re sale in mind as we were keen to protect our investment. Ken convinced us that the site needed a substantial house to make the most of the section with its spectacular views. Bridget felt that 3 bedrooms with a lounge that could be easily turned into a fourth bedroom when extra friends arrive was important.

Ken listened very carefully to input from ourselves and Bridget. Ken completely redesigned the plans we inherited. He changed the plans to take greatest advantage of the sight. And he re worked the plans a few times over the course of a week.

The final plan idea came to him late one night; he rang us first thing the next morning and sounded so excited. On opening the email we could see why. It was exactly what we wanted.

Karen, Ken’ s wife also helped us with interior design. We are rapped with how the interior has turned out. The colours aren’ t ones we would have chosen on our own. But now we have seen the finished product we are extremely happy with how it has turned out. Karen kept reassuring us not to worry it will be fine when it’s done,and she was great. We especially like the bold mosaics she chose for the Kitchen.

Ken gave us a fixed price and time frame up front. We rather doubted his ambitious completion date, as it didn’t seem possible to us that someone could build a close to 200 square meter home in 4 months. We had some atrocious weather during the build but Ken still managed to give us keys just one week later than he promised.

Kens organisation skills and forward planning were a dream.

It was clear that he had a great relationship with all his subcontractors and relationships he has built up over his many years operating in the Mangawhai area.

I have no hesitation in recommending Ken and Cavern Homes to anyone looking to build in Mangawhai. Please free to Contact me at any time on 021 877 888.

Yours sincerely
Peter Collins
Vicino Trust

Ken and Cavern Homes were recommended to me by my future neighbour. We wanted to build a two-storey house with wraparound decks to maximise the beautiful water views. We live on the North Shore and needed to rely heavily on a local builder. I found Ken and the team easy to deal with and no question was left unanswered. I was always made to feel welcome on my visits up from Auckland. I also planned to have a steel shed built at the same time, Ken accommodated this with a no-problem approach and ensure I was minimising any costs as Ken organised earthworks and connections to plumbing/drainage to the shed at the same time as the house was being built. The Cavern team worked in with the Shed supplier without any trouble and managed inspections, etc even beyond the completion of the house to ensure I did not have to worry.

The build quality is excellent and they were ahead of schedule allowing them to hand over on Christmas Eve 2017. At all times they communicated with me and kept me up to date. Ken met with me on site whenever required and made suggestions but allowed me to have input too. I felt always that the team had my interests at heart and went out of their way to facilitate my horticultural business that I was setting up in the shed.

The fixed price that Ken gave me mean that I could budget accordingly and any additions were discussed and signed off. This gave me confidence that Ken was in control and seeing the work and attention to detail I knew I was receiving good value for money.

To summarise, thankyou to my now neighbour for recommending Ken. We have a beautiful home and it was enjoyable to watch it being built and engaging with all who were involved.

Thank you


Sam Chang – 28 May 2018

Wed May 30 2018 at 5.42pm

Hi Ken

Now that we are coming to an end with our build we would just like to say how happy we are that we decided to build with Cavern Homes. As you know we have built five homes here in Mangawhai with other housing companies and yours is the best by far.

From the beginning for the design (thank you for putting up with my forever changing things) right through to the end, your supervisor Paul has been a star at getting things done quickly and smoothly and keeping us all happy.

We have no hesitation in highly recommending Cavern Homes to anyone in fact we have on Facebook already.


Sheryl and John Innes

Sheryl & John Innes
30 May 2018