-By Aleisha Parr
With the advent of technology, the construction industry experienced a rebirth, allowing new ideas to flourish and old standards to be exceeded. Nevertheless, advances in technology have also signaled the demise of many time-honoured building traditions as companies have made the move toward faster and cheaper processes. This has not been the case for one particular construction company, Allkind Joinery and Glass, which has built a stellar reputation for itself in the Queensland building industry. By maintaining original timber construction traditions while also embracing technology, Allkind is able to ensure the highest quality product for all of its customers.
Allkind has the wisdom of the ages backing every decision it makes, with over forty years of industry experience. In fact, its traditions date back even further.
Brooks Joinery was a Queensland construction company offering high-quality cabinetry and joinery services. In 1970, after the passing of Mr. Brooks, the existing staff formed together to create Allkind Joinery and Glass in its current location in the suburb of Chermside, on the north side of Brisbane. Although it was a new company, it maintained the commitment to quality and hand-crafting traditions established by Mr. Brooks. To this day, Allkind still crafts timber joints using the traditional mortise and tender joint style, despite its competitions’ move away from the process. “We feel that it’s the strongest joint, and we’ve always been using that process,” says Richard Travers, Manager. This is but one example of the type of superior craftsmanship that sets Allkind apart from the competition.
Bringing the Vision to Life
With two separate factories – one specialising in Window and Door Joinery and the other in Cabinetry – Allkind is able to offer a one-stop-shop for designers, architects and builders who are looking for a high quality product.
Most of Allkind’s Window and Door projects are large-scale domestic installations including large sliding doors, timber windows and a variety of joinery projects. Window options include casements, bi-folds, awnings/hoppers, sliders, glass or timber-louvered units and double-hung sashes, all available in many configurations. Door designs include entry doors, bi-fold doors, French doors, pivot doors, sidelights and gates in both contemporary and traditional styles. Allkind uses exceptional timbers from around the world, including Surian Cedar, New Guinea Rosewood, Silky Oak, Merbau and Jarrah.
Allkind’s Cabinetry projects are generally crafted for use in commercial architectural projects. Its cabinetmaking factory creates fit-outs for offices, schools, colleges, hospitals, science laboratories and architecturally designed commercial and residential unit developments. Depending on the clients’ needs, Allkind utilises a variety of materials, such as solid timbers, polished timber veneered panels, laminated and pre-finished boards, marble, granite, solid surface and glass.
Currently, Allkind is at work on the Emergency Services and Disaster Coordination Centre in collaboration with Hutchinson Builders. The centre will be a world class communications facility located at Kedron in Brisbane, Queensland.
Some of Allkind’s previous projects include local larger Catholic Schools, Sirromet Winery in Mt Cotton, Customs House in Brisbane, and a number of celebrities’ private dwellings. Each of these projects required a unique approach and a custom solution. “We pride ourselves on working directly to help with the design, because [architects and designers] have a lot of dreams and visions that we can help bring to life. We don’t just do it one way.”
Raising the Bar
Unlike many of its competitors, everything Allkind manufactures is hand-designed and custom made on site, with no outsourcing. Allkind is proud to source its timber from local suppliers, who procure the woods from many locations around the world, depending on the architects’ specifications. This includes hardware as well, which Allkind sources locally from companies such as Centor, to ensure that every product is of the highest quality, while also supporting local industry.
Allkind begins each work tender by meeting with the client to review the design and offer insight into the best means of realising their vision for the project. “We can always guarantee the builder that we’ll do good quality work and we’ll complete it in the proposed timelines,” boasts Richard Travers.
Once a baseline design is determined, Allkind inputs it into Cabinet Vision, a computer program capable of drawing up the designs in 3D. As part of Allkind’s internal quality assurance program, the drawings are then checked by the client and approved before building begins. Allkind is able to ensure high quality in part due to Cabinet Vision, which then draws up exact plans and processes for the builders to use in the hand-crafting process. This is an excellent example of how Allkind utilises technology to raise the bar for quality in the construction industry while still allowing for hand-crafted workmanship, which is usually far superior to more modern techniques.
Allkind plans to continue to introduce new technology into its workshops, including computer estimating programs over the next few years “but in a way where we’re not compromising our traditional construction methods.”
Employer of the Year
In 2006, Allkind was awarded the prestigious Queensland Apprenticeship Small/Medium Employer of the Year award for its dedication to providing real career opportunities to its staff. Indeed, many of its key employees have been with the company for over twenty-five years now, and all employees are considered to be long-term assets. “With any new apprentices we put on,” says Mr Travers, “I always look to the future and [see how] we can shift them into this position in five or ten years’ time.” Richard Travers himself began working for Allkind in 1981 as an apprentice cabinetmaker and has been moving up in the company ever since. Mr Travers explains that this is the general process for most of Allkind’s employees, who are guided through the company by the Directors and are assisted along their career-path from day one. “We always look at the future of how that person could grow within the company.”
While it is this dedication to each employee that has helped Allkind become a place where employees choose to stay throughout their entire career, it is Allkind’s adherence to traditional values, enhanced by technological advancements that has led to its continued success in the industry. Altogether, the passion bred by creating such a unique and dynamic environment has been the key to maintaining Allkind’s unrivalled tradition of excellence.