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Joel Jensen wins Young Builder of the Year

The Lismore App

Simon Mumford

05 July 2024, 9:02 PM

Joel Jensen wins Young Builder of the Year

Well-respected local builder Joel Jensen Constructions won another four awards at the recent Masters Builders Association of NSW event at the Ballina RSL, including the prestigious Young Builder of the Year Award.

(Ten of JJCs team at the Master Builders Award night at the Ballina RSL displaying the five awards. Photo: JJC Facebook)

Joel Jensen Constructions (JJC) also won:

  • Historic Residential Restoration (a 120-year-old farmhouse in Casino)
  • Commercial Projects $450K -$750K (the new La Baracca rebuild)
  • House Renovation under $400K (East Lismore flood renovation)
  • Commercial Shop Fit-Out (187 Cantina - the Mexican restaurant in Nesbitt Lane, Lismore CBD)

JJC won the five awards against some stiff building competition from Tweed to Coffs Harbour and west to Tenterfield.

"These awards are pretty prestigious, so we're pretty chuffed, Joel told the Lismore App, "I was blown away actually. I thought if I got one, I would be pretty stoked, but to get five and then the major one at the end was fantastic. I got a bit emotional on that one."

It is hard to think of Joel as man in his early 30s after all that he, and his wife Brittany, have achieved in JJCs short business career. Even the judges have been in contact as they have followed his building journey.

"I actually got a call from one of the judges. He just rang to congratulate me on getting the Young Builder of the Year Award and said, look, it's been a big journey. I still remember you entering your first awards, and he said we were pretty hard on you, and they were. If they go into one of your builds, and it's not up to where it should be, they'll let you know, like this isn't good enough, and they'll tell you why, which is good. I used to take that and go righto, this is where I need to be, so I need to get better."

"He said we're proud of you. To see where you've come from then to where you are now. So that was nice to hear. And as a team, it's good for the for the JJC family. It's good recognition for all of them for how much work they've put in and to see how chuffed they were at the awards night and when I brought them home."

The judging criteria is thorough looking at the quality of the build, judges talking to the clients, asking about customer service, the building timeline, so whether it was delivered on time, and they look at costs to make sure the builder does not overprice the project.

"The judges walk through each build and check everything, like doors, tiles, painting, everything. They got through it all."

"The judges are retired builders. They're pretty passionate about it because they want it to stay at a high standard, which is good. And, like I said, they generally let you know what you could do better, which is put in the memory bank."

Joel talked about his award-winning builds and renovations with a great sense of pride that he and his team achieved. But, the Young Builder of the Year Award was a special personal award.

"That's up to the age of 40. I've had a crack at that in the last few years, and there's just been better people in front of me, and this year, I was lucky enough to jag it. That was pretty special. It's sort of based around myself and the team, but more around what we do in the community as well as our builds."

"Right back to where our crew went and jumped in and helped out with cleaning mud out, and doing home inspections to make sure people could back in safely to just ripping in, I suppose. Again, the judges talk to staff and talk to our clients to see what our customer service is like. There's all those things in that category.

"I definitely wasn't expecting to win it. I had to get up and give a speech at the end, and I didn't have anything prepared. I had a few beers by that stage, but do remember a '*&ck yeah!' in it," Joel laughs.

(Joel Jensen giving his speech at the Ballina RSL. Photo: JJC Facebook)

"It was pretty special to win that one for not just myself, but for Brit too. It says Joel Johnson Constructions, but there's so much more to it than that. She's been right there beside me since the start. The rest of the crew, our families and people in the community who have helped us and mentored us and supported us. When I go to those awards, I represent Lismore, so I take a bit of pride in that I'm doing it for town as well.

If one person can embody the passion, love and spirit for Lismore, Joel Jensen would be very high on that list. You can't think that the top gong of Builder of the Year won't be far away.

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