Local firm builds on strong foundations for Australia wide expansion

EXCITING FUTURE FOR CAVALIER HOMES… Cavalier Homes director Jason McHugh, contract administrator, Courtney McHugh and director Scott McHugh. Photo: Katelyn Morse.

A passion for building is in the blood of Cavalier Homes directors, Scott and Jason McHugh. Their father Bob – who worked building spec houses around the region from the mid 1960s and retired in 2015 – introduced Scott and Jason to the skills of carpentry and building. Bob remained involved in the business right through to retirement, extending his enthusiasm for construction on to his two sons.

“We spent a lot of school holidays on building sites,” Scott McHugh said, “And it was from those experiences that we’ve developed a true passion for our work.”

Scott commenced his carpentry apprenticeship at age 18, working alongside Bob in completing spec houses and occasional order homes for clients.

The McHugh family moved to Melbourne in the late 1980s where they continued to work as a team in the building industry.

While in Melbourne Jason completed his apprenticeship with a major project builder, completing around 200 homes yearly, which has turned out to prove valuable experience for Cavalier Homes, with its big plans to expand.

Utilising the skills they’d learned in their respective roles in the city, the family moved back to Shepparton and started McHugh Builders.  The trio went from strength to strength specialising in high quality renovations, McHugh Builders was, at the time, one of the largest renovating builders in Shepparton.

Jason explained, “We’ve learned a lot about the simple elements that make a business run smoothly: trust people to do their job properly and direct them in a straightforward manner. You’ve also just got to be passionate about the work you do in order to produce the best quality.”

Scott chimed in, “Good business is all about good relationships with clients, suppliers and subcontractors.”

In 2002, McHugh Builders became Cavalier Homes and the first Goulburn Valley display home was opened in Waranga Drive, Kialla that same year.

Locally, Cavalier Homes currently employs 28 in their Goulburn Valley office. Many of those employed are long-standing members with over 10 years of service to the business. The number of local subcontractors employed by Cavalier Homes at any given time is quite often in excess of 100.

The successful family business became the franchisor for Cavalier Homes Australia New Zealand in 2013 along with Cavalier Homes Albury Wodonga.

In late 2016 the Cavalier Homes Head office for Australia and New Zealand moved and now operates next to the Goulburn Valley franchise office in Kialla.

The business continues to expand throughout Australia and New Zealand markets, with four local employees in the Kialla office and eight franchises open nationally and another seven opening soon.

“The company had a whole new approach with a new structure, new branding and marketing to ensure strong growth well into the future,” Scott said.

Although Bob has retired, there continues to be two generations involved in the Cavalier Homes brand, with Jason’s daughter Courtney joining the team almost 8 years ago as a contract administrator, assisting with client colour selection and administration tasks.

With Cavalier Homes benefitting from strong foundations it laid in recent years and combining strong national buying power as a franchise network, it’s got to be one of the great business success stories to come from the Goulburn Valley.