The Form Builder for 25 Years

Words by  Nick Walker
Roger Richardson Roger Richardson

Terry Clegg Builders is one of New Plymouth’s highest achieving building companies, with a reputation founded on 25 years of unwavering commitment to quality. That dedication is evident across everything they do, from award-winning builds to rave client reviews.

Never ones to rest on their laurels, Terry and Mary-Lu Clegg believe they can do better still. The business has been rebranded to FORM by Terry Clegg and they have just opened their new premises at 39 Young Street.

“We’re still the same people, and you’re still getting the same value and commitment to quality as you were before. It was more about encapsulating our company and enhancing the business, Terry states. “It’s a little bit scary to be changing the name after 25 years, but it’s exciting as well – it almost feels like a new job.” 

The new name is a play on the various meanings of form in the building industry, while keeping the continuity and accountability of Terry’s name in the business. It is the product of much brainstorming between the two of them, often late at night considering various options.

“Form is about bringing parts together, and combining to create something, which touches on what we do and also how we do it,” Terry says.

“I always tell clients there’s real value in having the builder involved early in the process – advising on land they’re looking at buying, helping with the design and bringing ideas together. The word ‘form’ describes the whole process – understanding expectations, guiding someone through various products, styles and textures and delivering a home that everyone’s really proud of.”

The new Young Street office is somewhat of a metaphor for the rebrand – the previous home office was professional and served them very well, but a dedicated, modern building in a convenient city fringe location is a step up.

It also provides a glimpse of Terry’s expertise, with an elegant, functional fit-out that combines timber features, open spaces and polished concrete floor, creating a contemporary, light industrial feel. 

While a new name and home are high level changes, at its core the business remains the same. FORM by Terry Clegg is a relatively small team compared to some other builders, but they strike the balance of having highly skilled staff while also being small enough that they’re available to clients.

“We’ve never wanted to grow so much that we lose control and that personal touch,” Terry says. “If clients want to ask a question, they can call me and I’ll come out to see them. We only build around five or six homes a year, which means we can keep that quality high and keep clients happy.

“We want our clients to feel important, not to feel like another number to us,” Mary-Lu adds.

The business’ track record for building quality homes speaks for itself. They’ve won one coveted National Award at the House of the Year Competition, as well as three Supreme Regional Awards. There’s also more than 70 House of the Year awards, including one silver this year (see overleaf).

“The national award was on a home that wasn’t a top-end price category, which shows we can build quality homes at affordable prices,” Terry says. “The awards are all about quality workmanship and finish, which is at the heart of what we do.”

FORM by Terry Clegg occupies a unique place in the market, where they can cater for clients of all budgets, regardless of what kind of home people want.

“You’d come to us for quality first and budget second,” Terry says. “We can certainly build affordably, because we’re a small team and we keep overheads down. But it does come back to the finished product, and everyone wants to be proud of the home they end up with – including us.

“We’ve never really marketed ourselves or targeted a particular section of the market – we’ve been fortunate to have grown good word of mouth and a reputation for crafting quality homes for people who are looking for something special,” Mary-Lu says.

The business also has a trusted network of subcontractors they’ve come to rely on over years of quality work together. Skilled contractors are able to meet Terry’s high expectations, and these relationships help to smooth over any issues through the process.

“I had a client recently who needed an electrician the next day because they changed their mind on some lights and it needed rewiring before the concrete slab was being poured. I called our sparky and he said ‘Yip, no worries’. That could have been a big problem for someone who didn’t have that kind of relationship.

“We’re very loyal to our subbies and they are to us. They’ve been with us for a long time and that’s because they do top quality work.”

While some things have changed at FORM by Terry Clegg, the fundamentals of the business remain the same. With a new energy adding to their 25 years of experience, things are only getting better from here.

A Silver Lining to Covid Build

Joy Josephs couldn’t be happier with the team at FORM by Terry Clegg. Her and husband Mark felt immediately at home when they moved into their new home on Manutahi Road, which recently won a Regional Silver at the House of the Year Awards.

The home is a generous 323 square metres, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and two living areas separated by a stunning double-sided gas fire. It appears to sit long and low on the flat section, perfectly framed by Mt Taranaki in the distance, but its 4.5m entry ceiling quickly shatters that illusion, creating a sense of space.

It has a seamless mix of modern features, with sloping ceilings, feature walls and inbuilt timber bookcase. Not only that, but there’s a cohesion to the various materials throughout the home, from gunmetal aluminium cladding to eco-friendly cork flooring, black kitchen cabinetry and bathroom feature tiles.

Somehow, all of these character aspects are complementary rather than competitive – it has an extremely sleek, harmonious feel from one end of the home to the other.

“It’s a home more than a designer house. It’s definitely us,” Joy states simply – and proudly.

“We got everything we wanted at the beginning. Mark has his four-car garage, I have a craft room that isn’t hidden away from the rest of the house, and we have a kitchen with a perfect view of the mountain.”

Light permeates throughout the home, drawing you to an open outdoor area that’s an entertainer’s dream. 

“It’s lovely and sheltered – even in the winter, we can sit out there and have a cup of coffee and look over the paddock. We have two fluffy cats that run around in the long grass and it’s lovely to sit out there in the open but be sheltered at the same time.”

Despite being built through the turbulence of Covid lockdowns and supply issues of recent times, Joy has only good things to say about the experience of building with FORM by Terry Clegg.

“They made us feel like we were part of the team,” she says. “We were always welcome on the site, we were always listened to in the design process, and when things were happening in the world, they’d come and visit us and explain what was going on. 

“They were just really good to us. We went to the awards dinner with Terry and Mary-Lu and it was just the icing on the cake. They were so proud of our home, and you can see that pride reflected in how amazing the house is.”

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