Built with integrity
Brilliant SA was first formed in 2001 by Directors Peter Sveinsson and Michael Pietrus, who were each successful bathroom specialists at the time. Although they were competitors, they had a lot in common – they both of them came from long and diverse careers in the home renovation industry, and they both shared a passion for excellence and a commitment to quality. They made the strategic decision to combine their strengths, and create a new and stronger business together.
“Michael and I first met on a commercial building site 11 before, when we were both working as tilers,” recalls Peter. “We didn’t have a lot to do with one another at the time, but we kept meeting through industry and trade related functions over the years. We saw that we had similar values and ethics, and we were travelling on parallel paths.”
“As our small one-man-band businesses grew, we realised we were hitting the same brick wall that single operators hit,” he continues. “We thought the best way to get through that was to join forces. Just as importantly we could both see an opportunity to raise the standards and service levels in our chosen market segment. We started trading in October, 2001, and since then the company has grown from strength to strength.”
In the beginning, the company was called Brilliant Bathrooms, and operated from a home office in Eden Hills. Soon after, they moved to a small shop on Shepherds Hill Road in 2003, and developed a strong reputation within the local community. Around that time, the business also commenced doing upgrades to units in retirement villages. They started with single bathroom renovations, but have since grown to doing complete unit upgrades.
After years of success, Brilliant SA outgrew their Shepherds Hill Road office in 2009. They moved to their current premises on South Road in Black Forest, where they have a modern showroom where clients can come to discuss their needs, get assistance with selections, and review designs and proposals.
In the years and since, the company has continued to grow and expand their service offering to include kitchen renovations, and full residential and commercial refurbishments. In 2011, they changed their name to Brilliant SA to reflect this wider range of services. Today, they have cemented their position as an industry leader in residential renovation work.
Making clients comfortable
Brilliant SA mainly works within the Adelaide metropolitan area, as well as in the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula. The average size of their jobs has grown over the years, and they currently do a lot of renovation work valued between $200,000 and $300,000.
According to Peter, customers in that bracket choose Brilliant SA for multiple reasons. Firstly, they recognise the company’s experience and stability. The company itself has been around for more than a decade, while Peter and Michael personally have more than 60 years’ experience in the home renovation industry between them.
Secondly, Peter says their personalised service sets the company apart. He and Michael interact with the client’s directly, and they believe in a highly collaborative approach throughout the whole process. Our mission for every project is to discover and fulfil our clients’ needs. From the consultation stage all the way through to project delivery – and even beyond, with their unparalleled after-sales service – Brilliant SA stays in regular communication with clients, and supports them in whatever ways they can.
“Clients can feel comfortable that they’re going to get what they’re promised,” Peter says. “That’s what we build our business on. That integrity is what brings our clients back. The majority of our business – at least three quarters of our volume of work – is work for repeat clients and from direct referrals. We believe that speaks volumes.”
Brilliant SA’s exceptionally high standard of quality has not gone unrecognised. Over the years, their consistency has earned them the loyalty and testimonials of a long list of clients, along with industry accolades from peak bodies. At the MBA 2013 Awards, for example, the company was honoured with the South Australian award for Excellence in a Renovation or Addition up to $200,000. Soon after, they went on to win the National award for Alterations and Additions $150,000 to $350,000.
“It was an important award for us to enter into, and an absolute honour to win,” Peter says. “That is the type of work we are increasingly doing, and the type of work that we are looking for. To get that recognition from the peak industry awards in that area is absolutely delighting.”
“It’s also important for our clients to see that tick approval,” he adds. “It speaks to the overall quality they expect from us.”
Peter is especially proud of the awards victory on the national level, because they were competing against projects of much higher value. To win, the quality of their delivery had to be nothing less than outstanding.
“It’s a real boost to our team,” he adds. “And it really establishes us as a serious contender for projects of many sizes and types.”
The award-winning renovation consisted of two upstairs bathrooms, a ground floor kitchen, laundry and powder room, and over 200 square metres of new tiled flooring. The kitchen was extensively renovated, and involved removing a bulky corner pantry and reworking of the bulkheads to increase storage space and usability. One of the bathrooms was altered to include stylish angles windows, a free standing bath, and a large, open walk-in shower.
In their comments, MBA judges were highly complementary of the result Brilliant SA achieved. They called the renovation “exceptional,” and said it was “a delight to inspect.”
“The choice of materials and the resultant high quality of finishes exudes opulence,” they said. “The builder’s attention to protection and care during the build received extremely high praise from the owners, as did all facets of the project including design, costing, constructions and administration.”
That award wasn’t the first award Brilliant SA has won. In 2013 alone, they took home a long list of accolades and commendations from other key industry bodies such the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Kitchen and Bathrooms Designers Institute (KBDi).
Peter credits that award-winning consistency to their attention to detail. He says they “get obsessive about getting things right.”
“We’ve always believed that ‘near-enough is not good enough,’ and mediocrity is something we abhor,” he says. “I’ve got a big poster set up on my wall that says ‘allergic to mediocrity.’ I really take that to heart.”
He also credits the company’s roster of talented subcontractors, all of whom can be trusted to share in that commitment to quality. Many of them are people Peter and Michael have known for decades, and most of them have been working with Brilliant SA since the day the business started trading. And since Peter and Michael both come from trade backgrounds, they have the experience of being in their shoes and can relate to their struggles.
“So we understand many of the frustrations they deal with on an everyday basis,” Peter explains. “And we set ourselves apart from many others in the way we deal with them. Too many builders fall into the trap of setting up an ‘us and them’ relationship, which we don’t believe in. We believe in a collaborative approach in all our relationships.”
“Our network of specialist product suppliers plays a key role in the overall process and client experience. Their expertise, quality products reliability and exceptional service record have earned them our trust and our business over a number of years. They have supported us in our quest to deliver the best outcome for our clients. That’s what it’s all about.”
“We treat our subcontractors and key suppliers as close, integral parts of our team,” he continues. “They understand what we’re trying to deliver to our clients, and they really work as an extension of Brilliant SA. That has really made a big difference to the success of the company.”
Moving forward, Peter says he hopes to keep that team together. And as the company evolves, he hopes to work with more people who are equally dedicated and equally passionate about quality. He says his vision is for the business to continue to grow steadily, but without losing their core values. He wants the team to always “do what they love, and love what they’re doing.”
“We see ourselves undertaking larger projects as we go, including project that used to be beyond our reach,” he explains. “We still won’t be looking into commercial building work, or new builds – we’re going to focus on what we love doing, and what we believe we do best.”