Originally founded in 1983 under the ownership of Fletcher Challenge, Signature Homes is one of New Zealand's longest serving home building companies. The owners of Signature Homes, Gavin & Anneta Hunt, were involved with the launch of the business 36 years ago, ensuring that when you build with us, you are in reliable, trustworthy and experienced hands.
1983 was the year the Signature Homes brand was first introduced to the market. The company began building exclusively solid wood homes, a style of dwelling in vogue in New Zealand at that time. The Signature Homes solid wood offering was launched to compete for market share with Lockwood Homes, one of New Zealand's most successful home building companies of the era. The components of the early Signature Homes were manufactures and assembled at a Mount Maunganui factory, then transported to building sites all over New Zealand.
Signature Homes grew quickly in its first five years in business, and soon established a strong presence in the New Zealand market. In 1987, economic conditions changed for the worse, and along with changing home design trends this meant that Signature Homes began to broaden their offer by constructing conventional timber-framed homes as well as solid wood homes.
The 1990s heralded a significant change at Signature Homes, with the company moving into the 'Design & Build' market for the first time, and building conventional timber-framed homes exclusively, rather than solid wood homes. The company also launched a number of new home collections, which were well received by the market.
In 1995, Signature Homes became privately owned for the first time, and also started building homes, commercial buildings and resorts around the Asia-Pacific region. The projects completed included The Sheraton Bora Bora Resort, The Cocoa Beach Island Resort and The Shanghai Golf Club. The export side of the Signature Homes business flourished, with Signature winning the 1998 and 1999 New Exporter of the Year Award.
In the year 2000, Signature Homes set its sights on being New Zealand's premier branded home Design & Build group, a vision developed in conjunction with its franchises. Signature Homes then began to introduce a world-class franchise system to support its network of builders around the country. To support this further, the company also joined the Franchise Association of New Zealand (FANZ), going on to win its Business Leadership Award in 2002.
In the same year, The Ministry of Education appointed Signature Homes as their preferred builder of early childhood centres in New Zealand. Signature has since built over 100 of these centres covering the length of the country, and continues building them today through its Signature Developments.
In 2013, Signature Homes celebrated its 30th year in business.
In 2009, Signature Homes built over $100 million worth of homes and buildings. The following year, Signature Homes built New Zealand's first 5-Star Eco-rated Kura Kaupapa for 80 students at Matauri Bay, Northland. The company also successfully released its first magazine, Signature Style - the first offered by any builder in New Zealand. The second issue was printed in 2012, and the third in 2014.
In 2003, Signature Homes was appointed the Heart Foundation's builder of lottery homes, and in 2004 Signature Homes was included in the Deloitte's Fast50, which measures the 50 fastest growing companies in New Zealand.
In 2005, Signature Homes launched a 'cloud' based business management tool, The Signature Way. The system ties together various aspects of the business, and provides 24/7 access to the entire franchise network. The Signature Way software continues to be developed and enhanced today, making it New Zealand's leading business management tool in the construction industry.
In 2008, Signature Homes became the first building company in New Zealand to launch an independently-bonded building guarantee programme that guarantees completion of a client's home as set out in the Building Agreement. The guarantee programme gives Signature Homes' clients more protection than any other programme available in New Zealand, covering not only home completion, but many other aspects including weathertightness, structural and non-structural defects. Also in 2008, Signature Homes was reappointed the Ministry of Education's preferred builder of Early Childhood Centres.