10 Mar 2015

Booming housing market grows small business

5:56 am on 10 March 2015

The booming housing market is helping a small Hamilton-based manufacturer carve out a niche for its innovative aluminium downpipes.

Freeflow Pipes has been in business for almost two years, and expects to see a four-fold increase in sales over the coming year with plans to expand to Australia.

Owner and managing director Peter Barrett said builders liked the simple design because it reduced the number of downpipes needed to meet New Zealand's building code and therefore reduced building costs.

"I believe the downpipe that we have ... should dominate the total industry because it's mass produced and saves the house builder approximately 800 bucks per home."

Mr Barrett said it was a no-brainer why builders liked his product.

"Because it's cheaper, it's stronger, it's got a greater flow rate, it's easily ordered off a plan and it takes the hassle out of having somebody come along at the finishing stage of a home and assemble a downpipe at the site."

Mr Barrett said the company's machinery had sufficient capacity to produce the whole of New Zealand's downpipe volume on a single shift.