Meet Ainsworth & Collinson: two generations of builders bringing Hawke’s Bay homes to life

Written by

15 July 2024


4 min read

Since its inception in 1999, Ainsworth & Collinson has been delivering quality homes for residents across the Hawke’s Bay. ArchiPro caught up with Leif Collinson, son of founder Flint Collinson, to learn more about the family business.

With a shared passion for building and the desire to bring quality construction services to the Hawke’s Bay, business partners Ken Ainsworth and Flint Collinson started Ainsworth & Collinson in 1999. In the years that followed, the pair established a reputation for unbeatable craftsmanship and attention to detail across the region, eventually bringing their sons, Leif and Luke, on board. 

Today, day-to-day operations in the office are shared by Ken and Leif, with Luke on site to project manage.

“I price the jobs and do all the admin work, meeting with architects and clients to lock in the jobs. Once a job is approved, I pass it off to Ken and Luke, who will then project manage the job,” Leif Collinson explains.

“Ken and Luke figure out which foreman will run the job, and then they build the team around the foreman and the job location. We service Hawke's Bay, Napier and Hastings with 14 team members in total. Some of the team are based in Hastings and some are based in Napier, so we try to make it work depending on where employees are based so they're not travelling too much.”

The 14-strong team has experience in many different build styles, with high-end residential homes and renovations their forte.

Founded by Ken Ainsworth and Flint Collinson, the Ainsworth & Collinson team are experts in the Hawke's Bay area.

Building with Ainsworth & Collinson

“Typically a client will come to us because they've heard of us and they want some guidance. So we'll direct them to an architect, recommending that they choose an architect with a style that they like. Once they’ve met with the architect, they'll come back to us with a plan and we'll price it up,” Leif says.

“We work with multiple architects, and they all have their own style and ways of working. It’s so important to find an architect with a style you like so you know you’ll be happy with the outcome from the get-go, rather than contracting an architect for a job that is completely different from their previous projects.”

To achieve the best results, Leif suggests clients return with a draft plan so they can discuss cost-saving opportunities and potential additions to the plan. This allows the client to gain an understanding of where they’re at financially, and decide if they want to spend more or less money on their home.

This beachfront Hawke's Bay home is a celebration of outdoor living.

Sun-drenched Hawke’s Bay homes

Hawke’s Bay is known for long sunny days, which is why many of Leif’s clients plan their homes around outdoor living spaces. 

A recent beachfront project showcases this celebration of outdoor living, with an open-plan layout and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for a light-filled interior and extensive views of the surrounding landscape. Generous deck space gives the homeowners plenty of room to enjoy the outdoors, with the beach only a short walk away.

“This award-winning home is a testament to exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. From the foundation to the finishing touches, every aspect of the build has been executed to the highest standards, resulting in a home that not only looks stunning but also stands the test of time,” the home’s description reads.

This coastal property evokes sunny Malibu days, with plenty of outdoor space to enjoy summer activities.
A true masterpiece of construction and expert design, this home has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a luxury beachfront property.
A true masterpiece of construction and expert design, this home has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a luxury beachfront property.
Ainsworth & Collinson's talent shines through the home's clever craftsmanship.
Ainsworth & Collinson's talent shines through the home's clever craftsmanship.

Completed in 2019, another coastal property boasts a modern, Malibu-inspired design brought to life through impeccable construction. On arrival, you’re greeted by an expansive outdoor entertainment area with a pool, fireplace, and deck that leads into a comfortable lounge. Upstairs, a large deck wraps around the home with views of the ocean and all-day sun.

“This seaside home is a true masterpiece of craftsmanship and design. With its high-quality construction, award-winning builders, swimming pool, separate games room, and timber ceilings, it offers a lifestyle of luxury and comfort that is unmatched. Step inside and you'll be greeted by a light-filled interior adorned with timber ceilings that add warmth and character to the space. The open-plan layout creates a seamless flow between the living, dining, and kitchen areas while floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of the ocean beyond.” 

Since the floods that wiped out large areas of the Hawke’s Bay region in January 2023, Leif says there has been an increase in homes built on elevated sites.

“A lot of people are buying homes in more elevated places, and thinking more about natural disasters,” Leif explains.

“My property was flooded, and while the house was fine, part of the land was washed away. I ended up having to rebuild the land, which included a big retaining wall. Now our property is amazing — I've got a front lawn, and I never had a front lawn before. Sometimes you have to go through bad stuff to see the good stuff as well.”

If you’re interested in building a high-end home in the Hawke’s Bay, get in touch with the team at Ainsworth & Collinson today.

Learn more about Ainsworth & Collinson.