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Michael Cicanese, Element Builders: Client Q&A

Michael Cicanese and his wife Lorraine run a boutique building company with a sustainable soul.

Where did it all start in the building industry for you?
As a young boy I used to go to building sites with my father and play around with his tools. When I finished high school I did a carpentry apprenticeship.

Why sustainable homes?
Sustainable homes are the future. We need to look at ways of saving energy and creating a smaller carbon footprint. At Element Builders, we like to design homes that are solar orientated and use recycled materials with an individual touch.

You recently won a 2017 Master Builders Housing Excellence Award. Can you elaborate?
We designed and built a timber-framed house with architect Sid Thoo. The cladding was treated using the old Japanese method of shou sugi ban (burnt timber). We used recycled timber for built-in furniture. It’s solar orientated with a polished concrete floor for thermal mass as well as off form concrete walls and double glazed windows.

How long have you been a client of PSZ?
Six years. I’ve known Carlo for more than 40 years and it would be hard to find a more honest and genuine person. Carlo was giving us great advice when he wasn’t our accountant so it was just a natural move for us.

What services has PSZ provided for you apart from the obvious tax returns?
Setting up a business structure, business mentoring, general advice, conversion to Xero, Xero training and finance.

Any key pieces of advice PSZ has given you?
Changing over to Xero has made a huge difference both in time and transparency. We are in a growth phase right now and PSZ has been invaluable with business advice, especially our cashflow forecasting.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Mountain bike riding. Daydreaming about new home designs and alternative methods of building.

Favourite team?
My family.

Three words that describe you…
Honest. Genuine. Creative.

A quirky fact about you…
I wear socks and thongs at home in the winter.

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