Time to teach Devon women about construction says female Fremington builder

24 September 2019

An assistant site manager at a north Devon housebuilder – who grew up in South Africa – says that more young women in the county need to join the industry.

View the video of her urging women to enter into housebuilding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBHoxXy_k48

Kim Butler Bovis Homes Water's Edge Fremington
Kim Butler at Bovis Homes' Water's Edge location in Fremington 
Kim Butler, who is based at Bovis Homes’ Water’s Edge location in Fremington, worked in sales after moving to the UK but soon got back into construction - her passion for more than 20 years.

And Kim says that she hopes the county’s schools and colleges step up to encourage girls into the business to help meet the need for more quality housing.

“There needs to be more done to encourage young women and girls at school and college to enter the housebuilding industry as there are so many roles for them,” she said.

“They shouldn’t be nervous because they don’t think they have the knowledge or they are the only women on site, everything gets better through experience. They just need to be keen and eager and show aptitude and they’ll find their place in the industry.”

The keen cyclist, who jointly ran a construction company in Cape Town, wears a pink hard hat at Water’s Edge to promote awareness for breast cancer, which her Mum sadly passed away from. Breast Cancer Awareness Month starts on 1st October and Kim in the past has shaved her head to raise money.

“Being in north Devon is wonderful, it’s so quiet and peaceful and so close to such natural beauty,” Kim said. “Water’s Edge reflects that, being right by the Tarka Trail and overlooking the River Taw.

“The landscape is very similar to Cape Town. You can cycle or walk to Fremington Quay café or just admire the wildlife and countryside.

“I much prefer working on the construction side but it’s great to have a background in sales and customer care, as we meet and chat with our home owners every day.

“It’s always a pleasure as the quality of homes we build here is so high, we get great customer feedback. A great finish is always essential but it’s that eye for detail and having a caring approach.

“Wearing a pink hat on site isn’t just a statement for women – in recent years the industry has got much better and you can earn respect regardless of gender or age. It’s to raise awareness for breast cancer, which is so important to do and affects so many of us, and I’ll be doing my bit during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.”

There are only ten homes left to buy at Bovis Homes’ Water’s Edge location – all are three or four-bedroom.

The three-bedroom Sheringham house type has an open-plan kitchen with dining area, French doors to the back garden and a master bedroom with an en suite. The four-bedroom Eliot, Canterbury and Harriett offer individual styles and the Harriett has a double garage included.