Karl Nicholson is one of the founders of Next Gen Luxury Homes, an evolution of K Design and Build that focuses on premium, technologically advanced, sustainable homes. Karl tells us the how and why of this latest venture and how estimating services have supported the process.
“We’d created a successful business in K Design and Build, helping homeowners build, repair, renovate and update their homes and gardens in and around the home counties for over 15 years,” said Karl. “But in April 2022, we decided to start a new venture, creating Next Gen Luxury Homes. “We saw an opportunity to focus our business on the next generation of building – hence the name – incorporating aspects such as smart technology, alternative construction methods and more sustainable products.”
Karl continued: “In the UK, we’ve been stuck in an era of building for hundreds of years, constructing in one-dimensional, traditional way with the same protocols etc. for decades. With Next Gen Luxury Homes, we want to give people the option design and build their homes differently and show how you can build in a higher level of construction, not only meeting and exceeding fire, thermal and energy efficiency regulations but using a higher skill level too.”
Speaking about the opportunity in the market, Karl said: “We could see there was some demand to deliver a new standard of quality and people who want sustainable living to be a seamless part of the home, but we’ve also got to educate the market.
“Some of our customers are drawn to use because they want to know more about the next generation of home – perhaps more from a technology perspective – but we work with them to incorporate eco measures harmoniously too and take them on a journey” added Karl.
New Methods
Talking about his decision to specialise in this area, Karl said: “New and more sustainable building methods have always been an interest. There was a real passion to learn about what’s out there, what’s possible and bring new innovations and building techniques to our customers. But, we’re also upskilling ourselves in terms of training aspects such as Solar PV, heat pumps etc. That takes time and investment, but slowly, slowly, we’re getting there.”
Starting a new venture, while running an existing business and completing training is no mean feat. However, one way that Karl and his team have been able to take time away from ‘the day job’ is by using Build Aviator estimating services.
“I’ve been working with Build Aviator for ten-plus years to give me more time to do whatever is right for my business at that time,” said Karl. “Before it might’ve given me the time to be on-site, do accounting or scheduling jobs, but now working with Build Aviator gives me the the time to do research and development, look at new innovations in the market, get out to trade shows and develop partnerships.”
“With the volume of enquiries we have, I could spend all my time costing up jobs, which would mean creating Next Gen Luxury Homes and bringing the vision we’ve got for the business to life would be near impossible.


Continuing, Karl said: “We employ four people, we’ve still got bills to pay so we need our bread and butter projects and income coming into the business alongside the upskilling and business development work we’re doing. It makes so much more sense to use an experience estimator. They’re quicker and they’re more efficient. It would take me a good week, if not longer, to cost up a full house build and do the take-off, but the Build Aviator team, use our plans, generate an estimate with minimal input and can then turn an estimate into the materials we need on site in a matter of days.”
Via Build Aviator, Karl can also learn more about innovations entering the market and reduce wastage for a more sustainable build. “Through their merchant relationship, our estimator can advise on new sustainable products and smart technologies and highlight potential improvements in our report,” he added. There’s also an opportunity to reduce wastage on site through the Bill of Quantities generated during the estimating process which in turn helps reduce the footprint of the build.”
Concluding, Karl added “Deciding to specialise, do training or start a new venture, like anything, takes time and investment. It costs money to build upskill. But, I would encourage everyone in the trade who has a genuine interest in sustainable building to pursue it. Start small and take one step at a time and look at ways you can create efficiencies and work smarter in your business by outsourcing estimating.”