Meet the team
The English Craftsman has a strong foundation of quality craftsmanship, and a passion for conservation. If you’re after real examples of our work, make sure to take a look at our portfolio.
The English Craftsman started in 2001 when its founder, Paul Winstanley, turned his English-trained antique restoration skills to the New Zealand market. Following continued success, Paul developed and marketed his own brand of finishing products for use on delicate antiques. The Easy Strip product range now sells nationwide, and is favoured by conservationists and those after the most authentic natural finish.
In 2005 the company turned its eye towards Double Glazing after Paul purchased a 1910 property and the only option for double glazing was aluminium inserts into his lovely wooden double-hung sash windows. Not satisfied with this solution, Paul developed a method of fitting double glazed units to the existing frames. The result was so successful that the service was soon in demand and The English Craftsman were the first Company to offer this an a commercial basis in the Wellington region. The service soon evolved into full manufacturing, installation and finish painting with the whole process project-managed from start to finish.
The English Craftsman now employs a large team of qualified Joiners, Carpenters and painters selected for their character and passion for the industry. We believe this is why our clients’ testimonials are so stunning, because we place passion and integrity over our bottom line.
Paul is an experienced cabinet-maker and antique furniture restorer from the UK.
Englishman Paul Winstanley the founder of The English Craftsman Ltd is the son of a respected craftsman bookbinder, Alan Winstanley. Paul grew up having an eye for attention to detail and a passion for conservation.
Paul put these skills to good use when he trained as a cabinet maker and antique restorer in England. When he moved to the Wairarapa in 2001 he wanted to utilise these qualities again and embrace his heritage; so the English Craftsman Ltd was born.
Starting off restoring Antiques from his double garage, Paul’s innovation and determination for restoration products led to the development of his own brand of paint and varnish remover; Easy Strip. Realising a gap in the industry Paul entered the home renovation market with a paint stripping and timber floor restoration service.
However the biggest turning point for the company came after the installation of aluminium double-glazing into his 85 year old house.
Remarking that the new windows had “removed the soul” from the character of his home, Paul began another quest to bring a system of Retro-Fit Double-Glazing over from the UK. For the first time it allowed double glazing to be fitted into existing wooden joinery. Combined with the fitting of specialised draught seals and the restoration of timber windows, this service has proved very popular with home renovators who wish to maintain the character of their home.
Paul now employs a small team of skilled craftsmen, joiners, painters, and carpenters; each one personally chosen for their qualifications, attention to detail, and of course, passion for the industry.
Paul and wife Katie also own and operate Changes MediSpa in Masterton, the largest Day Spa in the lower North Island together with a 7 room accommodation wing. Paul is a Licenced Private Investigator with Stealth Investigations and operates a weekend business called the Mobile Vintage Lounge, where he indulges his interest in Whiskey and fine cigars
Chris is a qualified and experienced joiner, working for The English Craftsman since 2013 in numerous roles. He wanted to be a joiner as a young teenager, starting an apprenticeship at 16 and a half in Lower Hutt. Chris is now well experienced across all aspects of joinery – manufacturing and installing high quality cabinets, kitchens, wooden joinery, and custom projects – from pet shops to offices to high-end home components. He has a keen interest in technology and how things work and often longs to be in the mountains for a run or a few days fastpacking. Alongside work at The English Craftsman, Chris is studying towards a Bachelor of Counselling.
Paul joined The English Craftsman team in 2018 and takes pride in his finishing skills and attention to detail. As our General Manager he ensures all your job runs smoothly, on time, and to your full satisfaction.
Paul is a great communicator and will be your point of contact throughout the job from start to finish.
Paul Is a fully qualified English carpenter with 25 years’ experience in the industry and a member of Certified Builders NZ for over 10 years.
He learned his trade working with heritage buildings in London and the South of England before moving to Queenstown, NZ where he built extremely high end homes and was a leading hand on the construction
of the award winning clubhouse for ‘The Hills’ golf course.
After a brief return to the UK, he returned to NZ permanently where he was part of the team at The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
He then moved into the commercial sector where he specialised in interiors, working on many high-end projects including Head offices for ANZ, The NZX Fitout, GCHQ offices and the Prime Ministers accommodation at Premier House.
When not at work Paul can be found endlessly walking his two dogs in the countryside, riding motorbikes and going snowboarding in the winter.