Sydney Beach Homes
Sydney Beach Homes

Why Your Approved Projects Might Not Get Built: The importance of early builder engagement

For homeowners, designing and building a house is often a dream come true. After months, maybe even years of planning and designing, they finally receive the approval to start building their dream home. However, the truth is that the majority of approved projects never get built. Why is that? It’s because, as builders, we know that the traditional approach to designing a house often overlooks one crucial component: engaging a professional builder early in the process. In this post, we will discuss why it is critical to engage a builder in the concept design stage and how this can help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure that your dream home gets built.

The traditional approach to designing a house often has its flaws as homeowners tend to engage an architect or designer without consulting a builder early in the process. After months of work and spending thousands of dollars on designs, they finally approach builders to tender the project. Unfortunately, this approach can lead to budget issues, misunderstandings, and the project becoming unfeasible.

Building a home is a collaborative effort that requires the input of everyone involved. That is why it is essential to engage a builder early in the process. A professional builder can contribute valuable insights about the buildability of the design and feasibility regarding budget and timeline. By engaging a builder early in the process, homeowners can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that the project is feasible.

One of the significant benefits of engaging a builder early in the design process is that they can identify potential risks or roadblocks that could impact the project’s success. Furthermore, a builder can also help identify building materials and techniques that can save money and time without compromising on quality.

Finally, engaging a builder early in the process can help homeowners set realistic expectations regarding timelines and budgets. Builders can provide estimates of costs based on previous projects, which can help homeowners make more informed decisions about what they can achieve for their budget. Furthermore, builders can also help identify potential areas where costs can be reduced without compromising on quality.

Involving your builder early in the planning process, effective communication, setting realistic expectations, and trusting your builder are all key factors in ensuring a successful building or renovation project. By following this approach, you can work together with your builder to create a home that is both functional and beautiful and meets your needs and budget. Remember, building or renovating a home is a collaborative effort, and by working together in a transparent and communicative way, you can achieve your dream home. So, embrace the process and enjoy the journey towards creating your perfect home. Happy building or renovating!

Don’t let your dream home remain just a dream, take the first step and reach out to us today.

READY TO BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME?

If you have a block of land just waiting for your dream home, a dated property you’d like to knock down and re-build, a home that needs a little TLC and a new lease of life with a full renovation – or even if you’re not exactly sure which way to go, and would just like some advice, we’d love to hear from you, and we’re here help.

When is a beach home not a beach home?

Well, arguably, when it’s a shimmering monument to the ultimate in sleek  modern minimalism.

Of course, a property like this may will be a beach home in every literal sense if it is in fact a home and it’s located by the beach.

It’s interesting, that the phrase ‘beach home’ generally conjures up in our mind’s eye, everything from shabby beach-chic to Hamptons style classicism, but the trend in pristine, modernist structures has probably now overtaken the quintessential beach home style.

So how do you go about creating your minimalist haven by the sea?

The first challenge is wear and tear, from the less than forgiving coastal elements. We expect to see some worn decking and even a little distressed weatherboard paint on a classic beach house – or at least we accept it as part of the beach-life charm. Sand in the home can be tolerated, surfboards adorning the veranda is all part of the picture.

But none of this sits well in a high-gloss environment, brimming with expensive finishes.

Your builder will be able to advise you of new developments in exterior building materials that are built to withstand the harsh elements of our coastline, while maintaining desired aesthetics.

contemporary home style Sydney Beach Homes

Bringing the outside in, while keeping it out.

There’s a conundrum! When building a beach home like this, we need to pay particular attention to doors and windows, seeking out specialist materials and highly effective seals and closures.

A trademark feature of the contemporary home, especially when you have expansive ocean views is the acres of glass frontage that reveal the coastline in all its incredible beauty and bring it directly into your home.

For these situations, self-cleaning glass is a must, combined with smart glass systems, which allow you to control the amount of heat and light that comes into your home throughout the day. Read more about this in our blog on green technologies.

If you’re living by the ocean you won’t want to keep your home hermetically sealed to avoid sand getting into your living spaces, so work with your builder and architect to take prevailing winds into account when planning your major openings and external space.

Contemporary homes also tend to feature sleek, and often shiny, premium finishes, like polished marble, metals and gloss carpentry  – none of which respond well to the abrasive effect of sand and salt in the air. Happily there are many new and exciting finished to consider that look every bit as impressive, but will maintain their looks for much longer. This doesn’t mean you should eliminate any polished finishes altogether, but use them strategically, knowing they will need more care and attention to keep looking pristine.

You can never have enough storage

Never underestimate the amount of storage a contemporary home requires to maintain a minimalist image. Your builder and designer can help you plan heaps of concealed storage into every room to keep the clutter at bay and create that feeling of serenity a clean and clear environment brings.

If your contemporary home is by the beach, you will need to increase that storage requirement considerably and pay particular attention to the position of your storage.

External storage by every entrance is a must to encourage everyone to shed sandy shoes, towels and all manner of beach paraphanaila before they enter the house. Wet rooms at the entrances, or outdoor shower rooms are also great for making sure that only people free of salt and sand enter the house. In winter, these storage areas double up nicely as boot rooms / cloakrooms.

contemporary interior style Sydney Beach Homes

Décor

Whether your beach home is classic or contemporary in styling, the same basic décor principles apply.

Using a single colour palette throughout the home will make it feel bigger, more open and expansive, and allows rooms and spaces to flow naturally into one another. That doesn’t mean every room will look the same. If you create a palette of 6 to 8 shades, you can turn the dials up and down on different shades to suit the purpose of each room without compromising the flow of your colour scheme.

You can also bring in additional highlights of colour seasonally, with accessories to freshen your look from time to time.

Clever use of texture is also a great way of adding dimension to your home and there are some amazing three-dimensional finishes available now in tiling, wallpaper and decorative panelling.

Taking inspiration for your colours from the environment around your home works brilliantly for beach homes and really helps create synergy between your property and its location. Take photographs of your surroundings at different times of the day and use colour charts to create your palette by matching to the tones of your photos. For softer palettes use shots taken in the early morning or evening, go for mid morning for something more dazzling, or use the landscape in winter for a more muted scheme. If darker, more moody palettes are your thing, sunset shots will help you produce some amazing colour combinations.

Light and bright generally works brilliantly in beach homes, but it’s always to good to have some darker tones in there too, to use sparingly throughout, or more boldly in areas where you want to create a cosy, more intimate feel.

Outdoors

Your outdoor spaces and landscaping should reflect the minimalist feeling of your interior.  Gardens will need to maintain a manicured look, so be careful with planting and seek advice from your landscape gardener. An unruly mass of tumbling and abundant blooms may look amazing in a cottage garden, but will look incongruous with the sleek modernity of your building.

Again, explore available materials with your builder and landscape gardener, to create a scheme that is both beautiful and manageable.

So in conclusion, can a contemporary home ever be a true beach home? Absolutely!

Talk to us about your vision for your modern masterpiece. 

So great to get some more amazing photos of our work on this Woolahra project from our friends at Lime Photography.

This incredibly spacious apartment needed a full refurbishment, including significant remedial work, requiring some major demolition of internal walls and installation of structural steel to create airy, open-plan spaces.

At a generous 900 square metres, this spectacular apartment is the size of a large house, with three living spaces, dining room, kitchen and kitchenette, laundry, 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, and a double garage. It’s all very impressive, but the star of the show in this property has to be its vast roof-top entertaining deck with stunning panoramic views over Woolahra and Double Bay.

Woolahra renovation by custom builders, Sydney Beach Homes

A FEW CHALLENGES WE OVERCAME

Working on an apartment of this scale is always going to impact upon neighbours, especially those immediately below. We always aim to minimise noise and work with neighbours like this as much as possible to avoid too much inconvenience for them. In fact, in this case, we were invited to carry out some building work to the apartment below as well. Of course we’d like to think that was entirely down to our charm and careful management of the situation, though we’re guessing they were also of the mind “If you can’t beat them, join them!”

Access to the site was also problematic, being located on a very busy Woolahra street with limited parking available. And we had the challenge of getting all materials required up onto the rooftop area. For this we used a Telehandler, shifting payloads of a ton at a time to and from the rooftop, while employing some strict traffic control on the street.

Another challenge was that both our client and the designer, Nic Graham of Nic Graham & Associates, were located overseas, so all project management details and communications needed to be relayed via email.

BEAUTIFUL SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES

The specification for this stunning apartment were exceptional, requiring careful restoration and repair of existing parquetry flooring, beautiful bespoke bathrooms – all six of them, custom cabinetry throughout, and extensive rooftop landscaping.

We also installed a pretty snazzy hi-tech micro-processor controlled lighting and energy management system called C-Bus. This facilitates the configuration of zones in the home for automated lighting, adjusting intensity according to natural light levels.

Marble was used extensively in all the bathrooms, with polyurethane joinery, antique mirror glass and custom vanities.

Other highlights were the Blackbutt flooring, with underfloor heating, stained almost black with ‘Black Japan’ woodstain’ – and some exquisite hand-made lighting fixtures from Beeswax USA.

We are delighted to have been involved in this beautiful Woolahra project and equally delighted to receive these photos to share with you.

What a stunner!

Woolahra renovation interior by custom builders, Sydney Beach Homes