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Creating bespoke custom homes.

Category: KDR

To build or to renovate… THAT is the question!

We are often told by clients they are trying to decide whether to KDR or renovate, and would you believe when we tell them to ‘KDR no question’, they don’t always believe us?!

One of our current clients has done both and we asked her to share her insight. Follow her build journey @the.mama.daze

 

And it’s a big one indeed… Having done both a major renovation and now a complete knockdown rebuild, we have genuinely experienced and I’m often asked to share our learnings. 

When we bought our first house, it was with the vision to one day ‘renovate and extend’ (complete with a white picket fence!). I think we grew up assuming that to build would be ‘too expensive’ and that the best way to get ahead was to renovate including DIY where you can, and real estate always emphasises the ‘potential’ to renovate. We went both out (ground floor extension) AND up (first floor addition) so it was pretty extensive! 

The issue though is that you have to work with the original footprint and this means either limitations or significant cost to modify and use what you have.  THEN there are the things that end up costing way more than expected… like when our ‘simple bathroom renovation’ uncovered rotted wall frames that didn’t even connect with the floor… or asbestos!

So while we did end up with a lovely home, it still lacked certain features and missed more than we could achieve with a renovation… so within months of it being finished… we sold!

The concept of knockdown rebuild appealed to us as we could work essentially from a blank sheet of paper and apply all of our learnings from renovating. From living through renovations and with a growing family, we built a good understanding of what worked for OUR family. How we use a space and how we like to live as well as how to avoid wasted floor space and dysfunctional areas.

Having met with builders ranging from project homes to custom builders and architects, we found the perfect mix in Icon Homes. We’re now building our complete dream home – including everything we loved from our previous renovation and everything we still didn’t have! – for LESS per square metre. We’ll have a higher quality finish and it’ll all be done before we move in.

We chose Icon Homes for a number of reasons including their flexibility to create custom designs at no extra cost to suit your lifestyle needs and block of land (but that’s a separate blog topic in itself!).

But people always love to share horror stories though don’t they (it’s a bit like childbirth!)… and we were told that we needed to budget a HUGE amount for hidden upgrade costs and for when things go wrong. THIS was one of things that resonated with us most with Icon Homes: ‘our standard is their upgrade’. They know what their clients want with key features like 40mm Caesarstone benches, extended height ceilings, ducted air conditioning & quality finishes, so it’s all there in the Onyx package. There’s no lure of a base price which is lightyears away from the stunning display home you’ve just walked through, to leave you feeling naive and overwhelmed.

This meant that our initial site estimate quote was almost identical to our full Tender (the formal building quote for your contract) even with engineering requirements and our changes that we asked for upfront (it is a custom build, after all!). As a fixed price build, we also avoided all of the risk of the unknown with renovations and things that you can’t see behind walls or underneath floors (or walls that don’t join with the floor!).

But beyond the glossy pictures and over-flowing #inspo collections (we’ve all got them!), it’s also about our investment.  And in return, we’ll have an entirely brand new house: rather than only new finishes within old walls and on old foundations and plumbing. A house is about more than just a home, it still needs to be an asset and a financial investment for your family.

 

So follow our build journey and ask me your questions, are you team #renovate or team #build?

 

Allie

@the.mama.daze

Your dream home needs to be future proofed and sustainability is key!

The homes we built decades ago are not the same as the homes we want to live in the decades ahead – your dream home needs to be future proofed, and sustainability is much more than just a buzz word. The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has a vision for healthier, resilient, and positive places for people to live. The GBCA are currently developing a Standard for future homes that defines the performance and features of quality new homes in Australia, and at Icon Homes we are ahead of the game on this one with NSW first Net Zero Display Home located in Warriewood on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

 

 

 

 

 

Their vision for Future Homes is-

  1. Cost effective: A well designed and constructed home can reduce power bills, water bills, and maintenance costs. Energy efficient homes with solar panels can save households $900 per year.
  2. Healthy: Australians spend 90% of their time indoors! Fresh air, comfortable temperatures, low-toxic materials and abundant daylight are all factors proven to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
  3. Future Ready The homes we build today will be part of our cities and communities for at least the next fifty years. We need to build homes to accommodate our changing needs, and adapt to our changing climate. By 5050 there will be double the number of older people and 44% more children!
  4. Connected: Access to nature, community services, transport and digital infrastructure are essential to our health and productivity. According to research, access to a park can reduce stress, increase physical activity and even extend people’s life spans.
  5. Verified: Homebuyers will want sustainability information on the home they are buying. On-site verification such as physical inspections, air-pressure testing or thermal imaging are the most reliable way to check the quality and performance of a future home. This trend demonstrated by a 10% price premium recorded in the ACT for 7* NaTHERS rated homes 2018.

Find out more about NSW’s first Net Zero Display Home,  The Avora 34 at Warriewood. Currently open for private inspection by appointment.

Choosing your colours can seem like an overwhelming task

When building a new house, choosing colours and materials can be a big and daunting task. Not only do you have to decide on the full internal colour scheme, but you must also think about what your house will look like on the outside. Everyone wants their house to be the best looking one in the street, but you don’t want it to stand out for all the wrong reasons. With most people only seeing the exterior of your new home it is important to put just as much effort in choosing the colours for your bricks as you do your bedroom.

Here are 5 tips that will make your decision easier

https://undercoverarchitect.com/choosing-home-external-colour-scheme/

We have some very exciting news to announce on this very topic soon – stay tuned!!! Picking all your choices for your new Icon Home is about to get a lot easier.

Making the most of a small block of land.

Sometimes size does matter, especially when it comes to building your dream home! With the growing population, available blocks of land are becoming increasingly smaller, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on space.

By using some of these simple design techniques, you can have enough space for the whole family without blowing out your budget or settling for somewhere second best.

The HIA’s top tips are:

  • Opt for Open Plan
  • Get Creative with Storage
  • Utilise Outdoors
  • Build Up
  • Create the Feeling of Spaciousness

You can read more about these here.

Want to know what can fit on your block? Get in touch with our team today, for a limited time only they will provide a siting of one of our designs on your block for free.

It is definitely uncertain times – but at the moment the market is still moving!

At the moment, taking one day at a time is about all you can do, the govt. advice is constantly changing and the economic market follows. That said, there are still plenty of knock down rebuild opportunities on the market – and they are selling!! The clearance rate for this weekends auctions sat at 65% – 4% higher that the same time last year.

Each fortnight our team sends out their must sees KDR opportunities and on Friday one of our showcased properties was 54 Woodbine St, North Balgowlah, check out how The Bellevue 32 looks on it here.

Want to be added to the list to received this every fortnight? Get in touch today.