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Small Block, Big Outcome

Posted by Paul Ackling 26th Feb 2015

When our clients first contacted us in April 2013, they had recently purchased a small block of land at Collaroy and with their friends and family urging them not to do it, were somewhat nervous about the building process. But, in November 2014, Leo and Nadia moved into, what in their own words, is their “dream” home. No nightmare stories but exhilarated by the achievement and that the finished result exceeded all expectations. This vacant block of land had a number of positive features:

  • expansive ocean views
  • elevated street aspect
  • wide frontage
  • perfect access to the prevailing breezes

However, to achieve the final result, there were also a number of negative aspects to overcome. The small site area of 428m² together with the wide frontage and angled front boundary resulted in an available building platform of only 145m². However, with our process of individual custom design, we were able to achieve a home that accommodates their family of 4, with flexible dual living/entertaining areas to allow for regular large family gatherings.

Being a newly subdivided block of land, the rear neighbour had previously enjoyed an uninterrupted view as well as morning sunshine into their home. Council’s demand intelligent and smart design to be used to allow neighbouring homes to retain parts of these elements. To simply design a flat roof home was the most straightforward answer. However, our client felt that style of a flat roof home didn’t fit and preferred a more traditional gable roof style. Our solution was to build the roof with two separate pitches. The front gable has a steeper pitch to give the correct traditional look, while the remaining larger area of roof has a lower pitch to allow the neighbours to retain both ocean views and sunlight. Like all good design, these details are not noticeable when looking at the home, but could certainly have changed the home had a solution had not been found. Once the design was finalised and council approvals finished, we were able to proceed with construction, which took 8 months from start to finish (including landscaping).

Having not built before, Leo and Nadia were thankful to have our team around them to co-ordinate their finishes and inclusions and to take the pressure off:

Our regular fortnightly meetings on site helped answer any questions that Leo and Nadia had, while also helping us gain a complete understanding of their personal tastes and the way that they would use the home. This one on one understanding helped to make the end result very personal for Leo and Nadia, so that once moved in, they knew all the details had been taken care of.

A standout feature of this home is the “feel” when you are there. The practicalities of family living have been meshed with clever use of space and natural light. This, together with the clean modern fixtures and easy colour palette, work to create a sense of warmth and calm for the owners as well as their family and friends. It is this “feel” that is not easily quantified in a photo or brochure but is certainly present time and again in the custom designed homes that we build. And, it is this element that continues to give back to our clients day after day for the life of their home.


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