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The Difference Between Built & Crafted

Posted by Paul Ackling 28th Sep 2018

Why craft a home?

All houses, units, sheds and stables fundamentally serve the same purpose. That is, to keep the elements out, whilst providing a functional space inside for the inhabitants. Any home that is adequately built will perform these basic tasks.

However, most of us would not want to live in a shed and the way we interact with our homes each and every day is anything but basic. So why just build a house, when you have the opportunity to craft a home?

To craft a home, a designer and builder must immerse in the detail of the project. Then, they must provide the expertise, time, energy and passion to see each of these details through to completion. When crafted correctly, these details combine to create a home that feels and functions in a way adds immeasurable value to our daily lives.

5 of these values are:

Creating a favourite spot or two

Fully embracing our wonderful northern beaches location is at the heart of all our designs. This includes going above the regular scope to create just the right spots for all seasons.

Seating at island benches traditionally faces into the kitchen which connects you to the person working in the kitchen space. We have adjusted and added to this in a number of our homes by designing seating at the end of our island bench as well. This can then allow views to be taken in or simply the option of connecting the kitchen with the living area as well. It’s a small element that has become a favourite spot for a number of our clients.

What could be better than a subfloor man cave? To the delight of many male owners (and their wives), we have been able to adjust the subfloor structure as excavation works are underway to maximise subfloor space. At minimal cost, we can often create essentially another room to the home. This is possible only through our experience of the local site conditions and close working relationship with our clients that enables us to understand how they will benefit most from these spaces.

Active & passive connection to the outdoors

Our wonderful northern beaches environment creates a magnetic effect on spending time outdoors. That is why it is imperative that homes provide easy access for traffic flow to reach outside. This is achieved by us considering what pathways will naturally be taken by occupants through an open plan living area and then coordinating the sizing/style/direction of door openings to best suit. We also consider how the connection to the outdoor functions both on a day-to-day basis as well as for a crowd.

Then, for all the times when the weather is not playing nice, it is vital to have a sense of connection to the outside whilst the doors are closed. Often this can be achieved with detailed planning of window locations and sizing. Some examples are windows at the end of a hallway that provide views of the rear garden, highlight windows positioned just above eye level to provide views of the sky, rather than the neighbour (this, in turn, means no window furnishings would be required, allowing a constant connection).

Cavity details to cladding walls

Have you ever considered how the walls of your home function? We certainly have and even though our owners rarely ask, these details receive a great deal of attention from us. One such detail is the way we build a cavity into our fibre cement external wells. This involves the addition of a 35mm timber batten to the outside of all our timber-framed walls. The cladding boards are then fixed to these battens, rather than directly on to the timber frame. What this does is create an air-gap between the bulk insulation and the external cladding surface. And, it’s this air that will regulate the inside temperature of the home at no extra cost or maintenance, for the life of the home.

Ease of maintenance and longevity of finishes

How easy or difficult a home is to clean and maintain greatly effects the lives of its owners. The task of maintaining a home takes time, energy and effort, so any minimising of this impacts positively on the owners. We take many practical, yet effective steps to achieve ongoing ease of use and maintenance for our clients’ homes:

  • We only use high-quality fibre cement cladding products, not timber cladding products. The stable nature of the fibre cement boards means virtually no expansion or contraction occurs. This results in painted surfaces lasting many years before repainting is required.
  • Considering accessible power points for plugging in your vacuum.
  • Externally ducting all range hoods and exhaust fans means ceiling cavities never accrue a build-up of stale moist air. If allowed to build up, this moist air can result in mould growth and an unhealthy home.

These simple inclusions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the detailed choices we make for our client’s long-term livability.

Product Selection

So many choices, so many decisions to make. How do you do it? Where do you start?

One method builders can use is to sit clients down over one or two meetings to finalise all product selections for the home. To come, clients, this sounds so easy and it’s easy to understand why. The change to have all these selections squared away before construction starts, appears to be a real bonus. It’s great for the builder as it reduces the need for client interaction during construction as all selections are bedded down very early on. Yes, this is certainly a time-efficient way to build a house. The downside to this is once your selections are locked away, there’s little if no room to make changes along the way as any changes will result in extra cost to the client.

Another popular method for builders to place responsibility on the owner to make the selections as the build progresses. This freedom of choice is often seen as a real benefit by the owners as they can traipse all over town sourcing the latest and greatest products. There is usually the lure of potential savings as expectant owners can outlet shop or purchase discontinued lines at heavily reduced prices. This works well for the builders as all the responsibility for the selection and delivery of such items falls to the owners. However, if deliveries are untimely or items are out of stock, this inevitably slows progress on the site whilst the builder is waiting for items to arrive. In the end, this process can result in your home being delayed and an extra cost to the client if renting an alternate property whilst the home is being built.

In my experience, the way to craft a home is for the designer and builder to invest their time, expertise and experience into guiding the owners with selections. At Peninsula Homes, we take both professional and ethical responsibility for the finished homes’ inclusions, exceeding the owner’s expectations. We work tirelessly throughout the design and construction phases to guide our clients each step of the way. This allows the owners to have complete freedom of choice while being safe in the knowledge that our professional team is putting the best options in front of them, ensuring the finished home flows seamlessly.

Even though our clients may not realise it, all of them benefit each and every day from these well-considered details. And with these benefits being intrinsic to the homes’ design, specification and construct, they are felt for the life of the home at zero ongoing cost. The choice to craft your home over just building it is a very sound investment indeed and one that you will reap the benefit of for years to come.

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