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What is the best home design trend at the moment?

Are you after a new home, but not sure what to look for in a floor plan? Never fear, we asked nine of our builders right across the country what their best design trend is in a home, and here are their responses.


Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

A butler’s pantry is still one of the most highly requested items, and now they are becoming really functional rooms fitted out with full sinks, a dishwasher, fridge and other facilities such as an additional oven or coffee machines. The traditional kitchen space then takes on a minimalist feel that is clear and uncluttered, where family and friends gather around.

design trend

Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

The most popular trend we are seeing at the moment is the open-plan living with higher ceilings. This design is great for families who want to spend time together but not necessarily crammed next to each other.

Amira Willingham – Ballarat, VIC

This depends on the clientele, but a walk-in-pantry is often the most popular item in the home. A large alfresco that has outdoor kitchen is also rising in popularity – people love indoor/outdoor living!

design trend

Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange, NSW

Our customers are looking for luxury in their bathrooms with floor to ceiling tiles, feature niches and walk-in showers.

design trend

Russell Pearse – Ararat, VIC

Open-plan living definitely, but it is important to have other flexible spaces to suit changing family conditions. Having a versatile home is a smart move, you often don’t know what the future holds.

Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln, SA

Open-plan living, nearly every plan these days has open-plan living and most individuals looking to build want the large open spaces with higher ceilings. It creates the illusion of space, even if the home is on the smaller side.

design trend

Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

Block widths that allow a wider garage. Whether it is adding 500mm for some shelving or making a three-car garage for storage of a boat, it seems to be something that lots of people try to make work in their budgets.

Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW 

Open plan living for sure. Many of our clients love a home where the bedrooms are separate and private, but the kitchen and living – linking to the alfresco – can become an entertainer’s dream!

Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

The most popular trend we are seeing at the moment is a walk-in-pantry or butler’s pantry. The kitchen is the heart of the home and clients want to add a touch of luxury to it wherever possible!

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What are the biggest mistakes home buyers make?

Take heed, new home buyers! We asked the tough question to nine of our builders right across the country, and here are their responses.

Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW

Not including items they wanted in their home during the design stage. In our colours and selections process we encourage clients to reach for the stars and discuss every feature they could possibly want. I’ve met many who have built in the past but regret not having included certain features.

mistakes

Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

I think some of the biggest mistakes home buyers make is to buy land without understanding the implications of the quality of the soil and any additional site costs that need to be considered and could affect the total budget.
Then, when it comes to the home, many people think bigger is better. This is not necessarily the case. You should be more concerned about the function of the room, so if there is additional space it can be added to areas where it is better utilised. If you like outdoor living, incorporate more space in your alfresco, but if it is cooking you love a plentiful and well-considered kitchen might be the place.

Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln SA

Some may not fairly compare the quality, value or fixed price of one home to another. Quite often you will find you are not comparing apples with apples in the building industry, which is why it is so important to carefully read the contract and inclusions of every home, as well as ask questions!

mistakes

Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

Working with their budgets. We all like the finer things in life and its absolutely fine to upgrade from the standard inclusions here and there. What I don’t think people take into account is that, on their own, each item is not overly expensive but then when it’s all costed together they can suddenly fall into trouble. At the end of the day, the functionality is the same (for a sink mixer as an example), but the cost can vary widely without it even being a statement piece.

Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

Many home buyers rush through their colour selections or choose a floor plan far too quickly. Take the time to figure out what really works for you, and how you intend on using the space before making these very big decisions.

mistakes

Amira Willingham– Ballarat, VIC

It would have to be not investing enough time in their electrical plan. When building a home, you should put a large amount of thought into where you need extra power points. Do you require more lighting? Would you like downlights? Have you thought of USB points? These are all extremely important but are often overlooked or not given importance.

Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange NSW

The biggest mistake home buyers make is not consulting or taking advice from a builder before purchasing land suitable for their preferred design. Home buyers are often seduced by a cheap block of land which is then really expensive to build on.

mistakes

Russell Pearse- Ararat, VIC

Building the biggest house they think they can afford, instead of concentrating on what would be best value long-term. They may still be in that home in 20 years’ time when the children have all left home – although this may be more likely in regional areas than metro.

Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

Not building with Hotondo Homes Mackay.

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When your building journey begins, avoid overlooking these nine items for a more rewarding and fulfilling build!

YOUR LOAN

Know what you want or need in a loan and shop around. Fixed rates, variable rates, redraw capabilities and the length of the loan are all important factors. Make sure the structure of your loan is right for you straight off the mark – this is a long-term commitment.

COMPARING BUILDER QUOTES FAIRLY

Builder quotes can vary by thousands of dollars, so while it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option presented to you, it is important to realise that comparing quotes based purely on monetary value may in fact cost you more in the long run. This is because you are not always comparing apples with apples. Some builders may not provide you with all the expenses upfront, and there are many items that may be inclusive with one builder and non-inclusive with another. It is important to recognise what sort of variations may be affecting your quote including things like labour rates and the quality of the materials. Take the time to understand why your quotes may vary so you know what you are paying for.

BUDGETING ACCURATELY

Take the time to work out what you can really afford. Many people are excited to buy their first home, but forget the extra fees or underestimate the cost of actually owning one. Find out what kind of fees may be applicable to you including home insurance, stamp duty, moving costs, council rates and transfer fees. Also, be prepared for maintenance costs which will now fall back onto you.

FLOOR PLAN ERRORS

Review your floor plan thoroughly. Work out where your power points and light switches are best positioned, consider the location of your bedrooms to noisy areas like the laundry or living room and always ensure you have plenty of storage.

 

READ MORE: AVOID COMMON FLOOR PLAN ISSUES

 

CEILING HEIGHT

Increasing the standard ceiling height to just 2700mm can instantly offer a more spacious feeling in your home! Highly recommended by almost every builder, it is worth the initial extra cost.

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ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGN

Building a new home offers the opportunity to make massive savings by increasing your energy efficiency. This can be as simple as orientating your home correctly, installing eaves and double-glazed windows and ensuring your insulation is adequate, or you can look at more complex solutions such as solar power or energy-saving appliances. New homes offer new home technologies, so now is your chance to cut down on your energy bills and decrease your carbon footprint!

 

READ MORE: A PASSIVE HOME DESIGN FOR AMAZING ENERGY SAVINGS

 

EXTRA STORAGE SPACE

You can never have too much storage in your home! A clever builder should be able to help you find extra nooks and crannies where you can include additional storage space for your belongings. Finding room for extra storage is highly recommended and your builder will have some great tips on ways to avoid a cluttered home.

overlooking

THE FUTURE

It can be very difficult to predict where the future will take you, however it doesn’t hurt to consider possibilities like future pets, children or family. Make sure the home you choose accommodates for future plans too, to get as much out of the home as possible.

THE RESELL FACTOR

Having finally built or found the perfect home, the last thing you want to think about is selling it. However, your home is an investment, and it is important to think about a time where you need to sell it. When searching for your home, consider what other typical home buyers may want and accommodate for this if possible. The location is also extremely important, and while your preferences should be paramount, thinking ahead is important too.

Are we overlooking something? Let us know in the comments below!

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Makeover your living room without breaking the bank with these top tips.

With open-plan living at the height of popularity, the living room – along with the kitchen and dining space – can often become the focal point of the home. Changing just a few small aspects of this space can help breathe new life into a home.

We have listed seven simple ways to makeover your living room easily:

HIGHLIGHT your lighting

Lighting has the ability to make a HUGE impact on your interior design. It can set the mood, make a space appear larger or smaller and it has an enormous effect on your colour scheme. For this reason alone, updating your fixtures should be priority number one! Whether you are simply swapping out bulbs for LED energy-saving alternatives, adding a floor lamp to a dark corner or trading in lampshades, take the time to give a little love to the often-neglected lighting.

Work on the bones of the room

If your living room structure is spot-on, there are still a few things you can do to instantly update the look.

Reupholster an armchair – if your armchair is still in good nick, reupholstering it is an easy and relatively cheap way to makeover your living room. If you don’t have an armchair, check out a few flea markets – as long as the chair’s structure is good, there is no need to worry about worn or ratty upholstery. Choose a new, bold print to stand out and make it a feature of your home!

makeover your living room

 

Rearrange a bookshelf – baskets and containers are the easiest way to hide clutter but keep items in an accessible space. Try clearing your bookshelf of junk, and keep just a few key items and some books on display!

makeover your living room

 

Reorganise the furniture – already love everything in your home but are still looking for an update? Rearrange the furniture! Sometimes simply moving one item to another location can make all the difference.

Interested in the concept of Feng Shui? Read about it here: FENG SHUI YOUR HOME 

Living plants for your living room

Including greenery in your home instantly creates an atmosphere bursting with health and well-being. Plants make a boring corner look instantly chic, and small succulents can be used as coffee table or side table décor. Just be sure to choose plants which will thrive indoors!

Check out our favourite indoor plants here: INDOOR PLANTS FOR YOUR HOME (THAT YOU WILL NOT IMMEDIANTLY KILL)

makeover your living room

Small updates for the ‘modern’ look

Like to stay in touch with the current trends? Ensure your larger pieces of furniture like couches and TV cabinets are neutral colours that will go with anything, and instead purchase new cushions, throws, candles and other knick-knacks to achieve the ‘on-trend’ look without a costly financial commitment.

There is always time to DIY

DIY is a unique way to create something nobody else may have. It is your chance to let your true style shine through. Check out Pinterest or other blogs for some amazing inspiration, and get creating!

makeover your living room

 

Have you ever had to makeover your living room? Let us know your tips in the comments!

Most of us assume that renovating our kitchens will cost us the earth.

That doesn’t have to be true. It’s highly possible to give your kitchen a fresh new look on a smaller budget.

Hotondo Homes knows how

We were delighted recently to be asked to contribute to a blog post about ways to renovate your kitchen on a budget. The post, for a leading loan comparison site RateCity, asked some of Australia’s top builders and suppliers to offer advice on kitchen renovations without involving a hefty price tag. Check it out for more inspiration and great advice: ‘Save on Your Mortgage and Update Your Kitchen’.

The kitchen should be one of your first ports of call when it comes to home renovation. It is a highly visible area that receives a lot of traffic, and is a major selling point. Most builders will agree that this is one of the areas that will add the most value to your property. Here are some of our tips for achieving maximum effects with minimum spend.

The power of paint

Give your kitchen a fresh coat of paint! People often underestimate this, but it’s amazing how effective it can be in giving a room an updated feel. Light, contemporary colours are a good choice as they will add a feeling of space and give your kitchen a de-cluttered look. Colours that are too bold could turn potential buyers off when it comes to resale.

kitchen makeover

Give your cabinets some TLC

If your existing cabinetry is in good condition, see how much you can change the appearance of your kitchen by simply painting the doors and changing the handles. Alternatively, if you really want a more drastic change, that doesn’t mean you need to spend on completely new cabinets. Why not reface them instead? This means you keep the interior parts of your existing cabinets and have new doors and drawer fronts put on. It’s a much cheaper way of achieving a whole new look.

Spend on the essentials

Saving money elsewhere in your kitchen will enable you to devote most of your budget to the essentials when it comes to refurbishing. The most visible items in the kitchen are the benchtops and splashbacks. Here is where you have the most power to update the appearance of your room, so by focusing your budget you can achieve a kitchen makeover that looks luxurious and will last for many years to come.

For more information on a kitchen makeover for your home, contact your local Hotondo Homes builder today!

Completing a home renovation is similar in many ways to building one from scratch.

First, you have to start with a design idea. Next, you set up the framework for building out the concept. Lastly, you put the finishing touches on the home renovation project that turn the house into a home. But what if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to encompass your whole plan?

Because Hotondo Homes has nearly four decades of experience in the home building industry, Bupa Home Insurance​ tapped us for our insight into renovating on a budget in their recent article, ‘How to Stick to Your Renovation Budget‘. With over 80 builders all across Australia, we have unique insight into what works not just in a single market, but in a wide variety of areas. Here are a few bonus tips!

Focus on the key area:

The kitchen is and will probably always remain the heart of the home, so we recommend you focus a good portion of your budget here. If you don’t have the cash for a major overhaul, there are still a few inexpensive things you can do that will lift the entire feel of the kitchen. Try re-facing your cabinet doors and choose soft glide hinges for an added touch of luxury.

Changing the splashback can have a huge impact on the style of your kitchen, as can switching your bench tops. Although stone bench tops are still loved by many, laminate is a cheaper alternative that can look just as amazing.

home renovation

 

Dabble in DIY:

Do-it-yourself projects are growing in popularity as consumers become more and more budget-conscious and handy. This can be a great way to save money throughout the course of your renovation project, and it is not as difficult as you might think. Remaining focused on the kitchen area, you could simply swap out the doorknobs for a cheap, modern update, which can cost you as little as a few dollars each.

Call in the experts:

Changing door knobs is one thing, but while DIY projects can help you save money, it is still important to be aware of your limitations. Botching the job is going to end up costing you a lot more money in the long run, so entrust more difficult tasks to the hands of certified professionals.

Through the Hotondo Homes network, you can find many certified builders in your local area. The benefit of using local builders is that they are familiar with the area’s real estate market and typically have built relationships with a variety of local vendors and suppliers, enabling them to negotiate lower prices for materials to help you save. Visit our website at hotondo.com.au to find out more!


Building or buying your first home is a huge learning curve. You will discover new terminologies, new processes and be granted enormous decision-making choices. However, as with anything new, mistakes can be made along the way.
Here is a list to help avoid first home buyer mistakes. Remember, it always pays to be prepared!

1. RESEARCH DIFFERENT LOANS

Know what you want or need in a loan and shop around. Fixed rates, variable rates, redraw capabilities and the length of the loan are all important factors. Make sure the structure of your loan is right for you straight off the mark – this is a long-term commitment!


2. BUDGET ACCURATELY

Take the time to work out what you can really afford. Many people are excited to buy their first home, but forget the extra fees or underestimate the cost of actually owning one. Find out what may be applicable to you including home insurance, stamp duty, moving costs, council rates and transfer fees. Also, be prepared for maintenance costs which will now fall back on you.


3. BANK APPROVAL

Try not to take out new credit while applying for your home loan. The bank assesses how much they can lend you based on your current financial situation and getting another loan during this time can put a strike against your name. Further to this, try not to change jobs while applying for a mortgage. Banks like to see a stable income. If you are thinking of moving jobs it is highly advised you avoid doing so until after your purchase.

Money-Bank


4. THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE

It can be very difficult to predict where the future will take you, however it doesn’t hurt to consider possibilities like future children and pets – it is very likely your family situation will change while you’re living in the same house. An extra bedroom or a bigger backyard not only increases your resell value, but can help increase the length of time you live in your home. Make sure the home you choose accommodates for the future-you too!

young family


5. CONSIDER SELLING YOUR HOME

Having finally built or found the perfect home, the last thing you want to think about is selling it. However, your home is an investment, and it is important to think about a time when you may need to sell it. When searching for your home, consider what other typical home buyers may want and accommodate for this if possible. The location is also extremely important, and while your preferences should be paramount, it does not hurt to think ahead.


For more information regarding your home, contact your local Hotondo Homes builder here.


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