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Lesa, Darren, their two children and their cats love living in their Hotondo Home, built by our team in Batemans Bay. This is the second Hotondo home they’ve built, and we chatted to Lesa about their experience, which was particularly unique this time because she actually works at Hotondo Homes Batemans Bay!
Lesa and Darren chose the Northcote design because the frontage for their block of land was only 15 metres wide and 30 metres long, so it suited the block and what they wanted to achieve. “We really loved the open-plan kitchen layout, great walk-in-pantry, and the master suite at the front of the house,” Lesa said. They were looking for a four bedroom home with open-plan living and an outdoor area for entertaining, and the Northcote ticked all these boxes. “We modified it for sun orientation, which is really important for me as I love a house that is full of natural light,” Lesa added, “and we also made the garage a bit bigger so it had extra storage space.”
Lesa’s favourite spot in their home is the kitchen. She says “I’m in love with the colours I chose and get lots of positive comments when people visit. We did use James Hardie Axon Cladding in the entry hallway and behind the bed headwall in the master bedroom, it gives it a coastal feel and something just a bit different!”
On being both a Hotondo Homes employee and a client, Lesa says “This was our second build with Hotondo Homes. Our first home was built when I didn’t work there, but the process is the same whether you are a client or part of the team. We pride ourselves on our communication throughout the build with all our clients. We have a process in place and when it’s followed it’s a smooth process and a great outcome for both the builder and the client.”
While Lesa and Darren didn’t experience any unexpected issues during their build, she says “things can pop up that may not be expected, it’s how you deal with these things and get through them that makes a difference. As we have already built a few times prior to this we seem to know what to expect; having open and honest communication when things pop up goes a long way.”
This experience of being a client of Hotondo Homes twice now has also benefitted Lesa at work as well. “I suppose I know what’s coming and what’s to be expected. Any advice that I can give to future clients that may help them with colour choices or products or the design and modifying the design to suit their block, budget or needs is something that we have had to do ourselves, and being able to offer help in that regard is easy when you’ve been through it yourself.”
We loved chatting to Lesa and hearing what a positive experience her family has had with Hotondo Homes as they built their gorgeous sun-soaked family home! We’ve been thrilled to share some of our clients’ building journeys with you this year, so take a look at some of our other client spotlights and hear what all our happy clients have to say! If you’re looking for a local builder for your dream home, head over to the Hotondo Homes website today and search for a builder local to you.
Mel and Chris received the keys to their new Hotondo home, located in Nowra, NSW, in December, 2018. An open, light filled home, it’s perfectly designed for everyday family life and has a warm, welcoming feel as soon as you step through the front door. We spoke to Mel about her experience building with Adam Sturt and the Hotondo Southcoast team, and we also received some insight from Hotondo Southcoast about the build.
Because of the location of Mel and Chris’ land, which is in a flood zone, they thought most builders wouldn’t build for them due to the challenges of the land’s location. After looking at a display home on the South Coast Mel and her husband Chris had actually signed on to build with someone other than Hotondo Homes and were waiting for the tendering process to be finalised. When they finally sat down with the builder to pay their deposit, they were told the price had gone up by a whopping $30k. The builder couldn’t offer any explanation for this, and were quite uncooperative when Mel and Chris asked for an itemised pricing list to try and identify where the huge price increase had come from. They decided to look elsewhere and rang a slew of other builders in the area, but were quoted even higher prices which they found odd since they wanted to build a modest three bedroom home.
Mel rang Hotondo Homes Southcoast and after explaining her situation to the team in the office she was put through to speak to builder Adam Sturt straight away. Mel says, “Adam was very straightforward from our first conversation and said we should come in for a meeting to chat about what we wanted.”
Adam was able to sit down with Mel and Chris and give them an estimate based on their dream home vision, then suggested they meet with their draftsman to finalise the design so he could price it properly for them. Hotondo Southcoast’s quote matched Mel and Chris’ budget and their decision was made. Adam tells us that they showed Mel and Chris a few designs that would suit their blook and the flood zone and they loved the Killalea, which was modified to comply with council requirements. “We looked at the Killalea design, and made a few modifications to suit our requirements,” Mel said. “I really wanted a skillion roof, and having a window over the staircase was really important to me because I don’t like dark passageways and stairs. Adam was able to suggest the perfect placement for the window so that lots of natural light came in. Actually, he was great at suggesting things like the best placements for all the windows!”
A few changes had to be made to meet council requirements because they are in the flood zone, so the ground floor of their home had to be non-inhabitable. “Our ground floor is made up of the garage, laundry, and a storage room that also functions as a play room for our daughter, Ava. The best part is that it’s not visible from the street, which is great!” Adam says “We modified the design to comply with flood zone requirements which included double brickwork downstairs, and used flood compatible materials. We also included a solar system in the build to make it a more energy efficient home.”
Mel tells us that due to their land being classified as a 1 in 100 year flood zone, the floor must be a minimum of 1.6 metres off the ground, which was no problem for Adam and his team to work into the design specifications. “The only issues we had were with the council to be honest,” Mel says. “ Adam and Kayla dealt with all of it and kept us in the loop the whole time, so the communication between us and them was fantastic, even if the news was not so good. They would let us know and also tell us how long it would take to fix as they liaised with the local council. We didn’t have to deal with any of it, which was great.” The local council insisted the home be built with a concrete sub-floor which would have added $25,000 on to the cost. Mel told us that Adam was able to go back to the council with a record of homes in the vicinity that were built with timber joists, and they backed down and allowed Mel and Chris to built their home the same way.
Mel says that the entire team was wonderful to deal with. “We wanted to do our own flooring, and Adam was happy for us to go in and do that before the kitchen was installed. We also got to do walk throughs anytime we wanted, and our foreman was wonderful. We couldn’t fault them!” Mel and her family were actually renting a home on the same street they were building their home on, and she said it was exciting to walk past the home and see the progress every day. “A lot of the neighbours also commented on how quickly their home was built compared to other ones in the area, and how tidy the job site was throughout the build.”
Adam tells us that the clients wanted a home they could entertain in, which consisted of an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area which would also flow through to a large external deck area. The clients’ colours were selected with the in-house colour consultant, and the home features a modern bathroom with matte black fittings to give it a unique feeling.
Mel, Chris and little Ava got the keys to their new home one week before Christmas in 2018, which was the best Christmas present they could have received! “Everyone said ‘oh, you’ve got your perfect new home, so Christmas is at yours this year!’” When we asked them how they’re going in their Hotondo Home eight months on, Mel said ““Thank god we had a bad experience with the other builder because I would hate to be living in that home now. I love our house! I used to go and stand out the front and stare at our house. People must have thought I was a total weirdo!” Adam and the Hotondo Southcoast team said “Mel and Chris were amazing to work with! They were just so willing to help and so understanding, and they worked with us the whole way with the build.”
Congratulations Mel, Chris and Ava! We know you’ll enjoy making memories in your beautiful home for many years to come and we’re so pleased to hear how much you love living in it as much as Hotondo Southcoast loved building it for you! If you’re looking for a builder to help you bring your dream home vision to life, head over to the Hotondo Homes website today to search for a builder in your area.
Carmen and her husband, Jared recently received the keys to their brand new Hotondo Home on the Central Coast in NSW and they couldn’t be happier with their stunning industrial/Scandi style home. We chatted to first time home builder Carmen about her experience building with Jon and Lyndsey Clarke on the Central Coast, and we also received some insight from Jon about how the build went.
Carmen and Jared have a close friend who built with Hotondo Homes Central Coast last year, and couldn’t speak highly enough of the team! “She told us how easy the build process was, and how accommodating they were, which we liked,” said Carmen. She also said they really love that Central Coast use local trades throughout their builds, supporting the local economy. “They were also really accommodating when there were a couple of changes during the build. They listened to what we wanted and made the necessary adjustments, which was great!”
Carmen and Jared had a specific plan in mind, and when they sat down with Jon, he was able to walk them through the Hotondo design that best suited their requirements. “They ended up with a modified Lorne, with inspiration taken from the Hotham floor plan, and the Bellarine façade with a skillion roof was used,” Jon said. Carmen told us that although they had a particular floor plan they liked, sitting down with Jon to look at Hotondo floor plans helped guide the direction of their build. Carmen and Jared’s requirements included open-plan living downstairs on one level, stacker doors leading to an alfresco to create indoor/outdoor living, and all the bedrooms upstairs, creating one sleeping quarter for their young family.
When it came to choosing their colours, Carmen had a very specific vision for an industrial feel with elements of Scandi style, and visualising the colour palette with the team was really beneficial. “They really know their stuff, and were so knowledgeable across all the areas of the home. It’s another reason we loved building with Hotondo – you don’t need to lock in your colour selections until a bit later in the process, which allowed us to change a few things,” Carmen said. “A lot of other builders we knew of required all of that stuff to be locked in straight away, which doesn’t allow clients to change their mind later on.”
Jon told us there was a lot of rain at the beginning of the build, so much so that they struggled to find a dry day to pour the slab. Carmen and her family were overseas at this time, during which there was about six weeks of steady rain. Upon their return home, however, Carmen told us the team had accomplished so much, more so than they had expected given the wet weather they’d been hearing about! Carmen’s interior design vision meant there were a few requests that weren’t standard as part of the build, so Jon had their carpenter build some custom vanities to create a cohesive theme throughout the home.
“The guys were so easy to work with,” Carmen said. “They accommodated our vision as much as possible, and when something wasn’t going to work, they offered solutions that still suited our floor plan.” Jon told us that Carmen and Jared wanted Blackbutt as a feature throughout the home, and they were able to include it in the floors, custom vanity tops, and floating shelves in the butler’s pantry. Carmen originally wanted a concrete staircase, but ultimately it wasn’t cost effective, so she compromised with a pool out the back instead, saying “it’s somewhere we can create lots of memories, so I’m okay with it!” Jon was able to offer up the solution of a beautiful custom staircase balustrade feature screen, which makes a stunning statement in the home.
Congratulations Carmen and Jared! We know you’ll just love living in your new Hotondo Home as much as the Central Coast team loved building it, and we’re sure you’ll love creating memories that are better than you ever imagined! You can view more images from Carmen and Jared’s building journey over on their Instagram page. If you’re looking for a local builder for your new home, head to the Hotondo Homes website and search for a builder in your area today.