For Regional Education Director Greg and his wife Carol, the learning process of building their first home has reached its exciting conclusion, with the couple picking up the keys to their Hampton’s inspired four-bedroom residence this week.
The couple who bought the property 17 years ago as an investment never considered a knock-down re-build could be a potential outcome. Like most good things, it was a matter of the right place at the right time, with their tenants looking to move out almost exactly when Greg and Carol began toying with the idea of building.
“We looked at hundreds of display homes, and you become very discerning by the end of it. We knew there were certain things that we wanted, like an entry that was just an entry, so if we walked into a display with a garage door coming off it, I’d say ‘Right, Carol, let’s get out of here!’”
“We had been looking for established homes around Kallaroo and it was so expensive to buy something built in the 1970’s that would need work done on it. We could have bought something newer too but they were even more expensive.” Greg said. “We have saved at least $400,000 doing it this way, and we got to personalise it from the start, rather than try and put our stamp on it at an extra cost, again.”
With the family home in neighbouring Padbury selling within twenty minutes during the first home open, the writing was on the wall and they plunged into the process with David Artingstall.
“We met David at the Colorado display, and when we told him that this wasn’t the kind of home we wanted to build, he suggested that we check out the Long Island display in Jindalee. From the first minute we walked in there we knew we had found the one.” Greg remembers.
“We loved the big open living area at the back, and the kitchen, we’re lucky with the size of our block we were able to tweak ours to make that main living area even bigger, and the alfresco is a really good size too. We didn’t want too much garden to look after, but still wanted lots of room for entertaining, things like leaving more bench space on either side of ovens was important to us for when everyone is in the kitchen getting things ready at Christmastime. We thought we might not get the chance to build another home again, so let’s just try and get everything right.”
Carol adds “We put a lot of thought into the scullery as well, it’s basically a second kitchen. The bathroom was another thing we paid extra attention to, we fell in love with the ensuite in the Copenhagen display, for the practicality of it as well as the space saving aspect of having the bath at the far end so you aren’t constantly walking around it.”
They were drawn to the Hampton’s styling complimented with stark colour contrasts, something they have tried to carry throughout the house, choosing a dark feature wall tile in the ensuite to make the white cabinetry and freestanding back-to-wall bath tub pop. In keeping with the Hampton’s theme, they have acquired a house full of mostly new furniture, including an off-white Chesterfield sofa similar to the one on display in the Long Island.
When it came to finalising the design, Greg and Carol always had intergenerational design in the back of their minds, currently looking to accommodate their adult son, and the possibility of Carol’s 90-year-old mother further down the track.
“We made all the doorways and hallways big enough for wheelchairs, and hobless showers in the bathrooms, so even if my mum doesn’t end up living with us, we are confident we have addressed any potential mobility issues so that we will be able to live here as long as we can.”
“David was very patient with us during the early stages, we were a bit apprehensive and there were a lot of moving parts, such as selling our home and really just getting comfortable with the idea of biting the bullet and building, but David was never pushy. A few people we spoke to were very keen to get us to sign on the dotted line and work out the specifics later, whereas that wasn’t David’s style, he was more concerned with listening to us and our ideas rather than telling us how we could fit into the box they wanted to put us in. He made us feel comfortable with the design and the whole process after being a bit scared off by the people we dealt with initially.”
From the sale of their home in November 2018, it was all systems go, with demolition of the existing home commencing in July 2019, the slab being laid later that month, and Greg and Carol picking up the keys at the end of February 2020.
“What surprised us about the build was that we had heard horror stories from family and friends about them having to fight for things with their builder, but we did not find it to be like that at all. During the build, we were renting a home around the corner and visited the site most days and we were delighted there was always something new to see. Even on weekends it seemed like there was always someone there doing something, the project management was excellent and no one seemed to be letting the team down and holding things up.”