When life moves on, so can you

Meet Kavilesh

Kavilesh is what many would call an experienced buyer – in that he had previously purchased land and built a home in Crace about seven years ago. He designed that home for himself but his life moved on, to include a partner and daughter. Having enjoyed the experience and the process of building a new home the first time around, Kavilesh decided to try his luck at the land lottery to see if he would get a chance to build again. Needless to say, he was lucky and managed to secure land in Whitlam which he and his partner Sarah could build their future on.

Finding the right builder – Experienced and bespoke

The couple wasted no time in looking for a builder. As Kavilesh explained ‘We really wanted to avoid a cookie-cutter solution which is very easy to fall into. If you get a chance to build something beautiful and memorable on a clean slate, you really want to get it right and that is why we met with a number of builders and tested out their appetite for distinction. That click we were looking for just wasn’t there though, until Sarah recommended that we meet with Brendan from Homes by Howe, because she was familiar with a project he delivered for her place of work. We reached out, and we were sold after the first conversation.’

Kavilesh and Sarah used the primary meetings with Brendan to really focus on creating a design that was bespoke, highly functional and within a restricted budget. Their base list of requirements included a two-story home, with at least four bedrooms, a butler’s pantry as well a covered al fresco patio for all year entertaining. Brendan was able to suggest solutions during this design process that cut costs, without cutting functionality, quality or distinction. The end plan was something both the couple and Brendan were proud of and excited about.

Consider the future when designing your home

The experience that Kavilesh had from his previous home build also meant that he was able to apply future thinking. Not only for what his daughter may like and need in the future but potentially what future families may also find really appealing. For example, he ensured that there were multiple play zones available, both inside and out, quiet spaces for study as well as shared spaces to spend time with friends and family. As Kavilesh explained ‘I split the thinking about 60/40 as to what it is that we need now, to what others may like in the future. Not only does it feel good to know that, if you get it right, your home will be a dwelling for many generations to come, but it also secures its resale value.’

A smooth building process

The build process went very smoothly, which Kavilesh and Sarah attribute to strong discipline in the planning process, a very clear line of communication with the Homes by Howe team and Brendan’s ability to find solutions to any unforeseen challenges that popped up along the way. The couple explained that building on new land offers fewer surprises and fewer challenges than perhaps an older block after a knock-down, especially if it is flat. They chose their block knowing it would offer a great deal of certainty during the build process. As Kavilesh added ‘The build process was so smooth that the home that was built was precisely as we envisaged it. In fact, it was exactly the same as the base drawing I did on a pad in the first meeting with Brendan. Of course, a lot of work went into the detail and bringing the vision to life but it’s amazing to think that a basic idea became this great home. I’m pretty sure the only thing we changed during the build was an orientation of a door, the kind of minor things one adjusts to make spaces even more functional. And the best bit is that we were so on budget that we were able to put $2,000 towards a higher-end retaining wall for the garden. We’re so happy with what Homes by Howe have helped us create’.

Kavilesh and Sarah are committed to this home being at least a 10-year plan, though with the amount of love they express for their home, it would not be surprising if it was much longer.

What to consider for your build

When it came to quick take away points for advice to those considering a new build, the couple singled these out:

  • Find a builder the takes the time to listen to you – if they can explain your vision back to you in detail but even better, they get you.
  • Once you narrow your builder list to two, ask to see their older builds to see how the quality has stood the test of time.
  • A good builder will be able to take your ideas and provide you with price related implications. So, if you like a particular feature, they can give you a range of options with related prices not just a general answer of something being in or out of your budget.
  • Suit your budget as well as the design considerations to the length of your plan to be in the home – it provides a different perspective if you know that you may be in your home for 10-20 years as opposed to five.
  • If you’re building on a slope, make sure your builder has experience in that space and can lead you through the opportunities, challenges and cost implications.
  • If you’re building on a new block, take time to consider how others will build around you and work in harmony with that. Experienced builders can give you that kind of foresight and help you plan to ensure privacy and functionality.
  • If you are lucky enough to have choices of blocks, make sure your builder can take you through the benefits or challenges of each. For example, a corner block is great for space but also privacy considerations.