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Architecture

How will the coronavirus influence new home designs?

By | Architecture

How will the coronavirus influence new home designs?

It’s an interesting concept – that home designs are being impacted by the global pandemic. But, it’s true.
At McCarthy Homes, we design with the needs and desires of people at the core of every new architectural development.We talk to families, individuals, empty nesters, first time homeowners and retirees. We understand the need for now, in order to design for the future. 

Working from home

Over the last few months homes have been turned into home-offices, home-schools and home-gyms. The transformation is not by design, it is under instruction. Stay at home orders are loud and clear.

The places we call our sanctuary, the places we return to for solace and comfort, have become the only haven for work, life and play. The lines and spaces for retreat, relaxation and respite have been forever blurred!

With this in mind, our new Hampton Homes focus on the individual needs of people working from home.

Here’s how we help you combine home & work efficiently:

 

  • A Study Nook

Our Fairhaven, Brookhaven and Metropolitan Hampton Style Display Homes feature a separate space dedicated for quiet time, zoom conferencing and creating an office with your own furnishings.

At McCarthy Homes we encourage a positive mindset by surrounding yourself with home comforts, while creating a working environment.

 

  • A Kitchen Cubby

For families, needing to stay close during working hours – and those who are adept at multi-skilling during culinary creations – the kitchen cubby allows for computers and tech to be safely nestled away from the main event. But close enough to stay connected to the outside world. The only thing you need to discern is where the ‘ping’ is coming from; microwave or laptop?!

 

Slow the spread of viruses at the door

 

Never before has the entrance to a home been more significant in halting the spread of infection. It has become commonplace for families to designate a sanitization area prior to entering the home. The new normal is often: shoes, coats, scarves, bags off, spray or wipe down all items, shower and back to the main living areas.

The McCarthy Homes design team develop each residence with new spaces that are now considered essential:

  • Wet room, Mudroom, Spray room

Our large closed off mudrooms provide peace of mind. Removing eternal items, disinfecting and sanitising before entering the family home has never been easier.

 

  • Delivery and pick-up

A place for non-contact with door services requires a safe entry point is often requested by service providers. Our homes can be modified to suit additional entry points.

 

  • Caring for a patient at home

Brookhaven 42 display by McCarthy Homes, 151 Splendour St, Rochedale, QLD 4123

Open plan living is one of our most sought-after home features. However the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted many people’s thinking about the way we use our home. It’s important that we be able to gather together so we can feel connected. The pandemic has shown us that we now also need to create an isolation space within the home. At McCarthy Homes we have inovative design ideas to accommodate the need for a private space within an open plan design for the purpose of caring for a patient.

  • A second living space

Both The Brookhaven and The Metropolitan have second living areas on the first floor, enabling sick family members to rest in comfort with ample living space.
  • Additional bedrooms

We tailor designs with you. Our second and third bedrooms have a separate ensuite bathroom and walk-in robe. During COVID-19, there have been many discussions around additional bedrooms being prepared with PPE and medical supplies – and toilet rolls, of course.
Forward planning for the unexpected has been top-of-mind with all of our new residents during the last few months.

Work, sweat and play.

 

With stay at home orders still in effect in many area’s of Australia, it has never been more important than finding ways to optimize health and wellbeing at home.

  • Take a dip

Our pools are one of the best ways to incorporate a daily 30 minute exercise routine into the work, home, life balance.

  • Gym junkies

Designed with entertainment spaces in mind, the outdoor and alfresco dining area’s provide ample floor space to include a yoga mat, cardio ball, treadmill, exercise bike and even a home gym.

 

Design your dream home.

 

When you think about designing your dream home, the space you create is personal to you. What features are nice-to-haves and which ones are must-haves? Here are some of the additional features that people have on their new home wish list:

 

  • Vege garden

Homegrown vegetable gardens have been increasingly incorporated into outdoor plans.

 

  • Water filtration systems

Installing water filters throughout a property with a focus on less chemicals in drinking water or de-risking contamination.

 

  • Air purification filters

There is increased interest from home builders for air conditioners that include advanced air purifier systems.

 

  • Ultraviolet lamps

Yes, people are beginning to consider new ways to fight infection with UV being a permanent fixture in homes at the design phase.

 

 

The question is, what does your dream home feel like?

 

At McCarthy Homes we pride ourselves in creating spaces together with you. We want you to LOVE your new home.

 

The first way to start is by talking to us. Our new Hampton Style Homes can be tailored with our internal designs team. Colours, textures and textiles, layouts and floorplans are ready for you to peruse and choose.

 

We would like to welcome to each and every one of our open display homes.

 

 

Call us: (07) 3358 9704

 

Take a Virtual Tour of our Brookhaven hampton style display home

 

Download the Fairhaven display home brochure

 

See our Metropolitan display home Floor Plans

 

Contact us via our enquiry page, and a McCarthy Homes consultant will be in touch with you shortly.

A case study in quality custom home builds

By | Architecture
custom home builders - questions to ask
Building a home is an enormous undertaking, particularly if it’s your first time going through the process. Sometimes, it can help to see what other people have been through and gain some learnings from that.

We sat down with Angela Vidler, one of our recent happy clients, to discuss the process of going through a home build and her experience working with McCarthy Homes. We’ve included some of our questions and Angela’s answers below.

 

Was this your first time building a custom home?

This was actually our second home build. The first time we built was in 2012. At that time we had no children and had always lived in an apartment. So we had very little idea of what we wanted in a house and built a very standard off the plan type of home.

The second time around we had a much clearer idea of what we wanted in our home. We now have two children and my husband and I also wanted to be set up to work from home. For us it was important that we had a very open plan living/dining space the flowed into our outdoor entertaining spaces and the pool.

The kitchen is also the centre of our home so we had a very clear idea of how we wanted the space designed.

Your home was a knock-down rebuild, how long was the process from initial purchase of the property to demolition stage?

It was actually 9 months from when we purchased the block and had the house removed. We had a bit of a false start and were a fair way down the design process with another builder when we came across McCarthy and realised they were the better fit for us.

Did you have any challenges with your block?

The removal of the old house was a little more challenging than we expected. We ended up advertising the old house on gumtree for someone to come and take away at no cost as long as they paid all removal costs. This saved us approximately $20,000. We had an incredible amount of interest which surprised us. In hindsight, it may have actually been easier to pay the money to have the house removed. We ended up having a fair amount of difficulty with the people that took the house and the house removal company they selected.

The block itself was incredibly flat and easy to get ready for build once the old house was removed.

What was the initial brief provided to McCarthy Homes?

Initially, we fell in love with the McCarthy display at Rochedale. Our initial brief was to do something similar in look and feel but with a very open living / dining / outdoor entertaining area. We also wanted to ensure there were separate living spaces for the kids. For us, it was important that the house felt warm and liveable.

 

How did you find the process working with McCarthy Homes to execute your brief?

Over time our design really evolved and the McCarthy team were wonderful at working with us through all the changes. The guys never made us feel like anything was ever too much trouble including adding a set of additional French doors when all walls were already up! We did end up with 15 or so variations…… The process was incredibly smooth and easy to follow.

How long did the build process take?

From the time the site was cleared to when we took handover was about 10 months.

What was your inspiration with your interior design?

The inspiration for the house really all started with the display at Rochedale! Throughout the process, it somehow evolved a little into a more Hamptons feels.

Did the final design differ much from what you originally wanted?

I think we ended up right where we wanted with the design in the end.

Why did you choose the Grange?

We chose the Grange because we loved the family nature of the area. The parks are wonderful for the kids. We also wanted to still be central to the city and the Valley where Matt and I have our main office.

Build your own home with McCarthy Homes

We have hundreds of happy stories just like this one. We’ve worked with families around South East Queensland to build the perfect “forever home”. Our specialties include:

Custom Homes

Knock Down Rebuilds

Hampton Homes

 

If you’d like to work with us, please get in touch.

Click here to visit our contact page.

Or, call us on (07) 3358 9704

Landscaping and Backyard Design Tips

By | Architecture
We have been building homes across southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales for the last twenty years. During that time, we have had plenty of exposure to creative landscaping solutions for yards and outside areas of all shapes and sizes. We have put together a few of our favourite landscaping suggestions below.
Tarps and weed fabric are your best friend

 

If you are just getting started with landscaping your property, you will quickly discover that there are a couple of tools that you will need in your arsenal. Tarps are very handy for shifting bulk amounts of lighter materials. If you are weeding garden beds, lay a tarp down and throw all your refuse into it – it will make it far easier to unload into your bin.

 

Weed fabric has its place, but if you know anything about weeds, you know that they can live anywhere. We recommend utilising weed fabric under gravel beds, or individually placed pavers, but not in gardens themselves. It will not take long for weeds to take root on any soil or potting mix you have placed over the fabric, and it can get in the way of the plants you are actually trying to grow.

 

Mix up your edges

 

When you use concrete or pavers around your entire garden bed as edging for your gardens, you are putting yourself in the unenviable position of needing to maintain those edges in order to prevent your garden appearing unkempt. Instead of hard straight lines, use some ground cover or small bushes as edges in some areas – let them flow over where it makes sense. Ground cover can be let go for weeks or months without immediately looking as uncared-for as a few plants growing over a concrete runner.

 

Buy in bulk

 

If you are undertaking a larger scale landscaping project around your home, consider buying your soil and potting mix in bulk. It will be much cheaper, and if you plan on getting everything done over a weekend, there will not be any harm to the underlying grass or surface wherever you choose to dump the load. This is another situation where a tarp comes in handy – lay one down for your soil delivery, and then easily remove whatever you don’t use.

 

Get the right tools, the first time

 

Once you have set up your beautiful garden, you will want to maintain it. If you develop a green thumb, over time cheap tools will continue to break down and frustrate you. Spend the money and get the right tools upfront. A few basic things, like a trench shovel, a good pair of clippers and a solid metal rake are a good start to your repertoire of gardening tools.

 

Use pots as a garden

 

Many people love a good garden bed with deep, well-tilled soil and lively plants. However, if you want a slightly lower level of maintenance, consider using a variety of pots on a tiled bed instead of just soil. It can be easier to care for and helps to add some variety to the appearance of your garden. It also provides the added benefit of making it far easier to move plants around as the seasons change, or as your landscaping ideas develop.

 

Everscapes Landscaping

 

We were recently featured on Instagram by one of our favourite Brisbane-based landscaping providers, Everscapes Landscaping. Founded in 2002, we have trusted Everscapes Landscaping to assist us with landscaping several of our display homes. Their recent work was on our two display homes at Rochedale, the Metropolitan 36 and the Brookhaven 42.

 

@everscapes_landscaping

 

 

Brookhaven landscaping photo by everscapes

 

 

Work with McCarthy Homes
McCarthy Homes have been building high quality custom homes for over two decades. During that time, we have helped many happy first homeowners step into their dream homes. Our approach to home building centres around the element of timeless sophistication. Every aspect of our building process is designed to deliver a luxurious forever home.
Working with McCarthy Homes gives you the benefit of working with experts in all fields. When you work with the McCarthy Homes team, you work with the best. We will ensure that you understand the entire process of building your home, from design to handover. Communication, transparency and superior finishes are our trademark and we stand by it.

 

Contact McCarthy Homes

 

If you would like to discuss your new home plans with us, get in touch. We are always happy to guide you through the process and determine what we can do to get you into your dream home. We can help you with planning and design, site selection, knock down and rebuild, and more.

 

Click here to contact us.

Coronavirus Operating Update from McCarthy Homes

By | Architecture, Display Homes, Property News
The impact of Covid19 continues to evolve across Queensland and the rest of Australia. We remain open for business, by appointment only and we are commited to keeping up to date with the latest safety requirements. 
Our hearts go out to anyone who’s been impacted by the virus, either directly or indirectly, and we are inspired and very grateful for the selfless healthcare workers who are working tirelessly to care for people in need.
We are commitment and ready to continue all our partnerships as we work to deliver every new home with minimal disruptions.
To all our valued customers: we want to ensure that you feel confident in our ability to create a safe environment and to provide innovative solutions to remedy any changes to our traditional new home journey.

Visiting McCarthy Homes Display Homes

All our Display Homes remain open by appointment only, and we have adopted safe practices to ensure all visits to our homes comply with the Australian Department of Health guidelines, which include:

  • personal hygiene
  • social distancing
  • regular surface cleaning

Alternatively, we are very happy to arrange virtual tours, and meetings via video conference using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype or Facetime etc.

Please contact us via phone or email and our friendly Sales team will work with you to arrange a suitable meeting option that you are comfortable with. You can also view our display homes via our virtual tours which are located on the ‘Display Home” section of our website.

Click here to visit our contact page.

Click here to visit the Display Home showcase.

We are Prepared and Ready

At McCarthy Homes we have a robust and comprehensive Business Continuity Plan in place which provides excellent contingency plans that will allow our staff to operate remotely if/when required.

For all our customers who are currently in the construction stage of their new home journey, we are continuing with construction as per each schedule. We have exceptional support from our suppliers and trade partners who have worked with us to conduct rigorous supply chain reviews, and as a result of these audits, we do not foresee any risk of shortages (short to medium term). We will continue to work together to ensure that long term supply is sustained.

Changes to Operations

To help maintain our staff and clients’ health and wellbeing, all office, sales and selection meetings will be offered via email & phone or video conferencing using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype or Facetime or other means.

If you do need to visit our office in-person we would ask that you contact us first and be aware that mandated social distancing rules will need to be maintained if an in-office meeting is agreed upon.

We will be vigilant in our face-to-face interactions with our clients, suppliers and contractors by following advice from the health professionals to apply social distancing and ensure that we adopt good hygiene practices. We would ask that you also follow this advice, and do not attend any sales, office/selections or on-site meetings should you or someone in your family or contact group be unwell. This will help to keep us all safe.

Please observe all guidelines and regulations put in place by the Queensland government during this time. They are the correct resource for determining how operations will continue in the future.

Questions or Concerns

It is understandable that you may have questions or concerns during this unprecedented period. We encourage you to contact us, through either our main office number, the website, or your Sales Consultant or Client Service Manager.

Please be assured that we have the resourcing, local knowledge, experienced staff and systems to partner with you to build your new home in these challenging times.

As we go forward, we’ll be sure to keep you updated, and know that we always value your questions, ideas and feedback.

Click here to visit our contact page.

Or, call us on (07) 3358 9704

hamptons-style kit home

Hamptons Style Kit Homes – Everything You Need to Know

By | Architecture, Interior Design
hamptons-style kit home
Hamptons style kit homes are a rarity in the kit home industry. While the ever-accelerating rise in popularity of Hamptons-style homes has seen a large number of home builders adapt their offering to include them, there are few options for those looking to build a kit home.

What is a Hamptons Style Home?

Hampton-style homes have a classic beach front appearance with a relaxed interior. They are inspired by homes built in The Hamptons on the East End of Long Island in New York. These homes, over time, developed their own style featuring columns, weatherboarding, boxed edges and muted colours, such as whites and greys.

A Hampton-style home is immediately identifiable by its appearance. A well-constructed Hampton-style home will exude an air of class and sophistication with a relaxed touch. It’s where luxury meets the beach. These homes are designed to be lived in yet retain their refined aura.

Is it even possible to buy a Hamptons Style Kit Home?

The nature of a Hampton-style home makes it difficult to translate into a kit home. Hampton-style homes by their very definition are supposed to represent quality and luxury. Although it is not always the case, as a general rule, kit homes have fewer finishing touches and diminished build quality compared to a traditionally built home.

While some providers may advertise Hampton-style kit homes, it’s difficult to truly label these as true Hampton-style homes due to the potential absence of high-quality work. A Hampton-style home is the intersection of luxury and easy comfort. Many kit homes lack the quality of work that is necessary for a true luxury label. For that reason, we recommend avoiding kit homes in favour of a traditional build.

Benefits of Kit Homes

There are plenty of benefits to kit homes:

  • Price: Many kit homes come in at a lower price point than traditional points, but you also need to be very wary of inclusions and the host of additional costs that come with building a kit home (such as site preparation, kit transport, labour to erect the home etc).
  • Ease: Kit homes are often viewed as an “easy” solution to home building. What you see is what you get, and if you like the kit home it’s simple enough to place an order.
  • Consistency of Product: A major benefit of kit homes is that the exact same home design has likely been erected before and had some chances to iron out any issues with its construction. As such, when you see an existing kit display home or images online, you know that you are likely going to get a similar outcome with your own kit.

Drawbacks of Kit Homes

While kit homes may seem like a quick and easy solution to getting a home up, they do come with their drawbacks.

  • Build quality: Not all kit homes are created equally. Some kit homes suffer from poor build quality, low-quality parts and an overall feeling of cheapness.
  • Longevity: The build quality can also affect the longevity of a home. There are genuine concerns with many kit homes that over time, joints and waterproofing may start to show signs of breakdown.
  • Style: The simple fact is, many kit home designs lack a particular element of style and sophistication that you’re going to get in a traditional build.
  • Hidden costs: When you’re purchasing a kit home, you need to have a clear idea of the tradespeople you’ll need to set it up, exactly what furnishings and finishes you’re getting with the home, and any other utility connection costs or hidden expenses.
  • Finished Feel: There’s a lot to be said for a high quality finished feel to a home. Many kit homes simply lack that. 

The Bottom Line

If you absolutely need to build a home on a very low budget, a kit home on cheap land (although closely connected to utilities) is your best option. However, you need to walk into that purchase with open eyes and understand that the product you are getting may be low quality and that you may end up facing costs that you simply hadn’t planned for. Buying a kit home requires a lot of research and may end up requiring a lot of labour and effort on your own part.

Why a McCarthy Homes Hampton Home is Your Best Bet

At McCarthy Homes, quality comes before all else. We aren’t in the business of providing cheap, easy to erect kit homes. We are in the business of building rock-solid family homes that are built to last. Our homes are designed and constructed to last for generations. If that is the level of quality you are searching for in your home, then a McCarthy Homes Hampton home is your best bet.

Get the right advice

We’ve been through the process of building a new home with thousands of happy customers. If you need help or advice on any aspect of building your own Hampton-style home, we are happy to help.

Click here to contact us.

sydney property boom brisbane growth

Sydney’s Property Boom is Brisbane’s Gain

By | Architecture
sydney property boom brisbane growth
A huge first weekend under the hammer for Sydney in December portends a coming upswing of interest in Brisbane property. The first weekend in December saw a similar result to the final Saturday in November, sending a strong signal to the rest of the country that the property market is rapidly stabilising and beginning a fresh ascent to new highs.

Sydney auction clearance rates

November 30: 81%

December 7: 79%

Clearance rates hovered around 45% at this time last year. Buyers are hot to trot and sellers are motivated to shift properties fast and acquire liquid capital. Having watched the vagaries of the property markets quite closely over many years, we’ve become accustomed to the signs of an upswing in the making.

Sydney is not done yet

Sydney is in great shape right now, and the coming weekend will be the true testament to the shifting trends in Australia’s hottest property market. We firmly believe that the Sydney housing market has plenty of room left to expand, with the prevalence of cheap debt likely to continue to push buyers into the market and high prices likely to encourage sellers to make their move.

Interest rates

Low interest rates globally are contributing to hot markets across the board. As other investment vehicles such as equities become increasingly over-priced, the potential returns (and security) present in the property market become increasingly attractive to investors. Combine these attractive and arguably more stable returns with record-low interest rates and it’s little wonder that money continues to pour into the Australian property market.

The official interest rate will close out the year at 0.75% and it’s anyone’s guess as to where it will go throughout 2020. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is on record (as of December’s meeting’s minutes) that a slight upswing in the rate of GDP growth is expected towards the end of 2020 and into 2021.

The RBA flagged the fluctuations in new dwelling construction numbers as an area of uncertainty, alongside slow growth in household disposable income. However, in a positive signal, the RBA recognises that the Sydney and Melbourne market is in the midst of a turnaround, despite increased restrictions on the ability of people to borrow to invest in property.

Brisbane’s hottest property growth areas

So, if we expect the turnaround in Sydney to drive renewed interest in the Brisbane property market, where is that interest likely to manifest itself? According to the Residential Property Research Group, there are a few standout suburbs in Brisbane that are expected to benefit considerably from the growth in property prices over the next three years.

Red Hill

Red Hill is one of Brisbane’s most popular inner-city suburbs. It’s seen fairly impressive growth over recent years with a current median house price of over $850,000. However, significant growth is expected over the coming years, with experts tipping an increase in the median house price of over $200,000.

Keperra

Keperra is a hot growth suburb for Brisbane, with extensive investment in local infrastructure and growth in local business over the past five years. With a current median house price of just over $535,000, Keperra is an affordable location for most people on or around the median Brisbane household income. Keperra is projected to have an increase in median house price by around $130,000 over the coming three years, making it one of the hottest growth suburbs in Brisbane.

Other Suburbs

The Residential Property Research Group has identified a number of other suburbs that are currently very affordable but for a number of reasons are expected to have significant increases in median prices that greatly outstrip the growth rate of nearby suburbs. Some of these hot growth suburbs include:

  • Mount Gravatt
  • Rochedale South
  • Arana Hills
  • Morningside
  • Chermside West
  • Tingalpa

Build or buy?

The question of whether to build or buy is as old as the residential property market itself. The fact is, it’s very situation dependent. We always recommend building a property simply due to the flexibility of options and the ability to lock in the long-term value growth of a brand-new home.

Your options for building a new home in Brisbane are broader than ever before, with knock-down rebuilds, greenfield builds and house and land packages giving you a variety of methods to get a new house built. Building new ensures that your property is positioned to capture the higher end of property price increases over the coming years.

Get the right advice

If you want to know whether you should build a new home, or whether you’re in a financial position to do so, speak with us. We’re always happy to give honest advice to help people make the right choice for their own situations.

narrow lot builders brisbane

Narrow Lot Builders: How to Find the Right Builder for a Narrow Block

By | Architecture
narrow lot builders brisbane
Sometimes it can pay to get creative. Narrow lots offer great opportunities to homeowners who work with the right builder. If you’re looking at buying a narrow block of land or you’ve already bought one and are on the hunt for the right builder to get you started, you’re in the right place. We’ve worked on countless narrow blocks and have a few tricks up our sleeve to help you get the most out of your land and future home.

Advantages of narrow blocks

First and foremost, narrow blocks tend to come in quite a bit cheaper than a standard sized block or blocks that are a little more square in shape. This price saving can be immediately added to house build costs and features in and around the home to give you a better overall end product.

There’s a lot to be said about getting into a brand-new home at a lower cost than the alternatives. Those savings can have a flow-on effect later in life. Additionally, by aiming to build on a narrow block you may be able to afford land in an area that would otherwise be too expensive for your budget.

Another significant advantage to life on a narrow block is the sheer ease of maintaining the property. A home is supposed to be somewhere to live your life, not a second job. Narrow lots are neat and tidy packages, with fairly straightforward maintenance requirements around the home and garden. If you’re not particularly interested in weed whacking, the smaller areas available on narrow lots might appeal to your desire for a smaller, tidier garden.

Narrow lots lend themselves very well to certain types of homes that simply wouldn’t suit a broader block. There are plenty of two storey narrow block designs that have a type of character and flair that you just don’t see elsewhere. Narrow blocks present an opportunity for creativity and unique architectural design. Take full advantage of this and see what you can produce.

Leverage outside areas

You may not have acres of outside space, but you can do a lot with what you have. Use vertical gardens, water features, lattice and hanging pots to create an immense cavalcade of greenery in your outside areas. With the right design tweaks and positioning of windows and doorways, you can create a great flowing living area through your home and into the garden that really emphasises space and seems very busy once you’re in amongst it.

Light can create space

Light can really emphasise your wide-open living areas. By positioning windows, skylights and entry ways correctly you can take full advantage of natural light and give your home a wide open, airy feel. There are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to maximise the amount of natural light entering your home, and we’re more than happy to help you incorporate some into your design.

Expansive living areas

By opening up your home design, removing needless walls and letting light and space rule, you can have a home like no other. Make living areas the centre of your home and have everything open onto them. Not only will you find extra space that you never thought you had, but you will also have a far more pleasant and homely living experience. 

Take advantage of nooks and crannies

When you’re maximising open areas, garden space and lighting, you may have to cut some corners. Storage space is one of the most commonly cited concerns about living in homes built on narrow blocks. However, there’s no reason that you have to go without adequate storage space. Using clever design, it’s entirely possible to find the room for a huge amount of storage in narrow lot homes. Just ensure that you make it a priority during the design phase.

Keep it environmentally sustainable

By staying conscious of environmentally sustainable practices throughout your home design and build, you can avoid wasting space and also ensure that your home maintains sustainability into the future. Vertical gardens can save water, sky lights can reduce electricity usage, a smaller home requires less heating and cooling, smaller gardens or tiled outdoor areas don’t have large areas of grass that need watering and mowing.

There are plenty of environmentally friendly changes you can make to the way you live when you’re working with a narrow block. If you want more information about this or have any other questions regarding building a house on a narrow lot, give us a call. We’re always happy to help.

Click here to contact us.

best new home builders brisbane

The Best New Home Builders in Brisbane: Don’t Compromise on Your New Home

By | Architecture
best new home builders brisbane
The time has come. You’re pre-approved, you have the land, and now you need a builder to erect your dream home. However, you’re in a quandary. You don’t know any builders. How do you know who’s right for you?

We’ve dealt with dozens of people facing this exact situation. It’s hard to know who to trust, particularly when you’re not even sure which questions you should be asking to begin with. We’ve put together a brief list of the type of things you should be on the lookout for while you’re searching for the best new home builder that you can find.

Past work

Many quality builders will have a portfolio of past work that you can take a look at. This should showcase many different housing types, across different block types, and should hopefully illustrate their capabilities in a range of environments with different house designs.

If you already have a specific home design in mind, make sure that your chosen builder has the right experience to take on your project. Ask questions about their past work, where they expect challenges to arise, and how they’ve coped with difficult builds in the past, or builds similar to your own. If you aren’t yet firm on the type of design you’d like for your home, a good new home builder will be able to help you find the right design for your budget and needs.

Professionalism

Professionalism during the early stages of your relationship with any new home builder is a good indicator of how they will act throughout the rest of the home building process. Staff who are courteous and focussed on doing their job well is a great start to a relationship with a new home builder. Alternatively, if they take a long time to respond, are generally sloppy in their attitude, or otherwise present multiple issues when you’re first trying to deal with them, it’s unlikely to get much better from there.

Inclusions

The level of inclusions that come with any home package can cause a lot of frustration and confusion for people that are new to the process of purchasing a home off the plan. Make sure you’re very clear on what you’re getting for what you’re paying. Think of things like hot water tanks, light fittings, power points, different doors or double glazing on windows. There will be plenty of options available to you that you may not have considered.

Liability and insurance

The builder’s level of insurance may play a role in your decision-making process. This may help protect you from a whole range of issues down the track, particularly unnecessary delays or issues with your build if something goes awry. A couple of must-have types of insurance include Public Liability insurance and Home Warranty Insurance. All quality home builders will have both of these forms of insurance.

Registration

In addition to checking a potential builder’s insurance coverage, it can be beneficial to ensure that they are registered with relevant builder’s organisations. The two you’ll want to check are the Master Builders of Australia (MBA) and the Housing Industry of Australia (HIA). Up here in Queensland you could also consider contacting the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) or using their website to run a basic search for a builder.

The contract

Your contract will outline the scope of work that the builder will perform. It’s important to be aware of what’s included because in many cases you may not be getting what you initially expected. Some builders for example, will limit themselves strictly to construction of the home. This will leave you without some add-ons like a driveway, front fence, landscaped garden, and other “necessities” that many homeowners like to have ready to go when they move into their new home.

Have a good read of your contract, including scope of work, how adjustments work, scheduled completion, and the countless other factors that may seem needless or unnecessary now but can be critically important when things go sideways.

Due diligence

Above all else, you need to make sure that you do your own due diligence. Building a house is a big step for anyone. For you to be sure that you’re working with the best new home builder in Brisbane that can suit your budget and personal requirements, you have to do the research yourself.

Send your questions our way

We’re here to help. Choosing the best new home builder for your particular needs and circumstances isn’t easy. Get in touch with us for a chat. There are no obligations – we’ve just been around the block a few times, so we can probably help answer some of your questions.

Click here to visit our Contact page.

Click here to see more of Riviera.

Fairhaven 42

Fairhaven is the ideal family home. Like all McCarthy Homes, it seamlessly blends luxury and comfort in an easy going, flowing architectural style that encourages effortless living. The office nook at Fairhaven possibly goes a little further than most office nooks, but we believe it still qualifies because it’s not quite technically an office, and it follows all the standard design principles of a good office nook.

custom home builders - questions to ask

Custom Homes: 5 Must-ask Questions for your new builder

By | Architecture
custom home builders - questions to ask
Finding and contracting a custom home builder can be a very challenging task. There is a lot to consider, least of all whether the builder you ultimately decide to work with is even capable of executing on your design vision. There is a lot at stake. This is your future home, a place to settle down in, and you want to make sure that you get everything right the first time, rather than getting caught in a never-ending cycle of chasing repairs.

We’ve worked with enough people to have gained a fairly good idea over the years of the biggest issues facing those who don’t personally know a good custom home builder. Below, we have put together a quick checklist of the questions you should be asking any potential builder before you engage them.

Ask to see their past builds

This is fairly oft-repeated advice, and for good reason. Getting a good look at the past work of a custom home builder can give you a fairly good idea of the quality of their builds and the effort they put into ensuring their work stands the test of time.

If you can, speak to the owners of the homes. Ask them how the process of working with the builder went, from start to finish. Ask for insight into the builder’s response to problems or complaints, how they managed the build schedule, how they left the site at the end of the job and whether they fulfilled all basic commitments of the build.

Naturally, any long-term contractual relationship is going to run into the odd snag, so you’ll likely hear of a few issues. However, try and get a good grasp of whether the issues you’re hearing about are standard or deal-breaking. Generally speaking, if someone has had a terrible relationship with a builder, they will very emphatically let you know about it, in no uncertain terms.

Ask about the products they use

Unless you are very deeply involved in every aspect of the build, there is a good chance your chosen builder will have quite a bit of latitude in terms of their choice of products. There are choices to be made at every stage of a build, and naturally many builders will aim to find a good balance between quality and cost in order to be able to effectively compete for new jobs. If quality is more important to you than cost-cutting, speak with your builder about the materials that will be used during construction and ensure you understand the costs involved.

Ask them where they cut corners

You’re unlikely to get an honest answer to this one, and some of the best custom home builders will be genuine in saying that they don’t cut corners. However, many builders will develop “efficiency hacks” over the years and may share this information with you. If a builder is upfront about where he thinks you can avoid additional expense, or things that simply don’t need to be done according to plan, then they are likely to be open about any issues with the build as it progresses. 

Ask them about communication and due dates

Having clear communication channels in place prior to beginning a build can help avoid future problems. Ensure you know everyone’s areas of responsibility and the issues that you should be discussing with your builder. Knowing how to approach issues to avoid a breakdown in the relationship will ensure relatively smooth-sailing throughout construction.

Establishing a timeline for completion is also highly recommended. There is always give and take on either side of the equation, and in any build some issues may crop up which will set back progress. However, most custom home builders will gladly work with owners to develop a timeline for delivery to ensure that everyone has clear expectations from the outset.

Do your research online

This is an important factor in any major purchasing decision. Get online using your favourite search engine and do some research around the builder’s name, their business name, and their ABN or ACN. Pay attention to any reviews or mentions of their build quality by past clients. Keep in mind that reviews can go both ways – some people will always find something to complain about, while others might be willing to overlook things which you will consider more important.

If you can, check out their social media or website and any images or galleries of their past work. A good custom home builder will have a portfolio that you can view to get an understanding of the kind of work they’re capable of producing.

Contact us for a consultation

Still have questions?

Get in touch with us. We have been the trusted custom home builders for countless Australian families over the years. With a large number of builds under our belt, we know how to get the best results for you and your family.

Call us on (07) 3358 9704 or click here to email us.

Sloping Block Builders - McCarthy Homes 2000x1000

Sloping Block Builders – Things You Should Be Aware of

By | Architecture
Sloping Block Builders - McCarthy Homes 2000x1000
Sloping block builders are the saviours of any home project that’s encountering difficulties with an unlevel site. Many people building their first home deliberately avoid building on a sloping block, and for good reason. It presents a whole new range of challenges, throws a range of traditional housing structures out the window, and can rapidly become more expensive than building on a level block with an ordinary, easy to prepare pad.However, it’s not all bad news. If you work with the right sloping block builders, they can spin some magic and help you build a home that is both unique and extremely liveable. We’ve compiled a few broad strokes on what you need to consider below, but at the end of the day, you’ll gain a lot of value from consulting with a professional, experienced sloping block builder.

Architectural Design

Stepped Design

A stepped-design allows for a shift of about two metres across the housing site. It’s a great way to take advantage of a bad situation with a clever house design that, utilised correctly, can really improve the feeling of space in your home.

Multi-Level Design

Multi-level designs are generally appropriate for a slightly larger difference in height across the housing site. A multi-level design allows you to really flex your own approach to designing a home (in concert with a professional, of course) and develop a unique living environment.

Split-Level Design

Split-level designs have two entirely separate levels, often with one half of the home having two storeys while the other has one. These types of designs are ideal for homes that have over three metres of fall across the site, such as on extremely sloping blocks.

Knowledge and Experience of the Builders

Naturally, when you’re undertaking any home build, the knowledge and experience of the builders is going to play a large part in your decision-making process. However, if you’re contracting a sloping block builder, taking a look at their past projects and how those jobs have stood the test of time is critical.

Ask for references and ask them if you can speak with past clients. Most sloping block builders will have a couple of extremely difficult projects they’ve worked on where they’ve been able to knock it out of the park, so you should get to see some of their best work. If you know anyone who has worked with them previously, or anyone in the industry, speak with them as well. The more feedback about their knowledge and experience you can get, the better.

Site Evaluation

Carrying out an adequate site evaluation is the first and most important step of the process of building on a sloping block. We strongly recommend that you contract us prior to purchasing the land. We can advise you on the possibilities for construction and the additional costs you are likely to incur with respect to design, build and materials.

Site Preparation and Foundations

Regardless of the talent of the specific sloping block builder you’ve recruited, there’s almost certainly going to be some work required on the site. A bit of cut and fill is ordinary on most jobs, and on a sloping block some more than usual might be required.

Some other things you may need to expect are the need for extensive drainage works, retaining walls, and possibly the need to blast or drill through rock (very prevalent on many sloping blocks), although most good builders will try to find ways to work around this issue and prevent the need for expensive excavations.

Your foundations are going to be key. Many homes built on sloping blocks will need stumps or piers to support part of the structure. Your foundations may need to be driven deeper than that which a home on level ground would require. Drainage and erosion control measures may be required to protect your foundations. 

Surrounding Environment

The fact is, many of the most stunning locations in Australia aren’t flat. Whether you’re looking to build on the hills behind the dunes, in the hinterland or sheltered from the wind halfway up a spur on a mountainside, you’re going to need to deal with building on a sloping block. The surrounding environment will play a part in house design and even site access, particularly with regard to rainfall, soil type and drainage and erosion challenges.

Contact us for a consultation

Get in touch with us to learn more about the options available. We have managed builds on hundreds of sloping blocks in the past and have become very adept at overcoming the challenges associated with these types of projects.

Give us a call and we’ll chat about your options. Regardless of your future plans, we’re always happy to help new home owners get the best possible outcome.

Call us on (07) 3358 9704 or click here to email us.