McLauchlan Building Designers Project 1
New, mature-age relationships sometimes provide housing challenges. McLauchlan Building Designers’ clients had sold their respective former homes and were excited about their future, hopefully living in a pretty, double-fronted weatherboard house they had bought together. They found a home with a 1950s style that felt right for them, with a large front garden with blooming roses, veranda and leadlight glass windows.
They had specific needs though – space for quality time with their blended families, high quality visitor accommodation and an interesting, all weather, indoor/outdoor entertaining area. Their special cars also had to be properly housed. Easy maintenance and sustainability were also important goals.
With more than 30 years of design experience, Rob McLauchlan relishes a renovation challenge. The trio were enthusiastic about planning, with countless ideas and options batted around. Budget pressures increased with evident needs for new wiring, a new roof, new drains, re-blocking, replacement of cracked plaster and more.
Confidently, but gently, Rob suggested knocking the house down and rebuilding, emphasising this would be a ‘winwin’ situation – likely cost saving, enhanced design and more certainty without the risks of finding more costly extras after beginning construction.
The clients were positive, realising a clean-sheet approach gave them the opportunity to include modern touches in finishes and technology, as well as eco-friendly solar power, solar hot water and extensive insulation, including under-floor.
A revised concept included subtle changes which began with an adjustment to the siting to allow a full-width double garage and increases in some critical room sizes. With risk minimised, the budget was confirmed.
The design suited the site fall, allowing large sub-floor water tanks and adjacent storage. There is an enormous kitchen and the living room flows out through bi-folding doors to the party deck, where a tinted glass roof protects the barbecue and outdoor eating area, letting sunlight into the study and dining areas.
Quality inclusions range from Miele appliances, CaesarStone benches, Imperite cabinets and red glass splashbacks to spotted gum flooring.
Builder David Toebelmann, with 29 years’ experience in the construction industry and a registered builder since 1996, felt flattered when approached to take on this exciting project. Weekly on-site meetings developed his rapport with Rob and the clients.
Communication was easy, with mutual trust evident. Problems were aired, solved and the house built in ten months. The result is a stunning success, with the clients delighted with their new home and David and Rob enjoying the outcomes of a harmonious working relationship.
Now finished and landscaped, it is hard to tell if the house is new or old. Faced with no maintenance, the clients are free to live their sociable lifestyle to the full.
This story highlights how a new home can be built that doesn’t look ‘cutting edge’ but is elegant, cosy, modern, light, spacious, built on a definite budget and which meets all the needs of articulate, discerning clients.