I spoke with Jill and Peter about their recent renovation. They didn’t think they would be living in this freshly renovated house so quickly. After all, they only contacted John last October. According to them, the build took only 14 weeks and it really couldn’t have gone better.
In the past, they’ve had new houses built with two big-name home builders so they know a thing or two about building projects. When they decided to downsize somewhat and move to an 80’s house in Applecross they had a vague idea that, perhaps, they could renovate. The house didn’t have much storage space for Jill and the bedrooms were a tad too small.
The usual process of getting quotes from builders started in the middle of year. One of the big building companies asked them to look at a display home and told them that the master bedroom in the display home could be theirs if they were to go with that company. They thought that maybe that wasn’t such a great idea. After much consideration, they decided to look for a local builder rather than working with a big company. Some of the things they were hoping for when they searched for a local builder were:
- quicker and more efficient communication throughout the build
- attention to details
- more value-added service.
They knew they would get what they wanted, and more, when John came out to talk to them for their initial consultation. Peter and Jill were most impressed with all of the ideas John had, many of which hadn’t occurred to them. We all like options, don’t we? Before meeting John, they figured they had a pretty good idea about how the house could be renovated. However, a seasoned professional like John was able to see what could be re-used from the existing structure (oh hello? We are not throwing everything away?) and what could be done better for the same money.
Their initial plan was to just extend one of the existing bedrooms and somehow increase storage space. What they learned after the first meeting was:
- better to add a bedroom than extending an existing one inside the house
- could extend the kitchen without making a huge change and re-use the existing door to the veranda
- have more light in the kitchen with a long window above the sink.
That didn’t stop them from getting prices from other builders but, in the end, Jill and Peter said that One Design & Construct’s offer outshone everyone else’s in terms of added value. It has been a pretty smooth sail since then. The draft plan was pretty much spot on. From what I can gather, John and his team nailed the design as Jill and Peter got exactly what they were hoping for:
- lots of storage space with a big built-in wardrobe
- spacious ensuite
- large master bedroom
- brand new kitchen with more bench space.
When John said his team would start the build from early January after getting the building license organised in December, Jill and Peter didn’t think it would happen. It wasn’t so much that they didn’t believe John, but if you have had any experience with building companies you know that things always get delayed for one reason or another. Well, they were in for quite the surprise. The team actually arrived early January and the build commenced just as John said it would.
Fourteen weeks from the day the One Design & Construct team arrived on site, the massive renovation project is now all but completed.
I asked if the project was on budget. Well, it apparently went over a little. That is often to be expected in building projects, especially renovations that sometimes uncover the unexpected. In Jill and Peter’s case, they didn’t know how dodgy the wiring was in their house. The house was built, as mentioned earlier, in the 80s (were there a lot more dodgy houses built during that decade?). Peter noticed some strange things such as an extension cable buried under the soil in the garden (live wire running in the damp ground!). And when the guys went up to have a look at the roof space during the build they realised it was pretty much a ‘dog’s breakfast’ with cables everywhere and some live connections that were just patched up. Rewiring the entire house was not part of the plan hence it wasn’t budgeted for. As we’ve seen all too often in many home renovation TV shows, these things happen.
I asked them what they would do differently if there was a next time. Interestingly, they couldn’t say, except for not staying in the house during the construction, perhaps. But they didn’t even mind all the mess around them and they just got on with things as usual. What they could say for sure was that they would call One Design & Construct again.
I couldn’t believe how happy these two people were to tell me all about how wonderful it was to work with the building team. Now they feel like the entire team from One Design & Construct are their family members. They are missing the guys since the completion of the project, although they can certainly live without having to get up at 5:30 in the morning!
After I said goodbye to the couple, I thought that I should start working harder and saving more if I want to get John to do a reno for my own home.
Just a little about me before I finish. I’m a local photographer (Songy Knox Photography) who initially helped One Design & Construct with the development of their website. As One Design & Construct got busier, I thought it would be interesting to take photos of completed projects and talk to clients about their experiences. Everyone seems so pleased to have worked with One Design & Construct and I wanted to know why that was. Maybe I could give One Design & Construct feedback to make their future projects even better!
It seems like this is only just the beginning for me in finding happy customers from One Design & Construct. The team is now off to do another spectacular renovation project at Atwell. Until then, happy renovating.