Spending time at home during Covid-19 has certainly got a lot of us thinking about future renovation and building ideas. We asked Mark and Susan from the Perfect Space, a leading design and build company here on the Northern Beaches, to tell us how you can save on time, money and stress with a fresh approach to building.
Extending your home is a great way to create more space for the family without all the hassle, headache and cost of moving. And let’s face it, with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches on the doorstep, why would you want to move?
The traditional way is to find an architect to draw up the plans and then put the job out to tender, but increasingly homeowners are taking a different approach and turning to highly efficient ‘design and build’ companies for the smoother process it offers.
Local resident Mark Romeo is the founder of The Perfect Space, a concept to completion architectural design and build company. As a highly experienced builder, Mark identified a gap in the home extension market a few years ago. He would routinely meet frustrated families who had council approved drawings that hadn’t been reviewed and costed by an experienced builder. It meant beautiful design being abandoned and architect’s fees wasted. Teaming up with principal architect Susan Goldsack, Mark’s vision was to create a better way of doing things that would save his clients time, money and sleepless nights.
Why design and build?
There are huge benefits that come from a builder and architect working closely together right from the start. During the concept design phase, you’ll get valuable input from both that will shape and enhance the design, maximising your budget while ensuring it doesn’t overrun.
This collaborative approach also means you can get an accurate construction cost upfront prior to council approval. This is called a concept design and cost analysis. Not only does it allow for much tighter control of your budget, but you will be able to sleep better knowing that the drawing and plans submitted for council approval are ones that you can afford to build.
Are there also benefits to the way project management works?
Absolutely. With one company managing the project from concept right through to completion, the design and build method offers clients a more streamlined process. With one team managing all the paperwork, council requirements, people and priorities, it’s a stress-free building experience that’s highly efficient.
Our recommendation to anyone embarking on a home extension journey, is to choose a company that has a savvy online project management system like the custom one we use. Regularly updated with timings, costs, photos, and site information, our clients can login at any time of the day and check on the progress of their job.
What should people look for when choosing a design and build team?
It’s important that you ‘click’. We feel privileged to be allowed to see into a client’s private world and to come up with solutions to improve how they live. It’s a very personal experience with our clients invested in every decision. It often results in lifelong friendships. Developing a strong rapport with our clients is an important part of our business as it fosters open and honest communication which is vital to achieving the best results.
It’s also important to choose a design and build team who have proven and successful experience in the type of renovation you want to do. Call a couple of their past clients for a reference.
What is your design philosophy?
We thrive on designing solutions that enhance the way someone lives their life; often in a way they have not thought of. Every site and every client have their own specific set of attributes and needs, and we work closely with our clients to design the best home extension for the money they wish to spend.
Today more than ever, homes should wholly embrace passive design for building sustainability. A good designer will consider orientation to the sun, landform, site features and views, natural ventilation, shading, thermal mass, prevailing winds, noise pollution, water and solar collection along with other sustainable considerations.
What are the design trends you foresee for 2020?
Ah, it’s good to stay on top of them but trends come and go. It shouldn’t be the starting point for a design. Timeless design is more important to us. From a sustainable point of view and quality of life, the goal is to always produce an outcome that people will still love in 100 years’ time and just like an excellent wine, one that ages well.