Written by Neil Rose, Managing Director of Diverse Builders
One of the most relaxing places to soak up a stunning view is the bath. So when we had a client with a gorgeous view from their ensuite, we helped them make the most of it. We angled the bath so they could sit back and see straight through the window.
I suspect many building companies might stop there, but we put a bit more thought into it, and considered how the placement of the plug might detract from their enjoyment. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s more comfortable to sit in a bath when the plug is down the end at your feet.
It’s this kind of attention to detail that sets us apart from many other builders. We enjoy the time we spend getting to know our clients, so we can tailor a home to how they live, and what they need and enjoy. They seem to enjoy that process too. We’ve spent about nine months refining plans with a few clients recently and they’re really impressed with how dramatically their plans have improved in that time.
Little things, like finding out that you’re an avid reader, will get us thinking about how we can create comfortable reading nooks. We might be able to orient an outdoor area or a balcony to create the perfect bookworm’s retreat that is warmed by winter sun and protected from the wind.
We consider what stage people are at in their lives when designing them a home. Do they have adult children who are likely to stay for awhile, maybe with a couple of grandkids? That sort of thing might mean that a third toilet would come in handy, or even a second ensuite. As a grandparent myself, I’m pleased that we designed our home to accommodate the porticot, highchair and stroller that we’ve suddenly found in our lives again.
If we’re working with a family, we can build compact office nooks near the kitchen or family room, which can be concealed when they’re not in use. That way parents can help kids with homework, maybe while they’re also preparing dinner, and keep an eye on what’s on the computer screen.
One idea that lots of people love is having a chute with a small door in the wall of a bathroom or ensuite, so clothes can be dropped straight to the laundry. We’ve also designed one that sits cleverly concealed behind a mirrored door in a purpose built shaving cabinet.
At Diverse Builders we do commercial work too, and that’s been another source of great ideas and options we can share with our residential clients. There are lots of commercial products that we can incorporate into residential homes, to make them stand out from the rest. Things like eco-friendly external claddings, like eco ply, are an interesting alternative to brick veneer. Internal claddings, like ply ceilings, have a huge impact on a home’s character too. Our commercial experience means we can introduce much larger windows than you’d find in a standard residential home, which opens up exciting options in terms of internal courtyards.
We’ve had trusses manufactured and stained for a home where they’re exposed, as a feature, and set off with a magnificent stone fireplace. We’ve also achieved stand-out results in homes with built-in furniture, like wall units and TV cabinets. They add an amazing amount of sophistication to a home.
Sharing these ideas and solving problems is where I find the greatest rewards in my work. We had clients a while ago who had been to a range of major builders in the district. None of them had spent the time working out how they could make the most of the lovely views they had to a nearby creek. We designed a house with a floor that was raised to the exact height required to see over surrounding levee banks. They were absolutely wrapped with the results and it didn’t cost them any more than if they’d bought a house off the plan and just plonked it on the block.