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Interest Rate Increase: What It Means for Home Buyers?

As had been widely predicted, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced a major increase in interest rates. After an all-time low, this increase marks a new experience for homebuyers in 2022. Changes to interest rates are a major influence on property cycles, as access to home loans and repayment are directly impacted. 

As one of Australia’s leading home builders, G.J. Gardner Homes understands building your dream home is a goal for most Australians. Although the housing market will vary from city to city, this is what the interest rate increase means for home buyers looking to turn their dream home into a reality.

The End of An All Time Low

As a response to the financial tension caused by the pandemic, the RBA reduced interest rates to an emergency low of 0.1% in an attempt to curb inflation. For home buyers, this marked a prime environment to borrow money and secure a home loan. Lower interest rates provide you with lower repayments so you are more likely to be able to secure a loan. 

The recent low-interest rates have meant many homebuyers have accessed a higher loan amount when they previously could not. The housing market has reflected this low with increased competition and property prices. April 2022 national housing values have increased by 27.0%, adding approximately $159,300 to the median value of an Australian dwelling.

Rapid Increase in Interest Rates

The recent increases announced have seen interest rates soar by 25 basis points from 0.1% to 0.35%, highly anticipated by current inflation. This is the fastest pace increase in the past 21 years.

For homeowners, loan repayments are set to increase over the next 18 months. For homebuyers, the interest rate spikes are set to inform the housing market competitiveness as well as access to mortgages.

How Will This Affect Homeowners?

Depending on your loan type, the increase in interest rates may impact you differently. Homeowners with variable mortgages could see their repayments increase in the coming weeks, depending on how fast the banks pass on the rate.

Homeowners with fixed rates may be unaffected in the short term, depending on their fixed rate loan terms. It is important to review your mortgage and speak to your lender about potential options moving forward. If homeowners have the ability to use additional savings to offset their mortgage, it could help soften the impact of the increase. Making additional payments and putting more money aside for when your bank raises its interest can also help you prepare.

Home Buying Going Forward

If you’re looking to purchase a home going forward, the increase in interest rates is likely to diminish the borrowing power of those hoping to enter (or re-enter) the housing market. 

Interest rate increases will likely cause a dip in the maximum amount of money potential borrowers can access. Higher interest rates make it less likely for lenders to approve home loans, as prospective borrowers are less likely to guarantee they can repay their home loans and the associated interest. When interest rates are high, buyers are less likely to access the mortgages they would need in order to enter the property market for homes they cannot afford.

The decrease of players in the housing market can be expected to reduce the volatility of the markets by reducing the number of property transactions. However, it will also make securing a larger loan more difficult for more expensive properties.

On the plus side for homebuyers, it is expected that rising interest rates will show house price growth, potentially making it easier for first-home buyers to get into the market.

Get in touch

To learn more about interest changes, we recommend reviewing the RBA’s statement. If you’re a potential home buyer and hoping to understand more, contact your local G.J. Gardner office to understand how to get started buying a home. 

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Home in Australia?

If you’re looking to build a home in Australia – it would be ideal to have a guaranteed cost so you can begin budgeting and navigating the needed finances. But, as many will know, many factors are at play when trying to calculate the final cost of building a home that ascertaining a figure so early on is difficult to estimate accurately. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has concluded the “on paper” average cost to build a home in Australia is just over $320 000 – at an average of $1393.55 per sqm. However, in reality, that figure will always depend on an array of factors and excludes design, planning permits, or any site works. Ultimately, it usually will cost upwards of that figure. 

Building a home in Australia will always be informed by the cost of materials, land and labour, which varies from city to city. If you want to begin the process of planning a build, contacting your local G.J. Gardner can help provide an estimate for your specific area with your needs in mind.

Post-Pandemic Life

The housing market and construction industry continue to reap the impacts of COVID-19. From supply chains to labour shortages, it’s important to keep in mind the pandemic will have withstanding impacts on how this process operates and the overall cost. 

Cost Factors 

Materials 

The materials selected to build your home will majorly inform its final cost. Ensuring your budget correlates with the style you’re after is important. G.J. Gardner homes offer various building materials and styles at different price points to ensure you can build a home that works for you. 

The cost of materials has majorly been affected by the supply chain changes and shortages stemming from the pandemic. These can serve to extend the building process and increase associated costs. 

Location and Land

The price of land is a major contributor to the overall cost of building a home. The land type and location can majorly impact the construction process and the materials you require to build a high performing home. G.J. Gardner offers house and land packages to streamline this process, using their industry expertise to put the right home in the right environment. The cost to build a home will, of course, vary depending on the city. 

Size

A basic factor that will inform the final cost of your home is your home’s size. More expansive homes and homes with plentiful bedrooms will naturally cost more, requiring more materials and labour. Finding a home that can support your family’s future realistically is an important consideration in the planning.

To work out what you can afford, research home loan options so that you can make informed decisions on land and design – you may want to speak to your bank or work with a financial adviser or mortgage broker to help with this stage.

Get a Free Consultation

Talk to one of our consultants who can help to guide you on your new home journey. With over 36,000 quality, customised homes built over the past 35 years, we can find the perfect home for your lifestyle and budget. Get in touch with a G.J. Gardner Homes consultant today.

Skillion Roofs

The skillion roof style continues to grow in popularity as homes embrace modern and edgy facades. It’s likely you’ve seen a skillion roof recently but have yet to learn of its name. 

A hallmark of Australian architectural design for suburban living, the skillion roof could be the perfect accent to elevate and modernise your home.

What is a skillion roof?

Skillion roofs are characterised by a steep single flat surface. This is unlike your traditional roof style, whereby it will be two sloping sides meeting to make a peak. Generally built with streamlined roofing materials, such as rubber skins or metal finishes, their innovative designs don’t require the same waterproofing processes as traditional roofs. 

Single-sloped, the surface of a skillion roof isn’t attached to any other roof surface to create an angular and minimalist look. They are the perfect solution for home extensions or outbuildings, designed to stay independent from any other roof fragment. 

Why use a skillion roof?

Aesthetics

A skillion roof’s main source of popularity comes from its bold and aesthetic look. As a modernised version of your classic roof, they provide an eye-catching and angular accent to your home. They are the perfect choice for those wanting a minimalist home with a contemporary and clean design style. Their unique shape adds volume and slope in simple yet elegant ways.

Functionality 

Due to their unique design, a skillion roof can perform efficiently and effectively to maintain your home. The steeply pitched shape means they support quick drainage, less likely to suffer water damage like other flat minimalist styles. It also can support rainwater collection.

They are ideal if you intend to install solar panels to power your home by maximising sun exposure along their slopes. 

With the appropriate materials, a skillion roof is set to be durable and weather resistant. Although they require considered construction techniques, they require fewer materials, are long-lasting and are often easier to build. 

Cost

The skillion roof is known to be a cost-effective roofing option. Requiring few materials and a quick building process, they are economically friendly to construct. If you are on a limited budget, the skillion roof usually requires less maintenance and is durable long term. The option of efficient solar panels can further reduce the overall performance cost of your home daily.  

Why might the skillion roof not be right for you?

Lack of extra space

Unlike your traditional peaked roof structure, the skillion roof means your home will not include the extra storage offered by an attic space. Whilst this ensures high ceilings, the skillion structure will not provide such extra space for your home. 

Wind Damage

As with traditional roofs, skillion roofs are at risk of damage by high winds or hurricanes. G.J. Gardner Homes understands the risk of poor installation and completes our roofing process with our team of industry professionals. Considered and expert construction methods can help maintain your home against the elements so that you can achieve the home of your dreams. 

Get in touch! 

With over 36,000 quality, customised homes built over the past 35 years, we can find the perfect roof design for your home and lifestyle. Get in touch with a G.J. Gardner Homes consultant today.

Your Guide to the Hamptons Style Kitchen

When we think of our dream home, the designs and styles of the Hamptons often come to mind: expansive open plan living, airy spaces with natural light and earthy colour palettes.  

Australian homes continue to embrace the Hamptons style, providing the perfect balance between comfort and contemporary design. The kitchen is the ultimate space to adopt a few of the simple but sleek Hamptons elements, making the heart of your home feel beautiful and luxurious. Here’s G.J. Gardner’s Homes’ guide to creating the perfect Hamptons kitchen. 

Natural Colours

Originating from a coastal town, Hamptons aesthetics have been influenced widely by the natural environment. Hamptons colours embrace natural tones, inspired by stone, sand, sky and foliage. Hamptons kitchens are characterised by relaxing colours, with the considered use of bold accents to create depth. Our Samsara home has mastered this palette with bright white cabinetry and a muted blue tile splashback. Colour can be a simple way to foster the Hamptons style in your home by making it feel both refined and relaxed. 

Space

Hamptons kitchens are recognised for their generous and airy use of space. Design techniques can help make your kitchen space feel open and free-flowing. High ceilings, such as a vaulted style, help your kitchen appear expansive and generous. Open plan living spaces are a key pillar of most G.J. Gardner homes. This feature lets your kitchen feel connected to the rest of the home, fostering a plentiful family zone. This design feature is a hallmark of the Hamptons style.

Finishes 

The magic is definitely in the details of the Hamptons kitchens. Whilst space and colour are the foundation, cabinetry styles, accents, and lighting bring the Hamptons feel to fruition. A key part of Hamptons homes is the addition of shaker style accents throughout the space. Shaker style refers to the use of recessed panels, creating a framed profile. For the kitchen, shaker style cabinetry gives a classic quality to your kitchen space, bringing in traditional American design elements. 

Your kitchen tapware and handles give you an opportunity to enhance the Hamptons theme. G.J. Gardner Homes have adopted the Hamptons style with tapware and finishes toned brass or matte black to contrast against the use of white. To strengthen the generous and airy feel, the use of utilitarian pendant lighting is a classic aspect of Hamptons homes. This gives the best effect when cascading from vaulted ceilings. As always, it’s the stylistic choices that enhance the Hamptons theme of your kitchen, particularly when paired with white and neutral foundations. 

Want to know more about Hamptons style?  

Customise Your Dream Kitchen

Looking to design your own Hamptons inspired kitchen in your new home? With over 36,000 quality, customised homes built over the past 35 years, we can find the perfect Hamptons home for your lifestyle. Get in touch with a G.J.Gardner homes consultant today.

2022- 2023 Federal Budget Changes

With the handing down of the 2022 2023 budget, the federal government has once again allotted stimulus to supporting homeownership. This budget arrives in the wake of the pandemic, expanding prior homeownership programs and ultimately marking the end of some. 

Home Guarantee Scheme

First introduced in the 2017-18 federal budget, Home Guarantee Scheme is intended to support the affordability of first home ownership. In its essence, this scheme dissolved the standard 20% home deposit required by mortgage lenders for those who qualified. Instead, the federal government guaranteed up to 15% of the loan’s value, allowing homeowners to purchase with just a 5% deposit. 

Previously, this scheme was only available to 10,000 applicants; however, this budget has increased that number to 50,000 a year. 10,000 spots for those are exclusive to those looking to make their first home purchase in regional areas. In addition, 5000 spots are offered to only single parents, allowing some to enter with a 2% deposit.

How to take advantage of the Home Guarantee Scheme?

If you’re hoping to benefit from the Home Guarantee Scheme in this upcoming financial year, the NHFIC can help you determine if it’s relevant for you. This scheme has historically been run on a first-in, first-served basis, so being well-informed early is always recommended. If you’re hoping to purchase and build your first home, G.J. Gardner Homes is your point of contact for beginning the design and construction process. 

Regional Buyers

The post-Covid economy requires permanent structural shifts to support Australian regional areas. As more people have moved away from cities to regional communities in the last few years, regional homeownership conditions were a focal point of this budget. 

With the announcement of the Regional Home Guarantee, regional Australians who have not owned a home in five years can buy or build a new home with a deposit as low as 5 per cent, and the government has promised 15 per cent of the property purchase price. Whilst still waiting to be passed through parliament, this scheme should be up and running in the 2022-2023 financial year.

G.J. Gardner Homes can help you take advantage of this new legislation for regional communities with our home building services. GJ Gardner Homes offices are across Australia, offering our premium services to regional communities. 

The End of HomeBuilder

As many of our clients are aware, the HomeBuilder initiative encouraged homeowners to proceed with renovations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst applications closed in April 2021, the government provided a six to eighteen-month extension for the construction commencement. October 2022 would be the last opportunity for construction commencement for those who benefitted from the initiative. If you were approved for HomeBuilder, GJ Gardner Homes may be able to facilitate your rebuilding. 

Get in touch

To learn more about this year’s budget, review the federal government’s overview. If you intend to take advantage of these schemes, contact your local G.J. Gardner office to understand how they can make your dream home a reality.

Steps to Site Preparation for Construction

As the saying goes, you can’t build a great home on a weak foundation. At G.J. Gardner Homes, we are bringing joy back to the home building process by equipping our customers with the confidence and knowledge they need to begin building their dream homes. This helpful guide will detail the steps required to transform a raw block of land into a site ready for construction. After all, site preparation is one of the most important aspects of the home building process!

Initial Site Analysis & Observation 

Before breaking ground and starting to build, initial site analysis and observation must be completed. A registered site surveyor will first visit your block of land to inspect it and determine the work required to prepare the site for construction. In this assessment, the surveyor will determine the block’s boundaries, orientation, slope and size, and any building restrictions or zoning laws for the area. The surveyor will also determine the block’s cut and fill requirements for excavation if the land is uneven or sloping. 

This is one of the most important steps in the site preparation process as it can assist in identifying obstructions to construction and prevent unnecessary costs later. 

Testing Soil

Following this initial site analysis by a surveyor, a geotechnical engineer will also visit your block of land to begin testing soil. This aims to determine what ground your new home will be built on. To complete this, the engineer will cut into the earth on your block of land and take a sample. This testing soil sample will be taken to a laboratory where the soil classification, composition, condition, slope stability and soil bearing capacity will be determined. 

Typically, the soil is classified by reactivity and the chance of soil movement as it gets wet. This is important as water can result in the erosion of particular soil types which can damage a home’s foundation. The larger the soil movement, the more reactive the ground is, and the more costly it can be to build on. In Australia, soil classifications are detailed as below:

Class AMost sand and rock sites with little or no ground movement from moisture changes
Class SSlightly reactive clay sites, which may experience only slight ground movement from moisture changes
Class MModerately reactive clay or silt sites, which may experience moderate ground movement from moisture changes
Class H1 Highly reactive clay sites, which may experience high ground movement from moisture changes
Class H2Highly reactive clay sites, which may experience very high groundmovement from moisture changes
Class EExtremely reactive sites, which may experience extreme groundmovement from moisture changes
Class PSites which include soft soils, such as soft clay or silt or loose sands: landslip: mind subsidence: collapsing soil: soil subject to erosion: reactive sites subject to abnormal moisture conditions or sites that cannot be classified otherwise

Source: Australian Standard (AS 2870-2011 [1])

Testing soil analysis can also indicate if any obstructions beneath the surface will need to be removed before the building commences. This can ensure large rocks, trees, roots, and other environmental factors are not obstructing your home’s construction. All underground obstructions will be recorded in the site plan and may result in changes to the design if the obstacles cannot be removed.

This testing soil will also assess the land soil levels, and if a footing system is required, your home builders can correctly position your new home on the block of land. A footing system is used to transfer the weight of the building from the home to the foundation. 

A preliminary report will be created and passed onto your home builder after the site analysis and soil testing. This can help your home builders decide on the excavation work required to prepare the site as well as the correct slab classification and footing type.  

Land Excavation & Levelling

After a site survey and soil testing, land excavation can begin. This will be completed by an excavation company that will remove rocks and other underground infrastructures and flatten the block for construction. To remove any high points, low troughs, or slopes on your block, the excavator will also level the site using a cut and fill technique. This means the ground from the high portions of your block will be transferred to the low sections to create a flat foundation for building your new home. 

Another method is the split-level approach which is used when the ground used to ‘fill’ may be unsuitable. It instead maintains the slope of the block and creates flat surfaces on each level to build the home. G.J. Gardner Homes has extensive experience with split-level home design and can utilise your block’s slope to create your dream home. 

Following this transfer of ground and soil, the block will then be compacted to make it stable and stop soil from moving around under the home once it is built. 

In some instances, a block may be too close in proximity to a neighbouring home to cut and fill the entire site. A retaining wall is often used in circumstances where your block of land is at a higher or lower point than your neighbours and is used to stop the land from falling onto your block over time. 

Concrete & Screw Piers 

If your ground is still not stable enough following the block levelling and cut-and-fill, it may be due to the soil type and require further stabilisation for your home’s foundation. Under your builder’s instruction, you may need to add screw or concrete piers into sections of your land. A pier is placed on top of a footing and is connected by a steel rebar.

A screw pier is a steel tube driven into the ground, and the top is cut off to form footings. While a concrete pier is created by drilling into the ground until stable bedrock is found and then filling the holes with concrete to form the footing. These provide new points for the building to sit on, rather than relying on the compacted soil to hold the entire weight of the home. 

Utility Connection

Once the block has been levelled and footings are installed, the utilities such as the plumbing and electrical connections can begin getting laid in the foundation in alignment with the site plan design. Termite protection can also be installed during this step to protect the home from erosion and stop termites from getting inside your home. 

At this stage, if your site has used the cut-and-fill technique, drop-edge beams may be used to keep ground and soil compact under the slab. This uses added concrete around the edges of the slab to reinforce the block’s stability. 

Pouring the Slab

Now for the fun part! Once utilities and termite protection have been installed, the concrete slab for your new home can be poured. Following the soil testing report results, your builder will decide on the appropriate slab type required for your home. The most common types of slabs are a waffle slab or a polyvoid slab.  

Waffle Slab

A waffle slab uses a reinforced concrete and slab system. It uses an edge beam, and spaced internal beams called strip footings to create a waffle-like appearance. This is constructed on top of the ground to avoid movement. 

Polyvoid Slab

A polyvoid slab is a suspended concrete slab on void formers made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), allowing soil reactivity such as settlement and heave. This aims further to protect your home and its foundation from movement. 

Next Steps

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we believe the process of building a new home shouldn’t be a stressful one. When building with G.J. Gardner Homes, we partner with you to create your dream home from the foundation up! If you would like to know more about the steps involved in the home building process or expert advice onsite preparation for construction, contact our experienced team today. 

FAQs on Site Preparation for Construction

How long does site preparation take?

Site preparation time will depend on the circumstances surrounding your build and construction. However, residential home site preparation typically takes between 1-2 months. 

What is site preparation?

Site preparation in residential home building is the process of ensuring a raw block of land is prepared to begin construction. This involves site surveys, testing soil, land levelling, excavation, connecting utilities and more. 

What comes after site preparation?

After site preparation, your builders can begin the construction of your new home. This includes pouring the concrete slab and starting to frame up your dream home!

Summary of Key Steps to Site Preparation for Construction

  1. Site Analysis & Observation
  2. Soil Testing
  3. Land Excavation & Levelling
  4. Piers
  5. Utility Connection
  6. Pouring the Slab

The Best Features of a Hampton Home

In recent years, Hamptons style homes have emerged as a beloved source of home inspiration – renowned for their innovative and classical features. Ultimately, the Hamptons style revolves around the feelings of calmness, charm & comfort. 

Ideal for the Australian climate and lifestyle through their refined design elements, G.J. Gardner Homes has your guide to the best features of a Hampton Home.

The Hamptons Style House Exterior

Hamptons Style Facade

Reminiscent of traditional Queenslander homes, the Hampton house style is recognised for its weatherboard exterior. Both functional and appealing, this style element is quintessential to the Hamptons style. 

The weatherboard planks forming the home’s facade provide a unique, textured appearance to the home’s exterior, whilst also weather-proofing for a range of climates. Hamptons style houses offer a coastal charm through this iconic feature. In using either wide or narrow panelling, you have the freedom to decide the contemporary or classic feel of the house whilst still remaining fresh and clean. MultipleG.J. Gardner home designs have embraced the weatherboard exterior, inspired by the Hamptons house style, including the likes of the Montville and Long Bay.

Hamptons Style Entry

A major element of the Hamptons house style is the incorporation of shaker-style design, characterised by clean lines, tapered legs, and minimalist designs, both internally and externally. The inclusion of shaker-style elements in the entryways represents a famed feature of a Hamptons home, offering an inviting entry to the home.

The addition of a front porch or an arbour serves to enhance the welcoming charm of the Hamptons style. Shaker-style pillars and eaves create continuity between the Hamptons style interior and exterior. Our range of homes provides the opportunity to include this subtle yet classic Hamptons feature within your own home by incorporating front porches and customised entry designs. 

The Hamptons Style House Interior 

Hamptons Style Colour Palette

Inspired by coastal styles, Hampton style homes use muted colours to provide a calming and naturalist experience. The use of soft tones from pale greys, blues, and greens to simply all-white palettes provide a versatile and fresh foundation for your home. 

The use of natural colours, akin to the colours of sand, sky and stone, accompanied by bold accents, impart the classic Hampton style. Offering you the freedom to design your own Hamptons inspired colour palette, all G.J. Gardner Homes allow you to customise your own paint colours. 

Natural Materials of the Hampton Home

Influenced by the aesthetics of the natural coastal environment, Hampton style homes incorporate various natural materials. To enhance its calmness and charm, the Hamptons style draws on stone accents, timber additions and linen textures to foster a beach-like haven. 

Natural materials are incorporated into the style through exposed stone walls and features as well as timber staircases and flooring. Different material tones impart different feelings; the use of light oak floors maintains a classic casual coastal appearance, while darker flooring provides a more sophisticated finish to enhance the fresh colour palette. G.J. Gardner Homes’ design styles support the use of a range of natural materials in our custom homes, from bold stone fireplaces to timber focal points.

Furnishing choices from wicker chairs to woven rugs can serve to enrich the addition of natural materials and represent a classic and accessible element of the Hampton style. 

Layers of Light

Whilst embracing the natural setting, the Hamptons house style seeks to bring the outdoors in through the use of open living spaces, which encourages abundant natural light. 

Natural light serves to enhance the fresh and bright feeling of the home whilst making it an airy and open space. Design features such as verandahs, open plan living and large scale windows provide the feeling of summer. The use of a light colour palette allows light to bounce from the walls,enhancing the role of natural light. In Hampton’s home, most design decisions seek to enhance the natural light and brighten the space. G.J. Gardner Homes specialises in large alfresco spaces leading off from the spacious open plan dining and family rooms, which provides an ideal space to hero natural light. 

Finer Details

The considered use of finishes and details serve to make the Hamptons style. Elements such as shaker-style cabinetry throughout kitchens, bathrooms and offices as well as decorative mouldings and cornices have served to enrich the heritage undertone of the Hamptons style. Moreover, the use of panelled or vaulted ceilings serves to create height and support the airy and open Hamptons feature. 

The Hamptons style is mastered through these simple stylistic choices by providing touches of classical elegance with modern innovation. 

Are you dreaming of a Hamptons style home? With over 36,000 quality, customised homes built over the past 35 years, we can find the perfect Hamptons home for your lifestyle. Get in touch with a G.J. consultant today.

Sustainable Home Trends 2022

The future of the green living movement is only becoming more convenient and relevant for modern living. 

Sustainable styles continue to dominate home design trends as we incorporate innovative and conscious features into our homes. For 2022, G.J. Gardner Homes forecasts conscious construction, sustainable materials and energy efficiency as the new frontier of home design. In most cases, these trends remain cost-efficient and in favour of the earth. 

Whether you’re already committed to building a sustainable home or interested in learning more, here is your guide to the most important housing trends that are shaping the future of sustainable living.

What is a sustainable house design?

A sustainable home is defined as a home construction and design style which prioritises eco-conscious practices, including quality systems of low-impact, high-performance materials and procedures. Sustainable house design extends to the planning, construction and living stages, which seek to serve the environment and minimise impacts.

In the planning stages, the new building’s location, size, and orientation require consideration to enhance the home’s sustainability and reduce energy consumption. In the construction stage, sustainable house design calls for conscious processes which minimise the project’s environmental impact. In finalising the home, sustainable house design extends to the materials and products in use which enhances the strategies employed during the building process and ensures sustainability for the future. 

Incorporating sustainable design techniques and processes at any stage throughout the building and living process is still an impactful choice to support environmental sustainability. 

Learn more about how to build a sustainable home.

Energy Efficient Homes

Recent developments in clean energy have served to make renewably powered homes more commonplace and efficient. Recent policy changes have encouraged the introduction of renewable energy in the home, making it an available, affordable and accessible way to incorporate sustainable practices into your daily routine. 

Eco-Conscious Construction

Sustainability is not only relevant in the home’s design. It is crucial that eco-conscious practices are in place where possible to limit the environmental impact through the construction process. 

This includes recycling throughout the construction process, repurposing unused materials in the project to avoid sending them straight to landfill. By making sustainable decisions throughout the construction process, sustainability can go beyond just the home design and extend to the entire home building process. 

Sustainable Materials

The mindful use of sustainable materials is an expanding mission within sustainable homes. These materials serve to enhance the overall sustainability of the home construction and daily operation. 

Incorporating durable, sustainable or certified carbon neutral materials into the home, ranging from cool roofs, high-performance windows, and recyclable timbers, is a practical way to practice sustainability for your home’s future.

Classic and emerging trends of the sustainable living movement have sought to reinvent various traditional house features.

Solar energy and passive design

Implementing solar power to enhance the energy and cost efficiency of your home has remained a common and impactful way to increase the sustainability of your home. In addition, G.J. Gardner Homes advocates for taking advantage of the specific orientation of your home, so you can passively use solar to create an efficient living space. 

Passive solar design employs the sun’s direction and natural sunlight to foster a comfortable temperature in your home throughout all seasons

High-performance windows 

In most contemporary design styles, windows are a major focal point; however, they are considered responsible for over 50% of lost energy in homes. Recent sustainability trends seek to enhance the aesthetic feature of windows whilst making them more sustainably conscious. 

These practices include new technologies of double glaze, special coatings and nonconductive frames. By tailoring your windows to the climate of your home, you can limit energy loss whether serving a colder or warmer setting. 

Energy-Efficient appliances 

When finalising the furnishings and features of modern homes, sustainable appliances continue to be increasingly popular. Choosing appliances with high energy efficiency ratings allows you to invest in the future of your home and the environment. 

Mindfully considered appliances for your kitchen, laundry and heating and cooling system, remains a trending way to incorporate sustainability into new builds or existing homes.

solar panels for new home build

Home Resilience

The use of durable materials continues as a leading aspect of sustainable living practices. Resiliency has been identified as the newest trend of sustainability, dedicated to ensuring homes can withstand major events and retain longevity. By using durable and non-toxic materials, future homes require less replacement and maintenance, limiting the need for new materials and wastage over time. 

Eco-Conscious Construction

In favour of eco-conscious construction processes, carbon offset partners provide an opportunity to address any unavoidable impacts on the environment. Here at G.J. Gardner Homes, we have been dedicated to minimising our carbon footprint through our collaboration with the Fifteen Trees. 

Over almost the past decade, for each home built by G.J. Gardner Homes, fifteen trees are planted in the local community to reduce environmental impact and help reduce their carbon footprint.

By the end of 2021, G.J Gardner Homes have donated over $380,000 to buy trees and planted over 76,770 trees across Tasmania and Victoria.

Get in touch 

Are you interested in learning more about current sustainability home trends? With over 36,000 quality, customised homes built over the past 35 years, we can find the perfect home for your lifestyle. Get in touch with a G.J. Gardner Homes consultant today.

Five Bedroom Home Designs

In the unprecedented times we’re experiencing, designing a home able to support lifestyle changes for yourself and your family is fundamental. 

Five bedroom homes offer the luxury and flexibility of space to support your evolving home-life and family. From a multi-generational family arrangement or simply providing extra spaces for retreat, five-bedroom home plans can be customised and adapted with the future in mind.

For Your Family and Lifestyle

Multi-Generational Living

The phenomenon of multi-generation living continues to become more commonplace in Australia and beyond. Whether a product of family culture and financial practicality, intergenerational living requires a home to support the differing needs of each individual.

With increases in migration diversifying the Australian culture and the impacts of Covid, more families are currently embracing multi-generational living. 

Five bedroom home plans allow you to be mindful of your children’s or parents’ futures in your home design and employ a plan that works for you. 

The Benefits of Extra Space

Beyond multi-generational living, five-bedroom house plans offer all the benefits of extra space. With growing families, additional bedrooms offer more independence for the family as needed, ensuring each family member has access to their own space. 

Additional bedrooms equip you with the luxury of adapting spaces as needed, from extra bedrooms, guest rooms or multi-purpose spaces. Five bedroom house plans provide flexibility and functionality, easily pivoted to suit your family and lifestyle priorities.. 

Five Bedroom House Plans

Single Storey 

Single storey homes offer all the benefits of five-bedroom home plans on split levels without compromising space. Ideal for young families or ageing parents, a single storey home allows you to experience plentiful space at one level, serving both aesthetic and functional purposes.

G.J. Gardner Homes have embraced the single storey five-bedroom house plan in multiple home styles, easily customised and suited for you and your family. Explore all single storey bedroom plans. 

Somerset

The Somerset home styles provide the luxury of a five-bedroom house plan whilst maintaining a single storey structure to maximise convenience and space. With five bedrooms dispersed across its generous layout, the Somerset home has been built for entertaining with open plan family and dining areas, kids’ zones and ensuite guest rooms. 

With four living zones beyond just the bedrooms, the Somerset style provides a five-bedroom house plan with enough designated retreat areas and alfresco living for evolving families.

Rochedale

The Rochedale home style is synonymous with modern family living, featuring a five-bedroom house plan in a pod style. Beyond the additional bedrooms available, the Rochedale has been designed to harness large lifestyle blocks, offering separation and privacy through three distinct living zones.

The Rochedale is functional for growing families or intergenerational living with the five bedrooms separated across two wings. 

Wentworth

All Wentworth homes offer a five-bedroom house plan in a country style. Through considered design, the five bedrooms have been spaciously planned around the home, including an ensuite master and a guest room with a private bathroom. 

An open plan living area centres the home, with an office and games room seamlessly connected to provide additional space for entertaining or lifestyle changes. 

Double Storey

Double-storey homes can be an optimal way to utilise the space available whilst still maintaining the five-bedroom house plan. The additional storey allows for ultimate privacy and the clear separation of living and personal areas. 

G.J. Gardner Homes have reimagined the five-bedroom house plan over a double-storey home, with various design structures to support you and your family’s needs. Explore all double-storey bedroom plans. 

South Bank 

The South Bank design celebrates the five-bedroom home plan with luxury and prestige. Through the inclusion of a mezzanine floor, the home receives maximum natural light to create an airy and spacious living space. 

The double-storey layout has been mindfully designed to prioritise the lifestyles of evolving families, with plentiful entertainment spaces, offices and multipurpose rooms and bedrooms separated across the split levels. The inclusion of generous spaces beyond just the five bedrooms realistically understands the space required for large families or intergenerational living. 

Monterey Bay

The Monterey Bay home has been designed especially for the needs of intergenerational family homes. Through the inclusion of a master suite on each storey, the home provides spacious personal spaces for maximum privacy. 

With an open plan living, dining and entertaining space and an additional family zone living room, the Monterey Bay masterfully uses a double-storey layout wisely to foster privacy and coming together. 

Elwood

The Elwood home design embraces both form and function over its double storey. By separating the living and personal space, the Elwood maximises chances for entertaining and privacy for the family. 

The downstairs living space is centred by a generous family room, leading off to games rooms and seamlessly connected to alfresco spaces. Upstairs has been designed to offer a private family zone with its five bedrooms and an activity room. The split storey home design is a perfect layout for five-bedroom plans, optimising the purpose of each storey and maximising the property. 

Get in touch

Considering a five-bedroom house plan for your family’s needs and lifestyle? With over 36,000 quality, customised homes built over the past 35 years, we can find the perfect home for your lifestyle. Get in touch with a G.J. Gardner Homes consultant today.

How to Transcend Home Design Trends

Designing a home is one of the most exciting, yet challenging projects we choose to take on in our lives. But falling into the trap of designing your home with current trends is something the majority are guilty of doing. Choosing to design with seasonal trends in mind can end up being a costly mistake. As these elements fall out of fashion, you’re left investing to change your home’s style in a couple of years time. 

After building over 36,000 custom homes, we’ve picked up a thing or two on key design elements that can date a home. Below is our forecast of design trends we expect to go out of style in 2022. 

Bright Carpet Colours

While we’ve well and truly moved past the iconic 70’s orange shag carpets, some are still stuck in the past with coloured statement carpets. But this trend can take away from your home design. To prevent your home from looking dated (and saving yourself carpet installation costs), try incorporating neutral-coloured carpets. This could include grey, black, or cream. Darker colours also show less dirt and staining over the long term. Which makes them a great option in a children’s room or rumpus room. 

Alternatively, replace your carpets with tiles. They are simple to maintain and are more durable than carpeting, particularly in high traffic areas.

Old Cabinetry Colours

Another design trend that can age your home is your kitchen cabinet colour. Choosing bright colours, or orange-toned wooden cabinetry for example, can create a dated kitchen look. Instead, incorporate solid neutral colours such as white or black, or add a pop of colour to a section of cabinetry as an accent. This can help to modernise the space. It also enables you to add trends or coloured features through cabinetry hardware, which is a lot cheaper to change out as your style evolves. 

Heavy  Window Coverings

One aging design element that we often see in homes is heavy window coverings that enclose the space. Styles such as a curtain valance or track panels can cheapen the overall look of the room. Additionally, coverings that do not fit the window panelling take away from the room’s look and feel. Instead, invest in quality curtains and window dressings that will stand the test of time. If you live in warmer climates, invest in block-out roller blinds. This can help to not only keep the light out but cool down your home during warmer days. 

Small Tiles

While long rectangular ‘kit-kat’ style tiles have recently made their way back into the inspo boards of home builders, small-format tiles can actually do more harm than good. Tiling your bathrooms with smaller tiles, particularly when covering entire floors or walls, can overpower the eye. Instead, a smaller accent wall can create a sense of dimension and texture. 

Staircase Balustrades

Another common aging design trend is choosing exorbitant or detailed balustrades that won’t stand the test of time. Staircase balustrades are going to be in your home for a long time and are costly to change out. Pick something simple that complements your home’s interior style and can evolve as you change out furniture pieces.

Common Design Mistakes

At G.J. Gardner Homes we understand the importance of a floorplan that suits your design, lifestyle needs and budget. Our New Home Consultants are experts in this field and have identified some common design mistakes people make when designing their homes:

Making Bathrooms Too Small

In home designs, clients want to maximise their floor space by leaving square footage to main living spaces and bedrooms. However, this typically results in bathrooms that are too small for their needs. 

When designing your home, consider carefully how each space is going to be used and who will be using the space. Bathrooms need enough vanity space and storage. As well as room for key appliances such as a bath, shower, and toilet. 

Formal Living Areas Are Under-Utilised 

While having a formal dining room is still a common feature in floorplans today, this is often under-utilized space. This additional room could be converted into a home office space or another bedroom. 

Laundry Rooms are Too Small 

Another room that is often neglected is the laundry. While this room can be smaller than other spaces, it is vital to consider the functionality. Ensure there is a big enough benchtop and sink space, room for the ironing board and appliances.

Use A Functional Floor Plan

The key to creating a timeless home design is to ensure your floor plan is functional. Consider each space, how you plan to use it and areas of high foot traffic. Additionally, the incorporation of open-plan living space with connected kitchen, dining and alfresco areas can help to create a flow between different zones. 

Also consider furniture placement and powerpoints in the room. This ensures there is enough room dedicated to each space, based on key furniture pieces and the room’s functionality. 

Light & Bright

One of the most underrated aspects of home design is natural light. Utilising passive design, make the most of your home’s positioning to include as much natural light as possible. If your block of land does not get a lot of sun exposure due to its orientation, be sure to install skylights. This creates the same illusion of a light, bright home design and provides a nice feel to your space. 

Neutral & Natural

Keeping the foundational elements of your room neutral can create a timeless and sophisticated look. This includes cool or warm white coloured walls and ceilings, plus neutral exterior colours. For pops of colour or seasonal styles, swap out artwork, wall décor, furniture and design accessories. 

Utilise natural materials like timber flooring or external stone cladding. While investing in these materials may not be as cost-effective, the quality and durability you will receive as a result will make it well worth it.  

Classic Interior Style

The modern farmhouse and contemporary coastal design styles are great interior design formats. They provide a modern and ageless feel to the space by incorporating simple stylistic elements.

Vertical Joints 

Vertical joints (aka VJ Lining) are a tongue and groove panelling solution that can be installed on top of plastered walls. It creates a timeless feel and adds texture by providing the illusion of Hamptons or Farmhouse inspired panelling.

Shaker Doors & Cabinetry

Another trend that will stand the test of time is shaker profile doors and cabinetry. This style features a flat centre panel with a square border around the edges. It is particularly popular in kitchens, as it creates a classic and dimensional look to your cabinetry.  

External Cladding

When choosing your home’s exterior finish, external cladding is a great solution. Ensure you choose a classic style that fits your personal style rather than the new products that are on-trend. 

Staying True To You (& Your Design Style):

While all these design tips are important to keep in mind when creating your dream home, the most important thing is to stay true to what you like and what elements speak to your personal style. Your individuality and sense of style is something that won’t date. By ensuring you choose quality pieces and designs that you truly love, regardless of trends, it will become a timeless part of your home. 

Another way to ensure you are staying true to yourself is to create a mood board for your home. Whether you are going old-school and create a collage or use Pinterest, this can help you stay focused. Rather than getting caught up in other people’s ideas and deviating from your own style.

Our top tip to not go overboard in home design is to live by the motto “less is more’. If you’re unsure about something, pair it back and go with your gut. 

Our last suggestion is to select finishes and products that are expensive to change in neutral tones or colours. Then add splashes of colour to smaller features that are cheaper to remove like furniture or splashbacks. Prioritise quality over quantity. 

And there you have it! We hope our guide to transcending home trends can help you elevate your home design and create a space that feels unique to you.