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Multigenerational Home Designs

Multigenerational households are a growing trend in Australia, and it’s changing the way we live and our requirements for home designs.  COVID-19 especially has pushed more families to live under one roof, meaning that the way families live and use the space in their home has changed. More time than ever before is being spent at home, whether it be working, entertaining or spending quality time with the family and our homes need to reflect that. Here at G.J. Gardner, we stay ahead of the trends and create new designs that best fit our home builders lifestyles and needs, which is why we have developed our new range of intergenerational homes. 

 How is the intergenerational home range different from the regular home range?

While many of the necessities and needs of a common Australian home remained the same, such as open plan living, kitchen spaces, private spaces to relax and bedrooms, our intergenerational specific home designs take into consideration the needs of having multiple generations of adults under the same roof.

One of the main differences between traditional home designs and intergenerational home designs are the bedroom designs. Our intergenerational home design range all have two master bedrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. This ensures the homes can comfortably accommodate extended family members such as parents, grandparents or adult children who want to have their own private spaces within the home. The dual master suites also help extend the longevity and liveability of your home as you age, as older homeowners lean towards having a master bedroom on the ground floor of the home. 

Multigenerational households want more open spaces with a larger focus on creating versatile and flexible spaces that can have different functions for different members of the family. To meet these needs, our homes have multiple living areas both upstairs and downstairs to enable large families to entertain guests while also offering private spaces to relax. A number of our intergenerational homes have outdoor living areas, including alfrescos for move sharable living spaces.

While dual master bedrooms and additional living areas are standards across our intergenerational home design range, our homes have different features and offerings to ensure that the home best suits your family’s lifestyle. From home offices to home gyms, additional bedrooms and storage, our home designs will have everything you want in your dream home. 

To discover which intergenerational home design is right for you and your family, check out or homes below.

Fremantle Intergenerational Home Design

The Fremantle home design was created specifically with large families in mind, ensuring that all family members have a private place to both relax and rewind as well as entertain friends and family. This family home features:

  • Two master bedroom suites – one upstairs and one downstairs 
  • A parents retreat  on the upper floor 
  • Five bedrooms 
  • Three bathrooms
  • Two living areas
  • An alfresco

The Fremantle also comes in a variety of facades, including a Beach façade, Hamptons, Urban, Resort, Executive and Classic. This ensures that the outside of the home suits your style and lifestyle as much as the interior. 

Monterey Bay Intergenerational Home Design

The Monteray home design is a two-floor house with large open areas downstairs designed for entertaining and private lounge rooms for quiet family time. This family home features:

  • Two master bedroom suites – one upstairs and one downstairs 
  • Five bedrooms
  • Four bathrooms and two powder rooms
  • Open floor living areas on both floors
  • A massive kitchen with a butler’s pantry
  • Ample storage

The Monteray Bay design also comes in a variety of facades, including the Resort façade, Classic, Hamptons, Beach, Urban and the Executive façade. 

Sacramento Intergenerational Home Design

The Sacramento home design was created with an active family lifestyle in mind. With five living and entertaining areas on both floors, it is the perfect home for entertaining. This family home features:

  • Two master bedroom suites – one upstairs and one downstairs 
  • Two large living rooms on the lower level
  • Five bedrooms
  • Big entertaining areas both upstairs and downstairs
  • An alfresco and front porch
  • The upstairs floor can almost be contained and has all elements of a home except a kitchen.
Diagram, engineering drawing

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The Sacramento home design also comes in various facades, including the Resort façade, Classic, Hamptons, Beach, Urban and the Executive façade. 

South Bank Intergenerational Home Design

The South Bank the biggest home in the intergenerational design range. This family home features:

  • Two master bedroom suites – one upstairs and one downstairs with his and her basins
  • Open plan living and dining room
  • Master suite at the rear that accesses own courtyard
  • Five bedrooms
  • Four bathrooms and two powder rooms
  • A large mezzanine living area upstairs
  • A formal lounge or home office
  • Space for a home gym
  • Alfresco and balcony

The South Bank home design also comes in various facades, including the Urban, Hamptons, Executive, Classic, and Resort facades.

Ventura Intergenerational Home Design

The Ventura home design is the ideal home for a large family looking for their dream home. With multiple living areas on both floors, including an open plan family and dining room, an enclosed media room and an upstairs lounge.  This family home also features:

  • Two master bedroom suites – one upstairs and one downstairs Open plan living and dining room
  • Four bedrooms
  • Three bathrooms and two powder rooms
  • Lots of storage space
  • A big alfresco and outdoor dining area
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The Ventura home design also comes in various facades, including the Urban, Hamptons, Executive, Classic, and Resort facades.

Solar Panels: Should I Add Them to My Home?

solar panels for new home build

What if you could power your home with 100% clean energy? Or stop paying expensive power bills once and for all? 

It sounds too good to be true, but it’s the way of the future in Australia. An increasing number of homes throughout the country are installing solar panels. Regardless of whether a home is old, newly renovated or brand-spanking new; solar panels can be easily installed, with life-changing outcomes. 

If you’re still relatively unfamiliar with how a home solar system operates, we’ve explored them in detail below and explained why they should be included in your home build. 

What are solar panels?

Solar panels are devices installed on roofs to convert sunlight into the electricity that powers your home. How do solar panels work? Well, it’s actually quite simple! The panels absorb light and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. The DC electricity then passes through a solar inverter where it’s converted into 240V alternating current (AC) electricity, which is used to power your home. 

Solar panels can greatly reduce the need to use electricity from the grid and you’ll only need to dip into the grid when you’ve used all of the energy supplied by your solar panels. 

How much do solar panels cost?

Solar panels prices vary depending on the size of the system and the number of panels required to power your home efficiently. The system size is measured in kiloWatts (kW) and prices will be based on this, along with installation costs. 

Solar Quotes released a cost table, which displays the current approximate cost of a system, including installation. Prices start from as little as $2,500 for a 1.5kW system and range up to $12,000 for a 10kW system. 

The good news is, solar panel and installation prices have dropped significantly in the last few years and the solar panel Government rebate is still quite generous. There is a long list of ways you can finance your system until you’ve paid it off. 

The best part about solar systems is, they pay themselves off! The average payback period is usually around 6-10 years, however, it could be a lot quicker depending on your power use. 

How much money will I save using solar power?

The money you save on your electricity bill will again depend greatly on the location of your home, the amount of electricity you use, and the size of the system installed. However, you’ll certainly notice a drop to some extent. 

It’s also smart to adapt some of your daily usage habits to compliment your solar system. For example, it’s savvy to run appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer during the day when the system is converting the most energy. If you’re still running all your appliances at night when the system isn’t converting, your savings won’t be as significant. 

If you consistently use most of your electricity in the evenings, you can install a solar panel battery, which will store any oversupply and allow you to use it as you need it. While they’re generally quite expensive to install, solar batteries can save you more on your power bill. 

What should I consider before adding solar panels to my home?

  1. Calculate your home’s current energy consumption and determine the size of the system you require. In doing so, you can also determine a rough payback period and what you can comfortably afford. 
  2. Confirm your roof faces the right direction. Roof orientation is a major deciding factor when considering solar panels. A solar installer will assess this for you, however, it could be something to consider if you’re still in the early stages of designing your new home. 
  3. Ensure that no trees, power lines or neighbouring buildings will shade the panels. This will prevent them from operating at their full capacity.  
  4. Contact your local council to find out if approval is needed. Council staff will be able to lend a helping hand. 
  5. Decide on the right solar inverter (which we discussed earlier). Take a look at our guide to buying solar inverters for more details to ensure you make the right choice. 
  6. Think about whether you need a battery. Read our solar storage battery buying guide to understand the pros and cons. 
  7. Make sure that you like the look of solar panels with your home’s style. 
  8. Make sure your solar panels meet the required standards – see more.
  9. If you’ve found a system and installer you’re happy with, check the panels’ product performance and warranties – see more. 

Find out if solar panels are right for you

Are you ready to experience the benefits of solar power and live more sustainably at home? If you’re considering solar panels for your new build, get in touch with your local GJ Gardner Franchise. We can answer all your questions and guide you in the right direction. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Tapware for Your Bathroom

How to choose tapware for bathrooms

The new bathroom is looking pretty schmick, and it’s time to decide on the all-important details. Selecting tapware for your new bathroom is a bigger task than you might think. Taps for bathrooms must not only serve their basic function of providing water for washing and rinsing, but they also need to look good and suit your bathroom’s aesthetic. 

It can be easy to simply choose cheap and cheerful taps for the bathroom, but with so many high quality, contemporary options available, you’d be crazy not to find the perfect set of taps for your space. 

What should I look for in tapware? There are several things to consider, including compatibility with your basin, shower or bathtub, colour and finish, and overall design. 

Pairing your tapware with your chosen basin 

One of the most important things to think about when choosing tapware is the size and style that’s best for your basin type. 

Bathroom basin tapware is available in wall-mounted and top-mounted taps. Top-mounted taps for bathrooms are the most popular choice, with a huge variety of styles, including three-piece tap sets, mixers and pillar taps. Top-mounted tapware can either be mounted directly onto the basin or on a horizontal surface.  

As the name suggests, wall-mounted tapware is mounted to the wall, which is great for creating more space around the basin. Wall-mounted basin taps are growing in popularity thanks to the range of sleek, modern designs.  

Let’s take a look at basin tap styles in more detail:

  • Three-piece tapware: This traditional type of tapware features a hot and cold tap with a separate spout. They’re suitable for mounting on a basin or wall with three tap holes. 
  • Basin mixer: These mixers have a single mixing lever for hot and cold water flow and are suitable for single-hole basins.
  • Pillar taps: Pillar taps are quite a traditional style of tapware suitable for two-hole basins. They feature two separate faucets for hot and cold water. 

When making your choice, be sure to select a spout that is proportionately sized to the basin. A spout that is too long or too short can result in splashing and will make for a rather frustrating finish. For example, if you’ve chosen a deep inset basin, you’ll require tapware with a longer spout. 

Key things to remember: 

  • Consider the depth of your basin
  • Determine how many holes the basin or wall needs for your preferred tap style
  • Choose a style that gives you enough space around the basin
  • If you’re renovating or replacing old taps, you’ll need to select the same set-up

Pairing your tapware with your chosen bathtub or shower

Similarly to your basin tapware, bathtub and shower taps are available in wall-mounted and top-mounted styles, along with floor-mounted taps for freestanding baths. Your range of options will depend greatly on the type of bath or shower you’ve chosen.

Let’s take a look at shower and bath tap styles in more detail:

  • Mixer tap: Mixer taps feature a spout with a single handle that controls the water temperature and flow.
  • Three-piece tap: This type of shower tap features one spout accompanied by separate hot and cold taps. 
  • Bath/Shower diverter mixers: A single mixer tap can be used alongside a diverter if you have a showerhead and bath spout combination or two showerheads. The diverter allows the water flow to switch between the two. 
  • Freestanding mixers: A contemporary design becoming popular for freestanding baths, these mixers feature a minimalist bath tap that rises from the floor. 

You’ll also need to consider the type of shower head you want to include. There are loads of options available today, including single-head, multiple, rain and waterfall showerheads. Choose wisely; this is the key to creating your ultimate shower experience!  

Key things to remember: 

  • Consider your style of shower or bath, do you have a separate shower, a shower/bath combo, a back-to-wall bath or a freestanding bath?
  • If you have a shower/bath combo you’ll require a diverter 
  • Think about your desired water flow, not enough or too much water pressure can ruin your shower experience  

Colours and finishes 

Consider the style of your bathroom holistically when deciding on the colour and finish of your tapware. What’s your desired end result? Contemporary or traditional? 

There are a range of materials to choose from when considering the finish, including stainless steel, brass, chrome and coated finishes such as brushed metals and matte black. 

Here are some recommendations for specific styles of bathrooms: 

  • Monochromatic, industrial – a coated finish such as matte black, nickel or rose gold
  • Modern, contemporary or sophisticated – a sleek design in stainless steel, chrome, matte black, brushed metallic or a bright colour
  • Traditional, country or heritage brass, chrome, gold or a cream finish 

To make your decision easier, we suggest creating a bathroom mood board that includes styles and colours of tapware, bathrooms you’re inspired by and any other interior design elements. 

Consistency is key 

Possibly the most important thing to ensure is that your basin, bath and shower tapware coordinates well. Consider the shape of your tapware along with your other bathroom fixtures. Is it designed with smooth, curved lines or angular lines? Strive for consistency across all fixtures to create a cohesive look and feel in the bathroom.  

It also goes without saying that your tapware needs to be from the same family!

Need help choosing the right tapware for bathrooms? 

Do you need some extra guidance in choosing tapware for your bathrooms? The team at GJ Gardner are happy to assist! We can help you decide on taps for bathrooms of all shapes and sizes. To get started, contact us and tell us about your current or new bathroom design. 

How to Choose The Right Flooring

Whether building a new home or renovating, there’s so much to consider when it comes to flooring. Both functionality and style come into the equation, and it’s important to find the perfect balance.

What is the best option for flooring? Every home is different! The most suitable flooring for your home comes down to a few key factors. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know before making the all-important decision.

What are the different types of flooring?

There are several options to choose from, including soft flooring like carpet and natural fibres, and hard floorings such as timber, tiles and vinyl. We’ll explore the pros and cons of the most popular flooring options, as well as their suitability for certain rooms in the home.

Carpet

Carpet is comfortable underfoot, good for sound insulation and very durable. Non-slip and soft, carpeted flooring is a great choice for the elderly or for families with young children. While it’s relatively easy to maintain, carpet can fall victim to stubborn stains like red wine and coffee.

Carpet is available in a huge range of colours and textures and can be used to either complement a neutral space or really make a statement.

Timber

Timber floors are not only popular for their beautiful, natural aesthetic, but also for their ability to stand the test of time. If they’re well-sealed, timber floors are resistant to spills and stains and are quick and easy to clean. However, in saying this, timber floors do require maintenance in order to age well. High traffic areas require buffing and resealing every four years or so, and larger scratches will need to be re-sanded, which can become quite costly.

There are several types of timber to choose from, ranging in thickness, colour and texture.

Tiles

Tile flooring in G.J. Gardner Home

Tiles are durable, easy to maintain and cool under the feet – a plus if you live in a warmer climate. They can, however, be quite cold during winter. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are most commonly used in homes. Porcelain is best suited to high-traffic and outdoor areas, while ceramic works best indoors.

Tiles are often favoured in light shades, helping a room to look both brighter and bigger.  

Polished concrete

Polished concrete is a more contemporary interior trend that’s easy to look after and durable when sealed properly. Similarly to tiles, polished concrete can be cold underfoot during winter and remorseless when it comes to dropped glasses and crockery, or the accidental fall.

Laminate

Laminate is a very versatile flooring option that’s suitable for every room in the home. However, laminate does require a moisture barrier beneath it when it’s used in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. You can easily achieve your desired look with a variety of styles including stone, ceramic and timber.

Laminate is easy to install, scratch-resistant and can withstand spills and stains.

Vinyl

Vinyl is a very affordable flooring option that’s water-resistant, durable and low maintenance; however, it can be scratched relatively easily. Installation is very straightforward and it’s available in a variety of styles, colours and textures to complete your desired look.

Key Things to Consider when Choosing Flooring

Style & Appearance

When you reach the interior design phase of your new build or reno, don’t leave the flooring until last! It’s one of the largest surfaces, so deserves some serious thought. If you’re mid mood board and left wondering, ‘how do I choose a floor colour?’ You firstly need to have a good idea of the style you want to achieve.

A modern, moody aesthetic can be achieved with dark coloured carpet and a smoky coloured flooring in either timber, vinyl or laminate. A coastal vibe is nicely complemented by light or sandy coloured timber or tiles, while a country home can be brought to life through darker or red hardwood timbers.

Do some research on your desired style to explore your options and get some visuals.

Location

More often than not, a home will include more than one type of flooring. Some materials are better suited to different rooms according to their purposes. When asking the question-  how do I choose flooring? It’s a good idea to first ask – what room am I flooring?

  • Kitchen – Kitchen flooring needs to be fast and easy to clean. Tiles, polished concrete and timber are popular choices for the kitchen.
  • Bathroom – Flooring for the bathroom needs to respond well to water, meaning it needs to be both slip-proof and waterproof. Tiles are generally the best option, however, both the grout and tiles need to be sealed for a durable finish.
  • Bedrooms – Comfort is key in the bedroom, so it’s no surprise that carpet is usually the go-to. Soft, warm and insulating, carpet ticks all the boxes for the bedroom.

Traffic Use

High traffic areas in the home require durable and resilient flooring. Both ceramic tiles and laminate are the best options for these areas. That’s not to say other options aren’t suitable for high-traffic areas, however, maintenance may be required more frequently.

Climate

If you live in parts of Australia that experience cool winters, carpet becomes even more appealing for bedrooms and living rooms. Tiles can become very cold underfoot in winter and it’s a good idea to consider underfloor heating. If you’re tiling an outdoor area, adequately sealed timber and tiles are generally better suited to areas that are regularly exposed to the elements.

Allergies

Hard floorings such as timber, tiles, vinyl and laminate are recommended for those who are sensitive to allergens as they’re easy to keep dust-free.  

Budget

Budget is a major determinant for most and some flooring is undeniably pricier than others. If you’ve got your heart set on a certain type of flooring, but it’s too expensive to cover your entire home, choose wisely and opt for cheaper options in other rooms. Laminate is also a very cost-effective alternative and can help to achieve a certain look while avoiding the price tag.

Genuine hardwood sits at the top of scale, vinyl and laminate are the most budget-friendly, and carpet and tiles offer a range of luxury and more affordable options.

Need help choosing your flooring?

If you’re still undecided on what is the best option for flooring, get some expert advice from one of our team members. Get in touch with your local GJ Gardner Franchise, we’re always happy to discuss your home design ideas.

What You Need to Know About Home Design Copyright

When we think of copyright, we usually associate the term with the rules used to prevent unauthorised reproductions of music, sound recordings, films, and other broadcast recordings. However, home builders may not realise that copyright rules also extend to house designs.

What is copyright?

According to Australian Law, copyright is an automatic right, which protects any expression of an original idea. In Australia, the Copyright Act (1968) gives building designers a set of exclusive rights to:

  • reproduce the work in a material form;
  • publish the work; and
  • communicate the work to the public.

This means that unless otherwise agreed, the building designer owns the copyright to their intellectual property, including the design plans, drawings, and any detailed descriptions. House design copyrights can exist in all forms, including hand-drawn house designs or software-created works.

What is not covered in these copyright laws?

The only exceptions to copyright rules are the ideas, styles, and techniques involved in building construction. For example, if a home designer has the idea of a family home with a gabled roof, and a large outdoor area facing the sunset – these ideas are not covered by the copyright law and can be used by other designers or builders. In this case, only the drawings, plans, models, and buildings that the designer creates featuring these ideas would be protected by the house design copyright.  

This means that if you have engaged someone to draw up the plans for your dream house or download existing plans found online, copyright prevents you from simply taking their work and asking someone else to build it for cheaper. However, your builder does have the flexibility to build anything else you would like, as long as the design does not bear any resemblance to or infringe on the original building designer’s copyrighted work. If in doubt, seek legal advice before proceeding ahead.

What happens if copyright is breached?

If a building designer discovers that any substantial part of their work has been reproduced without their express permission, they are entitled to launch civil action in court against the infringing party.

The court will look at the evidence presented to determine whether substantial reproduction has taken place. However, determining whether substantial reproduction has taken place is at the discretion of the court. The belief that only common belief that copyright infringement can be avoided by changing 10% of the is incorrect and has no legal basis.

If the court finds that a designer has infringed on a creator’s intellectual copyright, they may be ordered to stop construction or be liable for damages payable to the copyright owner, including any legal costs. In some cases, copyright infringement on a commercial level may be considered a criminal offence.

What can I do? 

The easiest and most effective way to go about things is to first ask for permission from the copyright holder. The building designer can grant a licence or assign their copyright to you, usually for a fee that is still less than the potential legal costs. In this case, it is advised to have a written final agreement between you and the building designer signed and dated for good measure.

When it comes to ensuring the viability of your house design, don’t turn your dream build into a legal nightmare.

Australian Construction Material Supply Causing Delays for Home Builders

As global construction booms, there has been a considerable amount of discussion recently regarding the rising cost of construction materials alongside resulting construction time delays. 

In the endeavour of transparency, we are going to explain what is going on in the world at the moment and how this is affecting home builds across Australia.

Is there a shortage of construction materials?

There is a shortage of a number of popular construction materials in Australia at the moment – including timber, kitchen materials, cement, some electrical components, steel, and paints. 

Across the globe there is currently a major timber shortage that is affecting many different types of timber products. This affects the supply of frames, trusses, hardware, and fit out materials including doors, jambs, and architraves for construction. This is also affecting the cabinet industry, making kitchen fit outs especially difficult at the current time. 

Building material delays

MaterialPre-pandemic wait timePandemic wait time
Mesh and pods2 weeks6 weeks
Frame and trusses4 weeks16 weeks
Windows4 weeks8 weeks
Bricks2 weeks4 weeks
Laminated veneer lumber1.5 weeks16 weeks

Source: Master Builders Association of Victoria

These supply issues alongside the spike in industry demand could affect the supply of any number of materials in the future and is not expected to ease imminently. 

Why is there a shortage of building materials?

The current shortage in building materials has been caused by three main factors, including COVID-19 stimulus packages resulting in unprecedented spikes in demand, national bushfires significantly impacting the supply of timber, and a booming USA building sector absorbing many international construction materials. 

Essentially Australia was not the only country to use the construction industry as a centrepiece for economic recovery during the pandemic, meaning international supply chains are also being stretched. Even just considering the supply strain placed by the Australian bushfires, which destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of softwood plantation that would have been supplying the construction industry for the next 12 months. 

This means raw timber is in particularly short supply, and builders are no longer being informed of an estimated delivery date, due to their suppliers being unable to estimate when stock will arrive. 

Some home builders are opting for using steel in frames instead of timber to try and alleviate delays, though this has caused a flow-on effect creating increases in demand and cost for all other key building materials – especially steel. 

As a society, many have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to renovate or build their dream home, since many restrictions and lockdowns have made people realise how much they value their living space. On top of this, due to international (and state) border closures, many families are spending the money they would have previously spent on holidays on their homes instead. 

Housing Industry Australia chief economist Tim Reardon said a record 146,000 new detached homes are set to be built in 2021, which is a 20% increase from last years figures. This has also been influenced by the Australian government’s Home Builder scheme, low-interest rates, and population shifts to regional areas. 

Are shortages of building materials causing building delays?

These shortages of building materials are causing building delays, with many builders not even being supplied estimates for when they will receive materials from their stockists. Without the raw timber to build the frame and finish pouring the slab, the next stage of construction is unable to commence. 

Material shortages are currently being cited as the largest barrier to work, ahead of labour availability, planning problems, and land availability. 

Are builders in high demand? 

Due to increases in demand and other consequences of COVID-19, material shortages are also complemented by labour shortages – intensifying construction delays further. Ongoing natural disaster insurance repair work is continuing to monopolise many trade contractors. 

Specifically, there has been a major labour issue across New South Wales regarding roof tilers. This has been caused by the spike in demand alongside a lot of NSW roof tilers going to Queensland to work on roof replacements caused by large hailstorms. This issue is not expected to be resolved any time soon, meaning it is worth considering iron roof options for any upcoming home builds. 

How this is impacting G.J. Gardner home builds

Regardless of the size of the building firm, no one is immune to these issues. That is why at G.J. Gardner Homes we have been working to minimise the impact of these issues on our valued clients. Some ways we are ameliorating construction delays is through broadening our trade base and extending the contract build periods for all our customers. 
Each state and location in Australia are being affected slightly differently, which is why you will be working closely with your local builder. If you have any questions about how this may affect your home build or if you wish to enquire, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

How to Choose the Right Colours for Your Exterior

Choosing the exterior colours of your new home can be one of the most challenging decisions that you make during your home build. You want your home to have street appeal and establish your home’s personality and the best way to achieve that is by choosing the right colours and finishes. But choosing the right colour for your exterior extends to more than just deciding what paint colour to use. Aspects such as the overall impression the house will make, planning the driveways, entrances, the fencing and landscaping. The exterior materials of the building including the roofing along with other materials all need to be considered when choosing your exterior colour palette. How these work as a cohesive story and how they work in the local environment, how they are maintained and therefore withstand the test of time. 

While there are no hard and fast rules to choosing the right colours for your home, we’ve put together a list of the key things to consider when choosing a colour scheme that works for you and your home’s surroundings. 

Choose the right colours for your home’s surrounding environment

One of the most essential elements to consider when choosing your exterior colours is your home’s environment. 

Not only does the selection of exterior colours play a vital role in setting the aesthetic of any street but taking cues from the surrounding environment can help you choose shades that match the streetscape. Treating the whole exterior palette including the landscaping; can make your home more and be aesthetically pleasing whether it’s for your enjoyment or to ultimately help retain the resale value.

The colours and style of your exterior should set the palette for your interior, helping the flow from outside to inside. The colours, the materials & the style should be a reflection of your taste but working with the needs of the environment help enhance your comfort level.

Here at G.J. Gardner, we pride ourselves in building liveable houses and when choosing your exterior colour palette, we urge our customers to consider your area’s environment, climate and the surrounding elements you’re building around and becoming a part of.

Trees and tree canopies help keep the environment cool so anchoring your colour choices to the area seems more relevant to use deeper colours. When there is no established landscaping and there are long periods of high-temperature days, lighter colours will help reflect more of the suns heat on your roof on those hot sunny days.

In hot climates, like in Western NSW, Queensland or the Northern Territory, choosing lighter colours like whites, soft greys, or warmer beiges and taupes for your roof will help reduce the temperature inside your home. 

These colours are good at reflecting the sun’s heat from the home and absorbs less of the sun’s energy than darker colours, which can help cool off your home. This will also help your house be more energy-efficient and could help reduce the need for cooling systems.

In contrast, a darker roof will keep your home a few degrees warmer during winter. In cooler climates like in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, deeper colours such as charcoals, navy and deep browns will give a stronger yet cosier look while keeping your home warm.

COLORBOND® steel’s range of roofing colours are designed especially for Australian homes and have a wide range of colours available offering a solution for all environments.

​It incorporates Thermatech® Solar Reflectance Technology and is designed to increase the solar reflectance properties of COLORBOND® steel and reduce heat absorption. It is available in 21 of the roofing and walling colours as well as all of the standard colours for COLORBOND® Ultra steel and COLORBOND® steel Matt. According to Colorbond® colour consultant Christine McCoy, if you are looking for a lighter colour roof to keep your home cool, COLORBOND® steel’s colours such as Evening Haze®, Surfmist®, Classic Cream and Shale GreyTM will be the best options. On the other hand, if you are looking for a darker coloured roof, COLORBOND® steel’s Ironstone®, Monument® and Woodland Grey® are the better choices for you. 

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What is your desired aesthetic?

The desired style of your home should be one of the most significant influencing factors when choosing exterior colours. Consider if you want the house to have a particular aesthetic, as most home designs and trends will have a particular colour palette associated with it.

Whether you want to stay true to the initial style inspiration or change it up a little, look at examples of popular house styles.

The popular Hamptons styles were inspired by beach lifestyles so cool greys, whites, taupes, navy and charcoal accents of dusky blush, red & eucalyptus green.

Use the Australian homestead inspiration of warmer and deeper greys, taupes, warm whites & earthy reds as well as grey/ greens as accents as a more Australianised take on the popular home style.

On the other side of the home-style scale, urban or more modernist designs can work with the extreme contrasts of stronger bolder charcoals, cool mid-toned greys, taupe and white. 

Of course, all of these colourways incorporate materials to contrast or enhance the schemes: bricks, render & concrete, timber and stone.  

Textures and colours work hand in hand and softer more matt textures are making an impact on exterior selections with curves, rustic or reclaimed looking bricks, honed or rough-cut stone and aged timbers making us give our homes a more lived-in more nature-inspired look. 

Ultimately, the colour of your home needs to suit your personal style and the desired look, feel and style of your home. 

Here at G.J. Garner, we have a range of home designs and facades to suit any style – if you need help choosing which facade you want for your home, get in touch with our G.J. experts.

Consider what other materials you are using

Alongside the colour of your roof, you should factor in any other materials that you are using on your home’s facade or during landscaping. Often the opportunity to use natural materials and their colours as part of the palette for a home’s exterior is overlooked.

Before choosing an exterior colour palette, you should look to consider any elements like brick, stone or wood; as well as any landscaping features, like tiles, fences, paths, cladding and driveways. 

All of the external features provide an opportunity to enrich a colour palette and can work together to improve the overall cohesiveness of your home. 

Talk to a G.J. Gardner Consultant

Choosing the right colours for your exterior is a massive decision to undertake on your own. That is why working with G.J. Gardner Homes Consultants is the best way to find the home design for your budget and lifestyle. Contact one of our friendly team members today.

Disclaimer:

1. Thermatech® technology is not available in Night Sky®, or non-standard colours, and is not available in COLORBOND® Metallic steel, COLORBOND® Coolmax® steel or COLORBOND® Intramax® steel. Results will depend on roof colour, level and location of insulation, type and location of building shape and function. COLORBOND® steel, BlueScope, the BlueScope brand mark, ® colour names and ™ colour names are registered trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited. ™ colours names are trademarks.

How to Choose the Right Colorbond Roof?

In Australia, we wear our homes like a badge of honour. We want our suburbs, our streets and our houses to be the best they can be. They become a reflection of ourselves, our families and our lifestyles.

Nature and the surrounding environment can be part of the story but there is a culmination of essential factors that are a part of this pride.

Looking at the area, the materials, current trends and then combining it with the colours you love, can help make it YOUR STORY.

Where do you start?

What makes a house a home? What evokes feelings of home?

It used to be just a place to head at the end of a workday. Now our home has become the place where we spend our recreational time, a place to work or even a place for schooling. Our pride in our homes has never been more important as it is today.

We all have a different story but a very similar journey.

Whether you’re a first home buyer, are looking for more room for the growing family, or if you’re looking for a change of scenery to the city or the country, there are the same considerations. Once you decide to build or renovate, next come the different considerations. The exterior, layout and front façade holds some of the most significant design considerations. These are some of the things that give your home life.

Consider exterior surroundings and colours

Firstly, for your home’s exteriors,  take inspiration from nature around you: the landscape, the area, be it mountains, the beach, the trees, the local area history. Whatever the inspiration is, make it the start of “your story”. Your story is the palette of your exterior.

One of these choices is your roof, so the colour, shape, size is important as the beginning. The roof choice can be the anchor to a cohesive scheme. A Colorbond® steel roof gives you a diversity of choice: in colour, texture & style whilst still meeting the needs of the harsh Australian climate from extremes of heat and cold to dust, rain, wind and hail.  It’s for this reason that COLORBOND steel is assessed at outdoor sites around Australia, as well as in accelerated laboratory testing.

There is a range of exciting COLORBOND® profiles and choices to choose from. Taking inspiration from our Australian landscape, they enhance the linear feel and look of the roof. 

The need for sustainable, lower maintenance materials is a driving factor in roof choice. Having a roof that will look beautiful, but will also stand the test of time is an integral decision for any home builder.

How to choose the right colour

Your colour choice is integral to the style, whether it’s a hip roof, a skillion or a flat rooftop. The colour of your roof can complement the surrounding areas and ensure that your home works cohesively with nature. 

According to Colorbond® colour consultant Christine McCoy, deeper colours work beautifully to anchor in lush surroundings and can work well with the native colours of the tree canopy,  landscaping and tree trunks nearby. Popular colours for lush neighbourhoods are Colorbond® Monument, Woodland Grey®, Wallaby®, Dune®. The echoes of the colours in nature are unmistakable and combined with warm natural materials like timber and stone, brings them to life.

Paler colours drawn from the coastline particularly inspired by our famous rolling, dunes, shells, spinifex grasses, the water itself are on-trend. This aligns with lighter, more coastal oriented designs and the added bonus of Thermatech Solar Reflectance technology which keep our houses cooler. Colours such as Basalt®, Windspray®, Shale Grey™, Surfmist®, Dune® are great examples.

With the technology increasing the visibility of new and different looks, we have become more open to global exploration of the potential.

Our need for more tactile, natural materials, more openings into and out of our living areas, courtyards to bring in a little extra greenery have introduced the colours which create a cohesive flow from outside to inside. In light of global upheavals, it is no wonder that the trends in colours for interiors and exteriors are becoming expressions of a new hopeful, more sustainable view on building materials.

With trends leaning towards more harmonious, warm colours and textures, we have seen more customers gravitating to stone with irregular patterning – cladding, a feature blade wall, pillars.  Cement in blocks or polished softly for flooring but terrazzo with its chips of granite, marble & glass and softly rounded and washed out renders, perfectly imperfect. Timber combinations in small amounts as accents to give a little warmth are an addition to complement the schemes.

Looking at these combinations, the new theme? Texture! Soft, nature-inspired, natural curves, lines, colours.

How do we put it all together?

Start at the top and work down to the building is my recommendation. The balance of colours, materials, textures is all about proportion. If your roof is large, this will be a dominant part of your scheme.

Combine and put it together on a board for a better overview of the entire home’s style and design. The story is about your home, how you tell it is there for all to see on your façade, your colour choice, material choice and how it’s delivered in the overall design.

Rules? Not really any rules except balancing it. I like to give this guidance:  Not too much of one colour or if you like one colour then make it about different textures.

Bring a little bit of your inspiration from the exterior design to the inside styling e to keep the overall flow of the home cohesive. After all, we have learnt to take advantage of our outdoor spaces and even including internal courtyards.  

The other and most important rule is to enjoy the process, from looking for inspiration, researching and obtaining samples. Put them all together and the colours and textures will speak for themselves as a visual prompt. This is the start of your journey.

Find the right roof for you!

If you have any questions or want to get started on building your dream home, contact your local G.J. Gardner office today for exceptional and friendly service.

Single Storey vs Double Storey Houses.

Single storey vs double storey homes, which should you choose?

Should you build a single or double-storey home?  

At the beginning of any new homebuyers’ journey, the decision on whether to build a single or double storey home is a major one that could impact your family’s lifestyle for years to come. It is essential to do your research before choosing the right house design for your family’s current and future lifestyle.

In this article, we have outlined a few key considerations that will help you choose between building a single or double storey home, including building costs, floor plans, land size, and the block’s aspect. Making the right decision based on these elements will help improve your family’s lifestyle, help maximise the features of the property, utilise the block better, and even help improve your return on investment over time. 

Location and block size

When deciding whether to build a single vs double storey house, the first consideration, and potentially the most important consideration, is the size of your block of land. Over the past couple of years, property prices have soared in both the inner city and suburban markets – leading to homebuyers spending more money on smaller block sizes.

For this reason, many home buyers are deciding to capitalise on their new smaller block size by building a double storey home or even a triple story home to create the living space that many families desire. When there is no room to build outwards, the only option left is to build up. 

However, when moving away from high residential locations, there are more opportunities to own and develop a large block of land. As we move further away from the city, we see larger blocks of land with one-storey homes. These properties and home designs are still a very popular option for families and downsizers.

Costs

When considering the cost of building a single storey home versus a double storey home, it should be no surprise that building a two-storey home is more expensive than staying grounded. On average, you can expect to pay 30% more when building a double-storey home than a single home of comparative size. For a 250m2 home, this could be at least another $45,000. 

Additional costs when building an additional level to your home can include:

  • Plans and permits to satisfy local laws and regulations. 
  • Scaffolding to aid in construction.
  • Steel manufacturing to support the additional leave.
  • Inclusion of multiple staircases and balustrades for safe access to the second level. 

You can also expect the build to take longer and the potential for unexpected extra costs during construction. 

However, it is also worth considering that with the added construction cost comes the benefit of selling the home for more. This simply leaves the decision about whether it is worth the value for the money and level of investment up to the customer.

Maximising your property

Whether or not you should select a single or double storey build also depends on the aspects of the property and what will maximise your block of land. 

For example, many home builders prefer a two-storey home design so that their home can have the best view possible and to ensure that trees or other single story homes don’t block their view. Views also add value to any property, whether your home looks out over city skylines or ocean waves. 

If your property has beautiful surroundings, this may be a deciding factor in choosing to build a two-storey home build. The invaluable respite and connection gained from a view can often be one of the main reasons people will add a second floor. 

Assess the layout of the home

Another design aspect that needs to be considered is the desired layout and floor plan for the home. Single-storey floorplans are great for achieving an open plan house that has large living areas and great flow. 

On the other hand, double-storey homes can be more flexible in terms of layout and are a great option for allowing for more privacy for family members. They can provide zoned living arrangements or separate spaces for entertaining and living.  

Consider your family needs and lifestyle.

Every family situation is unique and has different needs to best suit their lifestyle. What may work for one household will not necessarily be the best option for yours. 

You should consider how you like to spend your free time if you require more privacy to work from home, have teenagers who want to entertain, or if you want to have room for children to play. If a family has children, the greater privacy and sense of separation afforded by a double-storey house is the best way to go. 

Alternatively, if you live with elderly or disabled family members, it may be beneficial to keep everything at ground level to avoid difficulties walking up and downstairs. This should also be a consideration if you are building a house that you plan to retire in. 

Single storey and double storey house plans

G.J. Gardner Homes offer a great selection of both double storey and single storey house plans. Some of our single storey house plans include: 

  • Our Vista 285 includes elegant spatial flow with some private spaces and a centralised living area. 
  • Our Oceanside 255 home design contains a stylish interior and a flowing open plan area that leads seamlessly from indoors to outdoors.
  • Our Rochedale 412 house plan is a popular pod-style home designed for large lifestyle blocks.

Some of our double storey homes include: 

  • Our Freshwater 400 home is perfect for large and growing families with its abundance of space over two functional stories. 
  • Our Elwood 353 design is a stunning example of form and function while providing elegant separation of spaces for entertaining and privacy for all. 
  • Our Esplanade 367 home is designed for wide sites and is perfect for large or growing families. 

Find out if a single or double store home is right for you.

If you have any questions or want to get started on building your dream home, contact your local G.J. Gardner office today for exceptional and friendly service.

The Home Building Process

Your Building Journey

The home building process can often feel a little daunting and stress-inducing, but at G.J. Gardner, we aim to bring the joy back into building your dream home. The G.J.Way is all about ensuring the home building process consists of a journey that excites and inspires. This is achieved through a lot of simple stuff that really makes the difference during this process, like having one fixed price with no hidden extras and our dedication to being entirely transparent with upfront billing. 

Your building journey is made up of many unique stages we have detailed in this article, all of which will be stepped through thoroughly with your friendly G.J. Gardner builder.

Research Stage

The research stage is one of the most important stages in building a home since it sets the foundations for your project. In this initial stage, you will choose your builder, the location of your home, and the house design that will help your dream home come to life. 

Once you have chosen your builder, you will be able to work with them to select a block of land and go through the building construction process from start to finish. All G.J. Gardner builders have plenty of experience and can advise you of any extra costs or potential issues with the land, for example, a driveway on the wrong side of the block or aspect issues. Your builder can also help you find the best block of land that will maximise your value for money. 

The Construction Stage of Building a home

Our G.J. Gardner builders are dedicated to building relationships with every customer, so they can work towards your desired outcome with you. 

It is during your research stage that you will also need to confirm and organise your finances. This is so you can also organise which home loans are applicable to your situation and any grants you may be eligible for ahead of time. 

Make The Home Yours

After the initial research, it is time to work with a friendly and experienced G.J. Gardner expert to make the home uniquely your own. An important consideration to start building a home is being realistic about your expectations and budget. A great method is writing a list starting at one all the way down to 100 (if you have that many items!), with the top 10 things being your absolute must-haves in your home, the next 1o items being your nice-to-haves, and so on and so forth. This will allow your builder to have a clear vision and understanding of the best way to maximise your budget so you are exceptionally happy with the end result, as well as helping you create a clear picture of the features you would like in your home. 

The colour selection stage of a home build

This will also be when you and your G.J. Gardner builder can ensure that the house’s design is as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. This will have a big impact on how comfortable your home ends up being since things like ensuring you are getting sun in the morning can have a big effect on liveability. It also includes considerations like how your house will perform day to day, its flow, and privacy considerations. It is important to carefully consider how each design aspect works and how you achieve centralised living zones. 

During this stage, colouring, feature, fixture, and façade decisions will also need to be discussed. Your G.J. Gardner builder can help you choose a thoughtful colour scheme since it will directly impact the house’s performance and feel. Having a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing colour scheme will make the home design feel better and more unified. Additionally, making any decorating and landscaping decisions that will settle the home design and make it uniquely you. 

Construction Stage

Now that all of the big decisions have been made, it is time to see it all come together. At this point, the team at G.J. Gardner will be hard at work ordering all materials, scheduling labour, pouring the slab, and beginning to build the frame. You will be able to see your project commence over the weeks right up until the roofing and plasterboard is installed. This also includes all of the indoor elements like the installation of linings, timber skirting, and architraves. 

The Finishing Touches

Now that your house is built, we can start putting together the finishing touches to make it truly home. This means it is time to complete the final construction elements, including painting, tiling, and utilities like electrical and plumbing installation. It is also when you get the opportunity to add that extra personality to your home with all the additional features you may have chosen, like mirrors and splashbacks. 

The final stages of building your home

After all these finishing touches are complete, your G.J. Gardner builder will take you on a final walkthrough of the property to ensure that everything they want has been included and that they are happy with the flow of the house. 

Handover Day!

Once you’ve given your G.J. Gardner builder the go-ahead that you are completely happy with your new home, it is time for the most exciting stage of the process! As a customer, you get to see your dreams come to life as the keys are handed over upon settlement. A truly memorable moment will ensue as you walk into your brand-new home that is now all yours to begin your life in. 

Post-Handover Care

The service won’t stop there; even after the keys have been handed over and the initial home building process is complete, the G.J. team will still be there to support you. We will be happy to handle any building defects that become apparent after handover so we can ensure that the house is absolutely perfect for you and stands the test of time.

Want To Know More About The Building Stages?

To learn more about the building process, you can contact your local G.J. Gardner office today for exceptional service and home building capabilities.