Meet ANSA Sales & Design Advisor, Sean Thornton

ANSA Homes’ Sales & Design Advisor, Sean Thornton works with customers to help them realise plans for their dream homes. He utilises his years of experience in the custom home building industry to guide customers along the complex journey.

What does a typical day at ANSA Homes look like?

In short, on any given day I’m working with ANSA customers to help them find a design that meets their needs. The first step is to gain an understanding of what they want to achieve, and how they want to live in a new home. Every project is different, for this reason it is important to understand each client’s individual needs to incorporate into their design. This also allows us to stay on top of current trends in the market.

I meet with clients either face-to-face at one of our display homes, or by phone. Then I utilise our online tools to identify the requirements of their land. These tools allow me to gather information like exact dimensions, positions of trees, predicted contours and access issues. Once we have all the facts, I can create a design to suit the customer’s lifestyle and needs whilst working around the restrictions of their land to present a preliminary design option for the customer to consider. From here there would typically be some back and forth with design changes to really get the home just the way they like it.

What’s your background in the industry and beyond?

Since joining the ANSA team, one of the things that’s stood out for me is enjoying working with a great group of people. ANSA is a very customer-focused organisation, and we want the best outcome for each customer, balancing their requirements and the speed of execution.

I’ve been working in home building for about six years and really love the industry. I just love helping customers create their dream homes.

Before that, I worked in financial planning and sales training, managed a sports store, ran a landscaping business, and even spent a few years a long time ago working as a tennis coach overseas. All these experiences have given me great life experience and an intimate understanding of the importance of open communication with customers.

How does ANSA tailor homes for customers?

We are a custom home builder in a project home market. The homes we build have the flexibility of inclusions and design, but we have the efficiencies of project home building.

By getting to know the customer and asking the right questions we learn what they are trying to achieve. This allows us to guide them to choose the right ANSA design or previous custom design that will best suit them.

We encourage customers to choose a design and then change it to suit their lifestyle requirements. We consider this to be a donor plan in a sense to deconstruct and personalise. I have ample experience from working closely with architects throughout my time in the industry.

I take a humble approach to every job and use my previous learnings to provide creative, cost-effective solutions that overcome the constraints presented from a customer’s property. Collectively, these experiences have given me the ability to design homes that focus on both form and function. As a result, this allows us to provide aesthetically pleasing, functional designs for our customers.

We prefer to get the design right upfront so we’re not changing things down the track. I typically spend more time with customers before we start drawing up plans so that the first set of plans are 95 per cent right. At this time, we can provide a detailed indicative cost.

The next stage is to enter the tender process where we order reports to confirm compliance. We then organise the first formal draft of our customer’s plans before sitting down together to fine tune the outcome. We review aspects like hallway widths, window schedules, façade materials, right through to even furniture placement ensuring every room has the right functionality.

These plans are then typically redrawn with the changes whilst our estimating team formalise a fixed cost tender. We like to get things right upfront so there are no nasty surprises along the way and our customers can swiftly progress through the pre-construction phase. From there our dedicated pre-construction team will assist our customers right through up until construction, but I always keep in touch and love to see the home when it’s completed.

What challenges did you encounter in some recent plans?

We recently finalised the plans to build a home in Clovelly. The customer chose our Killara design with a cathedral ceiling in the rear living room right through to the back of the alfresco area. For the outdoor living area, they wanted to continue the cathedral ceiling without having any pillars or exposed rafters to support it.

Our clever team was able to modify the design to incorporate a steel beam that protrudes into the house which is concealed in a walk-in-robe. This allowed us to create an amazing architectural feature to the home whilst having the comfort that it is structurally sound and can be constructed at an affordable cost.

How have you adapted your designs to fit established suburbs?

We have loads of experience building knock down rebuild projects in established suburbs. We recognise that blocks in established suburbs are not all the same, so we’ve recently introduced additional plans for the popular Killara and Seabrook to meet this need.

I’ve got a good understanding of compliance in this space which is definitely not straightforward. Every block is different, every customer is unique, and we strive to find the best solution to the myriad of challenges that come with building a new home.

We have good communication with our certifiers who can help us answer those tricky questions. For example, understanding the rulings on how close we can build to a tree on a neighbour’s property. Most people would think that a tree on an adjacent block will not affect the building of your new home, but there are rules about how close you can come and how deep excavation can be from a certain distance, so we need to adapt customers’ plans accordingly. Most of the time you wouldn’t recognise a customer’s plans in comparison to our standard designs because each situation is different, plans are modified to suit. We’re building a home in West Pymble at the moment where our standard plans were significantly modified to preserve a Cherry Blossom tree. The customer wanted to keep the tree in place as it is a beautiful tree, so we designed the plans around the tree keeping the required distance away to preserve it. Now it has become a key focal point from the design and will create a private tranquil retreat from the master bedroom.

What do you love about your job?

A knock down rebuild project is like a tricky jigsaw puzzle. You’re given restrictions on what you can do, you’re given lines that you can’t play outside of, and then mix in the needs and living requirements for our customers. It’s like working with pieces that don’t match up with other pieces, and you have to make sense of it all and put it all together.

For me, it’s the satisfaction of working through that puzzle to produce an outcome that ticks all the boxes for our customers, whilst remaining compliant with the regulations. Plus, it needs to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Build your new home with certainty

ANSA Homes has a commitment of certainty in every single aspect of the design and process of building your home. Home design is just one step along the journey but it’s a very crucial part of the process.

Call Sean on 1300 757 810 or send us an online enquiry and our specialist team will work with you to design and bring to life your home design ideas.

BIG BUILDER Vs SMALL BUILDER – Bigger Isn’t Always Better

No doubt you’ve heard the rumours, or read the reports, or know someone who has been affected by a home building company falling into financial crisis, going into voluntary administration, or as we used to say, have gone “bust”. And these can be big builders, with familiar names and strong reputations in the industry.

It seems that the recent events around the world have had a toll on many industries and it’s taking no prisoners. The construction industry has been no exception!

Building companies are under a lot of pressure right now with rising material costs as well as shortages in supplies and labour. There is a lot of “talk” about Home Builders’ ability to complete the build of your new home – and at this moment you’re thinking “is this going to happen to me?”.

Contrary to popular belief, these unprecedented times have made it apparent that “bigger” and “older” doesn’t always mean “safer” and “stronger”.

Let us explain:

  1. Big companies are slower to adapt – When a market is this volatile and dynamic, you want to be in the hands of a company that is large enough to be across industry changes and price variations, but small enough to provide solutions quickly and easily. This ensures clients aren’t too heavily affected by those changes.
    Big companies, with many layers of management, can be like trying to change direction in the Titanic instead of changing direction in a speedboat.
  2. In a building boom, large builders generally grow earlier and faster than smaller builders. This is because they have bigger advertising budgets and can sell homes earlier and more rapidly in a boom cycle. However, when a big company grows quickly, they need to employ staff and trades to manage that growth and build those homes in a timely manner.
  3. What does that mean for you? Let’s say a company builds 1000 homes a year and experiences 25% growth in new home orders. Coping with the extra 250 homes per year is like creating 3 to 5 separate small to medium sized building companies from scratch and at the same time, it then needs to be done in less than a year. It’s usually time, cost or quality that suffers – but more often than not, it’s all 3!
  4. Clients pay for the builders resourcing issues in time, cash and frustration. Rapid growth and resourcing issues leave clients caught up in pre-construction for months, if not years on end, all the while having to absorb rising costs as time passes by. This is compounded even more when trying to get through the many layers of management in order to find answers and get results.
  5. Large builders have large overheads. Like any large company, big business means large workforce which means substantial overheads. New home builders typically have sales quotas to cover their overheads and will fix the tender costs for up to 12 months for their clients. However, in 2020, the first wave of COVID saw large builders needing to fix their tenders for up to 24 months just to capture enough market share and ensure their enormous overheads were covered. Fast forward 2 years to the end of the tender period as these new home orders are ready to start construction, and we’re seeing that costs have blown out of the water. When they sold all these homes, no one could have anticipated the unprecedented construction cost increases and so now these big builders are left with 2 options; 1) To wear the cost increase and make a loss on their contract or 2) Renegotiate contracts with their clients.
  6. Covid price rises have left large builders and clients in a “no win” situation. With the quantity of orders received during the pandemic, and the immense size of cost increases, option 1 is not possible for even the most financially stable large builder and would invariably lead them to bankruptcy. With option 2 the only viable solution for big companies, combined with other pressures like interest rate increases, it leaves many prospective home owners unable to continue with their home. Now, with so many cancelled contracts all at once, what happens to the builders anticipated income they needed to cover their overheads? Remember they’ve just employed extra staff members and trades to cope with the 25% increase in annual sales they thought they had?

So what about the small to medium size builder? Historically, they may have been considered less robust or higher risk. However, let’s use the same example of growth as noted above during these extraordinary times;

  1. ‘Small’ allows for flexibility and speed of change; A small to medium size builder who builds 60 homes per year, experiencing the same 25% growth as the big builder, only needs to find resources to build an extra 15 homes per year. That type of growth is generally managed with their existing staff and tradies leaving little to no additional strain on time, cost or quality, while new team members are brought onboarded.
  2. ‘Decision makers’ are generally in direct contact with clients; smaller companies will commonly have business owners in direct contact with their clients. This allows for flexibility in tailoring solutions to the individual should a major global event occur, for example.
  3. Lower overheads = more up to date costs and less aggressive sales tactics; most small builders do not require the same strict sales quotas to pay for their overhead costs. They have flexibility in their work flows and they tend to be less aggressive in booms, allowing them to adjust with the market conditions. They generally do not need to resort to creative sales tactics, like trying to fix costs for 24 months in order to capture a large share of the market, which means clients aren’t met with nasty surprises after 2 years when the costs have risen.
  4. Lower overheads = less exposure to a mass exodus of client who can no longer afford to build their home; Small builders will typically have lower overheads and less dependence on large quotas of homes being built each month. This allows them the flexibility to work through issues with each client without having to penalise the client with price rises and unrealistic deadlines. It doesn’t have to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to getting homes built when you’re with a small to medium sized builder.

What does this all mean for you?

If you have recently started the process with a large builder and see the early signs of resourcing issues like what we’ve mentioned above, then why not talk to one of our expert consultants about how we can fast track your home?

At ANSA Homes, we’re a small to medium sized building company with a team of dedicated and experienced professionals that are helping our clients get from concept to construction in a matter of months – even with the uncertainties of a post-covid world. Meaning, you’ll be building with certainty and much sooner than most of the major builders.

Avoid the lack of communication and frustration of delays. Avoid the uncertainty of tender expiry dates and unknown price rises. Visit our display homes, call or contact us today.

Case study: Family building multi-generation home with ANSA Homes

We continue following the building journey with Rachel Auld and her family in Oran Park in Sydney’s southwest growth zone.

Rachel, her husband Dean, father Tony, and 4-year-old son Liam are looking forward to moving into their brand-new home later this year.

The family is building a multi-generation home with a main dwelling, and an attached granny flat to house the extended family. Rachel’s dad Tony has recently relocated from South Australia where he was living alone since 2015 when Rachel’s mum passed away.

The family bought their block of land in October 2020, after searching for an existing home to buy. They couldn’t find anything that suited their requirements with an existing granny flat, so decided to build a new home. While their new home is under construction, they are all living in a smaller rental house nearby, and can’t wait to have their own space, including Rachel’s dad Tony was used to his own space before his Sydney move.

Making good progress

Rachel reports that there have been a few delays that were beyond their control and beyond the control of ANSA Homes, but she’s still very happy with the progress.

“The roof is on, the gyprock and stairs are in, and the next stage is all the internals. It’s very exciting to see it take shape. It looks like a real house now,” said Rachel. The delays experienced were related to the COVID pandemic which saw construction shut down for one period, but also impacted the availability of trades and delivery of building materials. Sydney’s higher than average rainfall over the past few months has also impacted the project.

Pro-active and transparent communication

“Our site supervisor Wayne is fantastic. He is very proactive and keeps us updated regularly. He even answers my emails on weekends which goes beyond my expectations,” said Rachel. “The ANSA Homes team has been very transparent in their communications. They usually come to me first, but if I have any queries, I know they’ll answer them promptly and honestly. I couldn’t fault them,” she added.

Price promise has been kept

A key part of how ANSA Homes operates is the final price first tender guarantee and Rachel reports that they have lived up to their promise.

“I’m a member of several social media discussion groups focused on building new homes, and other members are constantly complaining that their builders are asking for additional payments. This hasn’t happened to us. Not once. “This has given us so much assurance and comfort. We’re extremely happy,” said Rachel.

Little extras that make a difference

The Auld family’s new home is based on ANSA Homes’ Brooklyn design with Origin façade. They were able to customise the floor plan to suit their extended family needs by incorporating a granny flat with a separate entrance, offering complete privacy.

“My husband Dean works from home in his role with a telecommunications company and is constantly on the phone. In our new home, he’ll have his own study which will include acoustic soundproof insulation to ensure he can speak as loud as he likes without disturbing the rest of the household. He’s already named the new room his ‘man paradise’.

“Dad’s own space is also really important. We’ve been able to incorporate the granny flat within the home which means he will have privacy, but he’ll also be close by when he wants to be involved in family life,” said Rachel.

Keep an eye on the ANSA website as we follow Rachel and her family on their ANSA home-building journey. We’ll post a final update of the Auld family’s new home once it’s complete and they’ve moved in. Call us on 1300 757 810 or send us an online enquiry and our experienced new home consultants will work with you to design and bring to life your home design ideas.

CASE STUDY: First home buyer’s journey continues with ANSA Homes

We’ve recently been following first home buyer Rachel Auld and her family as they build their new home with ANSA Homes in Oran Park in South West Sydney throughout 2021. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read our first instalment of this case study here.

The Auld family is building a multi-generational home with ANSA Homes, choosing the Brooklyn design, one of our pioneering ‘two homes under one room’ designs with a granny flat. They chose the Origin façade, and made some customisations to the floor plan, which ensured that with ANSA Homes they would get their new home just the way they like it.

In this Q&A interview from mid-August 2021, we catch up with Rachel to get up to speed with how her multi-generational home build is progressing and how the ANSA team is managing the process during Sydney’s Covid restrictions.

Where are you currently at with your build, as of August 2021?

We’ve had a few delays with Covid, but I just got an update from my site supervisor today letting me know that they’re putting the roof on, which is really exciting. The frame is up, the slab is done, some of the bricks are done. The roof will go on today, then they move to the externals, and then they go to lock up stage. All colour selections are already done, we’ve picked out everything, so now I’m just sitting back and watching it all go up.

How has the ANSA team managed communications with you during Covid lockdown in Sydney?

Really good. I got an email from the ANSA team to let us know what was going on. But I had actually spoken to my site supervisor a few days prior to the lockdown. So I had an inkling what was going on. Our site supervisor was pretty good at keeping in contact with me and letting me know what’s going on.

So I was aware of what would happen and what it would look like for us. And being in one of those LGAs that weren’t in full lockdown, we only had two weeks that we lost progress on.

While Covid lockdown isn’t something that a builder can change, communicating with customers around pauses to construction need to be properly managed…

Exactly, so I’m not left guessing. I’m just one of many people ANSA is working with, so I’m pretty impressed with the amount of information I did get from them. And if I have any questions, they’ve made it very clear that I’m welcome to call them whenever I need to.

These things are outside of ANSA’s or my control. There’s nothing we can do about that; it is what it is. But I feel quite supported by ANSA by the fact that despite the obstacles that we’re being thrown, the communication is still quite good.

Now that you are further into the build phase, what have you seen first-hand about how ANSA Homes as an organisation and how it operates?

I’m still really happy with them. I’m on a lot of the first homeowners and first builder groups on the socials, and some of the horror stories you see are just absolutely terrifying.

I have engaged a third-party company to do intermittent checks on the property – the slab, the frame, and any areas of concern that they think might need to be more closely looked at. And nothing of concern has come up. I feel quite confident that ANSA is mindful of my concerns and that they’re keeping me assured as well. So I’m still very happy with my choice. Very happy.

Did ANSA have any objection to this?

No, not at all. I told my site supervisor when I was introduced to him that that is something that we’d be doing and he was fine with that. And he has allowed access to the site for the inspector with no issues whatsoever, which has been the main thing. I’m very pleased with the service I’m getting.

What’s the next step for your build with ANSA Homes?

Looking at the step by step guide that was provided to me by ANSA when they first started working with me.

ANSA Homes provides you with a handy step-by-step guide of where your build is, where it goes next, and each stage of the process. We’re onto the roof now; once the roof is down they will be commencing the lining stage.

A key part of how ANSA Homes operates is its final price first tender guarantee. How is that playing out for you as you progress through your build?

Well, no one has come to me at all expecting me to pay any more. Nothing has been raised with me about paying more money. So at this stage they have followed through with their guarantee. And our certainty of price is exactly the same.

Nothing has changed price-wise whatsoever, which is awesome. I’m seeing on the socials people who are about to have their slab laid and are being told by their builder that they need to pay another $60,000 and basically being held hostage. That was a fear for us, hence the reason why we went with ANSA. And they’ve kept their promises thus far. I can’t wait to move in.

Final Price First: The ANSA tender model for pricing new homes

Not all new home build tenders are created equal. Those based on the Free Tender model and the Base Price model of costing a home – both commonly used by home builders in NSW – start low and end high. These can appeal to some new home buyers, but are typically too good to be true and only cause trouble later, often when it’s too late to turn back.

At ANSA Homes we use the Final Price First model, which gives true clarity and consistency on price from start to finish. With our Final Price First model, there are no smoke and mirrors. We don’t hide things or offer lower allowances to get you to sign with us; instead, we do all the hard work upfront, to avoid any nasty surprises and most importantly so you know exactly what you’re committing to from the very start. 

Everything is laid on the table from our first discussion, giving home buyers certainty of price from the very beginning with no hidden surprises throughout their build.

How the ANSA Final Price First model works

The process of buying and building a new home can be broken into seven steps. At each step, a significant event happens.

We discuss how other Sydney home builders use their pricing models in this related blog and how both these models; the Free Tender model and the Base Price model introduce new costs as the project moves through these steps.

However, let’s look closely at the ANSA way  and how our Final Price First model ensures that the price we give you upfront is the end price that you will pay, with no exceptions.

Step 1: Choose your new home

Choose the ANSA Homes’ design and façade that best suits your vision for your new home. We then conduct a preliminary siting of your new home on your piece of land and explain how our Final Price First model works. Importantly, we won’t give you a free quote filled with arbitrary figures and assumptions that are often proven to be wrong. We will always discuss your specific site to ensure that anything discussed is absolutely relevant.

Step 2: Request your tender

Pay your tender request fee. We charge a tender request fee because in compiling your tender we do tangible work, such as carrying out specific site inspections, ordering site surveys, soil testing for your actual piece of land, and work planning. That way your tender price isn’t built on assumptions that will invariably prove to be wrong once construction starts.

We also prepare any final design amendments discussed and inclusions you want for your new home. It is at this point that the processing of loan pre-approvals begins.

Step 3: Tender acceptance

Attend our tender presentation, where you sign off on all plans, accept your tender, and pay the tender acceptance fee. At this point you will know exactly what interior inclusions have been included in the tender for example bathroom tile heights, ceiling heights and door frame heights. Critically, what you are signing off on is a Final Price First tender, detailing exactly what you will pay for your new home. 

We can offer this because we have done the hard work upfront to determine what it will cost to build your new home on your actual land. We therefore don’t need to add allowances as we know specific costs. This means no additional costs once all site inspections, service locations, soil tests or contour surveys have been done.  

With ANSA Homes you won’t get any nasty surprises that unexpectedly push costs beyond your agreed budget.

Step 4: Exterior selections and approval preparation

Here we present our plan and timeline for building your new home and sign off permit plans for submission. We also work with you to select your exterior colours and finalise and lock in all exterior selections. Your plan approval fee is also paid here. 

Step 5: Personalise your home

Stage five is the fun stage, where you make your interior selections. At this stage, we also progress some important things behind the scenes, such as BASIX and Nathers approvals, developer approval, and complete and lodge structural engineering plans.

We are so confident in our processes that as part of our certainty promise we guarantee that the only way your tender price will go up or down is if you add or delete items during the time you personalise your house.

Want a marble bathroom? Your price may go up. Not interested in the higher level inclusions you thought you were, no problem, these can be deleted and your price will go down.

The ANSA Homes way is all about you, putting the home builder in control – to ensure you get your tender and your price, just the way you like it.

Step 6: Approvals and building agreement

It’s almost go time. With approvals received, HIA Building Contract signed, and construction plans and tender signed, your lender will issue ANSA Homes with a Letter of Authority to commence the construction of your new home.

Step 7: Your home construction begins

With everything locked in from both our end and yours, we are now ready to start building your new home. And the best part is you already know exactly what it is going to cost, thanks to our Final Price First model.

Choose ANSA Homes for no nasty surprises

With ANSA Homes you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that our Final Price First tender model covers all costs (including site costs) associated with building your new home. It’s our way of ensuring that the price we give you upfront is the end price that you will pay. 

Call ANSA Homes on 1300 757 810 or send us an online enquiry to find out more about our Final Price First Model and discuss your requirements.

Reading between the lines on how homes are priced

Whichever builder you choose to build your new home, it’s worth noting that the labour costs of building it will be very similar regardless of which homebuilder you choose.  

That may not make a lot of sense when looking at prices that builders will show you during the early research stages of your building journey. That’s because builders use different pricing models and strategies to separate themselves from their competitors. It’s also because some builders have established close working relationships with quality building supplies companies.

Nonetheless, when it comes down to brass tacks, all builders are invariably paying the same price for everything from building supplies to soil testing to site costs, construction costs, trades services, zoning, permits, and council approvals.

The biggest difference between builders when it comes to price is their pricing strategy and what is and what isn’t included in their initial tender price.

Tender pricing strategies vary enormously between builders; for home buyers, this makes it hard to compare apples with apples when assessing initial tender offers from different builders

“The biggest difference between builders when it comes to price is their pricing strategy and what is and what isn’t included in their initial tender price.”

When you get to the pointy end of the transaction, what matters the most is how much the cost of your new home has increased between the initial discussions and actual handover. That increase could be the difference between being able to afford your new home, or not being able to afford it and being left in a financial situation with your builder.

Two common pricing models that other home builders use

Two pricing models that are popular with other Sydney home builders are the Free Tender Model and the Base Price Model. While both are designed to instantly appeal to home buyers, throughout the build they both become less and less appealing and could pose problems as your build nears completion.

ANSA Homes, however, believes in true transparency of pricing. And as a part of The ANSA Certainty Promise, we provide a Final Price First guarantee.

Breaking down tender models and used by other Sydney builders

The process of buying and building a new home can be broken up into several steps. At each step, a significant event happens. And if you’ve chosen a builder that uses the Free Tender model or the Base Price model, at each step your builder will add new costs to the price of your new home.

So, by the time you reach the latter and final stages of your build, the true total price for your home may well be more than you’ve budgeted for and more than you can borrow.

“At ANSA Homes we use the Final Price First model, which gives true clarity and consistency on price from start to finish.”

Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes, so let’s go through the steps of home buying and home building and explain exactly how pricing under the Free Tender and Base Price models starts low and ends high, potentially causing home buyers to come unstuck.

Step 1: Free quote/Base price

Both the Free Tender model and Base Price model typically start with a free quote or a low or ‘base’ price tender. Almost an ‘off the top of my head’ style price provided. This sounds appealing, but it’s worth noting that this price typically only includes low allowances for many things, including site costs, provisions, and specifications. It has none or very little pricing that relates to your actual piece of land, and your actual build specifications providing little relevance to the real end price.

Step 2:Tender (you may have to pay up to $5,000)

The details of the free quote are compiled into an official tender contract, during which additions such as an allowance for site specifics, provisions, specifications, and BASIX are added, pushing the price up.

Beware here as many allowances will not cater for the specific needs for your specific piece of land.

Step 3: Accept tender, sign contract 

A few more “unforeseen” costs around site specifications and BASIX may be added as the homebuyer signs on the dotted line and pays the 10 per cent deposit.

Again beware of ‘allowances’ that are not site specific. Once the Tender is accepted and signed, you are under contract and have invested a significant amount of money. Be sure of what is included in the Tender price.

Step 4: Selections and upgrades 

With the homebuyer now locked in, and having invested their savings, the builder then reveals what level of inclusions they’ve committed to. Everything not already included is then charged at a premium, on top of your Tender Price, further driving up the end price of your home.

Step 5: Council approval and BASIX

Additional council fees and the true cost of BASIX requirements are added because the generalised allowances provided for are generally not sufficient. These are typically attributed to unexpected challenges with your block.

Step 6: Start onsite

As construction commences onsite, the builder adds more costs for unforeseen requirements such as extra piering. This is, again, due to the initial allowances not being site specific.

Step 7: Handover

With the new home now completed and ready for the homebuyer to take ownership, builders may add some final incidental costs. They may even refuse to hand over the keys until these final additional costs are paid. Be sure you know exactly what these are for and that they were previously discussed and accounted for.

In contrast: The ANSA way and the Final Price First model 

At ANSA Homes we use the Final Price First model, which gives true clarity and consistency on price from start to finish. With our Final Price First model, there are no smoke and mirrors. Everything is laid on the table from our first discussion, giving home buyers certainty of price from the very beginning and a pain-free build.

Find out more about our Final Price Model or call ANSA Homes on 1300 757 810 or send us an online enquiry to speak to someone about your new home building journey.

How to use design trends to build your dream home

We’re all bombarded with home designs that are ‘on trend’ through reality TV shows, social media platforms, and our own friends and family. Just because a ‘look’ is heavily featured on social media or reality, doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for everyone from an aesthetic or even a practical standpoint.

Choosing the right home design, both inside and out is not about impressing other people. Instead it’s about choosing the design, décor and furnishings that will help you enjoy your new home, and more importantly allow it to function to meet your needs.

contemporary

When you commit to a brand new home, it’s important to remember that, unlike a renovation, you are starting with a truly blank canvas. Your home is a clean slate, and with the right homebuilder you can make it everything and anything you want.

A great home is about more than just the floorplan, the size, and the number of bedrooms. It’s also about the design – both on the inside and the outside. As you contemplate your plans, let’s have a look at some timeless design trends that can be incorporated into both the exterior and interior of your new home.

Go cool and sophisticated with the Hamptons look

The Hamptons look takes its inspiration from the houses of the rich and famous built in a group of townships on Long Island, New York. It’s a stylish, coastal-themed design that continues to be popular with homeowners all around Australia.

Think cool, classic, and sophisticated designs meshed with rustic, casual beach vibes. The look is characterised by light-filled and spacious homes with a focus on natural materials and simple styling. As well as drawing on inspiration from The Hamptons, this style is also reminiscent of Australia’s iconic Queenslander homes.

For the exterior of your new Hamptons-look home think:

  • Soft, weathered tones such as white and pale grey.
  • Accents for trims, such as blue and charcoal.
  • Weatherboards.
  • Timber fretwork and trims.

If the sound of a Hamptons style home appeals to you, take a look at the popular ANSA Homes’ Astaire design, which is the perfect design for your new Hamptons-inspired home.

For the interior, choose colours drawn from natural elements such as the sea, sky, and bushland. To complete the look, use beautiful wooden furnishings, timber floors, nautical elements, feature staircases, and elegant, comfortable corners.

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Exposed raw materials characterise Industrial design

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The industrial look draws heavily on its namesake with character features such as weathered timbers contrasting with eye-catching metallics.

Industrial design exterior features often include:

  • Exposed raw materials and metallic finishes.
  • Plenty of texture.
  • Exposed concrete.
  • Weathered timbers.
  • Minimal tonal colour palette.

ANSA Homes’ Austinmeer façade draws from Industrial style influences like the Archer design. The Industrial style of interior home design proudly embraces and showcases the building materials that other styles of interior design conceal, like exposed raw materials.

It is focused on bringing rustic authenticity and an organic feel to home design. In the process, it employs neutral tones, utilitarian objects, exposed brick walls, and wood and metallic surfaces. On the inside, industrial design is enhanced by vintage furniture, steel light fixtures, and accents of metallic finishes.

Play it safe with contemporary design

If you prefer a look that is guaranteed not to date, then choose a contemporary design that celebrates clean lines and no fussy details.

You can create the contemporary design look on your home’s exterior with:

  • A simple colour palette of no more than three shades.
  • Clean, minimalist lines with no visual fuss.
  • Interesting angles, shadows, and features that catch the eye.

The Brooklyn design from ANSA Homes is an example of contemporary design. For the interior, a contemporary style of decorating is defined by simplicity, with the deliberate use of texture and clean lines, with a focus on space rather than items in the space.

The most obvious and distinctive element of a contemporary style interior design is the line. This can be through the use of straight vertical or horizontal lines or curved shapes, as long as visible lines are featured strongly. The line can be found in architectural details, the use of bold colour blocks, high ceilings, bare windows, and geometric shapes in art.

Build your new home with certainty

Call us on 1300 757 810 or send us an online enquiry and our specialist team will work with you to design and bring to life your homedesign ideas.

Case study: First home buyer building dream home with ANSA Homes

Rachel Auld decided she wanted to build her first home with ANSA Home even before she and her family bought their block of land in Oran Park in Sydney’s south west growth zone.

“We lived close to the display home village at Oran Park (now closed) in our current rental property and passed through on a regular walk, “explains Rachel. “The ANSA home façade caught my eye, so we decided to take a closer look.

“We knew we wanted a home with a granny flat to accommodate my dad. In 2015 we lost my Mum, and Dad has been living alone in South Australia ever since. Last year during the COVID pandemic lockdowns he was so isolated, and that’s when I thought about inviting him to move to Sydney and establish a multi-generation household.”

“Aside from seeing the ANSA display home, I did an internet search for ‘homes with granny flats’, and ANSA came up first.” The family bought their block of land in Oran Park in October 2020, after searching for an existing home to buy. They couldn’t find anything existing with a granny flat, so decided to build a new home

ANSA Homes: Engaging service from consultants who listen

The couple chose to build with ANSA Homes because of all the builders they consulted with, they felt ANSA was the one that truly listened to what they wanted from their new home.

“We looked at a few other home builders but found that they were either too aggressive, or brushed us off as if we were wasting their time,” Rachel explained. “Whenever we told them we didn’t have a piece of land yet, they ignored us. “The first time we visited the ANSA display home at Oran Park we were greeted by [ANSA team member] Maria, who was very engaging and easy to talk to. I went back several times and found Maria and the ANSA team to be very genuine and helpful.”

“You hear so many horror stories in the building industry and we didn’t want to take chances.”

“We chose a design and then tailored it to suit our needs,” Rachel explained when asked about the design flexibility and customisation she enjoyed with ANSA Homes. “The ANSA team was very accommodating with our changes.

“As a result, we’ve literally come up with my dream home. Incorporating the granny flat within the home means Dad will have privacy, but he’ll also be close by when he wants to be involved in family life.”

Experiencing the ANSA Homes Certainty Promise

Rachel noted that they were also attracted to ANSA because of their fixed price philosophy.

“You hear so many horror stories in the building industry and we didn’t want to take chances when playing with our money and my Dad’s money,” added Auld.”

The price you receive from ANSA Homes in your tender document is the final price you will pay for your new home, guaranteed. This means no additional costs are ever added once site inspections, service locations, soil tests or contour surveys have been done, except if something is added to or deleted from the design. We call this the ANSA Certainty Promise, and we don’t believe any other homebuilder in Greater Sydney offers the same transparency and certainty in their pricing as we do. In fact, the Certainty Promise has been our approach to pricing and customer service since the day we launched ANSA Homes.

A bold first home with ANSA

The Auld family chose a two-storey home with a separate granny flat incorporated, to be built on their 658m2 square block. The new home is based on ANSA Homes’ Brooklyn design, with the Origin façade.

 When completed later this year, it will have four bedrooms in the main house with an overall 330 to 340 square metres. From the exterior, it looks like one dwelling but the one-bedroom granny flat has a separate entrance offering complete privacy.

“We chose a design and then tailored it to suit our needs; the ANSA team was very accommodating with our changes.”

This is the very first home that Rachel and her husband have built a new home, but it’s a much bigger project than most people’s first home purchase. They had a larger budget than many first home buyers may have, but they also had very specific needs with their new home.

“We’ve exceeded our initial budget already, but we decided during the planning process to go with all the trimmings including a swimming pool. That’s why I call it my dream home,” said Rachel.

“So far the process of building for us has gone really well. The whole ANSA team has been supportive, including their designer, who helped choose colours, fittings and materials.

“I’ve worked in recruitment for my entire career so I’m used to the business world and its requirements. Likewise, my husband works for a telco and we’ve both been impressed by the professionalism of the ANSA team,” concluded Rachel.

Keep an eye on the ANSA website as we follow Rachel and her family on their ANSA home building journey throughout 2021. We’ll post updates as the Auld family progress towards the key ceremony for their new home with ANSA Homes.

Call us on 1300 757 810 or send us an online enquiry and our specialist team will work with you to design and bring to life your post-COVID home design ideas.

Custom home design without the custom home design price tag

Custom home building is costly. In fact, the cost per square metre for a custom home design is typically four times that of a standard home design.

But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an off the shelf, cookie-cutter home design when what you really want is something that uniquely fits with how you want to live. It all depends on the home builder you choose and how willing they are to work with you to give you exactly what you want.

At ANSA Homes, we are a boutique home builder who truly believes that you should get the new home that is just the way you like it. Our approach enables new home buyers to access the best parts (and cost efficiencies) of the project builder methodology while also customising their new home.

Custom building is all about design flexibility and defining and delivering a precise, tailor-made living solution for each customer. And that’s what ANSA Homes provides – minus the costs typically associated with custom building.

ANSA Homes’ unique approach to custom home design

Most new home designs are similar in terms of what they include. What differentiates builders is how willing and able they are to reconfigure their standard designs to give customers exactly what they want – and how they price such design changes.

For example, a home buyer may come to ANSA Homes with a certain home design in mind, perhaps the double storey Brooklyn 32, the single storey Arlo 25, or one of our award-winning house and granny flat designs. They like the design, but want to tweak it in places. They may want to:

  • move the bedrooms around;
  • add another ensuite or two (!);
  • enlarge the living area;
  • move some walls to fit in more storage space; or
  • address something specific to their lifestyle or block of land.

To deliver what the client truly wants, our design team will take their chosen design, modify it, and provide an accurate cost estimate of the new base design. It’s worth noting that, generally speaking, moving things around on your floor plan won’t change the cost as much as you might think, provided the total footprint of the house doesn’t change or the complexity become an issue.

If you already have floor plan ideas that you want to use, our sales and design teams will listen and learn from you what you want to achieve with your new home, and determine what is our best fit from a standard design perspective and how we can then customise it to make it perfect for you and your family.

“Moving things around on your floor plan won’t change the cost as much as you may think, provided the total footprint doesn’t change.”

That may even involve taking half of one of our standard home designs, and half of another, and combining them to give you the custom home design you truly want. And the best part is you’ll enjoy economies of scale and efficiencies that you wouldn’t be able to access through a purely custom home builder.

Common custom design requests

Common custom design requests include:

  • changing the size of the bedrooms;
  • adding more storage space;
  • adding a second or third garage;
  • adapting the design for multi-generational living;
  • adding a second kitchen; and
  • increasing the size of the media room.

Flexible home designs

It’s important to note that while ANSA Homes isn’t a custom builder, we can still offer design flexibility for your new home. Our unique position as a boutique size home builder enables home buyers to get their new home just the way they like it – while avoiding the huge costs that come with custom home building.

“While ANSA Homes isn’t a custom builder, we can still offer design flexibility for your new home.”

The ANSA Homes team has extensive experience in working with home buyers to help them build their new home just the way they like it. Sometimes it’s changing the size of a bedroom or two. Sometimes it’s adapting a design to create a multi-generational living space. And other times it’s creating additional storage space, a media room, an outdoor kitchen, a prayer room, or a third garage.

Essentially, anything is possible and can be incorporated cost-effectively (compared to hiring your own architect) using one of our existing designs as the starting point.

If you’re considering a knock down rebuild, or have land and are searching for a builder who can work with you to bring to life the home you are picturing in your head, get in touch with our friendly team to discuss how we can design your home just the way you like it. Call us on 1300 757 810 and let’s get started.

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