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Blog posts tagged in New Home Designs

Bushfire is a major challenge for our communities, and hot summers coupled with strong winds are a major concern each bushfire season.

When building on bushfire prone land, there are considerations that go into the design and construction of the home.

Given that many new estates are located near or adjacent to bush land, Beechwood Homes are knowledgeable in building in bushfire prone areas and work closely with qualified consultants to ensure that additional needs are factored into design and construction.

In the aftermath of the Black Saturday Victorian bushfires in 2009, all Australian states have committed to policies to ensure Australian homes are built from materials that have the best possible chance of withstanding moderate bushfire exposure.

Further regulations as part of the Australian Standard AS 3959 have imposed specific zonings, called Bushfire Attack Levels. The Bushfire Attack Levels, or BALs, are a set of distinct material, design and construction specifications for each area in Australia according to their inherent threat of bushfire. These standards take into account the potential for ignition caused by burning embers, radiant heat or flame generated by a bushfire as well as the expected intensity of the bushfire attack on the building. Each BAL has been designed in consideration of the extreme weather and natural phenomena consistently encountered throughout Australia's variable landscape.

As a general rule, the closer your home is to bush land, the greater the chance that additional requirements will be needed. It is first necessary to determine a 'Bushfire Attack Level' for new homes near bush land.

The building requirements for house design and construction vary according to the bush fire attack level that a development falls into. The building requirements for each BAL are set out in Australian Standard: 3959 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas 2009 (AS3959).

When building your new home with Beechwood Home, we work with consultants and local authorities to ensure your new home is being built to the correct BAL standard and will pass any complying requirements.

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Beechwood Homes is this year proud to celebrate six years of building the Genesis range of homes for families throughout NSW.

Specifically designed for first home owners, the Genesis series of homes offers a wide range of individual styles, single and double storey's, all built with the famous Beechwood quality.

With the needs of your modern family in mind, these homes and can be individually customised to include 3, 4 or 5 bedroom home designs with theatre and study rooms.

Each Genesis home comes with the Genesis Indulgence package, extras that help you feel immediately at home in your new Beechwood home. Many of the extras are a subtle addition that just make you more comfortable, wide vanity in the bathroom, extra overhead space in the kitchen, flyscreens and remote control garage opening. Small features, but together they truly help to make your house, your home.

Beechwood Homes are proud to build complete traditional family homes with a generous list of inclusions. Our Genesis Indulgence range of inclusions offers more than just the basics; it provides a comfortable home for your family.

The Genesis Indulgence Package doesn't cost you any more, it is included into the price of all the Genesis series homes.

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Image shown above is the laundry in Beechwood Homes' Seacrest design, on display at Housing World Shell Cove.

One of the most important things to think about when designing any practical room such as a laundry or kitchen is the roles of form and function; making something look good, but still work well is the dream of every home designer.

Many people often forget about the humble laundry when planning their dream home, some compromise on space while others overlook the fundamental need for storage. It is definitely a difficult balance to strike! A good laundry rarely receives the praise it deserves, a good mixture of storage and bench spaces support the washing and drying appliances meaning that the chore of laundry is that little bit easier every time.

Some great possibilities include pull out folding tables and fold down ironing boards, as they make the folding and sorting of clothes a breeze. Ensuring there are adequate power points is a common after thought, so considering how many appliances will need power, plus any extras (sometimes you might want to charge a phone or plug in some music) is a good tip. Also, clothing racks that let you hang and air clothes are worth their weight in gold if the weather is a little damp out. These can be installed underneath a set of cupboards or over a folding bench.

bwh-icon  Click here to view the virtual tour of the Seacrest by Beechwood Homes


Big drawers that can hold baskets or built in laundry buckets are some more fantastic ways to keep the laundry area looking neat and tidy. Of course it won't always so a big sink for soaking whites and washing off mud is another handy feature.

There really are so many options when it comes to creating the perfect laundry for your dream home.

Beechwood Homes have a broad range of home designs, all of which provide an ideal amount of space for your laundry requirements. However it is always good to think of your own personal needs to ensure your newly built project home's laundry is tip top! Our FlexiBuild option means that all our designs can be tailored to suit your family's needs.

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A new home brings with it much more than brand new walls and floors. When building a new place to live, home owners can find themselves having to assess how much space they need for storage both now and into the future. What to keep and what to throw out? It isn't always as simple as two piles or out with the old in with the new. Add on top of that a growing family and all of a sudden that big home is starting to get a little bit crowded.

Making sure your new project home has enough storage for the many stages of your new life is the safest answer. An extra bedroom or guest room is a first step in the right direction, not to mention the many benefits of a two car garage. Other features such as extra storage built into busy family areas like the laundry and kitchen can be a god send over the years.

Beechwood Homes' Lakeview Grange Thirty One has a combined living area of over 270m2, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a generous spread of living, lounge and dining areas. The Lakeview Grange is a great home for big families that plan on getting bigger! To find out more about our Lakeview Range contact our team here.

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When trying to decide on a project home builder, new home owners are faced with a lot of confusing information. One example of this are the widely varying inclusions lists. Comparing these lists can be difficult but it is very important to understand exactly what is included in your home package in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Some home features that you may consider to be a standard inclusion, are not covered by certain building contracts and can quickly blow out a budget. Beechwood Homes’ Genesis range of homes come with such features as carpet, floor tiles, a dishwasher, and an alarm system as standard inclusions.  Our Genesis range of home designs are also fully supported by our Genesis Indulgence inclusions.

Genesis homes are built to last and come with sensible, structural inclusions such as termite resistant framing, roofing made from trusted Colorbond® steel, and a fully reinforced concrete slab to adhere to AS2870 regulations.

Your family home is built with finer details that reflect your individualism, subtly enhancing the aesthetics and ambience. It is easy to make a Genesis home your own with design inclusions such as picture and furniture recesses and your choice of profiles and colours for your roof tiles, aluminium windows and paintwork.  

Form is also supported by function in every Beechwood Home. Each Genesis home includes extra features that add to the practicality of your home. Some of these features include large, modern vanities in bathrooms and ensuites, a garage remote unit, double power points throughout the house, and overhead cupboards in kitchens. These functional, convenient inclusions are easy to overlook but add significantly to the practicality of your home.

Additional costs are alleviated by our comprehensive range of included site, administration and regulatory features such as:

  •          180 day tender
  •          Land contour survey
  •          House peg out and identification survey
  •          Engineer certificate for slab and piers
  •          Construction Contract Insurance
  •          ABSA Energy Efficiency Certificate
  •          BASIX Certificate

The best way to truly gauge what an inclusion adds to a home is to see it in person. Visiting one of our many display homes can really highlight the visual and functional impact of our features and inclusions.

Beechwood Homes are proud to build complete traditional family homes with a generous list of inclusions. Our Genesis Indulgence range of inclusions offers more than just the basics; it provides a comfortable home for your family.

If you are still feeling at all confused, please call us here at Beechwood Homes on 02 9616 0999 and we can go through everything you need to know. 

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Every family is different in its own way. Deciding on not only the current and short term needs of your family, but also the long term requirements you will have from your household is an important step of building a project home. A recent Multi-Generational Study by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute shows that one in five Australian households have adults from two or more generations living under one roof. The report shows that multi-generation living arrangements are highly-concentrated in and around suburban areas.

When planning your new home, it’s important to try and plan for your family’s future. For example, trends show that children are staying at home longer, so planning separate living areas and kid’s bedrooms that may become bedrooms for young adults at a later stage are part of the design and planning process. As parent’s age and retire, perhaps they will stay for extended periods or even become dependent.

Beechwood Homes understand that not all families operate under a traditional model and design and plan houses with this in mind. The award winning Asquith 36 single storey home is a great example of a floor plan designed for multi-generational living.  The Asquith 36 features a separate guest wing, complete with ensuite and robe as well as three separate living areas that can be used as a study, theatre room or traditional lounge room. The Asquith 36 home design recently won ‘Best exhibition/project home from $250,000-$300,000’ at the 2015 Master Builders Association of NSW Excellence in Housing Awards.

The Asquith 36 is a single storey home and part of Beechwood’s popular Evolution series. You can view the Asquith 36 at Housing World, Shell Cove on the South Coast and also Hunter HomeWorld at Chisolm, Berry Park on the North Coast.

Beechwood Homes have a wide range of project building options to account for nearly every type of family model, meaning whatever your situation - everyone can be comfortably accounted for. 

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Choosing the right floor plan for you, sounds simple, but in fact can be one of the hardest decisions when deciding to build a new home because it requires a huge amount of imagination, planning and forward thinking.

When choosing floor plans, be sure to consider your family dynamics and lifestyle. It may sound like a cliché, but whilst a home may look pretty on display, you need to be able to imagine your family living in the home. And you need to plan for not only what you family looks like today, but also for extra kids that might come along in the next few years.

bwh-icon Check out some of our other great articles

Development Applications VS Complying Development Certificates

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Finding the right colour palette for your Beechwood Home

If you are an entertainer, you will need plenty of living space and a perfect outdoor area. Older children often require larger bedrooms. If you are a collector or love scrapbooking, you will require plenty of storage space. If the in-laws will be staying over, you will need a guest space. But a word of warning – if your guest space is much nicer than their home, they might never leave! If you have younger children, choose a design that leaves you with plenty of outdoor space for them to run around. You will also need to consider how your proposed design will sit on your block of land and whether you would like a single storey or double storey house.

If you are finding the whole process of selecting a floor plan difficult, a suggestion would be to walk through as many display homes as possible (preferably Beechwood display homes!). Take some notes  of what you find appealing with each particular design. Also, stand back and watch your family inspect these homes. They might point out features that you may not have thought of.

After you have started to narrow down your selections, consider all the furnishings you would like to use in  your new home. Often people choose their floor plans without contemplating their furnishings, and then discover their furniture will not fit. Whilst ‘chunky’ comfortable lounges are great, they take up considerable space. You also need to consider how you get them into your house and whether door openings will be wide enough. It is a great idea to take a tape measure with you when inspecting.

Finally it is important to note, that our designs can be customised to suit your needs. If you have made your decision on a floor plan, but it still needs a bit of 'tweaking' to get it perfect, then speak to one of our friendly building and design team members, or alternatively click here to find out more.

We pride ourselves on trying to build the exact home that our clients want.

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Beechwood Homes staff member Jessica recently took her family to a trip to visit the range of Beechwood Homes on display at Housing World Shell Cove. The following is her experience while she was there.

When I first pulled up outside the sales office I was blown away by the four impressive homes that stood before me. I could not help but imagine what it would be like to pull into the street with the kids in tow, have us all pile out of the car and race through the front door at the end of a hard day’s work. With a smile on my face, we all proceeded through to inspect the homes.

I found myself standing back and watching my children explore the home. They were drawn to the large open living spaces, opening every door they could find and racing through the homes arguing which room would be theirs. My husband was more impressed with the theatre rooms and whilst getting comfortable on the lounge proceeded to tell me, “We need a room like this at home to be my ‘man cave’.”

I have to say I was most impressed by the kitchens and large pantry spaces, one home even had a butler’s pantry; something I would love to have in my own home. This was an affordable home design that offered something special to each of us.

Upon leaving, I stopped to talk to Matt Slee, one of the Building and Design team members at Beechwood Homes. He was extensively knowledgeable with each of the new designs on display. We got to talking about what inclusions come with these homes. I was surprised at the amount of quality inclusions that Beechwood offer as “Indulgence Packages”.

These Indulgence Packages include items that I had not expected, but with inclusions like carpet and tiles, 3 coat paint system and termite resistant frames, I walked away being genuinely impressed with Beechwood Homes.”

Beechwood Homes display houses at Housing World Shell Cove is open 7 Days, Sat to Thurs 10am - 5pm & Fri 10am - 4pm at the Corner of Apollo Drive & Clipper Avenue, Shell Cove.

Beechwood display homes at Shell Cove include Moscato Guest, Asquith Thirty Six, Seacrest Thirty Seven and the new Edgecliffe Vibe Thirty Seven.

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We are still celebrating one of our clients winning the major prize in the Colorbond® GEN-U-WIN competition and we want you to be a part of the celebrations. 

Beechwood Homes have allocated 10 blocks at 'North @ Chisholm' for this special event, and to make it even better all 10 blocks will be available to you for under $400,000.

YES, you did read that right; ALL 10 PACKAGES UNDER $400,000!

This is a great opportunity to build your dream home or pick up a fantastic investment property at these very special prices. We have put these packages together with 4 of our most-popular home designs;

  • Verdelho Four 
  • Merlot Four 
  • Lexia Four 
  • Pinot Three

To make the deal even sweeter, we are including your choice of Vista façades with your package:

  • Vista 1 (with or without Moroka)
  • Vista 2 (with or without Moroka)
  • Vista 3 (with or without Moroka)

As an added bonus, if you secure your package this weekend we will also include your driveway, oyster light fittings and holland blinds to your package at no extra cost to you!

Our building & design team members Mandy Hardes & Denise Kinmond will be at our Hunter HomeWorld office this weekend to sell these packages. Come down this weekend to find out more about these packages, it is definitely worth celebrating.

Hunter HomeWorld is located at Whitetip Street, Berry Park and is open 7 days from 10am to 5pm.

For more details on our celebration sale, click here.

 

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Land-part2

We are looking at some of the factors to consider when choosing a block of land to build on. Click here to read Part 1.

In addition to the block’s physical characteristics, there are several other factors to consider, including:

  • Neighbourhood – When buying a home, people are frequently looking to spend between the next 10 to 40 years of their life at that address. You need to ask yourself, is this where I want to live? As they say in the great Australian movie, The Castle – consider the vibe and how’s the serenity? Some suburbs feel right and some others don’t. Trust your instincts. You should also take into account how far away the block is away from your current address. Consider whether you and your children will become estranged by distance from your current friends and relatives or are you moving only a few kilometres away. You should always consider potential re-sale value in the future.

  • Nearby facilities – You should also consider nearby schools, local shops and regional shopping centres, doctors and hospitals, recreation, swimming centres, entertainment and transport. Questions to ask include will the kids be changing schools, is it further to get to work, will I get to work using the same method of transport, where can I buy milk and bread? Sounds simple, but many people make a giant leap without thinking through first. If looking to build in new estates, check out what facilities will be coming soon. Also imagine what that suburb will look like in 5 years and whether you would still be looking to live there.

  • What lies below – The soil conditions below your block of land play a huge part in what home design you will be able to build and its cost. As a general rule of thumb, it is very expensive to excavate in rock. However, light and sandy soils often require reinforcement and extra costs can often be incurred due to extra piering to the foundations of the house. Additional excavation and tipping costs may be incurred in removing certain thick clays from your block (as these are often not stable to build on). It might then be necessary to import suitable soil to maintain proposed levels at additional cost. Worse still, you need to know whether your block has been exposed to soil contamination or has artefacts that will prevent construction, or is subject to ground water.

  • Block Services – You need to consider where connections to services (such as water, sewer, electricity, phone) are located. Some could be located on your block and be easements (which can restrict what can be built over and adjacent to them), while others may be located on the other side of the street, which could lead to additional connection costs.  

  • Conditions and fine print – When buying a block of land, you should obtain the advice of a solicitor or licenced conveyancer. Indeed, you should seek their advice before committing to buy. A good solicitor or conveyancer should be able to tell you about the zoning of your proposed block, any restrictions on what you can do and where and what you can build, developer requirements, such as certain driveways, fencing, landscaping requirements. A solicitor or conveyancer should check the Certificate of Title for the land as well as indicate people from Council or other relevant bodies and authorities you need to talk with to make sure that you can do what you want. The person selling you the block of land may not tell you about any problems, but they are often forced to disclose certain information in the fine print.

  • Bushfire requirements – Given many new estates are located near or adjacent to bush land, you need to consider any additional requirements that may be imposed on your proposed home due to this. It is necessary to determine a ‘Bushfire Attack Level’ for new homes near bush land. As a general rule, the closer your home is to bush land, the greater the chance that additional requirements will be imposed on the type of construction to your home. These can include having to use certain materials that are more capable of withstanding fire. The problem is, these can be very expensive as well as not necessarily be the look that you are after.

  • Unregistered land – Many developers of new estates are selling blocks of land that are not registered (as they still need to be subdivided etc). You are not allowed to build until the land is registered. There are also often delays with planning requirements (ie Council approvals) until the land is registered. Whilst this normally eventually happens, if you buy the wrong block, you could be forced to wait up to 18 months before you can start construction. You may have to pay extra rent during this waiting period.

Talk to a builder first. Whilst it is exciting to go off and buy a block of land, you do not have to do it alone and nor should you. Speak with a reputable home builder (like Beechwood Homes!) about the block you are considering buying. Because of our many years experience, we can often point out some of the potential pitfalls in a certain block or estate before you have made any commitment. Remember, buying a block of land and building a home upon it is likely to be the largest financial investment you will make in your lifetime. Ask questions, research, double check and trust your instincts. It might sound attractive that a developer is offering a $10,000 discount on a block of land, but if your extra site costs, BASIX and bushfire requirements significantly exceed this (and can often do so), you might not be getting the bargain you thought you were.

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Here at Beechwood Homes, we are often asked, how do I choose a good block of land?

The difficulty with answering this question is that it is very subjective and there is normally no right or wrong answer. However, there are several block characteristics to look out for. These include:

  • Block Size – Unfortunately, the blocks of land becoming available in new estates are frequently becoming smaller. You need to consider whether your proposed home will physically fit on the block. You also need to take into account things like Council setbacks and other restrictions such as Floor Space Ratio, which is the is the ratio of the floor area of a building to its site area. You should also consider whether you will have any backyard, and possibly room for a pool. The days of the quarter acre block are long gone. Many people are deciding to buy blocks of land in established suburbs and opting for a knock down rebuild on an existing run down dwelling instead of moving into a new housing estate. Beechwood Homes can accomodate for both new housing developments and knock down rebuild projects. Size really does matter.

  • Block Shape – Many people look to pick up the largest block when new land releases, but rarely consider the shape or orientation of that block. Regular rectangle blocks are often the best, but depending on your tastes, a large battle axe block might be great or could be a dud. You should have a proposed home design in mind before buying your block of land. Some odd shaped blocks might give you extra room for a pool with the right home design or that space may be wasted as it can’t be put to any productive use. You should also consider ongoing maintenance of your block.

  • Block Slope – The slope of your block is important. Consider the front to back slope (or vice versa) as well as any slope from side to side. On a sloping site, unless you choose a split level design, you are going to have a level building platform and you will need to ‘cut and fill’ around it. You may need retaining walls, which are an added expense. As a general rule, steeply sloping sites are much more expensive to build on as your builder will charge ‘site costs’ to accommodate for various irregularities. You will also need to consider matters such as driveway gradients, that is the slope of your driveway from your garage to the street. Also consider where other houses will be positioned relative to yours. Will your neighbours be looking over your fence because their building platform will be much higher.
  • Block Orientation – Your block’s exposure to sun and rain will affect if and how your proposed design can be placed on your proposed block. New homes must comply with BASIX requirements, which relate to energy efficiency and water efficiency. Various BASIX requirements are imposed to reduce your energy use through specific design strategies for lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation. It is a lot more complicated than rain water tanks and roof solar panels. Buying a block of land with the wrong orientation could mean that you will be unable to build your dream home.

    Click here to read Part 2.
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Don’t inherit someone else’s home plans. Building a new home empowers you with choice – creating your own space and design that matches your family’s way of living. Beechwood has countless designs and styles for you to choose from, all of which can be tailored and customised to suit your family.

With Beechwood , choose from our range of designs and customise them to suit your lifestyle – your choice. Building a new home gives you more control on the design and how your house is laid out; creating a space that is specifically designed for you and your family.

Other benefits of building your brand new home with Beechwood Homes include

  • You have more control over the building materials used and can customise it all to suits your needs.
  • New homes are designed to meet building standards that reduce your water and energy consumption meaning longer term lower costs of living.

Modern homes are fitted with the latest technology and building materials makes it easy to maintain the comfortable lifestyle and living environment you want. Building a brand new home with Beechwood means you can create your own style and character, putting your own unique stamp on your new home and all its finishing touches.

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