Stroud Homes Toowoomba Hits the Road!

The Stroud Homes Toowoomba team now have their vehicles decked out in the Stroud Homes livery. Be on the look out for the distinctive ‘green machine’ out and about in the Garden City.

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Handover – Highgrove 255 with attached granny flat

Here’s a great granny flat handover shot, three generations lining up for a Stroud Home!

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Grandparents on the right, Parents in the middle with their little daughter (the little son was playing in the dirt and couldn’t be persuaded to get in front of the camera!)

All very happy with the outcome and even offered their home for future inspections!

Great work from Stewart and the team. It is great to see the outcome and smiles on their clients faces.

Building homes is always an achievement and it is great to see the sense of satisfaction our clients experience….real homes….real people….real outcomes.

If you are looking for granny flat designs or dual living designs – give us a call, we have quite a nice range that has not made it to the website yet!

What impressed us about this design (a combo of Stroud design and client ideas) was that it looks like a normal house.

You wouldn’t know that it houses 2 families! Yet the granny flat section has it’s own entrance and its own garage!

Stroud Homes opens Gold Coast office!

Nathan and Terri Dunn are pleased to announce the launch of a Gold Coast Stroud Homes outlet.

Planning is underway for a June opening for the new display home at Gainsborough Greens, Mirvac’s estate at Pimpama.

If you are interested in building one of the beautiful and unique Stroud Homes designs in the Gold Coast council area, give Nathan a call on 1 300 66 99 38

James_Stroud_and_Nathan_Dunn_Gold_Coast_Stroud_Homes_FranchiseAdd new Stroud Homes

The Top Australian Building and House Design Trends for 2014

Having been so closely involved with house-building and design in the past two decades, we have a pretty good “window” on what’s hot and what’s just around the corner; with 2013 heading for close, and a new year on the horizon, what can we expect to be the major design and build trends for 2014?

The “Mountain Facade” Design

The mountain facade design is a home which combines stone and timber features at the front of the property, often with colonial windows to augment the look. This is becoming a very popular choice, very new to southern Queensland, where homes have traditionally been built more along the lines of classic, country or coastal facades. Mountain facades have added a breath of fresh air to the house building scene here.

A good example of this is the Kentucky 348 design. This brings together beauty, convenience, and functionality. The facade is an eye-catching 30 metres in width, with a well-designed roofline and stone, heavy timber and weatherboard cladding combining to great effect. Inside, the floor plans have created an easy flow of space between rooms and the furniture works seamlessly with the overall feel. By putting time into considering the furniture and interior design of a house, the property has instant appeal value to potential buyers.

The “Beach Cafe” Design

The “beach cafe” design is so-called because it has sliding doors along the outside, much like you would find in a café at a beach. It is proving a popular feature and allows homeowners to take advantage of the great climate we have up here.

These houses are usually smaller in size, just under 200 square meters. The idea is that you have a dining room that opens to an al fresco area. This is a feature that many larger homes have, but bringing that to more compact homes, and keeping them affordable, has always been a challenge.  Clever use of cavity sliding external doors (a new product on the market) allows families to have a standard dining room during the week, but at weekends close the doors between the dining room and the rest of the house and open them on the outside to create a fully al fresco area.

Half of the door slides in front of the other half and then both halves slide away neatly into the wall, leaving you with a nice wide opening at the side of the property. They help to expand the space available and really open up the house. Expect to see more of these doors appearing in house designs in 2014.

Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are Still Hot!

We have been increasingly asked to quote on new homes in North Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and on the Gold Coast; so there are no signs that these areas are becoming any less “hot” in terms of property buying.

In fact, we’re setting up a new office on the Gold Coast and mid to late next year we will be opening a display home there, followed closely by three more in the other locations just mentioned. These will all be built with the signature mountain facades that have gone down so well this year.

If you’re looking for more information about building your own house or just want to browse some of the designs that people have been talking about this year, a great place to start is the House and Land packages on our website. This will quickly give you a feel for the prices of packages available.

Feel free to call us on (07) 5540 3949 for further information.

7 Ways the Australian House Buyer Has Changed in Recent Years

The options for the process of buying a house used to be rather limited – and numerous trips to real estate agents, the bank and often to innumerable properties still might not yield a home you could actually buy.

In recent years, the options have greatly expanded and many new home hunters may not even leave the comfort of their own home by the time they are ready to do a deal!

Here are seven of the main changes we have observed in the typical Australian house hunter over the past few years:

The Home Hunter is Busier than Before

Despite the fact that buying a home is one of the biggest decisions anyone can make, people are far too busy to make wasted journeys. Being busier at work and socially, with so many different options for filling the day, people are less likely to come out to view display homes or properties, unless they are already convinced that it’s worth their while taking a slot out of their busy day.

They Research More Thoroughly

Despite having apparently less time to view properties, this doesn’t mean that they will make rash decisions or are less thorough in their research. In fact they use all the online tools available to really check deals, loans, and properties out before they meet the developer, agent or seller in person.

They May Be More Advanced than the Seller Thinks

The likelihood is the buyers will have done their homework, and may be at a fairly advanced stage of the learning and buying process, by the time they meet with a builder, seller or agent. Many tools are available for them to learn what they need to know before a face to face meeting. This means that house builders, developers and agents need to “go to the buyer” and proactively provide all the information they need, rather than waiting for the buyer to knock on their door and ask questions.

They are Tech Savvy

The modern house hunter may have already seen the property multiple times from many different angles online,  by the time they see it in the flesh. As most Aussies are permanently connected to the web, and most real estate agents, house builders and developers have increased their online presence in recent years, it’s natural that buyers have become better informed using this technology.

They Use Social Media

Interactive Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles and Twitter feeds all play a part, as well as email and websites these days. Facebook pages can chart a family’s progress from searching and buying a property to moving in, all backed up with photographs and comments. This just goes to show that buying a house is an emotional story that many are interested in.

They Expect Service and Choice

Home buyers, like most customers, expect to be looked after; nowadays that means being cared for online – not only with product and service information but with support. Live chat assistants are a great way for websites to accommodate buyer support and provide real-time information and advice.

They Want to Know Exactly How Much it Costs

People want to know exactly what all the costs are, with as few variables and unknowns as possible. Unknowns have a habit of being rather expensive when it comes to soil tests and surveys, so fixed price house and land packages are becoming increasingly popular. This is where the developer has blocks of “low risk” land where they know the conditions, and can therefore offer the buyer a guaranteed price, confident that there will be no nasty surprises when they start building.

On the House and Land page of our website a red sign in the shape of a house that says “fixed price” designates one of these deals.

Check out the Stroud Homes Facebook page or call us on (07)5540 3949 for further information.

3 Luxury Features You Can Add to an Affordable Home

Sometimes it’s not the big features that bring elegance and luxury to a property; it can be the smaller design touches that add the style and taste that turn a house into something that little bit more special – without it adding a huge premium to its cost.

The key is understanding exactly what a house should be. A home acts like a machine designed to make a family’s life even better than it already is. The key years when your children are young, go through high school and then reach wedding age should be complemented by a home that makes those years the most fantastic that they can possibly be.

I had the privilege some years back of working on very high end luxury homes in Sydney and so I was privy to some of the components that made those properties special; but what struck me was that many of them weren’t out of the reach of an average home. I always wanted to bring these multi-millionaire features to the $300,000 homes I built.

Below are three ideas for creating the look and the feel, without the budget-blowing price.

The Master Bedroom Overlooking the Pool

We can’t all have harbour views or beachside mansions, but a simple pleasure like waking up with a view of water can be created by having your master bedroom overlooking the pool.

This simple floor plan strategy can change the whole ambience of the main bedroom without costing anything; and it can make every morning a little more special, if you love the water like most Aussies; if you moved here from somewhere like the UK, or Canada (like me), it would be an amazing feature that you just would not see at home.

A Kitchen-Based Wine Cellar

We Aussies love our wine, so why do so few houses have a wine cellar?

Wine has become woven into the fabric of Australian life, such is our enjoyment of the great reds and whites we produce. So, how about a wine cellar in your kitchen that allows your guests to see your wine collection and choose from it?

A wine cellar doesn’t need to be a dusty cobweb-ridden cubby hole under the stairs; your kitchen can have a pantry that opens up with a central wine rack. Instead of seeing half-filled bags of flour and sugar when people come into your kitchen it’s pretty impressive when your full wine collection reveals itself.

Your Space and Their Space

The people who work so hard paying for the home deserve rewarding with some private space of their own. That’s not to forget the children, but using space intelligently to create distinct areas in the plan of the house really makes a difference.

Giving the children their own area at the front of the house, a little bit separated from mum and dad, but not too far apart, creates an environment where children comfortable and can relax, while mum and dad watch a movie or catch up on the day’s events together over a glass of wine. It’s popular with the kids because they get their space too without being locked in their bedrooms and separated from the family.

You can see how a little extra thought and planning goes a long way into designing smart, affordable homes with a hint of luxury.

Recently the designers at Stroud Homes created a superb display home in Yarrabilba incorporating these three features. The celebration with our suppliers on completion of the project proved that the wine cellar and master bedroom would be hugely popular features, and the children naturally gravitated to the children’s relaxation area to enjoy their space.

You can view a presentation of this display home or call us on (07) 5540 3949 for further information.

10 Ideas for the holiday season

Stuck for something to do these holidays?  We can help with that – follow the link below or click on the image for some great ideas.  Happy holidays!

10 ideas for the holiday season (PDF 679)

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Behind the Scenes of Stroud Homes in 2013 Plus What You Need to Know in 2014

The owner of Stroud Homes, James Stroud talks with Mick Cullen about some of the interesting things that happened during the year and what home buyers should be looking for in 2014.

Newsletter December 2013

Welcome to our December Newsletter! You’ll find information about Stamp Duty and a moving house checklist as well as our Christmas trading hours and contact information. You can download the PDF (790KB) format here or click on the image below:

Newsletter-Dec-2013

Siting Home Sewerage Treatment Plants & Water Tanks

This article is available in PDF format (1.5MG):  HSTP & Tanks

Home Sewerage Treatment Plants (HSTP)

  • The HSTP must be lower than the house, to ensure effective flow
  • Stroud Homes provide riser rings (at no cost) to 600mm to help with this for very flat blocks
  • When placing HSTP’s onto a plan, identify the lower parts of the block
  • Avoid placing HSTP in front of the alfresco and windows, especially the bedroom side of the house
  • The HSTP must be a minimum of 5m from the house and no more than 10m away from the house.

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HSTP Spray Area

  • The HSTP spray area must be 15m from the house
  • Try to avoid trees, if possible
  • They cannot be across driveways
  • Garden sheds or pools cannot be near the spray area
  • Blocks under 4000m2 may need sub-surface irrigation

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Water Tanks

  • Water tanks must be a minimum of 5m from the house and a maximum of 10m from the house
  • Water tanks need to be a minimum of 6m from any HSTP
  • Water tanks should be as close as possible to the pad level of the house
  • Avoid having them higher than the house, lower is better
  • Water tanks cannot be positioned in fill

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