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Introducing the Woodlands New House – the smarter way to build.

Posted by Sandra Brewer on Sep 14, 2017 12:32:28 PM

When we were looking for the perfect location to build our innovative timber frame display home, Woodlands was the obvious choice.

Fusing a timber frame structure with a rendered brick and weatherboard façade, this home provides the best of both worlds – faster construction and modern sustainability, with that classic street presence we’ve all grown to love.

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The vision for the #woodlandsnewhouse in a 3D render.

The classically-styled home is perfectly situated in Woodlands on Bentwood Avenue, very close to the beautiful Jackadder Lake, the popular shopping centre and Bada Bing cafe (so many coffees).

In mid-2017 Exactus Homes commenced building and it was completed by December. Read on to find out the full story! 

July - plans + Council approvals

With a brief to design a Hamptons-inspired home, our Exactus draftsperson designed a inspired floorplan to take advantage of the 400m2 block. The home features a large central living area that connects to an alfresco porch - a perfect place to sit with cuppa!

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August - site works

In August Exactus Homes commenced site works and took delivery of the timber frames.

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There's three things that make this home different;

1. The construction method isn't double brick.

That's very different for Perth! We have built a lightweight, timber frame and brick veneer home. Timber-framed construction is where wooden framing is used to support the house, and a brick or lightweight cladding or façade is used for the exterior appearance. 

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Benefits of timber framed new homes:

  • Simpler and faster to construct.
  • Generally more cost-efficient.
  • Better insulator due to the cavity between the brick and the timber structure, which can be filled with insulation.
  • The cavity blocks moisture from entering the house.
  • Better energy efficiency due to ability to change the room temperature faster.
  • More flexible, innovative and efficient cladding options, like weatherboard-styled cladding that suits the Hamptons-inspired look of this particular home.

2. It's a very fast build.

The thing about double brick homes is they take a long time in the construction phase. Brickies are required to build all walls, both internal and external. Each brick is laid by hand, is by nature a time consuming job. Additionally, wet plaster render on internal walls needs significant drying time. 

This Woodlands house took just 5 months from commencement on site to absolute completion - including furnishing and landscaping. You can read this blog and see how the Exactus was able to build to such a quick timeline.

3. It's a perfect downsizer new home.

 Woodlands is a suburb that's perfect for retirees. It has the lovely local shopping centre, two medical centres, two restaurants and the Jackadder Lake to stroll around.

In designing this home, the brief was to meet the living needs of downsizers. The design elements include spaces for "his and her" hobbies. For ageing in place, the design follows Liveable Home principles, meaning the doorways are extra wide and there isn't any steps at all in the floor or doorways. 

September- the slab is poured and frames go up

Following the site works, the next steps are to lay the concrete footings, the concrete slab and stand up the frames.

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That's the smile of a builder who's about to start doing what he loves - building a beautiful home!

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The "reo", or steel reinforcing is delivered to site.

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Trenches are dug for the footings to be poured.

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What's a man to do when he's waiting for the concrete truck? Take a break, that's what.

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And it's happening... the exciting moment the slab is poured! 

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It's very hard and stressful work for the Exactus team, who have to ensure the concrete is perfectly level and sets consistently.

Once the slab is set, it creates the momentum for the next stages of construction. In just two weeks later, we have stood the frames and done the brickwork.

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 Windows are delivered to site.

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Frames are constructed by the skilled carpenters at Exactus. All timber is pest treated to ensure no future issues with termites.

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 Brickwork is in progress for the pillars and some walls - to the garage and entry to accomodate the roof frame.

That's an impressive amount of progress in a few weeks!

Early October- completing the roof and rendering

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The bricklayer is laying bricks as the Exactus carpenters cut timber to length to pitch the roof.

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Metal battens run across the timber trusses to enable the roof iron to be affixed.

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It almost looks like popsticks! But the timber frames of this house are strong and durable, completely treated against pests and will last a lifetime. And whilst it looks different for Perth, it's how the vast majority of homes are built across the East Coast of Australia.

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Roof plumbers are installing the last of the roof iron, the hips and ridges. The guttering and fascia is installed prior to the roof.

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The render of the brickwork has commenced, with coloured texturecoat to be applied near the end of construction.

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The render is carefully applied by our preferred tradesman, Richard, who has worked with Exactus for years. We love hearing stories about Richard's son who is working for Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe!

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The framework for the custom-built fireplace is installed in a central area of the living room.

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That's Ralph the Builder doing what he does all day.... being on the phone to arrange all the various materials and trades that need to be co-ordinated on site.

Late October- completing the walls and ceilings

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That looks a lot neater! The Exactus team is making quick progress, but not forgetting to clean up the site as they go. That's what it means to build with pride.

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The render is complete for the pillars and the home is getting closer to lock up stage.

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Only 10 days later, the weatherboards have been added to the facade, the timber lining boards line the pitched ceiling of the alfresco and the windows have been installed.

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The expert carpenters at Exactus have done a precision job on those lining boards.

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Seeing complexity in the construction gives an appreciation for the attention to detail that goes into every new home...

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There's no easy way to do this. The truck delivers the sheets of Gyprock plasterboard to site, and the guys have to carefully manoeuvre each piece in its place.

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Meanwhile, Ralph the Builder is enjoying his 6000th cup of coffee from the fabulous Bada Bing, and overseeing all of the comings-and-goings by the tradies visiting the site.

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Not all of the exciting stuff is happening outdoors. Inside the plastering trades have been carefully applying plasterboard sheets to the internal walls.

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Now that's a happy chap to have on site! Our window installer from Jason Windows is kind enough to give the photographer a smile.

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More happy chaps - the plasterers are joining the Gyprock sheets, and whistling while they work.

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As the progress is going so fast on the home, the team's attention turns to the interior design. With a Hampton's inspiration, this home will feature classic white and grey styling, including these feature tiles, stone benchtops, Laminex colours and floor tiles to the bathroom and ensuite.

November - lock up and internal trades

Once the external entries to the home are completed it is called 'lock up stage'. The focus of the Builder moves to finishing the internal home, including the flooring, fixtures and finishings.

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Once a carpenter, always a carpenter. Ralph can't resist the opportunity to lay the timber flooring. The floorboards are engineered timber with an oak finish.

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It's precise work laying the timber floorboards, and the total project took three days of full time labour to complete.

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Outside, the garage floor has been poured and screeded by the concreters. It's done later than the home slab because it would get damaged and marked if installed sooner. What a perfect finish! 

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Meanwhile, offsite, the kitchen cabinetry is made according to plans and specifications. The actual appliances are fitted in situ, so that the cabinet is a perfect fit.

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A big feature of this home is a central fireplace. It's double-sided, so the view of the fire can be enjoyed from the living and dining room either side. The timber cladding is carefully placed around the frame, and later trimmings and a mantlepiece will be added.

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It's tiring work so the guys enjoy a 'smoko' (of course no-one smokes anymore). You may notice the sample colours of paint on the walls to help make a decision about the right colour.

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It starts to get exciting once the tiles are installed in the ensuite, bathroom and powder room. The feature tiles are a classic style, which look very appealing with the white wall tiles and Laminex 'Tornado' coloured cabinets.

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Steve from Steve's Kitchens is on site to install the structural components of the kitchen cabinetry. 

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Ralph the Builder is pleased with the progress as he checks that the plumbing fixtures will fit and match the ensuite cabinetry. 

December - fittings, fixtures and the finish line!

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 White paint to the lining boards and feature timber beams compliments the light grey of the weatherboards (Dulux Tranquil Retreat) and darker grey render (Dulux Timeless Grey).

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The front door is a charcoal colour, which really pops against the grey and white colour scheme. The stone wall cladding is Aspen by Mataka Stone.

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The splashback tiles are installed, following the benchtop installation. The benchtop is covered in a green plastic protection sheet.

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Outside it's all happening. The concrete is poured to reinstate the footpath.

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The driveway is a stone aggregate, with a feature black pebble.

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The stone cladding is nearly complete, and looks really good in the space.

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The ensuite is lovely! No mirrors just yet, but the plumbers have completed their work installing the taps, shower and toilets.

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A bold decision to stain the oak floorboards in a dark colour has paid off. 

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The expert team from Federation Furniture have expertly installed the cabinetry in the walk in wardrobe.

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The landscaping is designed with a 'lock and leave' lifestyle in mind. Pots and stepping stones provide visual interest and are easy to maintain.

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That fireplace! Painted in Dulux Lexicon Half, it really creates a feature in the living area.

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The kitchen cabinets are installed, and the finishing touches like appliances and handles are carefully added.

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The carpet is an attractive wool blend called Great Sandy supplied by Trevor's Carpet. It’s subtly-dyed woollen blend seamlessly with lightly heathered backgrounds to create a uniquely warm contemporary look.

Finally, just before Christmas, the Woodlands House is complete!

After five months of concerted effort from our tradespeople, suppliers and subcontractors, the Woodlands House has been completed. Everyone on the Exactus Homes team is committed to our promise, 'built with pride', and we give credit to them for the beautiful finished result. Thanks guys!

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The beautiful finished product. (Just waiting fence infil panels... but close enough!)

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The living room has been styled in anticipation of the first home open. For open times, scroll to the end of this article.

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The feeling of space is created by the impressive height of the pitched ceiling.

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The bedrooms are generously sized, and will make a wonderful space for the future owners to relax in. This home will be for sale in early 2018. You can contact Ali Synnot from Mack Hall if you have any interest in the property.

See the Woodlands House at 35 Bentwood Ave, Woodlands

Ralph the Builder will be on hand to show the home on the following dates and times;

Thursday Jan 18  // 4pm – 7pm

Saturday Jan 20 + 27 // 2pm - 4pm

Sunday Jan 21 + 28 // 2pm - 4pm

February by appointment.

Find out more

You can ask any questions you like in the comments (perhaps about the construction method) and we will respond in our subsequent posts.

And if you'd like to know more about Exactus and our new homes, you can find out more here.

Don't forget, if you're interested in the benefits of timber frame construction for your new home, you can book an appointment with Ralph by clicking here:
Book a time to discuss your rough ideas with me.

Topics: New homes, Woodlands House