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Pokolbin builder Jon Clark knew he was on a winner with this Torren Bell Design house – the first time he has entered the awards in almost 30 years as a builder.
The striking residence is in The Vintage golf estate, where Jon also lives and runs his business from. The four-bedroom, three-bathroom house features spotted gum timber floors; walk-in wine cellar with floor-to-ceiling glass; open-plan living and alfresco area with outdoor kitchen and views of the golf course; butler’s kitchen; and media room.
Upstairs, the north-facing master bedroom retreat, with walk-in robe and en suite, has a view of Barrington Tops in the distance.
“All our homes have quality finishes but there was something particularly special about this house that temped me to enter the awards for the first time ever. I’m so glad I did!” Jon said.
“It’s an honour for all of us – designer Torren Bell, my team and trades, and the owners, Katrina and Glenn Kendall, who knew what they wanted.
“Torren is such a great designer; we have worked together for more than 15 years. His homes are beautifully detailed and finished.”
Jon said he and his team had a great night at the awards. “I think anyone who gets to the awards night is doing exceptionally well. For the smaller guys to survive everything, during and since the pandemic, is a credit to everyone involved.
Jon is grateful to his small team of tradies. “I couldn’t do without them,” he said.
I'm so glad I entered the awards for the first time!
Jon has built nine homes in the The Vintage estate so far and his clients have become friends. Houses overlook fairways, parkland or the countryside. The Vintage has a $5 million clubhouse, fitness centre, Grand Mercure apartments and a Chateaux Elan hotel.
Jon began in Singleton in 1994 and moved to Pokolbin 13 years ago, building his own home in The Vintage estate, its 18-hole championship golf course designed by Greg Norman.
“It is a very niche market. I’m pretty lucky working and living in such a beautiful estate, in the heart of the Hunter Valley vineyard territory.
“I’m also lucky with my great staff (a team of three tradesmen), my long-standing relationships with subcontractors, and with my clients, who trust me enough to build for them.
“I don’t like to chop and change with trades, I like to build relationships. It’s reflected in the end result, with houses we’re very proud of.”
Bayview Building Services scored a double at the 2022 HIA-CSR Hunter Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards.
The island bench really is a piece of art
It won Townhouse/Villa of the Year for a property in Merewether and Kitchen of the Year $45,001- $60,000 at the same residence.
Bayview Building’s Director Kurt Bruggestrass said they were honoured to win two awards.
“The design details and materials used to complete the Merewether kitchen project are of such high finishes and the design itself is so strong,” he said.
“The island bench really is a piece of art with the different materials and angles used, it is a showstopper!”
The Townhouse/Villa of the Year features facade elements that complement the streetscape and laidback coastal area and a high level of interior materials and finishing details.
“Elements such as the strong angles and contrasting colours made for a very modern yet tactile interior,” Kurt said.
“It is always a great feeling to be recognised for your hard work.
“It is motivating and has made myself and my team hungry for more success in the future.
“To be nominated with such fantastic local companies meant a lot to me, and then to take out the wins was quite overwhelming.
“I would like to thank all of the trades that worked on this project, given the difficulties that surrounded the industry during this build.
“The project owners Brenden and Kerry Lowbridge for the opportunity and trust they put in me to deliver this beautiful project.
“Also the support from my family, in particular my father whom I took over the business from and who started me on this career journey from a young age.
“We are a family-owned business who believe in doing things right the first time. We are passionate about the final product we hand over to the customer and value our small but growing team.”
Kurt has a degree in construction management and worked for large builders before joining the family business in 2011. “Like most small builders I am in the office and on the tools daily.”
Kurt’s father started Bayview Building in 1997, largely focusing on his own residential projects. In 2016 the focus shifted to include custom residential projects and boutique townhouse developments.
Kitchens For Living took home two trophies from the gala awards night and were also finalists in the Cabinetmaker/Manufacturer of the Year category.
Mel Yeomans, the company’s People and Culture Manager, said the team wholeheartedly deserved the recognition.
“It was an honour to be finalists among such a wonderful range of businesses in our industry. To then be awarded the win in not one but two categories is simply fantastic!” Mel said.
“For me personally. this award tells the community that we are able to provide beautiful custom-made joinery to suit a variety of budgets and styles.
“Both the kitchens were beautifully functional spaces for the families to enjoy. The colour choice and style were completely different between the two homes, but the consistent features were the brilliant storage solutions, the ample bench space for food preparation and also for enjoying a drink or two with friends.
“Contemporary finishes and textures brought these kitchens to life and they both worked perfectly in the environment where the houses were located.
“We would like to thank Lulamon projects and PB Quality Constructions who introduced us to our wonderful homeowners.
“We thank the whole team at Kitchens For Living, who work together to achieve a great experience for our clients, with carefully detailed joinery. Thank you team, for all the seen and the unseen moments. You are industry leaders and outstanding people.
“And to our homeowners, your trust and the relationship we built as we worked together to deliver these award-winning kitchens was wonderful.
“Finally, we would like to thank the Hunter HIA team for tirelessly working to provide an opportunity for us to showcase our work and for being a dedicated support crew for our industry.”
Kitchens for Living was launched in Newcastle by Sean Yeomans in 2007 and has achieved steady growth over the past 15 years. Sean is passionate about design and has worked in the kitchen industry as a designer for 30 years.
In 2023 Kitchens For Living will move to a purpose-built home in the Steel River Industrial Estate. It will feature a design centre, large workshop and custom-built offices.
“Our stunning design centre will allow people to see our workmanship, view samples and ranges from industry leaders and hear about some of the latest industry innovations,” Mel said.
“And as a Hafele studio partner, we will be hosting some wonderful hardware and storage solutions from their range.”
HIA is committed to recognising the outstanding achievements of our members and this year I was once again impressed by the sheer scale, creativity, passion and excellence demonstrated by HIA members.
Held on October 22 before a capacity crowd of industry leaders and peers from across the Hunter and Central Coast regions, the awards acknowledged the talent of designers, builders, suppliers and manufacturers who plan and construct quality homes, townhouses, renovations, kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor projects.
Judged by industry professionals, winners were selected in 33 categories, with Greenbuild Constructions taking out the highest accolade, the HIA-CSR Hunter Home of the Year Award, for a skilfully constructed residence in Nelson Bay with spectacular views across Port Stephens.
The judges said: “Full of impeccable and unexpected details, this complex build is a testament to the skill, talent and perseverance of the Greenbuild Constructions team.”
I congratulate Greenbuild Constructions and all Hunter award winners and finalists on their dedication to achieving the very best workmanship and standards in every project they undertake.
HIA’s awards provide a tremendous opportunity for our members to showcase their projects and highlight building and design excellence.
The winners of the prestigious HIA Professional Builder awards were Walkom Constructions for Professional Small Builder/Renovator; Tullipan Homes for Professional Medium Builder/Renovator; and Eden Brae Homes for Professional Major Builder. Lachlan Condie was named Apprentice of the Year.
McDonald Jones Homes won Display Home of the Year.
Other notable winners were Kingston Building for Affordable Housing of the Year and Trademark Building for Renovation/Addition Project of the Year.
In the Kitchen and Bathroom categories, Greenbuild Constructions scored more accolades, winning both Kitchen Project of the Year and Bathroom Project of the Year. Nadin West Joinery took out the inaugural Cabinetmaker/Kitchen Manufacturer of the Year award.
Overall winners in major categories will now represent the HIA Hunter region at the HIA-CSR Australian Housing Awards in 2023 to compete against winners from other HIA regions.
For those looking to be inspired by innovative techniques in building as well as the latest trends in kitchens and bathrooms, the award winners are featured on the Regional Housing Awards page at hia.com.au.
“These wins are huge for us!” That’s the verdict of Innercity Building Group who collected three trophies on awards night.
“Happy residents and clients are what chiefly motivates us, but it is also extremely rewarding to have recognition from within your industry for all the hard work the team puts in,” said Innercity Director Luke Van de Stadt.
“Just walking past the townhouse development at Warners Bay makes it clear why it was a winner,” he said. “There are no other townhouses in the area that have the same architectural intent or the quality of workmanship and finishes.
“The generous size of the dwellings and the architecturally finished exteriors contribute to creating distinct point of difference. Ample space in common areas gives the feel that you are not on top of your neighbours, while generous living areas and bedrooms make the units feel more like large houses rather than townhouses.
“Our focus was a well-thought design and quality of workmanship, and I think the result speaks for itself.
“Our Spec Home of the Year at Bonnells Bay is another result we are really proud of. With a young family in mind as a purchaser, we made sure to include as many features to accommodate them, while keeping a careful eye on affordability.
“These were our first townhouse and spec home projects as the head contractor and we always had the goal of producing a level of quality that would separate ourselves from others.
“These wins are a fitting result for all the little things we do to differentiate ourselves,” Luke said.
“The entire Innercity Building team worked hard on these projects; we would be nowhere without the support of our internal staff and, equally, our subcontractors, suppliers and ever-reliable consultants. Their hard work and dedication make these awards possible and we look forward to continue working with all these parties well into the future.
“We also hugely value the relationships with all our clients, without whom we wouldn’t be working at all. It is for them that we continue to keep challenging ourselves to be and achieve better.”
Luke started Innercity in 2014 as a modest property maintenance and shop-fitting operation in the Newcastle/Hunter area.
“Being a family-owned business, we have developed strong ‘team’ feel where everyone looks forward to coming to work each day and helping each other get the job done.”
Bellriver Homes was hoping to repeat last year’s success – and they have.
“To win for the second year in a row is a fantastic honour,” said Graham Brown, Bellriver’s General Manager – Projects, House & Land.
“I’m extremely proud of our teams, who deserve the win for their excellent work. They display true teamwork and passion throughout the build process, producing homes of high quality.”
Bellriver Homes’ winning entry, the Somerton 24 located at Warnervale, is a split-level home ideally suited to a 15-metre frontage.
“The well-proportioned and separated living area allow for a young family to grow without compromising on space and quality,” Graham said.
“The oversized alfresco area for a home of this size, seamlessly flowing from the living, creates a very large outdoor living connection.
“The home genuinely displays how a client can create this build on their budget using the Standard Bellriver list of high-quality inclusions without a veiled list of upgrades.”
With a diverse range of more than 130 home designs, Bellriver has options aplenty for first-home buyers, growing and shrinking families, knockdown rebuilds and investors.
A feature of dealing with Bellriver Homes is their ‘No Excuses Fixed Price Home Building Contract’.
“We offer this so you have the peace of mind knowing exactly what your home build will cost,” Graham said.
“We consider our quality-control systems and after-sales service to be among the most important areas of our business.”
Every customer is allocated their own ‘customer service consultant’ to care for their every need.
“We manage and track every building project through a comprehensive software program. In essence, nothing is left to chance,” Graham said.
“A significant difference between Bellriver and our competitors is that we are a family-owned business, we are hands-on in the business, all day every day.
“This means that the senior team knows about every home that is under construction and as a company we can add value to your build & building journey.”
Bellriver Homes offer all clients the opportunity to customise their home.
“The internal specifications of a Bellriver home are so high most clients don’t require any up-specs, but if you do, we have an extensive range of options for you to choose from,” Graham said.
From modest beginnings as home builders in regional NSW, starting in 1993, the Bellriver Group of companies are now categorised as a NSW Major Home Builder. The group operates across NSW markets with 11 offices in Sydney and regional NSW.
Sam Horn Building will need to build another shelf for themselves to hold their awards after they collected four trophies at the October 22 gala night.
Director Sam Horn said they were “beyond happy” to have nine entries in this year’s awards, five of which were finalists and four winning their categories.
“Our future goal is to take out Australian home of the year,” Sam said. “We want to be known for our exceptional homes and customer experience.
“The wins mean a lot to us. Our goal is to deliver high-end projects for our clients and these awards are a great reminder that we are doing that.”
Sam said entering the Bathroom $25k-$40k category was a “no brainer”.
“This stunning bathroom is from our Coal Point project, with a massive glass wall overlooking Lake Macquarie. It is our favorite room in the house with a walk-in shower, stone bathtub and lake views from every corner of the room.”
The winning kitchen in the $35k-$45k category is ultra-modern with integrated appliances and white cupboards giving it a sleek minimalist look. A butler’s kitchen around the corner hides the mess.
In the Renovation up to $300k, Sam Horn Building designed and constructed the full renovation of the house, with kitchen/living and alfresco all designed around the fantastic view. “It’s a smaller home design loaded with many cool design features. It was one of our favorites to enter.”
Another of their favorites was the Renovation $350k-$500k winner, a heritage renovation/extension in Hamilton. This house sold last December for $3.95 million, breaking the residential sales record for Hamilton.
“I’d like to thank the SHB family,” Sam said. “The reason we work so well together and achieve such great results is that we all share the same love and passion for building something amazing.
“We also couldn’t have done this without our loyal trades. And the support from friends and family outside of work is really appreciated too.”
Sam started SHB in 2012 with the goal to build the best quality and designed homes in Newcastle. He started doing small jobs with his apprentice and in 2016 built his first home for clients. Sam lives and breathes building and has a love for design and perfecting every detail in each home.
“Our team is made up of young enthusiastic people all sharing the goal of building the best homes in Newcastle,” he said. “Every project we take on our goal is to deliver the best possible home for our clients.”
Our homes are tailored specifically for each build.
Len Pro Building is an award-winning, family- run business providing high- quality building services in Pokolbin and surrounding areas.
Managing Director and senior builder Lance Lennard and his team are extremely proud to be recognised at this year’s awards.
“We feel extremely privileged to be acknowledged among a strong competition of builders,” Lance said. “It’s great to know the detail and care we put into each individual custom project is recognised as one of the Hunter’s best.”
The winning residence in Cessnock has striking details in the external elements with various James Hardie cladding products. A monochrome palette paired with angular lines and shapes make it an eye-catching project from the get-go. It is beautifully oriented to capture natural light and connect with the outdoors.
Internally the client’s selections were all high-end with a focus on modern finishes, creating a sophisticated and seamless feel overall.
“We would like to make a special mention to our wonderful client who gave her full trust to our team,” Lance said. “She was a great asset with her background knowledge in real estate.
“The team at Sarah Waller Architecture brought our client’s vision to life with innovation and incredible attention to detail, and Joshua Hogan Photography captured the personality of this build perfectly.
“We would also like to thank our team of contractors and suppliers; we couldn’t have made this a winning build without their hard work.”
Len Pro Building’s bespoke homes are unique and original to each client. “We are not a volume builder,” Lance said. “Our homes are original and tailored specifically for each build. Every aspect is designed in partnership with our clients, our design team take their ideas and lifestyle to design a custom home.
“We like to work with clients who are very particular and detailed in their needs for their luxury project, with high expectations.”
Lance has been in the building industry for more than 20 years and has developed a reputation based on trust and quality of work.
“We have a dedicated team of suppliers and trades who work closely with us,” Lance said.
“It is all about getting the details right and going above and beyond expectations.”