“Working with Tony was an outstanding experience.”

I approached Tony in the first week of February after losing my house in the Canberra bushfires; my brief was a single level dwelling, concrete slab, north facing, colorbond roof with visual interest and vaulted ceilings.  As I considered my site could be prone to bushfire in the future, the roof was to have the minimum of re-entrant corners and changes in the roof profile.

To rebuild my house within my budget I was prepared to compromise size in favour of architectural merit, notwithstanding that sentiment I was still able to build a house slightly larger that the pre-existing one.

This was a design/building project where time was also a key factor.  I was extremely anxious to rebuild as quickly as possible as I wanted to get life ‘back to normal’ and I thought I would be competing with 500 other people for the services of a builder if I delayed the project.  Despite the speed of the design phase I am absolutely delighted with the house; the internal and external visual presence of the building is excellent and I would not choose to make any changes. 

People are generally surprised at the low cost of the house but in reality I haven’t elected for any expensive or non-standard fittings, the grace of the house is due to its shape and layout.  The natural light within the house always attracts comment as does the sense of space and balanced proportions of the interior space. 

Working with Tony was an outstanding experience, Tony developed the plans over a few weeks and during this time it became transparent which building principles I could easily utilise that improved on my previous residence, ie:

solar-passive orientation,

increased cross ventilation

reduce fire risk factors by using metal roofing material

reduce fire risk factors by minimising eaves and avoiding downward eaves in the direction of prevailing winds

reduce exposure to noise to and from the reserve

achieve a private open space that is not visible from public areas

I had been very concerned at the prospect of building a house but felt that in the circumstances I had little choice but to proceed, I am pleased to say that the whole experience was actually quite enjoyable and I wouldn’t hesitate to embark on another design/building project in the future.

Fiona McBeth

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