Making a House a Home
The journey of designing and creating your new home is akin to having a child or getting married, Grace Staal tells Tricia Welsh.
As the owners of Green Earth Homes, Grace and Nathan personally deal with their clients from the moment they come into their Buderim office to discuss possible designs to the final hand-over of their home.
“It’s such an exciting journey,” Grace enthuses. “When I think about our clients and how excited they are when we hand over their keys – it’s so satisfying that we have all put the love, energy and thought into it. It’s a building journey that we make fun and easy for them.”
Grace, a former five-star hotel and resort manager, along with her husband and builder, Nathan, own and run this innovative Sunshine Coast custom design building company.
They have a huge wealth of knowledge. Nathan has more than 25 years’ experience of building homes along the coast, and they insist it’s all about designing the best home for your block.
Since the region has a vast range of varying terrains from coastal seaside flats to the undulating hills of the hinterland, they believe every area on the coast – even every site, has its own micro-environment whether it be in Buderim, Eumundi or Pelican Waters.
“When it rains in the hinterland, it may not be raining elsewhere, so the way you’d build there would be slightly different to the coastal fringe,” says Grace. “The local knowledge is so important.”
To take advantage of the unique aspects of any block, the sun, prevailing winds and land contours are all considered to suit their client’s lifestyle and home design. Hence, an abundance of natural light and a great airflow throughout every home have become hallmarks of Green Earth Homes.
The company also prides itself on designing unique creative spaces to suit their client’s needs.
“Functionally-designed kitchen and living areas to suit your family, means you will enjoy and use every area, every day,” adds Grace. “It makes a house a home.”
The placement of windows in a home is also key, not only for cross-ventilation, but also to make the most of any particular surrounding feature or aspect, Grace explains. “We are always looking for unique elements – a beautiful jacaranda or poinciana tree. We’ll design in a picture window to bring that element into your home. Let’s capture that view, the windows become the frame.”
Nathan individually tailors and manages each project to meet their customer’s expectations.
Being a true custom builder, clients are naturally able to choose exactly what they want. “We care for our clients and are honest with them. We give them opinions, knowledge, pros and cons and with that information they can make a completely autonomous and informed decision. It is their journey and we guide them each step of the way.
“Building is about trust. This is as essentials as the foundations. With us, you are working with the owners of the company – not with a salesperson or a site supervisor and it is this that makes all the difference.”
As well as a qualified carpenter, Nathan is also an accredited HIA GreenSmart builder.
Being a full custom builder, they go the extra mile by making simple material choices, including efficient insulation options and low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint meaning there are no ‘new paint’ fumes.
There are those who claim to be sustainable and there are those who have sustainability as part of their core DNA. Green Earth Homes are the latter.
“You could move into your home the day it was painted,” Grace says. “You end up with a home that is healthier for you and your family.
“When we talk about being sustainable, it’s not just environmental, but financial too. Don’t you want a home that costs less – year in, year out?”