As featured in The Builders Choice magazine.
Responding to Perth’s constant and substantial metropolitan expansion and the problems that accompany it, the Western Australian government has embarked upon the creation of Metronet, which says is Perth’s most ambitious public transport program that will connect suburbs, reduce road congestion, transform Perth and create thousands of new jobs.
Concomitant to the Metronet transport system, a number of strategically chosen new estates comprising of narrow lots have been zoned for medium density.
However, the policy of creating smaller lots in new subdivisions does present challenges when building a two-storey residence, cost and construction times increase.
Express Living Homes has taken up this challenge and their success in doing so is to be seen in a recent build in Golden Bay.
Situated between Rockingham and Mandurah, Golden Bay has a youthful population with 46% couples with children and 77% owner/occupiers, hence its suitability for medium density development.
Filling the gap between apartments and houses
In meeting the challenge, Express Living Homes planned to fill a gap in the market between an apartment and residential housing and in so doing produced two-bedroom, two-storey homes on green titled land, with carports, for less than the cost of nearby apartments.
The objectives were to hit price points less than or at least similar to a 2 x 2 apartment or traditional 3 x 2 home, to build the homes faster and to make them affordable but attractive.
Most narrow lot designs and small residential home designs focus on making a home smaller, however this project used apartment design ideas to make small lot homes bigger.
The project was different in just about every way: how it was marketed, how it was sold, the materials used and the way in which it was built.
The homes were marketed from renders and offered architectural features not normally associated with affordable homes. They were sold off-plan like apartments, using ‘look books’, thereby appealing to customers who would normally not choose to build.
Modular construction employed
Constructed from timber when most homes in Western Australia are made from brick, the homes were made and built using modular construction methods and were constructed to lock-up in a spectacular 2.5 days with a total build time of 8-12 weeks.
As with any innovative project, the challenges were many: different materials and finishes had to be trialled on site; the construction process had to be fine-tuned with cranes and setting out of the concrete to ensure speed; councils and planning departments had to be educated about the product in order to obtain relevant approvals; and, educating valuers about the product so buyers could get finance to build these homes.
Introducing a new method of construction into a market used to conventional methods was always going to be difficult, however Express Living Homes had a very positive team attitude and believed that what they were doing would open the door to better ways for people to buy homes in Western Australia.
Providing more affordable and sustainable homes
While there will always be some difficulties in changing a whole industry’s attitudes to using different products, Express Living Homes are nevertheless confident that consumers want more affordable and sustainable homes.
As part of the Ventura Home Group, one of Western Australia’s fastest growing and most awarded home builders, Express Living has the buying power and trade strength to provide quality homes at affordable prices. They constantly strive to improve the experience of building new homes for customers.
Express Living sees itself first and foremost as a customer service company that sells homes rather than a builder who has a customer service policy. The benefit of this for the consumer is that the company can offer unbiased choice of construction methods along with a focus on ensuring the process of building a new home is as easy as buying an established home.
Elements of the company’s latest styles and designs can be seen at their latest display homes in Scarborough, Treeby, Bennett Springs and Burns Beach which signal Express Living Homes’ position at the cutting edge for project builders.