So it seems appropriate that I share with you a project that was very close to my heart…. our own home.
Set amongst beautiful bushland on the side of a cliff, we started with a humble fisherman’s cottage … dreaming, researching and saving for this very unique project.
The site was extremely difficult, set 100 mtrs down a slope which was accessed by a very old inclinator ( or 200 stone stairs that meandered thru the block.)
But once you arrive , you understand why we persevered… private with stunning views…. like being on holidays every day.
We lived in the tiny 1930’s cottage for 7 years, learning about the light, the spaces we needed to live and constantly sourcing ideas from every medium. The first important step was our Architect, Gordon Tench from Trott , Tench & Associates in Cronulla.
Gordon understood our vision for a home that was unique, practical yet not too pretentious. We did not rush… The final plans took around 18mths to finally ready to take the next step.. This step was the most challenging – finding a builder prepared to take on our site.
Many came to the top of the cliff, looked down over the block and ventured no further. Eventually we found a dedicated and passionate builder, Peter Phair of PJP HOMES, who took on the project with great enthusiasm and an eye for detail. The most important key to making the building process a smooth one is to find a builder who you trust and treats the project as if it were their own. We found this with Peter Phair.
The build began Mid 2004, with the demolition of much of the original cottage. The debris was pushed down the cliff and taken away on barges. Some of the old hardwood was saved from the original cottage and carefully re worked and stained to be used as the exterior timber features on the new home.
All the new large materials were “flown” down the block on a flying fox, purpose-built for the project or smaller items using the existing inclinator. Materials were also considered due to the access issues. Light and easy care Colourbond steel sheeting was used for all external walls and roofing . This was a win- win choice as we wanted a contemporary home and these materials fitted our brief.
The end result is a stunning home that nestles into the cliff face. As the years have passed, the trees have enveloped the house more and we make a small but individual statement on the shoreline of the Port Hacking, unlike many other large, imposing homes on the waterway.
The build was complete in just 10 months. An extraordinary feat, considering the limitations of access to the site . Peter, our builder was acknowledged by winning a Master Builders award for the Home with the Best Use of Steel for that year. As time goes on I will share some other images of our home on my blog.