Merit Award in the Custom Built Homes ($350,001-$500,000) Category of the 2011 Hunter MBA Awards.
This New Lambton residence is a distinctive addition to the neighbourhood which beautifully moderates the stylistic space between the older weatherboard cottages and the more contemporary dwellings in the area.
Although delighted with the duplex that NB Russell had built for them 7 years ago, the clients had outgrown that property with the arrival of two young children. They re-engaged Nathan and his team to construct a new home which would allow the family flexibility in years to come. This single level residence consists of 3 bedrooms, study, theatre room, 2.5 bathrooms, and a large open plan living-dining-kitchen area. The property includes an internal courtyard, double garage and is book-ended with timber decks, the rear one with a built in spa.
The design of the home is a refined take on the honest aesthetic of North American ski lodges, using stone and timber reference points throughout. To achieve this look, the builder’s skill in detailing was of utmost importance to ensure a quality transition between the various materials. Externally the house uses brick and weatherboard topped by a tiled roof, with the natural stacked stone column and Tasmanian Oak gables along the entry walls lending the dwelling its distinctive alpine appearance.
Internally the use of stone and timber is continued against a neutral colour palette, while a number of wallpapered feature walls can be found throughout the house to provide visual interest. The layout takes advantage of the natural slope of the site to provide a view from the hall through the large open plan area and on to the urban vistas of Charlestown and beyond. With its generous 3.2m high ceilings, the living areas also capitalize on natural ventilation and lighting via carefully oriented louvre windows. A 3000l water tank complements these energy saving measures, and there is additional storage provided beneath the rear deck.
Construction challenges included a tight site and working around the large established trees on both neighbouring properties, which prevented the standard footings being used beneath the soil. Instead, N B Russell worked with the building designer to develop a pier and steel beam lintel solution to allow the necessary construction strength for laying brickwork on the eastern border, without harming the extensive tree roots.
We had a very positive experience with N B Russell Building in 2004 in the construction of two townhouses, one of which became our home. Accordingly when it came to choosing builders to quote for our new family home we had no hesitation in asking Nathan to submit a quote. Whilst he was not he cheapest price, Nathan was the natural choice given our experience of his high benchmark for quality. Perhaps even more importantly, we had been impressed with Nathan's informative and personable approach and his open style of communication.
Nathan worked with us to identify cost savings ideas to enable us to meet our budget. In addition he spent time sourcing materials that gave us significant savings and the quality of furnish we desired. Nathan was always flexible and professional and open to discussing options and make changes when requested.
During this build Nathan was challenged with a tight deadline and restricted building site. Despite significant rain delays early in the project, Nathan was able to make up time and even arrange trades over the Christmas period to have the home finished in great time.
We would happily recommend N B Russell Building to family and friends as a genuine progressive builder with enthusiasm in achieving quality results. Ben and Courtney O.
Building Designer's Comments:
I have been assisting N & B Russell Building for the past 8 years in the Planning and Design of a multitude of Developments. We have performed Architectural and planning work directly for Nathan Russell and he has constructed homes for our clients. I have been impressed by Nathan Russell’s integrity and professionalism, as well as the quality of workmanship, the ability to bring jobs in on time, being within budget and achieving such positive outcomes for both the developer and the new home owner. N B Russell Building can and will deliver on any project they take on, no matter the size – whether small or large. Adrian Sorenson.