Building a family home to suit their lifestyle

Building a family home to suit their lifestyle

A desire to create a home to suit their lifestyle inspired Pip and Tom McCarney to start their new home journey at Sovereign Hills. They chose a block of land in The Heritage precinct and have built the perfect family home with McDonald Jones Homes...

What inspired your new home journey and can you recall what prompted you to take the first step?

We had previously renovated a home, then sold it. When we moved to Port Macquarie, I was pregnant with twins, and I said to my husband, we are not renovating again. I wanted something brand new, something that was ours and designed to suit our lifestyle, and where everything worked! It was the first time we had thought about building new, but we wanted something that was made just for our family and decided to go for it.

How did you decide where to build your home and where are you located?

When we moved to Port, we lived there for about 12 months while looking for the perfect spot to build. The Sovereign Hills area was really family orientated, lots of young families and good-sized blocks all reasonably priced- we had heard a lot of good things about the area. We were really lucky and found a block that was already registered, so we could build straight away, which was fantastic.

Why did you entrust McDonald Jones Homes with your new home build?

Initially it was word of mouth, and they had a great reputation as a builder who had been around for a long time. When we went to the Sovereign Hills Display Village and explored all the homes, we were really impressed with their quality and finishes compared to others. After speaking to a few other builders, it really came down to the service and connection we made with the McDonald Jones team. They were just so professional, and happy to answer all of our questions. It made it an easy decision in the end.

Can you tell us about your home design and why you chose this design?

We were looking for a 4-bed, 2-bathroom home with a great alfresco area, and we knew we wanted the master bed at rear, so the kids were towards the front. With three young kids, we wanted to still be able to entertain and not wake them up. When we met with Ricky at McDonald Jones, he paid really close attention to what we were looking for, and he helped show the designs that were perfect for our family needs and within our price range. We absolutely fell in love with the Portillo design as soon as he showed us, it was just what we were after.

How have you injected your personality and personal touches into the house to make it a home?

We actually didn’t change much to the main plan at all, it was exactly what we wanted. We only made minor tweaks, like adding an extra door to the kitchen so it opened fully to our outdoor area. We also went for a grande alfresco which is the best decision we made, and we absolutely love it. We upgraded tiles and added pendants to suit our styling, and we went for the higher ceilings which added so much space and light to our home.

Who helped you with your big decision and guided you through the building process?

Ricky Perryman was our Building & Design Consultant; he is so knowledgeable of all the different designs and what would work for us. He had so many great suggestions on how to bring it to life that we hadn’t thought of, but he didn’t force anything on us. Thank goodness we went with the things he advised us on, because now we absolutely love them. Our site supervisor once we started building was Jai, and he was always updating us on how it was tracking and so lovely to work with. He just made it so smooth, so transparent, and communicated beautifully.

Did the building process go smoothly for you and were you able to stay on track and budget?

We were very prepared, thanks to the builder we had, and we had budgeted from the beginning for the things we wanted to upgrade for our selections and finishes, so our price from the start didn’t change at all. The process was almost too smooth, because our twins were born, and we needed to slow it down a bit, as we both wanted to go to Thornton to do our style selections in person. The McDonald Jones MyChoice Design Studio there is amazing. But overall, the build stayed on track and was about 11 months as we expected.

How are you finding living in your new home?

We absolutely love it! We still wake up and pinch ourselves, I feel like we are living in the Taj Mahal. Now all of our family want to build. The kids love it, everything works, and everything we pictured came together better than we imagined. When our supervisor took us through our practical completion inspection towards the end, it was the first time I really saw how it had come together and I was like wow – is this our house? I remember getting teary – even now I keep telling my husband, we are never moving! It’s perfect.

Do you have any advice for other young families taking on a new home build?

Juggling renting while we were building was tricky and you should plan for that. My biggest tip would be to find a quality builder you can trust, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and to just go for it. I love that this home has been made just the way we wanted it, and specifically for our family. It’s the best thing we ever did, and worth the wait, we’re so glad we went with McDonald Jones.

What has been the best thing about your new home?

Love it all, but especially love the McDonald Jones grande alfresco area and our kitchen. The open plan living is so great and our kids can play outside while we cook, it’s perfect. Having those big glass doors open out means we live in that space, and it’s our favourite part of our new home. It’s everything we hoped for.

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