It was love at first sight when Sydneysiders Candice and Jeremy stumbled across Metricon’s Bayville display home. After discovering the understated glamour of classic Hamptons style, they were inspired to upsize their Lower North Shore Californian bungalow for an elegant, northern suburbs sanctuary. “Our interest was piqued by an article about Hamptons-inspired designs that included Metricon's Bayville home,” Jeremy remembers. “We loved the façade, which incorporated gables with weatherboard wrapping the top floor.”

At the time, Metricon was yet to open a Bayville show home in New South Wales, so when Jeremy was visiting Melbourne for work, he seized the opportunity to see the Brighton beauty in person. As soon as he stepped inside, he knew it was the one and couldn’t wait to tell his wife that he had found their forever home. “We weren’t really looking to build. It was only because Jeremy had seen that house that we started to consider it,” Candice says.  “We didn’t know much about Metricon before and we didn’t know what to expect from a project home builder; we definitely didn’t know they could build this kind of house.”

With their existing house starting to feel crowded, Candice and Jeremy knew they needed more space to accommodate their growing family. “We had visited other Metricon display homes in Sydney and were impressed by the quality of finish and internal layouts,” Jeremy says. “But it was only upon viewing the Bayville that we really got serious about building a new home.”

Finding the perfect block

Once they had decided to build, Candice and Jeremy had to find a piece of land. With both of their jobs based in inner Sydney, they didn’t want to spend too long commuting for work so a knock-down rebuild was the only option that would allow them to build their dream home, without sacrificing family time or the lifestyle aspects that come with buying into an established suburb.
“There are limited knock down or land options on Sydney's North Shore so finding the right block took more than five months,” Jeremy says. “This was a long time for us given it only took us six weeks to secure our prior property purchase.”

Their patience paid off when a 50s character home on a generous 967 sqm block in Sydney’s leafy North Shore hit the market. “We didn’t really want to buy an existing house,” Candice says. “Our old house was a bungalow and with those old homes you have a lot more issues with damp and poor light so we just wanted to something new. Being able to choose what you want and have the layout as you want – we figured it was probably more efficient to knock down than try and renovate and do all of that kind of stuff to something existing."
She says it's also easier because you know exactly what you're working with upfront so there are no surprises once you start building. "You don’t know the condition of older homes until you start work, which means costs can quickly get out of hand," she says. "With Metricon, once you’ve locked in your contract and made all your Studio M choices – there’s not really any more out-of-scope stuff that comes up.”

Planning phase

Having found their slice of suburban paradise, Jeremy and Candice began the process of bringing their Bayville dreams to life. They enlisted independent contractors to knock down the existing home and get the site ready for construction so that once they received the go-ahead from council they were ready to hammer it home.
"After that it was pretty fast," Candice says. "While we were waiting for the property to settle – we were doing all the contract stuff with Metricon. We knocked the house down about a week after it settled and then got the approval to build maybe a month after that."
Candice says going through complying development rather than council also helped to fast-track the process. "There’s specific legislation in NSW that as long as your building application complies with specific criteria you get approval, which only took about three weeks through complying development," she explains. 

Personal touches  

Being able to modify the existing floor plan was another reason Jeremy and Candice chose a Signature by Metricon build.
 "We moved the living room from the front of the house to the back so that we could have a big, open-plan kitchen, living and dining area," Candice says. "We thought there would be no flexibility with project home builders so being able to do that was good."
Jeremy says they are also quite proud of their light-filled guest bedroom with walk-in robe and ensuite, which was also a variation to the initial design.

The finer details

From the outside, theirs is a contemporary interpretation of classic, coastal Hamptons style, with the Bayville’s iconic timber cladding, portal window and gables offset with a minimalist render and Colorbond roof in a tonal grey scheme. “We knew we wanted to keep it relaxed and light,” Candice says. “We were trying to achieve a more coastal, beachy Hamptons style rather than traditional.”
But while Candice and Jeremy fell in love with the Bayville’s aesthetic, it is the personal touches that make it feel like home. Jeremy’s favourite feature is the built-in whisky cabinet and tailored space in the butler’s pantry for the wine fridge, while Candice loves the spacious walk-in robe which flows from the master bedroom.

“The master area was one of the things that made us choose the house when we saw it,” Candice says with a smile. “I also love the kitchen/living/dining area because if you’re inside cooking and doing things, you can see out into the backyard, see the kids. We really loved the layout in general - the openness and integration of the spaces, the wide entrance and hallway, the high ceilings. It has a really nice flow and feel.”
Adds Jeremy: “Once we had both viewed the Bayville display in Melbourne, we struggled to consider design changes that would compromise the luxurious ground floor bedroom or the overall flow of the home.” 

Home, sweet home

Nearly 18 months after the fall of the auction hammer and a new baby later, the close-knit family of four were ready to move into their brand new two-storey retreat, just in time for Christmas. “Getting handover before Christmas was very satisfying and such a milestone,” Jeremy says. “It was great to see our vision come to life, having had to visualise everything on paper a year out from completion. We could finally relax and enjoy our long awaited new home over the holidays.” 


Build highlights

  • Our site manager and construction manager showed important flexibility where it mattered. 
  • We had a relatively stress free build particularly once we had made all our decisions and Metricon had started on site.
  • Comprehensive design before construction commencement and the rigour of deciding everything upfront meant that we had a relatively stress free build with minimal variations.  
  • Our site manager getting approval to allow Premier Pools on site before handover to allow them to finish the pool was also a highlight for us given the importance of having a finished product at handover before Christmas.

Advice for anyone considering a knock-down rebuild

  • Get Metricon’s help to find a site that suits a 21 day CDC (complying development certificate) approval, rather than DA (development application) approval via council.
  • Do a bit of research with Metricon’s preferred suppliers (eg Reece, Beacon and Wideline) to select any non-standard items that are not on display at Studio M.
  • Stick with Metricon for as much scope as possible. They do what they do well and more cost-effectively than smaller contractors. 
  • Be vigilant throughout the process. There were a number of ordering or installation mistakes which we needed to pick up along the way (e.g. wrong doors, wrong/missing fittings, incorrect electrical wiring/power points).

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