This Callala Beach New Studio Project Brief

A new Studio on an existing beachfront property in Callala Beach, NSW.

Neil and Roger engaged us to build a seperate dwelling on an existing property to maximise the use of the property and to accomodate family and friends when visiting the beautiful South Coast of NSW. We also created earning potential by way of holiday rentals.

The area this beach front property is located, is surrounded by over sized architectural mansions. Neil and Roger specifically didn’t want this project to be one of those houses. So they engaged a local architect to create a well designed Studio. A small but functional space, packed with detail and finished with a nautical theme.

Our Approach

From the outset, it was clear that these clients had a great appreciation for fine craftsmanship and the work that goes into a detailed project. These are the kind of clients we love to work with, as it gives us a chance to showcase our skills in a highly detailed project.

Being so small in footprint, every detail is exposed and any finish that doesn’t fit will be highlighted amongst a project full of detail. We worked closely with the architect from the outset to ensure we achieved the architect and clients vision for the home.

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The timber frames were built by hand as opposed to pre-manufactured framing. This allowed us to be flexible in the design features and modify the frames to ensure precise alignment in finishing materials.

Final details around internal and external finishes were a constant discussion point. We were able to provide suggestions and costing advice for alternative options and maintain the flexibility and patience in construction to allow the details to be worked through.

V joint detailing was extended and it took great care to ensure critical alignment in the materials throughout the project. The bedroom joinery and bathroom doors were made to appear ‘seamless’ in a wall of v-joint.

A set of 4 Sliding doors were added, late in the piece, to enclose a storage area in the carport. This required great consideration and planning to design a sill detail to ensure the doors would operate correctly and also to even out the vertical v-joint detailing.

During the build, the clients requested various additional works. This included works to the existing house. We were able to install a timber deck over an existing concrete verandah and bring the external finishes more in line with the new work being completed to the front of the property. This work really transformed the garden area facing the beach, which is the most used area of the property.

Obstacles that we overcame

One particular v-joint wall includes 4 doors to be flush finished and seamless in appearance. We worked closely with the joinery installers to ensure the set out of the cabinetry doors would align with the wall linings. We also installed a pivot door system that would allow the bathroom door to be flush finishing with no door jamb.

We had to research the placement of the LPG bottles. Lack of appropriate ventilation led to a move in location. This actually opened the possibility of enclosing the original space intended for the bottles to provide more storage for the clients.

Being such a detailed project, yet such a small space, meant that all work had to be completed in sequence to get the finishes right. This involved careful scheduling, constant collaboration and project management to ensure the build stayed on track and se had the right trades on site at the right time.

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What we would do differently

We trialled a new framing timber product for this job. Modern day timber is generally of average quality. A new manufactured product is on the market that sounds great in theory. But in extreme cases of rain, as we had at the start of the project, the timber was prone to swelling and soaking up the moisture. The labour to make good the frames out weighs the premium cost of the product. So in future, we will be sticking with traditional framing timber.

This Callala Beach building project’s outcome

What we created for these clients was additional space to retreat to when the onshore winds are blowing at the doors of the existing house. The studio also serves as a stylish and comfortable guest quarters for the many family and friends that come to stay. There is also earning potential for holiday renters, looking for a beachy getaway, though i think the clients are too thrilled with the outcome to rent it out.

The thing I’m most proud of in this project is the team. This project was one of the first projects the team has taken on with a dedicated leading hand to run the site while the project was managed from afar with regular site visits . It has been the only highly detailed project to date that has been completed in this structure. Considering the challenges in the detailing, the scheduling and sequencing, the project was completed to our usual high standard with minimal hiccups. And most of all, happy clients who are already considering further works.