Lee and Jackie Henderson's Home Lee and Jackie's home is a Strongbuild custom 'Classic Designs' Streamlined Building project.
Jackie and I discovered Kangaroo Valley over a decade ago when we started getting away from Sydney on weekends. On our first wedding anniversary we were in Huskisson on a cold wet miserable day and decided we'd go for a drive through the valley. We saw a for sale sign on this 110 acre property and fell in love with it, at that stage we didn't give a thought to things like putting power to the site or running a driveway up an outrageously steep hill to where we wanted to build a house and so on, we just bought it.
Once we had the land we began working on designing our dream home. We both have this passion for mid 20th century steel and glass architecture so this was the style of house we had to have. We commissioned an Architect and spent the next two years planning, designing and getting it ready to build. Strongbuild had been recommended to us and after meeting Chris and Jamie we knew we were onto a good thing. Everyone was totally committed to building our custom masterpiece - all was looking good.
During the design period we spent a lot of time renting and visiting friends in the valley and realised that it was incredibly hot and wet in summer and equally cold and wet in winter. The weather is extreme here and we found the houses similar to what we had planned simply weren't comfortable, they'd overheat in summer and freeze in winter. Our friend's weatherboard farmhouse style homes on the other hand were cozy, with comfy chairs, timber floorboards, rugs, fireplaces...we started to doubt our choice of architecture.
We actually procrastinated right up until the morning the Strongbuild excavation team arrived on site but we both knew we had to do it, we actually canned the build right at the last minute.
We didn't quite know what reaction we'd get from Chris and Jamie but they were incredibly sympathetic and immediately got us into redesigning a classic country farmhouse style building using their Classic Designs Streamlined Building System. Initially we thought that being a system it would be restrictive and we'd be locked into all sorts of boundaries but on the contrary, the more we learned about it the more we realised the only restriction was that the home had to be a classic country farmhouse, exactly what we now wanted. The other fantastic thing was that where the original home involved an architect and nearly two years getting it to build stage, with the Streamlined System we'd knocked out a design we were really happy with at Strongbuild and were back to council with a new DA within two weeks.
From here it was intense, we spent days going through the internal options, doors, windows, kitchen, bathrooms and so on but once again it was all organised within the system, if we couldn't find what we wanted we were welcome to source it ourselves. What we've ended up with is special, the detail is extreme, the place is totally authentic and apart from a few well chosen recycled items, is all brand new.
We can't speak highly enough of Chris and Jamie and the entire Strongbuild team, the quality and raw enthusiasm that comes out of these guys is remarkable.
Our journey has been a fantastic experience, I'm sure we'd love to do it all again...and probably will.