A quality promise
Downs Designer Homes is a multi-award winning home design and building company with a vision to make luxury homes more affordable. For more than 20 years, they have been delivering on that vision – and earning customer testimonials and industry accolades to show for it.
“I promise every client that we will deliver them a beautiful home,” says Jeff Bubeck, owner of the company. “And that’s what we do.”
Jeff started his building career as a carpenter, before moving into a joinery shop where he did cabinet making and fit-out installation. The first home he built was his own, and he enjoyed the process enough to form his own building company years later. Since then, Downs Designer Homes has grown and evolved into one of the most highly awarded and reputable home design and building companies in the country.
Turning clients into friends
Today, Downs Designer Homes works mainly in the Toowoomba, Darling Downs and most surrounding areas of Queensland, and builds homes ranging anywhere from $250,000 to $2.5 million and above. They have become well known for custom designing prestige homes that represent value for money, and for building “all budgets, all terrains, and all styles.”
“We have a reputation for building multi-million dollar homes – which we do – but we can also build entry level homes as well,” Jeff says. “Every home we build will have the same level of attention to detail and quality. That’s what you get when you build with us.”
Downs Designer Homes combines design capabilities with building talent, so clients are encouraged to come to them right from the beginning, whether they know exactly what they want or not.
“A lot of times we start from scratch,” Jeff explains. “We offer the whole package – from concept through to design, through to interior decorating and landscaping if that’s what the client wants.”
The start of the process usually involves looking at the client’s land, because “orientation is critical,” especially in the Toowoomba region where getting the morning sun is an important consideration. From there, Jeff will sit down and have a detailed discussion with the client before going off and drafting a plan. Because of his depth of personal experience – and because he really listens to what the client wants, when it comes to both their lifestyle and their budget – that initial plan is usually pretty close to what will become the final draft.
During and after the build, that high level of customer service is maintained. Downs Designer treats every client as a person, and not a number. Jeff makes sure he’s in personal contact with every one of them, and also personally oversees the process onsite.
“I encourage the clients to get involved with every decision made during the building process,” he says. “Because a lot of people cannot decipher or read plans that easily. When something is physically built in front of them their perception may change. So we walk them through it at the frame-stage and talk about any changes that they’d like to make.”
“We go out of way to give clients all the options,” he adds. “They may not want to carry most of them through, but it would be remiss of me if I didn’t offer them what’s available.”
By the end of the process, Jeff says that he always forms a great bond with his clients – some clients have even gone on to be very good friends.
“I think that’s testament to the relationship we build with our clients,” he says.
Those strong client relationships have translated into referrals, as well as fiercely positive word of mouth. Jeff considers that his best form of advertising.
Over the years, Downs Designer Homes’ commitment to quality has not gone unnoticed. In fact, the company is among the most recognised homebuilders out there, with more than 90 accolades from the HIA and MBA at local, state, and even national levels. The lengthy list includes prestigious nods from the HIA for Home of the Year and Australian Outdoor Project of the Year, as well as QMBA Awards for House of the Year and Kitchen of the Year the past two years running.
The company’s diversity is reflected in the fact it has won awards in every conceivable category – including Housing for Sloping Sites, Bathroom of the Year, Renovation of the Year, and the list goes on.
Most recently, the company brought home three accolades from the 2013 QMBA Awards. Winning categories included Trade Contractor – Swimming Pool, Outdoor Living & Landscaping, Best Kitchen, Individual Home $1.5 million to $2 million, and House of the Year.
“When you consider the number of entrants, and the number of homes you’re up against, you can’t help but be proud of winning,” Jeff says.
Jeff credits the company’s history of awards success to the talent of his team. That includes the apprentices and carpenters he has on wages, as well as the roster of subcontractors he works with – some for more than 20 years.
“We all take our time, and we do every job properly,” he says. “Everybody is constantly lifting the bar. That starts with the senior guys, and it rubs off on the younger guys. They all know the standard that’s expected, and they live up to it. The awards are just as much theirs as they are mine.”
The 2013 House of the Year award was received on behalf of ‘Kara House,’ which the judges described as “French Provencal” and “classic.” They said the home features “panoramic views, marble tiles, elegant styling, quality finishes, and expansive rooms.” They complimented the high ceilings and period furniture, and said it all added up to make a “luxurious experience.”
This is Downs Designer Homes’ second year in a row winning that award. Coincidentally, Kara House is on the same street as the award-winning home last year.
Jeff further credits both those wins – as well as all the company’s other award-winning results – to the sheer amount of time and energy he and his staff put in.
“We really think about how something is going to be built,” he says. “If we see something on a plan that we think can be improved, we question it. If we don’t think it is right, or if there’s a better way it can be done, we’ll say it. We really pay attention to detail.”
“Our client’s homes are often the biggest investment they’ll ever make,” he adds. “We cannot blame them for expecting the best, and that’s what we try to deliver.”
Moving forward, Jeff says that’s what Downs Designer Homes will continue to do – deliver the best result possible, for the most affordable price. The company’s vision is quality, not quantity. Jeff never wants to build more homes than he can personally oversee. He never wants to have more clients than he can personally interact with.
Beyond that, Jeff says the future is exciting. The company is currently working on several diverse projects with renowned architect John Simpson. John started off as one the company’s clients, and has since become a friend and long-time mentor to Jeff. Together, the two of them have taken on a number of challenges that Jeff is eager – as he always is – to face and overcome.
For more information, please visit their website at Downs Designer Homes
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