Building the best
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Munro Designed Homes is a Redland Bay building company that takes pride in delivering the best homes for the best clients, using only the best trades and the best products. Ever since forming in 2008, they have held themselves to the highest of standards. No matter the size or price of the home, or the shape or slope of the lot, they apply the same rigorous process from beginning to end, and ensure the same high quality results every time.
According to founder and director Chris Munro, Munro Designed Homes makes sure that every design is “tailored perfectly to the client’s lifestyle,” that every home is “immaculate,” and that every client’s experience “is a positive, enjoyable one.”
Chris has been working in the construction industry almost all his life, having followed his father Bill into the business at a young age. When he first started his own company – at first called Munro Project Builders – he focused mainly on carpentry subcontracting, later progressing into affordable homes largely based on existing designs, and then graduating to almost exclusively individually-designed custom homes.
“Over the years, we’ve gotten more refined,” he says. “We’ve continuously added quality throughout all areas of the business.”
Today, Munro Designed Homes primarily works on homes valued between $500,000 and $1 million. They have done homes on an even larger scale, and they are excited to do more as their reputation in that sector grows, but in the meantime they have set themselves apart in that mid-to-high-end range. In that niche, they have become known as builders that can provide an extremely high quality, extremely customised result.
“A lot of clients come to us with a dilemma,” Chris says. “They’ve gone to project builders who have set designs, but none of those designs fit their lifestyle or achieve the outcome they want. Whereas we can design a home very specific to their needs, for a very high quality, while still meeting their price point.”
The price point factor is a particularly significant point of difference, he explains.
“We genuinely take the time to listen and understand our client’s needs intimately,” Chris says. “That includes their budget. We’re very conscious about that. A lot of people will go to an architect or draftsperson and get a plan drawn, and it turns out it doesn’t fit their budget. We take that into consideration from the beginning, and when the plan comes out, it’s realistic to what they want to spend.”
Another important point of difference is Munro Designed Homes’ signature consultative process. They guide clients every step of the way through design and building, from the initial meeting where they get to their requirements, all the way through to handover and beyond. That process includes close collaboration at every stage, and is designed to give clients “peace of mind” during what can typically be a stressful time.
“We build close relationships with all our clients,” Chris says. “We do that by communicating, by being honest, by being transparent.”
“We’re not afraid to say when something is out of their reach,” he adds. “We think it’s better to be up-front and make sure there are no surprises down the line. It’s about doing the right thing for our clients. That’s the most important thing to us.”
That ethos has translated into a high degree of client satisfaction, which has in turn translated into positive word of mouth, referrals, and repeat work. In fact, Chris says the company has literally generated literally 100 per cent of their work so far from those sources. And once the company has been around long enough, he is confident they will have clients they will have built the “second, third, and even fourth home for.”
“That’s the kind of rapport we have with our clients,” he says. “Those are the kind of ongoing relationships we’ve built.”
Very personal service
Last year, Munro Designed Homes’ dedication was rewarded at the Queensland Master Builders Housing and Construction Awards, where the company won the Brisbane region category for ‘Individual Home $651,000 to $750,000.’ It was the first time a Redland Bay builder won the award in more than six years.
The winning project was a home called ‘Galleon,’ located in Wellington Point. It was set on a 462 square metre lot, and has been described as a “large, open-plan, high-set home, boasting modern electronics, fittings and fixtures into today’s Queenslander.”
According to Chris, the home was designed and built to “raise the benchmark in design, quality, and value” of homes in the area. He believes it stood out from the competition due to its “thoughtful design and clever use of materials, which sought to maximise the bay views and control the climate.”
Chris is also proud of the “flow of the home,” and how it balances openness and privacy. He says the living areas are close together, they all connect in “one way or another,” but there are also spaces that can easily become private when needed. He calls the design “very practical for a family,” but also universally appealing, fit for any lifestyle.
“We’re always seeking to push the boundaries and deliver architectural homes that are both visually appealing and functional,” he has said of the project in the past. “Galleon is a perfect example of this.”
Chris originally built the Galleon for himself and his family. As the owner, he has a rave review:
“We miss it when we’re not there,” he says. “It’s sad to leave, and it’s a really nice place to come home to. There’s a great energy there, as there is in all our projects.”
The award recognition backs up Chris’ praise. He recalls being very grateful when he learned of that accolade, as was his team:
“I don’t know that you could put it into words how much we value it,” he says. “It was a tremendous pat on the back. It was beautiful to be recognised for the work that we’ve been doing. It was out first time submitting, we hadn’t had the opportunity or the time to present ourselves before, so to get that award straight off the bat was beautiful.”
He credits the victory to the hard work and efforts of his team, including the people in his office, his direct employees on site, and especially his roster of subcontractors and tradespeople. He describes his relationship with all those partners as “very personal.”
“Everyone knows each other,” he says. “I think the trades know everyone in the office, from the accounts girls, to the admin, to the estimator, to the supervisors, to myself. It’s a very tight knit community. So there’s great communication, and if there’s ever an issue, it’s rectified quite quickly.”
He adds that everyone in the Munro “family,” as he calls them, shares the company’s value of doing the right thing.
“It’s never about getting in and getting out,” Chris says. “It’s about doing it right. It’s about living up to the standards we’ve set for ourselves, which we believe is much greater than the Australian standard. Because of that, we’re getting that quality we’re known for, we’re getting repeat work, and now we’re getting awards.”
Moving forward, Munro Designed Homes is confident they will repeat that award success. They recently completed a project called ‘Belvedere,’ which they will be submitting for awards in the future, and which they have high hopes for.
Beyond that, Chris says that the company aims to grow and build more houses, and that will mean introducing a few more supervisors – but never so many that his personal touch is compromised. He believes it’s important that he knows all his clients personally, and that they know him. He never wants to lose sight of that.
“We want to build quality homes, and more of them, but we don’t want to get too big,” he says. “We want to keep it very personal.”
For more on Munro Designed Homes, their services, processes, past projects, and more – including how to get in touch with Chris and his team – visit https://munrodesignedhomes.com.au/