The right experience
Natural Designer Homes constructs high quality award-winning projects that achieve sustainability and harmony within the built environment. They work with clients from their project’s concept through to its completion, and have the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver with the very best sustainable outcome.
“We have the right experience,” says Mick Corcoran, Director of the company. “That’s what sets us apart from other builders – the incredible about of knowledge and experience we have in sustainable building.”
Mick started his career in the building industry as a carpenter, and has worked on high-end projects from the very beginning. He originally struck out on his own by forming Mick Corcoran Building, which quickly earned a reputation for delivering high quality luxury homes for satisfied clients. Recently, he formed Natural Designer Homes as an offshoot of that, to cater to clients that want to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
“It’s been going quite well,” Mick says. “We’re winning a lot of awards and building a really satisfied customer base.”
Today, Natural Designer Homes works in New South Wales, as far north as Gold Coast & Tweed Heads and as far south as Byron Bay, Lennox Head & Ballina. They also extend out west to smaller villages such as Mullumbimby & Murwillumbah. Their projects range in value from $400,000 and up, with no limit from there.
In that high-end bracket, clients choose Natural Designer Homes for their superior building knowledge. Before staring Natural Designer Homes, Mick ran a successful architectural building company for many years. Before that, he personally obtained an Advanced Diploma in Building & Construction – which is the highest level of training a builder can undertake. He also regularly works with the MBA and HIA as a lecturer, teaching up-and-coming builders how to interpret and understand technical aspects of building.
Mick’s superior knowledge also extends to sustainable building – which he has been personally interested in all his life.
“Growing up in a small, coastal town, I learned the natural world was quite important,” he recalls. “We’re always living in it and enjoying it, so I believe looking after it is something you just have to do.”
Mick has earned a strong industry reputation for his knowledge. As a result, many of his clients approach him, and usually before they’ve settled on a design. This is the way he prefers it.
“I like to have a meeting with clients, and discuss with them what they really want out of their house,” Mick explains. “From there, we appoint one of our architects to design the house and we walk our clients through it. It’s an open relationship, so our outcomes are always efficient, streamlined and easy.”
“We always get along really well with our clients, and we have ongoing relationships with all of them,” he adds. “We only build two or three houses a year, so it’s not that hard to keep in contact with them and make sure they’re still happy. We’ll do maintenance work for them, and we’ll do any extensions or renovations they want years later. We keep the relationship going, and we always have happy clients because of it.”
Natural Designer Homes’ extraordinary dedication to quality and sustainability has not gone unrewarded the industry, or by clients. From the start, the vast majority of the company’s work has been received from recommendations and referrals – the very best indicator that customers are satisfied with the support offered both during after the building process.
The company’s hard work has also been repeatedly recognised by the HIA and MBA Awards. Between the two bodies, Mick Corcoran Building and Natural Designer Homes has been a winner or finalist in more than 40 categories since in four years.
Most recently, at the 2013 Master Builders NSW Excellence in Building Awards, Natural Designer Homes took home two prestigious accolades – for Best Environmental Management (Open Category), and Best Sustainable Energy Project.
“The people who judge these awards are builders as well, or they’re at least in the industry and have seen a lot of houses,” Mick says. “So when they vote your house the best in the category for that year, it really means something – especially when it’s at a state level, because there’s a lot of competition.”
Mick credits the company’s award-winning record to the consistency of their quality. He says they’re always doing as good a job as they possibly can, and are always learning to do things better. He also says he’d rather drop his profit margin than his standards.
He also credits the awards success to the talent and dedication of the company’s subcontractors. They try to work with the same people on every project, and they have developed a team that consistently delivers strong results.
“All of my subbies are on my side,” Mick says. “I select them all based on their beliefs about how things should be built. We don’t just use anybody. They don’t have to be as aware and conscious of sustainable building as I am, but they need to be open to it. They need to be open to new ideas and practices, and they are.”
Sustainability from start to finish
When it comes to their most recent award win, for Best Sustainable Energy Project, Mick says Natural Designer Homes has been successful because of their “little touches,” like the sustainable attributes of their windows and doors, their formaldehyde-free plywood joinery, or the clay in the walls.
“It’s the stuff that you can’t see that really goes a long way,” he explains. “If you look up at the lights, you might think it’s just a light. But it’s not – it’s LED, and it uses a quarter or less of the energy of a normal light.”
“We address every single component of the building like that, from start to finish,” he says. “We even look at the way we manage the site, and the waste that comes off of it.”
“Sustainability is not just about water tanks and solar power,” he concludes. “Those elements are great, but do not make a sustainable house. Real sustainability is about design, and the orientation of the house. It’s about the overall health of the home, and the health of the occupants. It’s the stuff you can’t see – it’s the thought and the detail that goes into it.”
Moving forward, Mick says his goal is to continue bringing that high level of sustainability to the market – and to continue satisfying customers while doing it. He sees Natural Designer Homes growing slowly, but while maintaining their personalised service, and maintaining the consistency of their quality.
For more information, please visit their website at: Natural Designer Homes
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