Yarrum Designer Homes is an experienced home-builder based in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. They formed more than five years ago, and since then they have dedicated themselves to delivering high quality custom homes that reflect the region’s beauty and uniqueness. This dedication has earned them the loyalty of a long list of clients, and repeat recognition from industry bodies like the HIA.
“We dare to be different,” says Director Stephen Murray, explaining the company’s success. “We work with clients to design a home that compliments their land, reflects their sense of style, and meets all their needs. Then we construct that home to the highest standard of finishes and inclusions.”
Stephen comes from a long and successful career in the construction industry, and once acted as CEO to one of Australia’s largest home builders and residential developers. After retiring from that position, he relocated to Hunter Valley. He formed Yarrum Designer Homes so he could put his experience and skill to use, but for a smaller company that could offer more personalised customer service.
Today, Yarrum Designer Homes works throughout the Hunter Region, where they have designed and built a wide variety of custom homes. Over the years, they have successfully delivered a great many projects, ranging in value anywhere from $250,000 to $2 million.
No matter what size home they are building, Stephen says Yarrum Designer Homes is set apart by their personalised focus.
“We’re not here to compete with all the other project home builders,” he explains. “More than half of the homes we build are one-off custom projects. A client can come to us with just an idea, and we have the skills in-house to make that idea to come to life.”
“We can design their home, we can price the home to their budget and offer a fixed-price building contract, and then ultimately construct it for them,” he says.
Yarrum Designer Homes is extremely dedicated to their clients, which means they are dedicated to achieving an innovative, high quality result with every project. That dedication has now earned them repeat recognition from the HIA-CSR Hunter Housing Awards.
In 2012, for example, the HIA commended Yarrum with awards in several prestigious categories, including Hunter Valley Home of the Year. Of that project, the judges said the architectural design was “outstanding,” and they gave it top marks for the high quality of their finishes and workmanship.
In 2013, Yarrum Designer Homes followed that victory up with three more regional awards – for Best Outdoor Project, Best Project Home up to $300,000, and Custom Built Home $800,001 to $1 million.
“We value that a lot,” Stephen says of the recognition. “It forms an integral part of the little advertising that we do, and we find that buyers are attracted to builders that have been rewarded by the industry. We’ve had many phone calls from people who have been looking at the HIA website for builders in their area, and noted that what we’ve won a whole lot of awards.”
Stephen credits the company’s consistent awards success to several factors. Most importantly, he cites the fact that they are designing homes that “dare to be different.” That philosophy makes their projects stand out, and naturally attract people’s attention.
Stephen also cites the talent and dedication of their team of tradespeople and suppliers, who largely follow Yarrum from job to job.
“We have a very consistent team that we know can deliver quality,” he says. “A builder is only as good as the trades and suppliers around them, and we’ve surrounded ourselves with really good people.
In 2013, Yarrum Designer Homes won Best Project Home up to $300,000 for a home built from one of their standard designs in the Denman Collection. The Denman Collection comprises a range of home designs that suit the township of Denman, where Yarrum owns a subdivision. Those designs were created to accommodate the lifestyles of the people in the area, and the prices were tailored to fit the local marketplace.
The Denman Collection’s designs can be modified by clients to suit their lifestyle and lot restricts, but they are typically spacious, and come with the option of large alfresco areas so residents can enjoy outdoor living. Stephen says the award-winning design – like every design in the collection – was “really well built, and really suited the marketplace it was in.”
Several of Yarrum’s other 2013 awards – including Custom Built Home $800,001 to $1 million, and Best Outdoor Project – were won for the same project.
“We had very good clients, who didn’t skimp on anything,” Stephen says. “If they liked something, they got it. That made our job easier.”
That project incorporated cross-ventilation, and used a lot of glass on the north-side, so the house could “take in” the mountains in the distance. It was also designed so that the landscaping really flowed with the house. Like all Yarrum-designed projects, Stephen describes the house as being “different-looking,” and says it was built to “extraordinary quality.”
Moving forward, Stephen says Yarrum will keep delivering that exceptionally high quality. By doing that, he hopes to continue earning satisfaction from customers and recognition from bodies like the HIA.
As it stands, Yarrum Designer Homes delivers approximately 30 projects per year, but Stephen sees that number growing as they begin the process of moving into Huntlee, a new master-planned community north of their current location in Rothsbury. Stephen says his goal is to move the Yarrum offices there, and establish at least five display homes.
Even as they grow, however, Stephen says they will never compromise on their personalised service or their quality workmanship. That’s what has made the company successful so far, and he hopes it will continue to make them successful in the future.