Homepacks Build with Merylese & Joe Mercieca

We recently spoke with Merylese from Blue Eco Homes, based in New South Wales, Australia about using Homepacks and one of their latest, concept plan builds...
It's Australia's first home to be built to both the highest bushfire rating (BAL-FZ) and Certified Passive!

What’s your background?

Joe and I have been in the building industry for over thirty years, but we've been our own company for fifteen years and done sustainable homes for that whole period of time.

We've got eleven staff, including ourselves. We also have a team of local subcontractors that we call in.

What type of homes do you build?

Because we're based in the Blue Mountains, most of our builds have what they call BAL ratings (Bushfire Attack Level), which is the degree of fire rating we need to build too, according to the decided risk. A BAL rating ranges from not needing to add anything right through to the 'flame zone', which is essentially inside the line of fire.

Why did you choose our concept plans for your business?

Part of the challenge was, we had people coming to us saying, have you got some designs we could look at? ...So partly it was market request and us finding the right designs.

We'd seen some something come through from you guys at some point on an email I think or somewhere and had a look and then had a chat with you and we said, "that's going to work, that's what we're looking for!"

The reason we are using your designs is to try and make things a bit more affordable because we're a traditionally custom home builders. Every home prior to Homepacks plans were all individually done. It speeds up our process.

Over the years we've had a lot of people say to us,
"We want to build sustainably; we'd love to build with you guys...Do you have a plan or do you have something we can start with or we can look at?"

So it's a good starting point for people. We use the designs as a base and let people customise them.

What benefits do you see with our customisable, pre-designed plans as opposed to starting from scratch?

Definitely the time factor! Being able to show clients who don't have plans to being able to show them something is awesome!

We've actually got something already to be able sit down with people and say keep some smaller designs. Let's start working with these ones.

We had a deadline to get the plans for this build into council, so we were able to get them in much quicker than we would have normally!

Have you found having concepts help draw more inquiries and leads?

Definitely, certainly the lead process. Because people come to us and because we can say, "yes, we have got a design, here have a look." People are then following through.

Since launching our plans about ten weeks ago, we've already got three that are actually with the designer just tweaking at the moment.

We've actually been able to streamline our process where we normally would have had a much bigger lead time. Essentially by the time you sort of worked out what client want, got the design brief,  got the design, all of that. We've streamlined that first half of the design process.

How many weeks are you saving?

I'm talking months! I would say two or three months.

...Being custom builders, we tend to have a fairly long lead time, and we haven't had that.

We've had these inquiries that have come in within our first ten weeks in a row already, sort of almost ready to go to council point which is unheard of! ...Normally it takes three to six months to do design before it goes to council. We've streamlined that first half of the design process.

What reservations did you have about purchasing our concept plans?

Probably the only reservation was that the designs were from New Zealand, and it wasn't Australian design. And you sort of go, are the designs going to fit for our Australian market? So I guess there was that one. But being able to customise them fixed that problem, (e.g. "let me put a different roofline on or whatever").

Here's a Homepacks plan Merylese, Joe & their team built:

The original artist impression
The finished version Merylese, Joe and their team built with a different roofline.
It's Australia's first home to be built to the highest bushfire rating (BAL-FZ) and Certified Passive!
The changed roofline allows for highlight windows to be installed.
The home is positioned to provide shade over the outdoor living where temperatures average 29°C during the summer months

What custom changes did you make to the original concept plan?

The roofline is probably the only thing that changed. We changed the roofline so they're skillion roofs and we put highlight windows in to get the north sun in.

The floor plan pretty much stayed the same. We did make little changes to the sizes of windows to meet the certified passive calculations.

What's the value of this build?

To build it to certified passive and with a BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) flame zone rating, it comes in at about eight hundred thousand.

Do you recommend Homepacks?

Definitely, Yes!  We have actually recommended Homepacks already to others, particularly in the passive house zone, people who are doing passive house calculations.

Who would you recommend Homepacks too?

Builders either starting out or trying to grow their business. I think that's where it's got the most value!

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Homepacks Builders Review - Easliy the best investment I've made in my business

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Homepacks Builders Review - It's worked out amazingly! We've built six designs.

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Homepacks Builders Review - Homepacks has allowed our small building business to take off! Instead of just renovation and contract work, we have been able to sign up new builds and make a name fro ourselves.

"Homepacks has allowed our small building business to take off! Instead of just renovations and contract work, we have been able to sign up new builds and make a name for ourselves"

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Homepacks Builders Review - Improved overall business recognition and more work coming in.

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Homepacks Builders Review - It's been the best business investment we've made!

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Jul 4, 2023
Mark P

I am absolutely thrilled with the impact that Homepacks plans have had on my building company. These plans have truly taken us to the next level, and I couldn't be happier with the results. if you're a builder looking to take your business to new heights, I wholeheartedly recommend Homepacks. Their plans will not only give you a competitive advantage but also attract clients who appreciate cutting-edge designs and are willing to invest in their dream projects. Thank you, Homepacks, for revolutionizing my business and helping me create extraordinary spaces for my clients! Mark @ Aspiring Homes, QLD Australia.

Jun 27, 2023
Tracey S

We have dealt with Sam from Homepacks for over 7 years with various projects from client builds to our own homes. He's quick to respond and always delivers the plans we are looking for. It is a quick, stress-free experience and we would recommend him to others. Thanks Signal Homes

Jun 18, 2023
Jasmine E

We have had the pleasure of working with Sam and home packs this year for our business. He has been so helpful and answers any questions fast and efficient. Definitely recommend him for getting plans.

May 23, 2023
Hamid Z

Homepacks have been brilliant to deal with and a fantastic solution for us to provide beautiful architectural plans to our customers to get them working with us on custom designs for there specific section. Sam has always been super responsive and helpful in implementing and getting the plans uploaded and completed. Highly recommend Homepacks 👍

Oct 30, 2022
Swanee K

Sam has been awesome to deal with, his products are excellent and his service has been outstanding. Highly recommend to all.

May 15, 2022
Victor K

I have found Sam a joy to work with he is prompt in getting back. The plans produced are fantastic and we look forward to continuing our business with Homepacks. I would highly recommend Homepacks to any company looking to expand their business.

Apr 28, 2022
Brent S

I have dealt with Sam for around 12 months, I have found the product and service excellent, especially for a small construction company like mine. Sam also provides new plans which I find up to date with what the market is wanting. For me to be able to do this myself would not be cost efficient. Thanks again Sam!

Nov 29, 2021
Amanda P

Fantastic designs which are on trend and desirable. The designs have been inspirational to our clients and the style has given our company further enquiries and increased our business. Sam is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Oct 22, 2021
Martin O

Great plans backed up by great service. We are about to build four of these homes and the leads keep coming in.

Jun 2, 2021
Lain H

Ive been working with Sam for about a year now. Since we started using homepacks our business has grown in leaps and bounds. Sam is always able to get changes done when we need and this keeps our clients engaged and happy. Our only problem is keeping up with the demand! Thanks Sam, Well done You've created a great business model!

Dec 10, 2020
Sheena Y

Homepacks has been a fantastic asset to our business by streamlining the sales process with potential clients, and providing them with plans that have the WOW factor. Sam is also very efficient at making any plan changes required, which means we can then provide a prompt service, and have plans approved and underway quickly.

Sep 10, 2020
Laurie B

Homepacks has been a fantastic investment for our business. We wanted to add another level to our business and Sam from Homepacks has certainly helped us create this. It's only been a few months since we have launched our website with our plans and business information, and the leads have been phenomenal. Sam made the process so simple and our website looks so professional. Thanks again Sam!

Jul 1, 2020
Luke F

Sam and the team at Homepacks provided me with a great outcome for the specific designs I required for my business. There home-pack designs are unique and innovative for a project builder or small builder who wants to look professional next to his competitors. I would recommend Homepacks to any company or builder looking for a cost effective and professional solution to there business.

May 28, 2020
Darren R

Homepacks has allowed our small building business to take off! Instead of just renovations and contract work we have been able to sign up new builds and make a name for ourselves in the house build market with a distinctive house style. Highly recommended.

May 12, 2020
Kane D

Great product and service!

Dec 18, 2019
Kurt D

Sam has done a great job setting up our website. The concept plans have been a great addition to our business.

Oct 16, 2019
Deb T

Sam from Homepacks has been very patient with me. Our process has taken about 6 months from the start of creation. I simply didn't have the time to put to it. That put aside Sam has just been amazing through the entire process. I am more than impressed with Sam's business and also what he has delivered for us

Sep 26, 2019
Levi S

Really enjoyed working with Sam. He is very energetic and has some great ideas but also listens to what you need and want too ! I would use him again if I built again and would recommend to anyone wanting a classy house design. Cheers Sam

Jun 11, 2019
Steve H

The feed back I have received form clients , friends & colleagues have been great! All very impressed with the super sharp imagery. I just hope I can build as good as the pictures look.

May 27, 2019
Mark F

Sam knows his stuff and is really helpful. Highly recommend having a chat.

May 21, 2019
Scott C

We purchased a set of plans and had our website created through Homepacks. They were amazing to deal with from start to finish and post sales service has been great. So helpful. Thanks Sam!

May 14, 2019
Shane K

We have been using Homepacks for some time now and find them great for our business, not only for the great range of plans available but also we find the artist impressions are a good a marketing tool on website and facebook as the are very professional looking, Thanks Sam and the team at Homepacks

Jan 15, 2019
Steve S

Homepacks have the WOW factor. Sam and his team have been faultless. We have already confirmed 2 new houses since launching our website and designs with Sam just before Christmas 2018. We also did a marketing campaign and have had a huge amount of very positive leads with clients that has sections. I am very excited for 2019 Thanks guys

Aug 12, 2018
David V

Homepacks has helped with bringing a much more professional face to our business! Since Sam has been involved we have notice a considerable improvement with leads and how people have responded to our business. Highly recommend it :)

Jun 26, 2018
Taryn B

Great service and stunning plans, highly recommend to all looking to develop their plan range.

Jun 11, 2018
Finlay H

I highly recommend using Homepacks for any building company who is looking at getting a professional look to there company.Sam and his team are great to deal with and Sam has really helped with great advice on how to grow my Building Company. Can not thank Homepacks enough for all the help they have given me plus the outstanding designs that the public is loving. You won't be disappointed in getting in touch and using Homepacks designs!

May 12, 2018
Reuben C

We are so happy with our new plans and website from Sam at Homepacks . Results have been amazing seeing many people interact with our plans and now talking to multiple people about there building needs.

Mar 14, 2018
Hannah G

Such a pleasure doing business with Homepacks. They have taken our building project to the next level. Very professional with innovative concepts and ideas. Highly recommend.

Feb 13, 2018
Pieta S

Yes well I wasn't sure what they'd be like but I'm super super impressed with the results. Absolutely love the plans and the service from Sam thanks heaps! More plans please

Dec 12, 2017
Toni K

Great service from Sam at Homepacks, absolutely love our custom home. Couldn't be more impressed really! Quick and easy to deal with and reasonably priced. Would recommend to all.

Dec 1, 2017
Suzie R

Since we have bought our first two Homepacks only six months ago, we now have ten houses being built and another seven coming through so far! Everyone loves them!

Nov 25, 2017
Sue K

The plans were really highly received, everyone loves them. We now have forty new clients to follow up, most of them with sites, so a success!

Nov 4, 2017
Brett H

Great value! We are building two Homepacks designs. The ongoing support has been excellent!

May 12, 2017
Stacey P

Sam and Candice were amazing to deal with. They respond promptly to all queries and I can't rate their efficiency and service highly enough. I wish every business was this easy to deal with!

May 11, 2017
Rhiana W

Homepacks Architectural Plans has been outstanding to work with designing our house and business. Sam not only is outstanding at design but also seems passionate and really buys into what his clients goals are. We could not have been happier with their work and would recommended anyone to work with them.

May 8, 2017
Craig P

Working with Sam and the team from Homepacks has been a real pleasure. Sam is keen, efficient and great to work with. I look forward to working with him on my next project!

Apr 2, 2017
Lans H

Absolute professional from start to finish thank you!

Aug 4, 2016
Mike R

Great designs! Our Homepacks spec home sold to the first person who walked through the door! We're now onto our second spec home, the 'Luna' design.

May 3, 2016
Baden B

Our new range of house plans have delivered in every aspect, it's been invaluable!

Feb 10, 2016
Seth L

We've built one as our showhome and have great reviews. We've also completed another Homepacks design with a very satisfied client! Homepacks are helping our business grow every year!

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