Homepacks Build with Tara Richards II

We recently spoke with Tara from RIchards Building about using Homepacks and one of their concept plan builds...

How long have you been building and what's the size of your team?

We started in 2012, just Darren and a qualified apprentice. We currently have eight on our team.

Why did you and Darren choose Homepacks for your business?

We just wanted to differentiate from any of the home builders, so your plans stood out because they were just a bit trendier. They were easy to use as well with the five plans in each Homepack, they've got the 3D Artist Impressions which stand out to the client and then they have the concept plan, which people can easily adapt to suit them.

What reservations did you guys have about purchasing your Homepacks?

It was probably the price because for a small business that was quite a lot going out, but it definitely has paid for itself!

What benefits have you found from using Homepacks?

Advertising. We just advertise the hell out of them then clients who probably didn't know that we were even there have realised that we can build their house even if they've got their own plan. Since we've had the plans, we have actually opened up an office in town. People come in, and the plans are displayed around the office as well.

Have you found using Homepacks draws more customer enquiries?

...Yeah, 100 per cent.

How does having your own range of plans help you guys?

It helps us advertise. It also brings in a different market instead of people that we know word of mouth they're actually looking at the advertising and approaching us that way. 

We weren't getting anybody looking at us for new house builds until we had the house plans. They've definitely got a style, people can definitely determine our house builds from other home builders who use basic brick cladding and more of the old school kind of plans, so it's nice to have something a bit different to stand out for them. 

Are you attracting a client-type you've never had before?

Yes. Like, people, we have really no idea who they are. We were dealing with younger people prior, as Darren is in his thirties, (so it was all word-of-mouth - people we knew). Now its anybody that sees our advertising, we make the age range from twenty-five to sixty-five, so we're getting a real variety of people coming in.

How have you found working with pre-designed customisable plans?

Definitely better because we can start with a price range. We kind of get an idea of what somebody is after instead of starting from nothing, it just gives us that starting point.

...What about Speed?

...Yes, definitely, because the architect already has a base, it's saving people money, a lot of money. Instead of costing six to ten grand for plans, it's more three to five. (I know people that have spent up to thirty grand on plans).

How much time do you feel like it's saving you guys?

...Months and months. We know, people at the moment who have plans and they've been back and forth with the architect for over a year. Whereas we're going ahead with our Bruno plan at the moment, and it's probably all taken six weeks total.

We're saving months. Because all the sizes are there, its a base. Say they add a room or customise the scullery, it's just little changes they're doing so it doesn't take the architect much.  

Are all your enquiries with these new clients coming from the website first?

Yes. We have paid Facebook ads, where we use your plans, and then it takes them through to the website, which then sends them into the office or to Darren, it sparks that communication.

....Was that something you guys were doing before getting your plans? 

We were, but we didn't have anything to really advertise, (as contractors) they weren't our own builds so there's a very fine line with what we could advertise as our build, even though we built the house.  

"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."

...Here's a Homepacks plan Tara & the team built:

The original artist impression
A river stone chimney, board and batten cladding, gables and a light colourway make for a timeless home.
The garage sits off the home by a covered entryway leading up to the foyer.

What were the main changes to this plan?

The garage was moved back slightly and overhangs added.

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