Meet the Owner-Builders behind the blog.
Officially becoming owner-builders in August 2013 and granted their Building Permit in November 2013, life has become one massive house building project for husband and wife duo, Gino and Marie. Their project in Wembley is all about realising one very important dream – to build a home that they’ll both love, enjoy, entertain in and appreciate for years to come. And maybe, just maybe (if the mother-in-laws have anything to do with) – raise a family in it too.
Owner-Builder # OB/0844/13
The world works in funny ways.
Soon after deciding to build their own home and completing the owner-builder course in October 2012, a General Manager role came up at Home Base and Gino took the opportunity to apply. He’d been looking for a new challenge after having spent five years in fashion retail marketing and management, and with building in his blood (his Dad has been a bricklayer and building supervisor for almost 50 years), it was pretty much fait accompli!
This is Gino’s second big home project – the first was when he and his Dad (Joe the Brickie) renovated an old 1940’s Art Deco place in Coogee in early 2000. They literally gutted the entire thing, kept the structure of the original front half of the house, blew out the rest then added about 180 square metres of new living space, an alfresco and an elevated 13 metre lap pool. It was a three year labour of love that resulted in a home that Gino moved into a year before he and Marie got hitched. In 2013, after deciding to tackle this owner-builder project, they put Casa Coogee on the market to help them plan and tackle the upcoming project. In just under three weeks, it was sold.
Gino’s revelling in the building process and while most would think that working at Home Base would be a good thing – it’s quite the task. Do you know how many new products keep distracting him on a day to day basis? Pinning him down to make a decision is becoming quite the challenge apparently. And let’s face it… it’s understandable right?
He’s also enjoying getting back to working with his Dad – an Piscean/Arian cusper who’s as stubborn as all hell. And always right of course. The creative Capricornian secretly enjoys locking horns with Joe the Brickie as the house literally takes shape from the ground up.
And don’t get Gino started on mood boards. He’s a little OCD when it comes to putting stuff and ideas together – that would be due to his Marketing and Branding background. He’s the guy responsible for putting all this together too. He’s a design lover and web geek at heart who loves to create and put things together. This is pretty much his biggest project. Ever.
Owner-Builder # OB/0844/13
Although Gino has always been the more visual and creative of the duo, his wife Marie loves a challenge and fancied tackling a new build and creating something bespoke.
A commercial lawyer by trade, Marie’s official job in the owner-builder process is to tick-off on the legal documents and insurance requirements. However, she appreciates good design (and shopping of any description) and is having a ball putting the project together with Gino.
In the early years of her career, Marie advised major property developers on commercial and residential property developments. She still loves the development industry and the sense of having contributed to ‘getting a project out of the ground’, building something tangible and leaving a legacy. Nowadays, Marie has extended her focus to major projects, mostly in the infrastructure and mining sectors.
Marie is enjoying the buzz and excitement of owner-building, but she can’t wait to sit back on the porch with a drink in hand when it’s all done!
See Marie on LinkedIn
We’ve done something like this before.
The 1940’s Art Deco renovation in Coogee was Gino’s first renovation project, working closely with his Dad to create a beautiful little home. Having lived in the home as a married couple for over six years, there were certainly a few tears shed. Then, once the was officially put up for sale by the wonderful team at Yard Property (thanks Tracey and Steve!), Gino and Marie were absolutely overwhelmed with the response.
The house had developed a life of its own, featuring on the front and inside cover of the Community Newspapers’ Residential liftout, as well as nabbing an article in The West Australian Real Estate liftout section and featuring in the New Homes liftout of The Weekend West. To top it off, Casa Coogee was approached by BBC UK to feature in the TV series on BBC One, Wanted Down Under! The house featured in Series 8, Episode 15 and aired in the UK on 24 January 2014.
You can check out a fabulous write up about Casa Coogee, including before and after photos, on one of Gino and Marie’s favourite blogs House Nerd, curated by the talented Maya Anderson.
We’re loving the process of compiling this blog and have done our best to record our experiences accurately and honestly. However, we are not proposing to be the authority on home building and in particular, owner-builder requirements. We also do not intend to give legal advice on this blog, but we can certainly refer you to a good lawyer 😉