What makes Fremantle the wonderful place it is? Is it the food, the people, the history or the location? Well, you would have to say being right on the coast would be one of the biggest draw cards of all, surely! If you cut the coastline right off Fremantle and added another 100 kilometres of Western Australia out past Rottnest, would Fremantle still be beautiful? I’d say yes and perhaps similar to Seville in Spain; not on the coast and yet still an amazing place that incorporates all of the above.
Another aspect that makes Fremantle special is its architecture. The architecture in fact expresses all that is quintessential about Fremantle. The history of Fremantle is clearly evident. We see the influences of people over time and a little part of their country of origin they have brought with them, while the coast influenced the availability of materials to provide shelter. Do you think the convict masons, as they were slogging away out in the elements, were thinking of the fantastic skyline they were creating? Of course not, but what a magnificent place they did create.
One thing I love about Fremantle is the Fremantle markets and they are a fantastic place to visit for a bite of authentic paella, to pick up some local produce after going to the beach and maybe even enjoy a quiet beer before heading home. If you put all those stalls inside a big shed and maybe called it the “Spud Shed” would it be the same? I think it’s pretty safe to say no!
In my opinion, this type of construction is timeless. If you have ever tried to purchase these old buildings, you will soon realise how sort-after they are. Okay, so if these buildings are so beautiful and timeless, why aren’t we building them today? Good question – I mean limestone is cheap and you can just dig it out of the ground. I mean that’s why these buildings existed in the first place, right? The answer is labour… when building a home today, the basic rule of thumb is 40% materials and 60% labour. So if you were looking to give up work for a couple of years, roll up your sleeves and forge your own piece of history, the chances are you could do it quite cheaply. However, whether it complies with current building codes is a whole other story!The architecture is what makes Fremantle unique and the City of Fremantle quite rightly will do anything it can to protect this. Because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. The ironic thing about me writing this article, is that I’m a builder and I build custom built homes; generally, the result of what I do is that an old house gets demolished. Of course nothing that was built in the 1800’s is bulldozed down, so how is it that these building have survived the test of time and because of that are protected forever?
For 99.8% of the population building your dream home out of limestone is simply not practical (I just made that figure up but the point I’m trying to make is bearing practical considerations in mind means the chances of it happening are pretty slim). But people are spending millions of dollars building modern homes which we know are not going to be timeless if they don’t survive the first 150 years, which might suggest such homes are not worthy of protecting. So what is the answer? Building successfully anywhere demands being respectful of the environment. Designing a home efficiently with today’s technology must include being respectful of the building’s surroundings. Part of that can simply be designing a home that will complement the local topography and not fighting against it.
Personally I would love nothing more than a client coming to me with a vacant block with the dream of building a new home with the hope of replicating a home from a bygone era, using the local materials and creating something that will be remembered forever. I would love to include elements of passive solar design, an efficient floor plan and create an impressive building that will be admired and envied for decades if not a century. Here’s the thing; everyone has a soft spot for this type of architecture so why is it not being done more? Well from my perspective it appears size and volume take precedence over beauty. Creating a new home is similar to creating a piece of art; a piece of art that you live in and cherish for life. Would you buy a piece of art just because it’s big?!
Living in Fremantle, North Fremantle, East Fremantle or South Fremantle is a lifestyle decision and the same as if you wanted to live out in the country. It’s either your thing or it’s not. To be a builder here you have to have some sort of understanding on how Fremantle has evolved, be compassionate of its history and mindful of its future.
As you can see I’m passionate about architecture and from my trips to Europe I am starting to get a real understanding and appreciation of how architecture is so important to our lives. To build a practical and functional design is paramount and without these vital elements your next building project will always suffer. If you are going to replicate something that is timeless successfully, you have to become interested in the simple things, like the detail, because a bad rip off is usually a disaster.
Whatever the style of home you are after we would love to be involved to create something that will compliment your lifestyle and individual style and a home that will be loved and admired not just throughout your lifetime, but will also be a legacy for generations to come.
Your Fremantle Home Building Checklist
Here’s your check list:
- Custom built design
- Talented designer based in Fremantle, with testimonials
- Working drawings
- Building and water authority approvals
- Advice on the selection of building materials
- Highly personalised service
- An award-winning builder
- Build right through to turn key
- Air conditioning design
- If you want a pool, we can help you with that too
- Landscaping plan; we can connect you to the right people
If you are looking for a builder in Fremantle we can take care of everything.
At Maughan building we are good at what we do – why? Because we are passionate about building affordable custom luxury home and we know that everyone wants something tailored to perfectly meet their individual needs and taste.
If a custom built home is what you are after or perhaps a Modern, Hampton, Federation Style Home or Limestone Cottage, I ask you to consider Maughan Building Company, as we are one of Perth’s best Boutique Home Builders. It costs nothing to chat so call us today for a free consultation.