Grant was also passionate about using local trades and suppliers. He loved the tone and heat resistant properties of an Italian textured porcelain tile measuring 900mm x 900mm, and decided to use it internally, outdoors and on the walls.
But with only two per box weighing 10kg each, his local tilers had their work cut out to install the 1300 square metres required for the job – all with exact set-outs and 3mm grout lines.
‘If you laid them end to end, you could go from Cairns to Smithfield!’ Grant laughs.
All of the joinery in the home is a warm Queensland Walnut native to their area, complemented by a porcelain composite, Dekton, which has been extensively incorporated on all benchtops throughout as well as the ensuite feature free-standing shower wall. ‘From our experience, all wine and spillages just slide straight off it.’
Now that Grant and Heather are enjoying living in their house, their accolades are helping to lift the profile of Cairns.
‘We don’t build our houses to win awards, we do it for the love of it,’ Grant says. ‘But we do love recognition for the effort put into these homes – it is very satisfying.’
The public was so impressed with the end result they voted it as the 2020 HIA–CSR Australian People’s Choice Home of the Year.
‘Winning the People’s Choice Award has made us feel incredibly grateful and humble,’ Grant says. ‘We are proud of the Far North Queensland area for getting behind us and helping us achieve the award, particularly when we were against a few big cities.’
It’s hard to imagine how they’ll top this house, but this building team from Cairns are full of surprises.