{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research & forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports & data Inspiring Australia's building professionals Business & digital Products & innovation Projects HOUSING Online The only place to get your industry news Media releases Member alerts Submissions See all
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder & manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies & tool insurance Planning & safety solutions Building & planning services How can safety solutions help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan Advertise jobs Trusted support & guidance Contracts & compliance support Professional services Industrial relations Member savings Toyota vehicles Fuel savings Handy pay See all
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials & products Concrete, bricks & walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes See all
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Frequently asked questions Study with us Find a course to suit you Qualification courses Learning on demand A job in the industry Get your builder's licence Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Find jobs
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Mates rates Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Our initiatives HIA Building Women GreenSmart Kitchen, bathroom and design hub Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Support for you Charitable Foundation Mental health program
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Awards program People & Business Awards GreenSmart Australian Housing Awards Awards winners Regional Award winners Australian Housing Award winners 2023 Australian Home of the Year Enter online Industry events Events in the next month Economic outlook National Conference Events calendar
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping & delivery Purchasing T&Cs See all Products Purchase NCC 2022 Building codes & standards Economic reports Hard copy contracts Guides & manuals
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Change location
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Built on character

Built on character

{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
In any building company, loyalty and respect always lead to better results. Just ask South Coast Constructions – its team supported its future managing director during his most difficult time.

Kerryn Ramsey

Content Writer

Whenever Jamie Knott talks about his company, South Coast Constructions, you can hear the pride in his voice. It’s not just because it gave him a role within the firm and a career that would eventually add up to over 20 years. It’s also not just because South Coast Constructions is an award-winning firm based in the idyllic town of Victor Harbor, South Australia. There’s another reason – Jamie considers the building company as his home and family.

And just like a family, the company stood by Jamie when he went through one of the most challenging and stressful journeys of his life.

Hard times ahead

Back in 2006 at the age of 34, Jamie had really found his feet. His career was shining as he moved up the ranks into a supervisor role at South Coast Constructions. He had three young children, and had just bought a run-down house, which was going to be rebuilt and sub-divided. But you know what they say about best laid plans.

‘I was working onsite when I got a call from my doctor,’ he recalls. ‘He said, “We think you have leukaemia; you’d better come in straight away.” My whole world just stopped.’
When the diagnosis was confirmed, Jamie knew he needed to make some hard decisions. His current house was so run-down, he moved the family to a rental and stopped the redevelopment.

‘I was in hospital for nearly two years. Apart from all the health fears and physical pain, I was also worried about keeping my job.’

As it turned out, his fear of unemployment was unfounded. Alan and Kathy did everything in their power to support him. ‘I’d become very close with Alan through work – he was a bit like a father figure to me,’ says Jamie, smiling. ‘I was overwhelmed by his loyalty while I battled leukaemia. In turn, I gave my loyalty back to him by being part of South Coast Constructions in whatever capacity he wanted.’

After two years, Jamie returned to work tentatively. His treatment had beaten the leukaemia, but it had taken a toll on his physical strength. He decided to try his hand at estimating and soon became South Coast Constructions’ estimator. He started by working just one day a week but, eight months later, he was back to full-time work. 

‘I didn’t want to sit at home doing nothing,’ Jamie says. ‘I wanted to be involved. I wanted to support the company. I wanted to give back.’

Winning it all

It’s been 17 years since Jamie was diagnosed with leukaemia and he’s certainly come a long way. Fit, healthy and energised, he’s taking South Coast Constructions to new levels.

One of the business’s major achievements was winning the 2023 HIA Australian Display Home award. This impressive display home in the seaside town of Port Elliot evokes a Scandinavian barn style, guided by the firm’s designer, Matt Parker. The expansive single-level layout stretches across the landscape, with bedrooms adorning the wings and the centralised living spaces connected under soaring, pitched ceilings and double-glazed windows.

South Coast Constructions designed and built this Scandinavian barn-style home in Port Elliot
The Ashton won the 2023 HIA Australian Display Home award
The centralised living area features soaring, pitched ceilings and double-glazed windows
Energy efficiency and solar passive design were key elements of this display home

Shapely, character-laden features, from the enormous stone walls to the French-laid travertine tiles, contrast with the dramatic kitchen island, charcoal joinery and American oak dining bench. Above left lies an incredible mezzanine level, considered by the HIA judges as one of the home’s most outstanding elements. Not part of the original design, this feature provides ‘unbelievable views’ out to sea and over the fields – although it required a fair amount of engineering to complete.

Outside, Jamie’s team selected reclaimed timber from old railway sleepers for the decking in the entertaining area.

‘This adds authenticity and originality,’ Jamie says. ‘It’s one of my favourite elements.’

With energy efficiency and solar passive design being key elements, lead designer Matt selected a concrete base, double-glazed windows and travertine tiles. ‘We insulated the daylights out of the house,’ Jamie says. ‘The sun heats the tile floor during the day, then the heat is released at night. This helps with energy bills as the house remains a constant temperature throughout the seasons.’

The mezzanine loft offers views over the surrounding landscape on the 1.2-hectare property
Reclaimed timber from old railway sleepers forms the decking outside
A charcoal island and joinery contrasts with the American oak dining bench
Character-laden features include stone, travertine tiles and floating timber stairs

One of a kind

Set on a 1.2-hectare block, the display home build took three years to complete due to favouring other projects ahead of this one. ‘Every home is unique,’ Jamie says. ‘We haven’t built the same house twice. I like the challenges and the differences of not working on the same project.’

During construction, there was no power, water or sewer on the block. ‘Originally, it was to be standalone power and water, but the cost wasn’t viable for this project, so we opted to connect to mains power and water. We had it put to the block as soon as possible. It was actually cheaper that way.’

According to Jamie, Stratco was an important partner in this project. ‘Rather than choosing a corrugated roof, we decided to use Stratco’s Hiland Tray,’ he explains. 

This is a modern architectural roofing and walling profile with concealed fasteners, providing a clean finish with smooth, uncluttered lines. To complete the look, the designer added the moody Monument in matt black from Colorbond for real impact.

Jamie decided to call this impressive house ‘Ashton’, after his first grandson. But he now has a dilemma. His first granddaughter, Darcy, is expecting the next house to be named after her. 

‘I might be able to do the Darcy one day,’ he says.

'We haven’t built the same house twice. I like the differences [that come from] not working on the same project’
‘Rather than choosing a corrugated roof, we opted for Stratco’s Hiland Tray’

The Barn at a glance


South Coast Constructions


Matt Parker


Clipsal by Schneider Electric


Port Elliot, South Australia


2023 HIA Australian Display Home


First published on 4 August 2023

You might also like:

Kitchens Design Awards Projects
Alfresco and aquarium combo
Western Australia’s Carmen Hansberry is no novice when it comes to interior design. This Senior Creative Designer and business founder showcased her residential talents, winning the HIA 2023 Western Australian Residential Interior...
Jan 24
3 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Design Kitchens Inspiration Projects
Sage advice
Bringing natural tones of sage, mint and olive creates a peaceful ambience in both indoor and outdoor spaces. These muted hues can be easily integrated in popular design styles, from industrial and traditional to Scandi and the Ha...
Nov 23
3 mins
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Kitchens Laundry Inspiration Projects
Bring in the Butler
In a modern kitchen, the butler’s pantry provides functionality and hides away the mighty mess. We reveal the value of the must-have butler’s pantry.
Oct 23
5 mins
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Bathroom Inspiration Projects
Light and grey
A dramatic greyscale palette and intriguing interplay of texture and sculptural form come together in the 2023 HIA Australian Bathroom of the Year.
Oct 23
5 mins
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Renovations Awards Inspiration Projects
When two become one
In this two-part building project, BCG Constructions expertly navigated the complexities of a painstaking heritage renovation, in tandem with an ultramodern rear addition.
Sep 23
5 mins
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Design Kitchens Inspiration Projects
Southerly change
Drawing inspiration from Dorothea Mackellar’s beloved poem, My Country, these tranquil tones come from ‘a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges’. This soothing palette merges off-whites, greys and neutrals, topped off...
Aug 23
2 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Inspiration Projects Residential
Built on character
In any building company, loyalty and respect always lead to better results. Just ask South Coast Constructions – its team supported its future managing director during his most difficult time.
Aug 23
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Kitchens Awards Residential Inspiration Projects
Bold as brass
It took fearless ingenuity by Craig Linke Bespoke Building to transform the dated interior of an historical Adelaide hotel into this vibrant entertainer’s kitchen worthy of a national award.
Aug 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Inspiration Projects Residential
Double the sensation
With its elevated living and classic weatherboard exterior, the 2023 HIA Australian Townhouse/Villa of the Year by Mactech Constructions is a showstopping take on the modern Queenslander.
Jul 23
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Bathroom Projects Renovations
Ahead of the curve
When a designer took on a three-storey renovation, she treated the home’s ground-floor bathroom as a crux. Every material, every tone and every style were carefully considered.
Jun 23
4 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Inspiration Renovations Projects
Modern manors
This finely honed, sensitive renovation of a gracious Victorian manor was an extraordinary project, carried out during an extraordinary time.
Jun 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Inspiration Projects Residential
Scene stealer
This incredibly contemporary family home in Sydney commands attention thanks to the careful planning, innovative thinking and precise workmanship from the team at JPH Built.
Jun 23
5 min
Read full article $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight