HOW TO BUILD A CABIN: MEETING WITH ARCHITECTURE FIRM ARCHIBLOX

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I have some really exciting news! A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft set up a meeting for me to catch up with Bill McCorkell, director from Archiblox. As you already know, I am part of the Microsoft #WorkWonders influencer network this year and when they recently asked me how they could help me work wonders, I told them about my plans to build a cabin. I’ve been spending a lot of time researching who to build with and when a friend recently introduced me to Archiblox, I was very keen to meet up with them and chat about my plans – mostly to see if what I had in my mind was even possible! Microsoft then got on the phone with Archiblox and secured a meeting at Coogee Pavilion in Sydney, which was super convenient as I live just down the road.

To give you a bit of background, I am looking to build a contemporary, sustainable prefabricated cabin – for a few reasons. I cannot afford to buy or build on my own in Sydney as the property market is far too expensive. Prefabricated housing is a far more affordable and environmentally sustainable option for me. I am very inspired by Scandinavian interior and design ingenuity and I am passionate about the tiny house movement. We don’t need to live in these ridiculously huge homes made from materials that damage the environment.

I’ve lived in a three level, six bedroom, four bathroom house during high school that my parents built and it was so big we needed an intercom to find each other. After that experience, my parents were also completely put off by that kind of living. I also don’t want to wait over a year for my house to be built; prefabricated homes can be designed, built and delivered in 12 weeks! I also don’t want to live in Sydney forever. I am sick of the traffic and the crowds. I want to build my cabin out of the suburbs and in the hinterland on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, where my better half lives.

Mister Weekender Microsoft Jaharn Giles Archiblox Prefabricated House Cabin
Mister Weekender Microsoft Jaharn Giles Archiblox Prefabricated House Cabin

WHO IS ARCHIBLOX Archiblox is an Australian architecture firm that delivers innovative, functional design and prefabricated buildings, such as homes and offices, for each stage of the journey. Lead by directors Bill McCorkell and Dave Martins, Archiblox offers architect designed, prefabricated modular building solutions that are designed, built and delivered Australia wide - and completed between 12 to 28 weeks! Sustainability is their passion. They focus on innovation, passive solar principles, energy savings and sustainable design. Their ethos? To design big, not build big.

WHY CHOOSE ARCHIBLOX In addition to the above, Archiblox is passionate about healthy homes. They design homes to maximise air flow and natural light. They build using renewable and recycled building materials that are durable and low maintenance. With a focus on functionality and comfort, they thrive on providing their clients with new homes that simplify and enhance their lives throughout the seasons.

So building a prefabricated home with Archiblox seems like a no brainer to me. And you can imagine I have been brimming with questions! I only had an hour of Bill’s time and I am so grateful for that. Below are a few things I spoke to Bill about during our meeting. Although this is only a snapshot of what we spoke about, it will ruin the surprise if I tell you everything! I would also like to thank Microsoft for setting up the meeting and for my Surface Pro 3, as I was able to use OneNote to write down important notes throughout the meeting.

QUESTIONS

Can Archiblox build on the Sunshine Coast? Absolutely.

When I buy land, what do I need to keep an eye out for to ensure the design/build with Archiblox is as seamless as possible? The further your land is located away from the coastline on the Sunshine Coast, the more expensive access to basics, like water, will be. Before you purchase land, ask what access you have to water, gas and electricity. If these aren’t readily accessible, it will be more expensive for you. Additionally, we would like to see the property before you purchase to ensure we can feasibly build on it.

I love the plans on your website, can these be altered to suit my tastes? Absolutely! The designs we have on the website can be built exactly as they appear, or we can make as many modifications as you’d like.

Does altering the designs cost a lot more? Yes. The more you modify an Archiblox design, the more expensive it will be.

Can I design a completely new modular home? Absolutely!

Do I get to choose or change the fittings? Yes, you can choose fittings anywhere in the home. These are all included in the build however if you wish to change bathroom tiles and light fittings, we can do this for you.

Do you have real life examples of the your current designs? We sure do! We have a property currently being built right now in NSW. We’ll see if we can arrange a site visit.

I noticed some of the customised houses with outdoor areas don’t have full covered roofs, can this be changed? Absolutely! If you like to entertain outdoors or enjoy a meal outside when it rains, we can modify the design for you.

Meeting Bill from Archiblox certainly helped! And I now know that this is actually possible, which is completely surreal. I’m really looking forward to setting up a Skype meeting with Bill in the near future to nut out some more details. As Bill is based in Melbourne, he can’t always fly up to Sydney to meet with me so Skype is our best option. Additionally, I’ll record our conversations in case I need to reflect back.

NEXT STEPS So now it’s down to saving for the deposit (still battling away!) and chatting to a bank manager to find out what my options are financially.

As time was limited, I no doubt forgot to ask Bill from Archiblox some important questions. Do you have any suggestions for what else I can ask Bill?