GALLERY: Bathurst builder to feature on Grand Designs Australia

MATT and Meredith Bayfield’s dream of incorporating natural materials from their Ilford property into their new home has earned Bathurst’s Aluka Constructions a spot on the television series Grand Designs Australia.

Aluka Constructions is owned by Bathurst couple Luke and Katie Farraway.

Mr Farraway said Ms Bayfield was involved with the Australian Wool Board so she wanted to use her own wool as insulation in the walls and ceilings. The curtains, lounges, hangings and bedspreads also incorporated Australian wool.

Basalt was collected from the 1000-acre property and used for the external walls, the end gables and mantle. The home also features a large amount of external timber work fashioned from stringy-bark, while posts were made from yellow box. Both timbers were grown on the couple’s property.

Mr Farraway said it was the use of “home grown” materials to build the house that captured the imagination of the show’s producers.

The six-bedroom home is 400 square metres and has incorporated some environmental considerations, such as louvres, big windows and timber floors made from spotted gum.

Mr Farraway said one of the biggest challenges was the wind because the house sits on a hill 1100 metres above sea level.

“You can see forever, but the wind blows 24/7. The house was designed to handle the wind, but the challenge was building it in that wind,” he said.

Construction of the home took 18 months because there was such a high degree of detail.

The amount of timber used meant the joinery was particularly time consuming. 

“When you see the sheer amount of carpentry involved and what went into building this house, you will understand,” Mr Farraway said.

“For instance, because the timber was not a manufactured product, it all had to be milled on site.”

Mr Farraway worked with a crew of four plus plumbers, electricians, gyprockers, tilers, painters and a stone mason.

Mr Farraway said he makes a few appearances on the show. He enjoyed the filming process because it was something different.

“It was interesting to see what they have to do in order to put on an hour-long show,” he said.

“The TV crew were on site five times. We haven’t seen the show yet – we will be watching it along with everyone else.”

The promo for the show explains that, 13 years ago, the Bayfields needed an escape from their busy lives as doctors in Sydney so they purchased a sheep property.

Their plan was to build a house for their family of six that was simple in its styling, and used materials that resonated with its rural setting.

However, the original designer plans didn’t meet the couple’s vision for the home so they were forced to make structural changes on the run.

And that’s where Aluka Constructions stepped in.

Mr Farraway said his team was proud to have been given the opportunity to build such a beautiful home.

The home will feature in Grand Designs Australia on The Lifestyle Channel from 8.30pm tonight.

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