“We realised that there were many people who wanted access to architectural home plans but they didn’t want to spend upwards of six months designing a home that they didn’t know the build cost of. They also wanted the freedom to have their home built by anyone instead of just the builder who offered the plans. We knew there had to be a different solution. It didn’t exist, and so we created Terren.” says founder and lead architect Paul Kegen.
Terren is the newest option in architectural home design. A brand new architectural firm offering limited edition, architecturally designed, fully engineered and thermally assessed home plans with artfully curated finishes. They’re ready to build on their client’s land by their choice of builder.
The Terren idea was born out of the founders realising there was seemingly a gap in the home design market between architect designed plans from scratch and volume builder designed and built homes.
Paul says: “As an architect, I deal with all sorts of different clients and families with, as you can imagine, a huge variance in what they want, need and are willing to spend. I started to notice this pattern of similar problems, barriers and miscommunications between clients, architects and builders. Essentially, it seemed that what most people wanted was access to beautifully designed architectural home plans but they didn’t want to subscribe to the associated time and costs involved.
“They also didn’t want to follow the volume build model that locked them into one particular builder from the outset but rather wanted the freedom and flexibility to have their home built by whomever they choose to trust. So we created Terren as an entirely new option.” Only 10 of each design will be allowed to be built; only one per suburb.
For creative director Justine Gaitz, the idea immediately resonated as she had recently been through her own fraught home design process, “I began my own build with one of Melbourne’s leading custom home/volume builders. I was under the illusion that this was a more affordable way to build but very quickly I realised that every change I made to the builder’s standard plans was considered custom.
“From big items like increasing the ceiling height to smaller choices like non-standard floor covering – by the time they added all these custom “upgrades” up (two years down the track) my house was simply not buildable for the contract price we were given. Leaving that builder and starting from scratch was obviously a devasting loss of time and money.”
Rounding out the team is Rodney Seidner, head of construction for S&K Group. “My team provides the verified build price for each Terren design. This is intended to be a realistic price which tells Terren clients how much we would build their home for from the outset. Nothing needs to be upgraded because it has all already been designed using the highest quality products.
“Of course, Terren clients can take their plans and have them built by any builder they choose – they can tender the plans or even owner build themselves. We’ll provide guidance for them for any process they choose. The point is really to bridge the gap between architects designing and builders pricing. With Terren, everything is known upfront and we find our clients really appreciate that.”
Terren’s Botanical collection includes large double-story family homes and even a single-level sprawling home with the Terren Townhouse design set to be released later this year. There are even pre-prepared floorplan changes and optional additions to enhance your family’s lifestyle if you wish to tweak them.
As you select, your verified build price will be automatically updated so you can play around and see what things really cost to build. You can even download your selections and floorplans once you are done.
The changes available on the website are just the start. Once clients meet with the Terren team they can fully customise their home to their site and family. Paul says: “We operate on an 80/20 rule. Our plans are 80% pre-designed for speed and 20% customised for flexibility. It’s still early days but so far, we have had clients who have made their Terren designs much larger and also those who have requested shrinking them for a narrower block. We have had clients add wine rooms and man caves and sunken lounges. We haven’t said no yet.”
All Terren packages are under $30,000 including GST, which they say are around half the normal price for architectural plans that would not include structural engineering, thermal assessment, landscaping and a verified build price. In order to get started and assess your land for suitability, they need a Land Survey completed by a registered land surveyor and a Soil Report completed by a geotechnical engineer; the same pre-requisites for any home design.