What’s on the Horizon – December 2019

Horizon Residential + Commercial Builders

What’s on the Horizon December 2019

Dear friend,

Welcome to our final newsletter for the year! In a year that we celebrated our 30th year in business, we continued to deliver beautiful projects that are loved, and we loved building them alongside you. We had a safe, productive and successful year, and are looking forward to doing it all again in 2020.

However you celebrate, we wish you all a happy Hannukah, a merry XMas, and a happy new year. Enjoy the time with family & friends. See you on the other side!

Best regards,

David, Daniel & the entire Horizon family.

Project of the month

Vaucluse residence VII
This four-bedroom, five bathroom home in Vaucluse has stunning views of the harbour to the west, and lies in the shadow of the iconic Macquarie lighthouse to its east. A new build, the former house was demolished, the site excavated to the required levels, and a new brick and concrete structure constructed to first floor level. The large cantilevers are created by a steel structure that also supports the entire roof.

Earthy, natural finishes abound with cedar, copper & stone used to clad the building, as well as timber, steel and brass windows and doors are used extensively to give a durable, warm and homely atmosphere to the entire home, in what can be an extremely harsh environment.

This home won the MBA NSW Excellence in Housing Award

View the project here →

Architecture by Design King Company
Photos by Richard Glover
A great flyover of the home, including the incredible position and views of Sydney harbour.

Condensation – an ever-growing issue

Condensation has become a much bigger problem to deal with than it has been in the past. A lot of people ask us why.

In some respects, we’re victims of our own good work. Much of the problem is that buildings these days are built much better and to much smaller tolerances than they used to be. Gaps in floorboards, ill-fitting timber windows, shrinking cornices and large gaps underneath front doors may have been unsightly, but the benefit was that they allowed air to circulate around a house!

These have now been replaced with concrete floor slabs, aluminium windows with tight seals, and everything done millimetre-perfect. Concrete or terracotta roof tiles are now metal or concrete (with PVC membranes), allowing little or no ventilation of roof spaces. Air-vents in external or even internal walls are a thing of the past. Acrylic renders do not allow buildings to “breathe”.

Many of the homes we are building have entire levels underground, in order to get as much floor space on precious land as we can. And if you think about it, almost everything we build the house with these days – from concrete to brickwork, render and even tile beds all have a huge amount of WATER in them, that takes years to evaporate.

Excessive condensation increases the moisture content of the air in the house, and combined with a lack of fresh air and natural light, increases the likelihood of mould developing – especially in cupboards and rooms not used often.

Easy tips to avoid these issues include:
  • Designing the house with condensation as a consideration, including skylights, thermal windows & natural cross-ventilation etc
  • Regular opening of doors and windows throughout the house on a routine basis
  • Ventilating roof and sub-floor spaces with vents or fans
  • Run underfloor heating inside the house
  • Even running the air-conditioning on a timer can help move air around the house.
  • Buy a de-humidifier

Contact our Horizon Small Works or Horizon Upkeep teams to either deal with a condensation/mould issue, or better yet – try and prevent one!
Employee of the month

This month we meet our Managing Director, David Moses.

How long have you been at Horizon?
I started working part-time at Horizon as a builder’s labourer in 1994, whilst studying for my degree in Construction Management, so apart a few years living overseas in the late nineties, I’ve been here for 25 years!
What do you love about your job?
I am a people person, so I love being around our team, seeing them grow and helping them to do so, as well as helping our clients and designers enjoy the process of building. I relish learning a hell of a lot from them too!

I also love great design, so being able to turn those designs in to reality, and have them stand for all to see for years to come is also immensely satisfying.

What are you working on at the moment?
We are very busy finishing off a variety of projects before the end of the year, and also busy looking for new projects to start in the new year.

What do you enjoy about working with architects and designers?
I love working with our designers to come up with innovative ways to solve problems, and play our part in making their incredible vision and creations come to life.

Where were you born?
Born and bred in Sydney! (Royal Hospital for Women, Paddington)

What has been your greatest professional achievement to date?
I am so fortunate to have had many highlights over the past 25 years, working with great clients, talented designers, and passionate colleagues. We have won many awards, but I guess it would have to be the Master Builder of the Year. It is not a personal award, but rather a reflection of the quality and professionalism of our entire team, including all our suppliers and subbies. You can’t win an award like that without having built 100 houses before it – learning valuable lessons, and continuously developing our people, systems, and culture along the way.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned throughout your career?
Attitude is everything.
Values are central to everything we do.
Builders don’t build – they manage.
Don’t teach a bricklayer how to lay bricks.
Three people you’d have over for a BBQ?
David Ben-Gurion; Steve Waugh; My Dad.
What do you do outside of work?
Spending time with my family is always at the top of the list. Funnily enough, I BBQ a lot! I love playing golf, but I don’t have much time to. I love to travel, especially on adventures. I try and give back to the community as much as I can, and am involved with several charitable organisations. We are incredibly fortunate to live in this great country the way we do!
Recent news
School for Life Foundation – Educating kids out of poverty

Our two intrepid foremen, Simon & Dave have returned from Uganda with plenty of inspiration, and a few stories to tell. The two men spent a week at the school, helping out with general repairs around the school, as well as building an accommodation block for teachers, so as to allow them to avoid huge travel times to and from school and thereby attract the best talent. They also met the communities that support the school with uniforms, food, and building work.

To date, the Horizon community has raised over $12,000 for School for Life. If you can spare some money for a great cause, you can donate here – https://buildforimpact2019.raisely.com/horizon

Sydney’s two highest home sales this year were both #builtbyhorizon

Something many clients don’t fully appreciate when considering a builder is how much more the home will be worth if a builder with a great reputation has built it.

We are proud to say that the two highest selling homes in Sydney this year were both built by Horizon! This also adds to the most expensive apartment in Sydney sold in 2018, also built by Horizon.

It’s a great result for our clients, a testament to the quality of the homes we deliver, and a sign of confidence that the purchasers had in knowing that when they are considering a home built by Horizon, they are buying quality that will stand the test of time, and even require less maintenance moving forward.

At the end of the day, your home is worth more if it’s built by us!

Design:(L) Vaucluse Residence XII by KA Design Studio; (R) Rose Bay residence I by Bruce Stafford Architects & Hare + Klein.

The Power of Giving – Meals made at Our Big Kitchen
Our regular staff meeting of site and project managers was held at a different venue recently. Instead of meeting on one of our sites and talking about safety, progress, labour, culture and reviewing our teams to share info and make us all better, we decided to have our meeting at the Bondi headquarters of Our Big Kitchen.

We first had a great discussion, then donned our aprons and hair nets and started cooking!

The community run, non-denominational, industrial not-for-profit kitchen prepares over 80,000 meals a year for those in need, and relies on donations and volunteers to source the ingredients, prepare the food, and then deliver it! 

Those interested in helping out this great cause by making a donation, or organising a team-building event for work or with your families, should contact the kitchen throughh www.obk.org.au 

Master Builders Australia – National President’s Award
We love the homes we build and love to see the pride and excitement our clients have for their new homes. Every now and then, we also love to be recognised for the great work we do for our clients, like being a Finalist in the Master Builders Australia National Excellence in Building & Construction Awards. We don’t do it for the applause, but it is great to see the industry recognising the effort we put in for our clients.

We were delighted to have been nominated as a one of four finalists (only one from NSW) in the, held at Uluru last month. The President’s Award recognises builders who have overcome significant challenges in the delivery of their construction project.

Our Luxury Farmstay project at The Oaks also took out the Special Purpose award at the NSW Excellence in Housing Awards earlier in the year.

Architecture: Manosa & Co. (The Philippines)

Horizon End of Year Party another great success

At our recent end of year party, held at Beta Bar in the city, 200 of our staff, their partners, suppliers, subcontractors, designers and clients joined us to celebrate what has been another very successful year of collaboration for the entire Horizon team.

As usual, the highlight of the night was our hotly contested annual awards. the following people were the distinguished recipients.

2019 Horizon Subcontractor of the Year Granite Marble Works and Spic n’ Span Plumbing
2019 Horizon Apprentice of the Year Mitchell JOHNSON (not the cricketer…).
2019 Employee of the Year Project Manager Tom RICHARDS

Each year we also celebrate the loyalty and passion our long-serving staff demonstrate. This year we celebrated some extraordinary efforts!

Luke IRWIN was honoured for five years‘ service. Luke finished his apprenticeship with us a couple of years ago, and now works as a carpenter in our Small Works and Upkeep Division.

Tim BARNES, Matthew STEVENS and Justin BUCKINGHAM all celebrated ten years with our team. Matthew and Justin both began their journeys with us as apprentices, and are now foremen themselves.

Aaron KENNEDY celebrated twenty years, and has come up from doing his carpentry apprenticeship with us to now be one of our most experienced foremen.

Clare CHUO celebrated working in our accounts department for the last TWENTY FIVE YEARS!!!

Under Construction

We have recently commenced a small works job in North Bondi in collaboration with Studio Katz Architects and Mark Shapiro Architects
Darling Point duplex – Almost complete after more than two years on site! Design by MCK Architects & Demlakian Engineers.
CPD Points

Don’t forget to contact our office and book in for a cost-planning seminar to get two CPD points under the AIA’s Refuel system. 

Horizon – Building projects you’ll love, and love building together.

We’d love to speak with you about your next project.
+61 (0) 2 9388 1050
1300 4 HORIZON
[email protected]

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