Boutique Building

Hummingbird Homes

Today, his company focuses both on development work and custom client work. Hummingbird Homes works with developers very closely to determine how to maximise the potential of any development. When a home is being built for a single client, the company feels that it is important to allow the customer to be very involved with the process.

“Once they’ve made the inquiry it really just comes down to the nuts and bolts that are going into the house,” explains Daniel. “We definitely get closely involved at that level.”

All homes that are built by Hummingbird Homes are designed to be unique. “Certainly everything we build is new but, having said that, we certainly do use some standardised details, materials and methodologies. Most of the jobs we do are at a higher price point, built on non-standard lots where you can’t just take a standard design and put it on a block.” Said Daniel, “It really is a case of coming up with a customised design that maximises the potential of the site. I’m a huge believer in, ‘if it doesn’t work for the client, then it doesn’t work for us.’”

Hummingbird Homes doesn’t work with just any architectural firm; the company has the majority of its design work performed through Proske Brown Architects in addition to a few other select architects who have set the bar high over the years. As for contractors, there is no skimping there either; the company only uses subcontractors who have been tried and tested. “That way they know how we work, we know how they work, we know what their price points are and we can work together accordingly,” Daniel explains.

Every new home built in Australia must have a certain energy rating, and as far as the touches that make a home environmentally friendly, Hummingbird Homes has experience with it all. Unfortunately, even though several years down the road the client may have saved a lot of money and resources through green construction, many would rather not pay extra while the house is being built.

“As a custom home builder, we will give the customer exactly what they want. So if the customer wants a thirty thousand dollar solar system than that’s what they will get.” Or, if the client wants to go greener with the design, Daniel tells us that he can offer things that don’t necessarily cost all that much more but still offer benefits, such as good solar orientation. Any home can be built on a lot in such a way that it can stay cooler in the summer without using extra energy for cooling or can stay warmer in the winter without requiring auxiliary heat.

Just like any company working within the present construction market, Hummingbird occasionally has to deal with situations where someone is looking to have land developed for a price that could break a construction company if very careful planning isn’t done.

“Our margin structures are significantly less than what they were, even two years ago,” explains Daniel. “We’ve been trying to follow the market in terms of our price points while managing our own overhead structure so that we have an efficient operating cost. Therefore we don’t need to do fifty homes a year to survive.”

Hummingbird aims to be realistic in terms of how the market is behaving. Through the hard times, the company has been focusing on what it knows best which is multi-home development. Because Hummingbird feels that’s an area which fits best into its expertise more so than other companies in the market, the overhead cost can be much lower. Having an established brand also helps quite a bit.

Hummingbird Homes seeks to keep its brand in a positive light, to gain that repeat business where it is available by doing a very good job and to find value for the customer. Says Daniel, “You could spend a million dollars in a year and that would help you create a brand but that seems like the easy way out. You have to have a longer track record of creating successful housing projects – which translates to happy customers.”

A brand takes a lot of time to establish and there’s no way that a company can get one without building a solid reputation over time. “The barriers to entry are so low and some people seem to see it as a glamorous thing to do so there is just so much competition. Every time you turn around there is a new building company; it can be very difficult to create a point of difference.”

Hummingbird Homes’ point of difference has been its ability to look at a lot, have a design drawn and then take that design and add the touches that take its homes to the next level. There is more to building a home than simply following a design; there are emotions involved and people’s hard earned savings. A person’s home is likely the single most costly item that they will ever purchase, so value must be present.

Hummingbird has won awards for its townhouse project that was completed last year in north Adelaide. The Master Builders Association’s Award for Building Excellence in Medium Density Houses was awarded to a project built to a very high standard on a compact lot. It featured large living areas inside and out, lift provisions, high quality fixtures and other features geared to baby boomers.

But it’s not enough to just build the home; the company ensures that every detail is looked after. Who will be living here? How can this house be built so it is worth more to the owners and how can it be built so that it can save money and conserve energy? It’s this kind of thought put into every project that has made Hummingbird Homes the preferred choice for residential development.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

May 25, 2020, 8:15 PM AEST