Celebrating 60 Years of Quality

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-By Tracey Hilderley

Since 1951, Ian Wood Homes Pty Ltd has been designing and building quality new homes, making customers’ dreams a reality and striving to create fresh designs of the highest standard. When we spoke with Ian Wood Homes CEO, Mr Neil Scarce, he was excited to have recently produced the company’s 60-year celebration brochure. Taking the reins of a company rich in history and focused on quality, Mr Scarce purchased Ian Wood Homes in 1980 and, alongside his wife, worked hard to maintain and enhance the firm’s strong reputation in the industry.

Ian Wood Homes designs its homes with the client in mind. Combining principles of ecological sustainability with practical solutions to suit clients’ tastes and lifestyles has proven to be a winning formula for the company – winning in every sense, as literally dozens of Ian Wood Homes’ projects have been awarded in a variety of categories from industry associations including the Master Builders Association and the Housing Industry Association. Mr Scarce is proud that Ian Wood Homes may in fact be the most richly awarded construction firm in Adelaide, South Australia.

As to what clients are looking for in home designs, Mr Scarce explains, “In the last few years, there has been a push for high and medium density [housing]; some of the blocks are only as wide as five metres, for the two storey homes and townhouse development. It’s always changing because developers like to make the most out of the land, and although the cost of housing has come down in some areas, the house prices haven’t seemed to drop.” To ensure that clients continue to receive the highest quality home for their investment, Ian Wood Homes goes above and beyond to incorporate desirable elements such as entry portico porches, balconies, and other impressive features.

The company’s designs are not only attractive, they are diverse. “We are one of the few builders,” Mr Scarce says, “that do timber frames, solid brick and transportable homes, which are factory-produced lightweight steel framed for easy transport to remote areas anywhere.”

The firm is also adaptable and flexible, able to add significant value to a project all the way from initial design through to turnkey. “We’ve got quite a bit of flexibility in what we do; we have many custom built homes where clients may come in with their own sketch.” From there, Ian Wood Homes is able to offer its expertise in advising and perfecting the design, making the client’s vision a reality. The design becomes a team effort with the client’s wishes at the forefront.

Modern technology naturally plays a role in the way the company creates and presents its designs. Ian Wood Homes has long been a proponent of environmentally sensitive design, and with the recent Green Star benchmarks, the company is continuing in this vein. “Energy Efficiency has been achieved with our designs for some years, with a 6 star energy rating being the benchmark,” Mr Scarce says.

Rounding out the company’s impressive portfolio are corporate housing projects in addition to private residences. Ian Wood Homes builds for the Australian Department of Defence and brings its affordable housing offerings to the global marketplace as well. “Kits are available to be sent anywhere and some steel frame housing packages have gone to Italy,” says Neil. “This saves on labour as these kits are designed by Ian Wood Homes and sent out and are put together by builders all over the world.”

It helps, of course, that Ian Wood Homes maintains excellent relationships with its suppliers and other partners in industry. “Now and again,” Neil says, “I have gone to North America to spend time with our vendors and suppliers. We have sent representatives to go to conventions to keep up with good business relationships.” Recently, “We have been looking and talking to people from China that are investing here. We are also looking to form a relationship with, and talking to people in the mining industry in the Northern part of Australia, with a view to providing housing in those areas.

Of course it isn’t easy for anyone in this competitive marketplace. “If it was easy,” Mr Scarce says, “everybody would be doing it! The building industry has slowly become more complex over the years. There is a lot more red tape as new laws and regulations are becoming prescriptive.” But with more than 60 years experience and a wealth of award-winning projects under its belt, Ian Wood Homes is well positioned to vault these hurdles and continue seeing success well into the future.

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’?

July 27, 2021, 4:13 PM AEST