Build the good life in Maitland


Maitland in the NSW Hunter Valley is a vibrant and growing city with a huge heart situated on Wonnarua country. With a growing population and increased public and private investment, now is a great time to make a tree change and be a part of that growth. Maitland can be an affordable and easy choice for any family or first-time buyer looking for a block of land to build their dream home.

Hamptions style new home facade

Well connected

When you’re living in Maitland you’re never far from wherever you need to be and the great news is, you don’t have to endure city traffic. Maitland has always been well connected since the early 1800s when the Hunter River was a crucial trade and transport link. These days you’re more likely to see kayaking or paddle boarding on the Hunter while trains and buses provide easy and reliable travel. By car, Newcastle and its airport are 30 mins away, Sydney is only 2hrs down the M1 Freeway and the Hunter Expressway provides easy access to the vineyards.

Well serviced

Families are especially lured to Maitland with the abundance of choice when it comes to learning and education as well as plenty of sports grounds and aquatic centres for active kids and grown-ups. The shared pathway along the Hunter is another way to enjoy the outdoors.

There are also great healthcare facilities with the new Maitland Hospital and Maitland Private Hospital as well as the Lower Hunter Community Health Service and other healthcare providers.

Cultural riches

Steeped in its colonial heritage, Maitland boasts architectural beauty throughout its historic city centre and nearby suburbs such as Morpeth, Lorn and Bolwarra where you’ll find magnificent examples of Victoria and Georgian buildings as well as Art Deco design. 

Maitland also a thriving business hub, and The Levee precinct has a huge variety of speciality shops, eateries and services as well as being home to the best art gallery in the region. Maitland Regional Art Gallery’s exhibitions and programs are welcoming and inclusive so whether you’re an artist, an art expert or novice you’ll find something of interest.

And Maitland knows how to have fun with festivals galore to keep things interesting. From beer at the ‘Bitter and Twisted’ or the ‘Bar and BBQ’ Festival, to coffee and chocolate at the Aroma Festival as well as multicultural diversity at Riverlights and the infamous Steamfest, attracting hoards of train and vintage enthusiasts from near and far.

Images credit: Maitland City Council

Heritage home facade - new build

Image credit: Maitland City Council

Get to know the suburbs

The Maitland region extends from Woodberry in the East to Lochinvar in the West and in-between there are over 50 suburbs to suit every budget and lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a complete breath of fresh air Lochinvar and Farley are great places to buy a block of land. Now is a great time to make the most of what’s on offer to build your own home.

Close to Heddon Greta and its historic drive-in is Cliftleigh, only a 10 minute drive from Maitland and with easy access to the Hunter Expressway. This area is great option for first time buyers to build a new home. 

Tenambit and family friendly Chisolm are suburbs that are also experiencing growth and if you’re looking for a block of land, you’ll find a huge variety to choose from. 

Greenhills boasts a huge shopping precinct and nearby it’s still possible to find a block of land in East Maitland and Ashtonfield. Family friendly Metford and Thornton on the East side of Maitland are also popular with easy access to Newcastle.

Build with the best in Maitland

With every good reason to build a new home in Maitland, choose a reliable builder you can trust to help create your dream home. It’s important to find a builder who is well established and has developed local supplier relationships. This is especially crucial while the building industry is experiencing supply challenges and disruptions due to both local and global issues. Working with local suppliers reduces transport costs and risks associated with long haul freight. It also helps support and build the local economy. Supporting the locals is a big factor in Maitland where community is everything.

If you were to walk around Maitland and ask for word-of-mouth recommendations for a Maitland Home Builder, Valley Homes would be the name you’d hear. Not only has Valley Homes been building in Maitland and the Hunter Valley for over 50 years, we also proudly support local trades and have well established supplier relationships. The reviews from our happy customers say it all.

So, you can see why living in Maitland is such a great option to build a new home for established and first time buyers alike. Valley Homes is your expert Maitland Home Builder committed to excellence in design and service, get in touch with us today.

Cover image credit: NSW Government

Build an economical family home in NSW


Consider this an antidote to the seemingly endless talk of rising inflation, concern about the state of the economy, the cost of living and a housing market that seems inaccessible for the first time builder or buyer.

Despite the doom and gloom, there are still reasons to feel optimistic about building a family home economically. This month we’re here to share some great family home designs to suit your budget, some more affordable NSW locations worth considering and a few handy tips to get the most out of your home loan. First time builders can also be heartened by the NSW government’s grants and concessions, read on to learn more….

Get a leg up to the property ladder

First time builders and buyers with their sights set on their very own family home are getting a great hand up with the First Home Buyers Assistance scheme (FHBAS).

When buying property or land in NSW you’re required to pay transfer duty – once known as stamp duty. As a first home buyer in NSW, you may be eligible for a duty exemption, concession and/or a grant. 

If you buy a new home valued at less than $650,000, you can apply for a full exemption, and pay no transfer duty.  A concessional rate is also available on new homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.

Should you choose to buy a vacant block to build your own home you won’t pay transfer duty on that land if it is valued at less than $350,000. For land valued between $350,000 and $450,000, you’ll receive a concessional rate.

These discounts are determined by a number of factors so it’s worth taking a look at the NSWgovernment website which also has a First Home Buyers Assistance calculator.

If you’ve never previously received the First Home Owner Grant of $10,000 you can apply for it when purchasing a new home up to the value of $600,000. This includes homes bought ‘off the plan’.

The first time builder wanting to purchase land and build a brand new home can also apply for the First Home Owner Grant as long as the combined cost of land and building doesn’t exceed $750,000.

To determine eligibility, and to find out further details we recommend you head to and see what best applies to your situation.

If you’re also wrestling with the build vs buy home question then determining which of these discounts and grants apply to you might also help answer.

Home investment property development goals

Finding the best deals on home loans

In the face of rising inflation, and the inevitable increase on variable rates, it’s a good idea to shop around for a home loan that not only suits your budget but also your ethical standpoint.

For the first time builder or buyer fixed rate home loans can provide certainty and are useful for organizing your budget. It’s also worth investigating a split loan which still provides protection from sudden rate hikes but allows you to take advantage of variable rates as well.

If reducing your carbon footprint is a priority then it’s worth considering a green home loan, exclusive to homes that qualify certain environmentally friendly criteria stipulated by the lender. Ensuring your home has a Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHER) 7 star rating can assist in getting the best ‘green deal’. This will however require you to spend more on insulation and efficient glazing.

Urban Homes: economy of size with all the essentials.

For house designs that meet every requirement for the perfect family home look no further than the Urban Homes series. These versatile designs are ideal for the smaller block of land and make an affordable choice for the first time builder in search of the three or four bedroom family home. With Urban Homes being more compact the build times are reduced which can also provide additional cost reductions.

An energy efficient design ensures greater comfortable and can reduce energy bills which is a priority with rising cost of living and inflation a current concern. The Urban Homes series is designed so that the alfresco and main living areas can benefit from a northern aspect for solar gain in winter to also help reduce heating costs.

Duplex House Builders
winery hunter valley

Choosing an affordable NSW location

One of the big issues for the first time builder or buyer is finding affordable land. So what do we suggest? If you want value for money plus huge options on block sizes, Maitland is a great place to explore.

Maitland is the gem of the Hunter Valley offering something for everyone. There’s ample community and sports facilities, a superb Art Gallery and thriving creative sector, good public transport links and easy access to the vineyards or Newcastle and the coast. 

There are blocks of land, in a multitude of sizes, now on sale in and around Maitland and further into the Hunter Valley. They provide exciting options for the first time builder eager to create an affordable family home.

Make it happen

For the first time builder or buyer, with a deposit ready to go, the dream to build your own home might just be possible by making some wise choices and getting the right support. Do the research, explore your options and let Valley Homes help make your home building dreams a reality.

The Carrington Urban home design

Passive design principles: a win for you and the environment


Imagine you could build a new house, so well designed that it didn’t require much in the way of artificial heating or cooling thereby making it affordable to run and perfectly comfortable all year round. Sounds ideal, right? The cost to build a new home is a big enough outlay so reducing running costs would certainly be a bonus. Such an energy efficient home is not only possible but it’s encouraged with the use of passive design principles.

Passive design principles are about careful design and quality construction as well as working with the local climate. It’s ‘passive’ in that the building envelope does most of the work to maintain comfortable temperatures so there’s less reliance on air conditioners in the summer and heating units in the winter. This of course means cheaper power bills – and we all like that!

Passive design principles incorporate building features such as:

  • orientation
  • thermal mass
  • insulation
  • glazing

These work together to take advantage of natural sources of heating and cooling, such as sun and breezes, and to minimise unwanted heat gain and loss.

Let’s take a closer look at these features in relation to the Valley Series house designs.


When you build a new house one of the most important decision is where it will be positioned on your block of land. Let’s be clear, aspect isn’t just about finding a good view. Good orientation can be achieved on almost any block of land, even small blocks, with careful design. In the southern hemisphere, making the most of that northern aspect is a key factor with passive design principles. The ideal is to optimize the orientation of the home for solar gain in winter with appropriate shading for summer.

Comfortable living

Valley Homes created the Valley Series to provide clients with the style of an architectural home, the flexibility of modular home design and the advantages of passive design principles.

The six Valley Series floor plans all include generous living areas that create a sense of space and openness connecting to the alfresco area. If orientated to the north, these house designs also ensure passive solar gain for the rooms that most need it. Living areas and the kitchen are usually the most important locations for passive heating because they are used day and evening. Polished concrete or tiling across the floors can create a thermal mass to absorb the winter sun and continue radiating that heat once the sun has gone down.

The Valley Series offers great flexibility with a variety of front and rear designs to choose from. The rear designs each have covered outdoor areas. By choosing a northern orientation, the deep verandahs create ample shade in the summer but allow the area to be bathed in the low-hanging winter sun so that outdoor entertaining can be enjoyed all year round. The Valley Series house designs are well suited to the climate of the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region.

Passive design principles also take advantage of variable cool breezes. In Newcastle and the Hunter Valley we all know what a difference it makes when a Southerly blows in after a hot Summer day. It’s a relief to feel that cool air blow through house, shifting the stale and oppressive heat of the day. With the Valley Series good ventilation is evident in each of the floor plans as the flow of air can be channeled through the house from the front to the back. Louvre windows can also be strategically incorporated into the house design to draw cool air through the home.

In contrast, it’s just as important to minimize unwelcome draughts in cooler months. Valley Homes uses only high quality doors and windows that meet the mandatory minimum specification ( AS 2047) which means they have been tested for maximum deflection under wind pressure, air leakage, and water penetration resistance. Top quality glazing and insulation contributes to an energy efficient home.

Climate matters

One of the key factors in applying passive design principles is understanding the local climate. Australia has eight main climate zones specified by the National Construction Code and it’s important to understand that different passive design strategies suit different climates. When you build a new house ensure it’s designed to suit your climate zone.

Choose a local builder that ‘gets it’

This is a great reason to choose a Newcastle builder like Valley Homes. Working in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley for over 50 years, we know the local climate and we’re aware of the ways in which it’s changing. We know that great architecture and passive design principles can make a huge difference to the quality of construction as well as quality of living. We also understand that when clients choose to build a new house they expect it to also be an energy efficient home. Valley Homes is the local home builder with the experience to meet all these needs and your expectations – contact us today to find out more.

Dual Occupancy Newcastle

Factoring all costs building a new home or investment


How does the construction boom effect my home build?

Let’s start with the good news: Australia is going through a construction boom. As of February 2022 there were 18,448 applications for the HomeBuilder grant that the Australian Government had established during the pandemic to encourage confidence in residential construction.

As a result of this encouraged construction, there’s now a lot of competition for labour and building supplies. That’s the not-so-good news. There are a variety of factors that have created this shortage of building materials and increased construction costs:

  • the ‘Black Summer’ bushfires of early 2020 saw the destruction of vast quantities of local hardwood and softwood
  • associated costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic including supply chain delays as well as labour shortages because of travel restrictions
  • constraints on international freight costs as well as production shortages resulted in a decrease in imported building materials such as steel, timber and electrical products

What’s the word across the housing industry?

There’s been ongoing concern over recent years about the challenge of building price rises and the housing industry is in agreement: costs are high and it’s hard to say when they’ll halt.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics, Producer Price Index for the period December 2021 recorded that input and output prices of construction industries had risen dramatically across the previous year. “Input prices to house construction rose 12.0%, due to Timber, board and joinery (+18.4%) and other metal products (+13.2%). Investment in the residential sector and strong activity due to government funding in infrastructure is driving demand for labour. Supply shortages and rising freight costs have resulted in upward price pressure for materials.”

In 2021, Tim Reardon, the Housing Industry Association chief economist advised that there would be ongoing delays to home building across the country due to a shortage of building materials.

Core Logic, leading provider of property data and analytics in Australia and New Zealand observed that, across Australia last year, building costs rose 7.3%. Core Logic’s research director, Tim Lawless recently shared these insights.

“With some materials such as timber and metal products reportedly remaining in short supply, there is the possibility some residential projects will be delayed or run over budget.

“With such a large rise in construction costs over the year, we could see this translating into more expensive new homes and bigger renovation costs.”

Weathering the storm

With rain from this month’s East Coast low hammering Queensland and NSW, a weather analogy might be quite appropriate: If you were to sail out of port knowing there may be storms ahead, you’d listen to the shipping news, take necessary precautions such as life jackets and most importantly you’d ensure you had an experienced skipper on board. 

A way forward

We’ve been through tough times before and the reality is: the construction of houses never stops. So, how does the home builder navigate these seemingly dark times and forge ahead? Our advice is first, arm yourself with knowledge – get informed. Reading this article is a great start! Understand the variety of current issues affecting construction costs related to building a new home to ensure you’re informed and you’re aware of the risks. 

Secondly, seek out a trustworthy and experienced builder who will communicate clearly with you and be sure you agree to a building contract that will protect all parties. It’s the life jacket for everyone.

Keeping it real

While you’re investigating it’s important to be wary of builders who are tendering on jobs at a preliminary stage without factoring any known or anticipated supplier price rises, only to lump clients with these price increases at contract stage. This approach leaves clients in a position where potentially they cannot afford to build after going through the entire pre-construction planning process. 

Valley Homes takes a different approach. Our estimators are in constant communication with our long-term suppliers and any anticipated price increases are being factored into our preliminary pricing. We also explain to clients that our preliminary pricing is subject to supplier price rises – including frames, trusses and roofing. Once the job is repriced prior to contracts being issued this becomes a fixed price contract, with the difference of any provisional sum allowances reflected in the final invoice.

How are Valley Homes addressing supply shortages?

We know that a major concern this construction boom presents for home builders is the shortage of building materials that can potentially cause delays adding to build times. Valley Homes’ longevity in the industry and loyalty over the years to our local suppliers gives us priority for supply of materials. This is a real positive for our customers.

Enjoy the benefits of experience

Valley Homes is the Hunter Valley and Newcastle builder who has weathered industry storms and not only survived but continued to thrive because we seek the perfect balance between best design practices and cost efficiency ensured by working with our local suppliers

In this current environment Valley Homes is the builder you can trust to communicate clearly with you through every stage of the development.

If you have any further questions about the current building climate – Call us today and let Valley Homes help you navigate your way through the process of building a new home.

Find out more

Read the HIA guide on why your house is taking longer to build and is costing more

Download HIA guide on current build times and rising costs

Home investment property development goals



Launch the new year by making inspired plans and property goals that set the tone for your financial future. The last few years have left us feeling like we’ve been living though the film, Groundhog Day – we all desperately need to press that re-set button and set our sights ahead.

For your benefit, our team has researched all the 2022 trends to provide you with a wealth of ideas and all the inspiration to make this year a time to refresh at home and plant the seeds for your building and investing ambitions.

Wellbeing – the key focus for 2022

Living in a time of COVID 19 has increased the need to sustain our mental and physical wellbeing, and as we’re still spending a vast majority of our time at home, we need to consider how best we can see this integrated into house design principles.

Biophilic design is all about incorporating nature into our homes. Think large windows opening to courtyard gardens and atriums, skylights to changing cloudscapes, flourishing indoor plants, green walls cascading with foliage. Views and vignettes that invite your eyes and mind to rest. Don’t worry if you’re not a green thumb – it’s not all about plants! Read on for more inspiration.

Valley Homes acreage builder Newcastle

Bring the outdoors in

With strict lockdowns having lifted, people have relished being in the great outdoors and, as a result of this, the trend is to surround ourselves with natural fibres and textures. Terracotta tiles from the patio and entertainment area will lead indoors to living spaces and kitchens. Stone benches and timber finishes are also set to feature more in this year’s new home designs. Be a little playful with textures by integrating organic shapes into your interior design from curves in furniture and benches to collections of shapely stones and shells.

When it comes to the paintwork, 2022 paint trends favour warmer, earthy tones of soft creams and pale blushes instead of the previously popular greys and whites. Blue has been bumped from star palette position with green now the trending colour for 2022. That’s every shade from deep, restful jade to energising lime, sophisticated emerald, Tuscan olive and fresh mint.

There’s a beneficial association with the colour green because it’s predominant in the natural environment. Green brings to mind all the positives we associate with nature: growth, Spring, freshness and renewal which in turn evokes a sense of peace and calm.

Whether we’re working or playing at home, biophilic principles help reduce stress, create a sense of restful ease and wellbeing.

green palette nature interior

Sustainability is key

More than a trend, sustainability is a priority, and this is not only reflected in the choice of materials used in new home designs. For many looking to build a new home there’s a strong desire is to contract a local builder who works with local suppliers thus reducing transport and creating a smaller carbon footprint. Throughout Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region, Valley Homes has long standing supplier connections and a reputation for experience and expertise in designing and building energy efficient homes.

Multi-functional spaces

Working from home continues to be a big part of our lives in 2022. After establishing offices and study zones throughout our houses, there’s now an increased demand for designing more adaptable spaces. People want to feel like they can escape the office – at home – and so we’re seeing more visual separation in shared spaces. Divider tactics are making good use of vertical space with shelving and ladders around doors and within the room. Library nooks, music hubs and quiet spaces to nurture the soul are also 2022 trends.

Valley Homes multi unit townhouse development Kahibah Newcastle

Get the ball rolling on your property goals

Big ideas like these require the right builder who really understands the cost to a build house or build an investment property. Whatever your budget, nothing excites the team at Valley Homes more than working with a customer’s new home designs to create the house of their dreams. Valley Homes have been building across the Hunter Valley, Port Stephens and Newcastle and we have 50 years of experience and expertise to share.

With wellbeing the top theme for 2022 – let Valley Homes take every care of you and your New Year home and property development goals.

Home investment property development gials

Valley Homes Port Stephens Newcastle Maitland builder



As we race to the end of another year, working our way through those gift lists, handing round the mince pies and hanging out for that much needed holiday, it’s time to pause and reflect on 2021 – we’ve had plenty to celebrate!

Despite the ongoing challenges of a second year with Covid, Valley Homes has come through looking pretty fresh – as you’ve probably noticed with our new website and brand rollout! What’s more, this year has been full of inspiring new ideas from our Acreage designs to our new Valley Series. And if that wasn’t enough, we also celebrated our half century – 50 years building the Hunter!

We’ve had plenty of great insights to share with you so let’s review the highlights of 2021 as we count down our five most popular articles… 

Digger demolishing a house knockdown rebuild Valley Homes

5. We asked the big question: to demolish or not? Then we offered you a range of answers…

There are a multitude of benefits that come with a knockdown rebuild. With a blank canvas, or in this case, a clear block of land, you are free to design your dream home as well as address the issue of energy efficiency which is more economically achieved with a new house than by attempting to renovate or retro-fit an old weatherboard. With the right team, a knockdown can be a straightforward solution to the limitations of an existing property.

A knockdown rebuild also creates the opportunity to fully maximise the potential of your property with the option of subdividing and the construction of a duplex or dual occupancy. Which leads us onto our next hot topic!

Backyard dual occupancy build sub divide

4. It’s all about perspective

Sometimes it’s worth looking at the ‘everyday’ through a different lens before you can see its full potential. So, in our fourth most popular article, we asked the question: Are you sitting on your own buried treasure? This had readers thinking about the untapped value of their property and whether it was possible to sub divide. To build on your own land may involve a major development such as dual occupancy or a more modest construction such as a granny flat. Either way, having a rent-paying tenant provides a great return on the investment.

As you try and keep the lawn green this summer, maybe ask yourself if you could be making better use of the space to increase your land value. Valley Homes’ team of experts can provide great designs and ensure any development is economical and meets with council regulations. We have a wealth of inspiring and practical ideas if you want to invest in your own backyard!

Finding the right builder bring your own plans

3. Trust: finding the right builder

Asking all the right questions and coming up with an abundance of really great answers, our third most popular article focused on finding the right builder for your house design. While Valley Homes has a diverse range of awesome home plans and pricing, we also have extensive experience working with local architects. So, if you want to find the right builder to work alongside your chosen draftsman or architect to build your dream home, call Valley Homes.

The Valley Series modular flexible home designs

2. Designs to Inspire: The Valley Series

For the house builder seeking inspiration in 2021 they found it in our Valley Series featuring a range of modular floor plans with modern and heritage facades. The beauty of the Valley Series is the option to mix and match facades and rear designs to create a unique home design to suit your lifestyle. Valley Homes appreciate that the cost build a new home needs to match every budget. That’s why our house plans and pricing are the answer for every home builder.

Drum role please for Number 1…

BulBul duplex design Hunter Valley

It’s no surprise that our most popular article of 2021 was ‘Double the Value with a Duplex’. In fact, it’s the third year running that the subject of duplexes has come in at number one. The idea of maximising the potential of a single block of land as well as creating regular income, from an investment property has broad appeal with first time buyers, investor builders, and developers. Duplex builders are also making the most of councils’ enthusiasm for developments that create affordable housing in response to increasing urban density across New South Wales.

This article will take you through the benefits of duplexes as well as a great list to consider before you embark on the build, including the issues of council laws and duplex build costs.

When it comes to finding a great duplex builder, look no further than Valley Homes. Our duplex plans and prices are second to none and our team can take you through every step of the process from the design to council applications.

What’s on your Wish list?

So, raise a glass (or mince pie) to 2021 and celebrate the fact that we made it! Through all the lockdowns and the delays we’ve got every reason to look to 2022 with renewed optimism. Valley Homes will have more inspiration, great design and service in store for the new year – don’t forget to put us on your home and investing wish list and get in touch!

Kitchen design open plan Valley Homes


The kitchen: the heart and hub of your home

For as long as humanity has sought shelter, the kitchen has been the gathering point, the hub and heart of every home.

It’s the space where we are nurtured physically and emotionally. That’s why the best designs focus on making the kitchen not only functional but an inviting place to be.

Get inspired

When it comes to planning your own kitchen start by imagining yourself there. Picture yourself in that space, surrounded by the colours and textures you enjoy. Like the rest of your home, your kitchen is a reflection of you and your family.

Are you really a country kitchen type or are you more suited to modern urban chic? Don’t feel limited to the designs you see in magazines. Combine them with a signature feature such as a marine in-spired splash-back for your beach loving, surf-obsessed family. There’s no reason why you can’t combine the practical with the unique.

Valley Homes custom design kitchen
Acreage build Joseph House Valley Homes kitchen open plan
Valley Homes Acreage design builder Hunter Valley kitchen

Let’s get practical

While it’s great fun to dream about your ideal kitchen, it’s even more important to consider functionality. Here’s a few ideas to help you plan the perfect kitchen for your dream home.

Firstly, consider the golden triangle – that sacred balance of space between the sink, the stove and the fridge. So many miles are walked between these three points and the ideal is to keep them within close proximity to maintain efficient use of the kitchen. You’ll also want to create enough freedom of movement around high traffic areas such as the fridge and the pantry. A good design will avoid your kitchen becoming a congested thoroughfare.

An open plan living area has the kitchen as one of the focal points and it’s common to include a breakfast bar. For smaller homes, some contemporary custom designs actually remove the need for a dining table by extending the bench top into the open space where stools can be placed on both sides of the bench. It’s a little bit different!

Drawers are a must! They have revolutionised the convenience of kitchen storage, think big with soft closing sliders – gone are the days of only using cupboards to stack your crockery and heavy pots. While on the topic of convenience, ensure you plan storage close to your dishwasher so that when unloading, it’s just one easy movement to transfer contents from machine to adjacent drawers.

KISS – Keep it Streamlined and Simple!

If you want to reduce the time spent cleaning your kitchen – and who doesn’t?! – then streamline everything! Select an easy-to-clean induction stove top, integrated appliances and cabinetry without details. Cabinetry with matt finishes also helps reduce obvious fingerprints. Choosing a stainless steel or glass splash back instead of tiles removes the issue of grubby grout. Otherwise, opt for a dark-coloured grout.

Timber bench tops can bring a warmth to your kitchen but keep in mind the ongoing maintenance to prevent water damage. The high functionality of stone and laminate bench tops in a wide variety of colours make them a popular choice.

Lastly, plan for those annoying but everyday realities – where to put the school notices, the box of tissues, the sunscreen, the insect repellent, the medical kit, the water bottles and lunchboxes, the compost bin and the recycling.

Can you allocate specific bench space or a cupboard with extra power points for charging devices? If you consider a place for everything, then everything will have a place – make Marie Kondo proud and prevent your kitchen table or bench from becoming a dumping ground!

Valley Homes Acreage design builder Hunter Valley
Duplex Builders Newcastle
Valley Homes Bolwarra Heights Maitland Duplex Builder
duplex fingal bay valley homes port stephens builder

You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties…

There are those for whom the kitchen is their performance space, where they enjoy cooking culinary master-pieces and entertaining friends and family. Their needs can take custom design to another level and might include a butler’s pantry, a designated barista bench, a servery, additional appliances such as a wine storage cabinet or a bar fridge. They’ll want storage for large appliances such as a food processor, a multi-cooker or a bread-maker. There might also be a need for extra cupboard or drawer space for dinnerware including large bowls and platters.

Ready to begin? Call on the experts in kitchens

Yes, there’s a lot to consider! Whether you want to build your own home or renovate, the kitchen is usually the most expensive part of the build so it’s essential to work with a builder that can ensure your design not only meets your needs practically and aesthetically but also budget-wise.

Valley Homes has over 50 years of experience in creating custom designed homes. With our long-term partners and local specialists, Valley Kitchens, we offer our customers the very best the industry has to offer. Valley Kitchens provide exceptional design, manufacture and installation. Their decades of experience shine through in their customer service and attention to detail from the tiling to the fixtures. If you’re in Newcastle or the Hunter Valley, make the most of this great partnership to have your dream kitchen in your dream home built by the experts: call us today.

View some of our best kitchens

Hunter Valley land property acreage Valley Homes builder


A place to expand and breathe

While we’re in a state of seemingly endless lockdowns and uncertainty, now is a great time to dream of an antidote to pandemic living.

And what are we craving? Space: personal space, space to gather with family and friends, space to play. Where better to envisage that space than in country NSW were the sky is huge, the horizon far and the cleansing scent of eucalyptus hangs in the air. Perhaps a tree change has been calling and a complete break from urban living is on your mind. Whether you’re a growing family or retirees, acreage home designs allow you to imagine that rural lifestyle, savouring the fresh country air of regional NSW where there’s room to breathe and enjoy life.

Inspiring new designs

Valley Homes is renowned throughout the Hunter Valley for excellence in acreage designs and their new acreage series is a great reason to get even more excited about visualising your rural dream home. If you’re keen to build a new home but need inspiration, take a look at their four new house plans: Osterley, Windermere, Paterson and Paterson Deluxe. These designs capture the essence of the Australian lifestyle with ample space, indoor-outdoor entertainment, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and double garage. Each has their own unique style so there’s certain to be something for every home builder.


Osterley is a design that promotes peace and calm. The key to this house plan lies in the four bedrooms being located away from the living area thereby creating a sense of retreat. The Main bedroom with ensuite also has a walk-in wardrobe in addition to the built-in. While peaceful retreats are ensured, Osterley still provides ample room to entertain in the large open-planned living area which opens out to the generous alfresco space via stacking slider doors. Osterley is more than just a weekend retreat.


Grand style is what comes to mind with Windermere and you get a sense of it soon as you come in from the portico to the spacious entry where you are greeted by a view of the atrium garden. This garden courtyard can also be enjoyed from the main bedroom as well as the main living area inducing an air of peace and calm. Without a doubt this home speaks effortless style and space.

Indoor and alfresco entertaining is ensured with this design and the connoisseur will love the butler’s pantry off the gourmet kitchen. The separate lounge room located near the main room also serves as a parents’ retreat or a home cinema. Windermere is country living at its most grand.


With its wrap-around verandah, Paterson delivers traditional country style. Relaxing out under the verandah, watching a sunset turn into a star-studded night sky is a country-living perk. Paterson invites you to make the most of it.

There’s no need for anyone in the family to compete for space with Paterson Deluxe; this design meets all the family’s additional needs. As the name suggests, Paterson Deluxe has everything the Paterson offers and more. With a rumpus room for the young ones and separate living area to serve as either a parents’ retreat or the ever popular entertainment space/home cinema this is living-it-large! The spacious garage allows for two cars but also offers a workshop for the tinkerer, mechanic or creative. There’s a home office or study as well. Paterson Deluxe ticks all the boxes.

One particularly delightful feature of the Paterson Deluxe is the window seat in the main bedroom. Imagine watching the sunrise as you sit back enjoying your first cuppa of the day. Close your eyes and picture yourself basking in the winter sun with your favourite book; or watching a storm roll by from that window seat. It’s the perfect place to savour the majesty of your rural surroundings. Time to breath is what we seek and features such as this encourage you to take time out and relax.

Activate your acreage aspirations

The beauty of these Valley Homes designs is that they can be fully customised to suit your needs and desires. If you’d like to take aspect of any of these house plans and add it to another, no problem! As the trusted Hunter Valley builder, Valley Homes has the experience and expertise to work with you to create your ideal acreage home design. We create house plans that take advantage of the specific features of your land as well as the best aspect to increase the energy efficiency of your dream home.

So, cure your lockdown blues with dreams of a post Covid tree-change. While restrictions may still be in place your mind is free to wander, so take a look at our plans, get inspired and get in touch.

The Valley Series modular flexible home designs


Introducing the Valley Series – flexible living modular floor plans and façades that employ passive design principles

Recognising the desire for new and innovative designs that allow for every taste, we are very proud to announce the launch of The Valley Series – an exciting new range of exclusive modular floor plans and façades that make it easy for you to build a new home.

The Valley Series showcases a winning formula capturing all the favourite contemporary features in a range of modern and heritage façades.

Choose an exterior that reflects your style

With the Valley Series you choose your exterior from a range of façades. This includes six stylish modern facades with clean lines, skillion roof and a large covered outdoor entertainment area for alfresco dining.

As a contrast, the five pitched roof front and rear facades offer an alternative for the home builder seeking something more traditional such as the Hamptons look. The Hamptons district of Long Island in the US is a popular destination for wealthy New Yorkers, and the source of inspiration for this popular style. Hamptons is all about indoor-outdoor living with large windows showering the home in light. To capture the classic Hamptons style choose a front and rear façade with a pitched roof veranda and weatherboard effect. Paint the fascia and timber posts white to complete the look. It’s a timeless style that comes across as effortless and calming.

If you’re a house builder based in the heritage surrounds of Maitland or the Hunter Valley the pitched roof can also suits a heritage themed home. Of course, not every regional home wants to go colonial and so the modern design with a skillion roof is a great alternative.

Mix and match

You’d like a heritage front with a contemporary rear façade? No problem! It’s possible to combine the best of both designs with Valley Homes new Valley Series range. With many Newcastle suburbs undergoing character studies, there’s a greater demand for designs to be more in keeping with the predominant architectural style. The beauty of the Valley Series modular design means you can select a traditional front façade, a floor plan that suits your family and team it with one of our more contemporary alfresco designs.

It’s about what works for you

The Valley Series makes it easy to create a unique home design to match your lifestyle. By selecting your chosen floorplan with any of our front and rear façade options you can have a stunning, architecturally inspired home at an affordable price.

Facade options

Rear options

Plan options

The Classic

The original floorplan in this modular series, The Classic provides all the essentials. As the name suggests – its a classic! At just under 270m2 this four bedroom home offers architectural passive design principles.

The Entertainer

Perhaps you and your family are big screen fans? The Entertainer is a design that offers everything you could want including a separate media room opening out to a private courtyard, a spacious open plan kitchen, dining and living area that spills out to an outdoor entertaining space with custom outdoor kitchen.

The Connoisseur

Fancy yourself as the next Masterchef? The Connoisseur is perfect for you! It’s the kitchen lover’s delight in this modular series. This design offers a large kitchen servery, an abundance of bench space and custom cabinetry to suit your culinary needs.  The design also includes the courtyard module as an extension to the separate living room – offering a second outdoor entertaining space to share your culinary creations.

The Sanctuary

If a parents’ retreat is a top priority in your new home then look no further than The Sanctuary. This design is the luxury lover’s choice within this modular series.  Like the Connoisseur, this design offers a large kitchen servery and an abundance of bench space plus a private courtyard off the master suite.  A sophisticated layout that offers you a place to relax and unwind.

The Executive

When working from home has become the norm, The Executive design offers a home office with private courtyard, contributing to a better work/life balance.

The Compact

The baby in this modular series and a great fit for first home buyers or investors. At just over 250m2 The Compact four bedroom home offers architectural passive design principles on a reduced scale to work on small blocks.

Quality and Affordable Innovation for all

Great design is a priority for Valley Homes but we appreciate that the cost to build a new home should be at a price that meets every budget. That’s why all our house plans and pricing have great appeal.

While the new Valley Series brings added flexibility to design, there’s no compromise on quality. After 50 years in the business, Valley Homes still promises excellent service and craftsmanship with every build. Speak with us about our house plans and pricing and let us help build a new home unique to you!

Pricing for our new designs is available on application.
If you already have land please call our sales team on 02 4044 1765 to discuss your project.

50 year anniversary Valley Homes


When it comes to quality housing Valley Homes is the respected name across Newcastle and the Hunter and we couldn’t be prouder of our reputation.

In celebrating our 50th anniversary we’d like to reflect on the Company’s evolution, and its contribution to development across NSW, specifically in the Hunter region – and look ahead to what’s next. Read on and celebrate with us!

Rewind to 1971…

Reliability and efficiency in construction was always a constant focus for Arne Baumann and Lindsay Hardy since they first started Mambare Pty Limited in 1971 and began constructing service stations for most of the major oil companies. During the period 1971 to 1982, the company carried out construction throughout New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland for clients including, Mobil Oil Australia Ltd, Shell company of Australia Ltd, Ampol Ltd, Esso Australia Ltd, Total Australia Ltd, Grace Brothers and Elcom (NSW).

As the Company’s reputation grew, so did the range of varied and far-reaching projects. The Company commissioned some forty-five service stations and seven truck stops as well as major renovations for the GUOOF Building in Castlereagh Street, SYDNEY, renovation of the Roselands Shopping centre and the construction of the Inverell Sub-station.

Mambare operated exclusively from its Sydney office until 1982 when Craig Baumann expanded its activities and established a residential arm of the company, Valley Homes in Maitland, Hunter Valley.

Valley Homes archive image

Expanding into the residential market 

It was in February 1982 that the Company established a construction office and display village at Raymond Terrace and Maitland in the Hunter Valley. Things got exciting when the company created, in conjunction with a large financier, a house and land package scheme that could be afforded by the first home buyer. The scheme was launched with Citicorp Australia Limited and led to the sale and construction of some 300 houses between 1982 and 1984. In the initial stages, the scheme was presented to the Minister for Housing, Hon C. Hurford and was supported by the Federal Minister for Housing Alan Morris and Federal & State member Arthur Wade.

In addition to constructing houses for all segments of the residential market the Company has been successful in tendering for contracts for Commonwealth and State Authorities. Some of these contracts include, twenty-four houses for the Commonwealth Department of Administrative Services in 1984, twenty houses for the Commonwealth Department of Housing in 1984 and since 1985 the Company has completed around 300 houses and units for the NSW Department of Housing.

Valley Homes has operated out of its premises in High Street, Maitland since 1986 and recently completed its fourth year with Defence Housing Australia, handing over its 178th house in September 2019.

Valley Homes Duplex builder house design Newcastle

We’re big believers in all things local

Valley Homes has built strong industry relationships with local trades and suppliers. We appreciate the benefits of working regionally and supporting the local economy. Of course, the added bonus for our customers is reduced costings as well as the ease of access to local showrooms where our local partners offer quality products and impeccable service. We're also proud of what we've been able to give back to the local community through sponsorships and charity donations. In the mid 90's we donated 5 houses to the NBN Telethon Art Union to give back to the community that supported us.


In an industry where companies come and go, we know trust is the cornerstone of a successful relationship between client and builder. In fact, it’s one of the biggest hurdles a builder faces when first liaising with a potential client. Having established a strong reputation as a family owned, local building company, still prospering after 50 years, Valley Homes has the edge over a national company entering a new market like the Hunter with little knowledge of the area. We’re proud to have made a commitment to the Hunter region and garnered the trust of its communities.

Offering something for everyone

In recent years the Company has constructed hundreds of residential homes, duplexes and multi-unit developments in the Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens areas. One of the secrets to our success is being able to offer a wide range of products to meet all our customers’ needs. Whether it’s a dream home or investment property our specialised design services offer unbeatable value for money. The Valley Homes team are also happy to work with customers’ own architectural designs and collaborate to get approvals and quality construction underway. Whatever you choose, you’re in expert hands throughout the entire building process.

Growing our passion: Tallowood Medowie

Valley Homes is also proud to be the exclusive builder of Tallowood Medowie, a resort styled multi-unit dwelling for the over 50s. Conveniently located in Port Stephens. Each home is architecturally designed, energy efficient, and features open-planned living making Tallowood Medowie is the perfect place to downsize and start living!

Meeting the needs of the market…

We now focus our business on houses, dual occupancy and multi unit developments.

Valley Homes has cemented its reputation as a company that can meet the needs of all customers, from the developer to the first-time buyer wanting to build a new home.

With the increasing population growth in Newcastle and the Hunter, we know there’s a demand for more diverse dwellings, infill housing, and designs that maximise the full potential of each block of land. That’s where our investor builder options, sold at competitive prices with no hidden expenses, have great appeal, as do our fully customisable duplex and dual occupancy designs.

So what will the next 50 years bring?

Valley Homes will continue doing what we do best: offering a range of dynamic house designs, unit developments and building solutions to suit every need and budget.

We’re passionate about making your building dreams a reality so contact us to find out how you can become part of our success story.


Digger demolishing a house knockdown rebuild Valley Homes


For many homeowners the concept of a ‘knockdown rebuild’ sounds like an extreme measure conjuring up images of wrecking balls, piles of rubble, chaos and destruction.

To demolish your existing house can seem like a radical option but the reality is that with the right team a knockdown can be a straightforward solution to the limitations of an existing property.

The benefits of starting with a clean slate

Knockdown rebuild original valley homes maitland newcastle hunter

With a blank canvas, or in this case, a clear block of land, you are free to design your dream home. What’s more, it will be the ideal house for the shape and size of your block of land in a location you already love.

Let’s face it, for so many homeowners they bought the type of house they could afford at the time which meant they would need to renovate at some point in the future. After some basic renovations there may still have been the constant frustration about the aspect of the house. “If only it had been designed to make better use of the northern light; it gets so cold in Winter!” Or perhaps the house was positioned in such a way that it didn’t make best use of the view.

Perhaps you bought that little weatherboard house in that quirky suburb and you were glad you did because house prices are soaring in the Newcastle region.

First-time buyers usually step onto the property ladder buying in an area they can afford. As it turns out so many old, inner city suburbs in Newcastle have become boutique suburbs and the land value has appreciated exponentially. With the scarcity of land in sought after suburbs it makes sense to capitalise on it. Let’s explore some of the options to consider…

Knockdown and rebuild your home

Valley Homes Knockdown Rebuild Slab

If we’re brutally honest, that cute weatherboard is not energy efficient and the wall with the defunct fireplace and chimney blocks out the northern light; the toilet is at the back of the house miles away from the bedrooms; the kitchen and bathroom haven’t been upgraded since the 1970s and need a complete overhaul. These are very common and costly problems, and to maintain the cute weatherboard you need to be prepared to dedicate a lot of TLC and money.

It’s no surprise that many homeowners are interested in the alternative of a knockdown rebuild.  The cost to knockdown and rebuild a home are less than the combined costs to renovate and the following years of endless maintenance. There is also the cost-saving on bills that comes with having an energy efficient home. By contracting a local builder who can take care of every aspect of the project from demolition to construction, the overall costs of doing a knockdown rebuild can also be greatly reduced.

Twice as nice!

In choosing to do a knockdown rebuild, some homeowners take advantage of the size of their block by building a dual occupancy. This is a great way to further invest in your property and increase its value. With the urbanisation of Newcastle and the need for more diverse and affordable dwellings, its a great time to capitalise on your existing block of land. What’s more, you’ll skip the stamp duty you’d otherwise have to fork out when buying a new block of land.

Current estimations predict the population in the City of Newcastle is set to grow by 41,000 between 2016 and 2041 and that there will be an increased demand for smaller dwellings to suit one and two person households. That’s where you can make the most of what your current block of land can offer.

Valley homes, Maitland, Builder, Hunter valley, knockdown, home, development, property, investment, land, package

The option is there for you to sell or rent out one or both of the new properties or be a live-in investor. Duplex homes appeal to every sector across the market from first-homebuyers and small families to empty-nesters and retirees. It’s an investment to secure strong returns while being relatively low-risk. So, start imagining what you can create on your block of land with a knockdown rebuild.

It’s all possible with the right help

Whether you’d like to demolish your existing house and rebuild a luxury home or an investment property, Valley Homes construction and custom design service can meet your needs. Whatever your budget, the Valley Homes team have a knockdown rebuild solution to suit your property requirements and your vision. They have the local knowledge and expertise to ensure your project is stress-free because they take care of everything from council approvals, demolition, designs, project management and construction. Valley Homes knockdown rebuild projects are also backed by their fixed price and turn-key assurance. It comes complete with a new home warranty – without having to pay stamp duty – how good is that?!

Contact Valley Homes to find out how they can help you make the most of your property.


Backyard dual occupancy build sub divide


Take a look at your property through a different lens and ask yourself a few questions:

> How much land do we have and is it large enough to develop?
> Do I want to maintain the garden at the size it is?
> What’s the potential untapped value of my property?

At different stages of homeownership its can be a valuable exercise to appraise your most prized asset and explore whether there’s an opportunity to invest in your own backyard.

Let’s take a look at a few scenarios…

Lena and Stefan have lived in their old weatherboard since they migrated in the early 80’s. Now that their children have grown and had families of their own, the upkeep of the house and garden is getting to be a challenge. Lena and Stefan really don’t want to leave their neighbourhood so their family have suggested a dual occupancy as a solution. By sub-dividing the land they can rebuild an energy efficient home for themselves and utilise the excess space in the yard to build a secondary dwelling to provide either an income or a home for someone in the family. Most importantly they can stay living in their suburb surrounded by their friends.

Valley Homes Maitland Dual-Occupancy Investment Property Real Estate Before image

Ruth has four teenagers and is finding the house very cramped. Their block is large and she knows she could be making better use of it. In looking for a smart investment solution, she’s thinking about building a granny flat to create the perfect teen-space, and she’s also keen on a development that would allow her to later rent it out to a tenant.

Hayley and Arjun are really excited to build their first home but they’re wondering if they should sub divide their block to live in one property and rent out the other. They like the idea that this is a low-risk investment which will increase the land value at the same time.

Changing our perspectives

The old Australian dream of building a brick veneer house in the middle of a quarter acre block is fast becoming an outdated concept for number of reasons. Primarily, population growth means our suburbs are changing and councils across NSW are planning for increased housing density. Diverse housing options are what’s required so people can live in the same area across different life stages. Many older people for example would prefer to ‘age in place’ as opposed to downsizing into smaller dwellings or dedicated seniors housing, while first time buyers need more affordable options.

Dual occupancy builders Hunter Valley

Based on the projected population growth and the changing nature of household composition Newcastle Council estimates that there will be a demand for 19,450 new dwellings by 2041. The population is not only growing, it’s changing. City of Newcastle's Housing Strategy  has identified that there will be more people either living alone or with their partner so the demand for one and two bedroom dwellings is increasing. With a greater focus on the development of infill housing, councils across NSW are making it easier for people to realise the full potential of their block of land with fast tracked approvals for dual occupancies.

The Low Rise Housing Diversity Code shines a spotlight on housing alternatives to the usual options of either the freestanding house or an apartment:

It helps housing affordability by providing smaller homes on smaller lots that still provide all the amenities of a single dwelling and can accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles and needs, including growing families or empty nesters.

Dual occupancy, build, construction, develop, subdivide

What does this mean for you?

Perhaps you’ve realised the family home is now just too big or maybe you’re planning on a rebuild and thinking how best to use the land. Dual occupancy is a great option for both now and the future by providing a home and an income from the rent of the secondary property.

For the investor, now is a great time to be building affordable homes that fulfil the needs of the market. Research into housing preferences of Australians by both the Grattan Institute (2011) and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (2019), reveals that households generally prefer to live in detached homes with backyards but affordability is the issue. So the construction of a dual occupancy is a relatively low risk development that provides affordable housing for both tenants and home owners.

If you want to build on your land, whether you have a vacant block or an existing property in need of an upgrade, the Valley Homes team has the knowledge and experience to help you to create a dual occupancy solution to truly maximise the untapped value of your land.  We can guide you through every step of the process from the demolition of the existing home, surveying, subdividing and liaising with council, all the way through to the design and construction.

Realise the true value of your property and let Valley Homes help you access your hidden treasure. Contact us today to find out more.

Finding the right builder bring your own plans


There are plenty of reasons why you might choose to work with an architect or draftsman before you approach a builder or building company.

Your block of land might be a tricky shape or perhaps it presents a particular challenge when it comes to affording the best aspect or view. Maybe you’d like a design that incorporates unconventional materials or the architecture of a particular era. Perhaps you have an existing relationship with an architect or draftsman who knows your style and can translate your ideas into a design specifically for you. It’s crucial that you start your building project with a house design that satisfies all the basic requirements and includes all the unique features and details that will result in your dream home.

What's next after your plans are done

You’ve worked closely with your architect to design your dream home. It looks perfect on the plan but your architect isn’t a builder and you have a wealth of questions starting with: who’s going to bring this house design to life? Will they respect your architect’s ideas and work with them closely to make your dream a reality? How much does it cost to build a new house?

The benefits of a local builder

In the quest to find a builder, keep in mind the multitude of advantages that come with employing a local builder. Working with a Maitland builder, for example, reduces travel related risks such as annoying late starts. They’re also likely to work with local services and suppliers which increases reliability and reduces the costs associated with transporting materials. Local suppliers have a reputation to uphold within their community and know word of mouth recommendations are the best type of advertising. That means your happiness is their business. You’ll also have added peace of mind that you’re supporting the local economy as well as doing your bit to reduce your project’s carbon footprint.

Who can I rely on?

For 50 years, across Newcastle, Maitland, The Hunter Valley and Port Stephens, award winning builder, Valley Homes has built thousands of dream homes. We have extensive experience working with local architects and appreciate the importance of maintaining good relationships with the owners and architect throughout the building process.

architectural custom design home build valley newcastleArchitectural home design build custom

CASE STUDY: Driffield House 

Valley Homes worked in conjunction with local architect, Mark Lawler, on the fabulous dream home, Driffield House. In talking about this team effort, Lawler reflected on the ways in which they collaborated to adapt and adjust some details and selections and utilise Valley Homes’ preferred methods. This resulted in a reduction of costs and a delighted customer.

Valley Homes demands a high level of detail in all house designs, whether provided by an architect or from our in-house teams. Therefore, the costs outlined for construction in all our tenders to clients are incredibly reliable with very minimal chances of unpleasant surprises or variations occurring during the build.

What’s more, Valley Homes supports the region’s economy by working local, with locals.  By making the most of local suppliers, we increase the certainty of your project running on time and to budget. Our clients enjoy the ease of stepping into local showrooms to select everything from bathroom or patio tiles to kitchen cabinets. Having access to great customer service and expert knowledge makes the decision making process so much easier. What’s more, customers can collect product samples, receive firsthand insights into our partners wide selection of products and find out about what extras or upgrades are on offer.

What do our customers say?

We’re happy to share the word of satisfied customers who’ve experienced the quality of our work. Reassurance is a big theme. Valley Homes takes all the pressure off the customer. We liaise with Council, manage all paperwork and applications, coordinate all trade contractors and everything else in the tender, from driveways, to the lawns and washing line. With access to their own site supervisor, our customers feel supported through every step of the journey.

Read the testimonials to find out what sets Valley Homes apart from other builders. When you’re ready for us to build house plans that your architect has drawn up, give us a call.

Making the dream a reality

So let’s be clear, without a builder, your architectural designs are only drawings. A builder is essential to the process of turning those drawings into a real building. Valley Homes won’t just create a building, they’ll build your dream. Whether it is a stand-alone luxury home, a modern townhouse, a row of terraces, or even a much larger multi-unit development, you can be assured your project will be in expert hands throughout the entire building process.

Valley Homes offer competitive prices on home plans and pricing with no hidden costs so you know you’re in safe hands. Contact us to find out more about how we can bring your plans to life.


Valley Homes interior open plan living kitchen


2021 is the fresh start we’ve all been waiting for and after a year of ‘being on hold’ we’re ready to fulfil some bold resolutions! Whether your plan is to build a new home or an investment property here are some of our suggestions for activating those goals and dreams.

Define your big goals for the year

Goal setting creates clarity in your life so, start by asking yourself a few key questions: What do I want to achieve this year? What really excites me? Where do I see myself living? What financial goals do I want to set for myself?

For so many people, 2020 blurred the line between work and home. On top of that, the economic pressures of the pandemic have increased the desire for greater financial security. It’s no surprise that answers are being found in property. With the Government’s Home Builder grants, many are choosing to renovate their current home to increase its value. Your goal however, might be to build an investment property as part of your superannuation plan.

Or perhaps building a duplex on an existing property might have greater appeal as it could potentially double the equity without doubling the investment cost. With the options of selling or renting out one or both properties you’re assured of strong returns with relatively low risk. Exciting options!

Ensure your reality matches your dream.

It’s essential to set out exactly what the costs will entail and be sure you can budget for it.

A budget spreadsheet is a great tool for this. It’ll help you determine how much income you have, how your money is spent, whether the money is there for a big project or whether a loan needs to be arranged.

Whatever your project, it’s essential to calculate the costs and be sure you can budget for it.

Valley Homes can help fit your new home designs to your budget.

Now for the fun part!

At this time of year, designers from across the world are sharing their ideas to help set the trends for 2021. So make yourself a cuppa and start browsing magazines and websites for all those images that make your heart sing; the ones that evoke an “Ooh yes! I want that in my home!” response. But be sure to capture all those inspirations. There’s nothing worse than forgetting where you saw that perfect paint colour or kitchen layout. That’s where a scrap book or vision board is a great tool. Pinning images, words and catch phrases onto your vision board helps you clarify and maintain focus on what truly matters to you. In this case, your dream home!

Use all of your senses

Apply a multi-sensory approach to creating your dream home. Think textures - carpets underfoot, the cool of polished concrete or underfloor heating; the comfort of soft furnishings and fabrics.

Imagine the smells you want in your home - oiled timbers, fragrant courtyards, or perhaps a ‘living wall’ in your kitchen with the scent of fresh herbs.

Consider the acoustics of your new home. Large rooms and high ceiling can create echoey acoustics. Add kids and animals to the picture and you’ll want to find ways to reduce noise. An experienced house designer will help you achieve the right result.

Go digital

Of course, if this all reminds you too much of school craft projects, there are online websites such as Pinterest and Canva, one-stop spots to organize all the images you find appealing.

Downloading an app onto your phone allows you the opportunity to capture ideas while you’re out and on the go. Snap those pics and upload them straight into your app. Once your focus is on your new home design, you’ll find inspiration wherever you look.

Your vision board, whether physical or virtual will be unique to you. Be sure to include an image of yourself in amongst all those colour swatches. It’s all too easy to get swept up by the latest trends only to realise ‘boho’ or ‘coastal’ is not really your style. Strong themes and colour schemes will become more apparent as you select your sources of inspiration.

When you look at your vision board, it should evoke a real sense of delight as if you were in your home.The more detailed your vision board the easier it will to make decisions when you start building your home.

Build with the best team

From Newcastle to Port Stephens and across the Hunter Valley, Valley Homes will be working with home builders and investors to realize their 2021 vision.

Whatever your location or plan, we have the team, designs and experience to make your resolutions a reality in the New Year. Get in touch, we'd love to help you with your 2021 property goals!

Valley Homes Duplex


You could say, 2020 was the year to wrap up and ‘return to sender’. It has gifted us fires, plague, lockdowns and restrictions. In spite of all that, we still found ways to move forward to a new kind of normal.

Fortunately, Valley Homes remained fully operational during the pandemic so all projects under construction continued on time and on budget. As a result, we’re very happy to know that there are families enjoying their first Christmas and New Year in their new Valley Homes dwellings across Newcastle, Maitland and the Hunter Valley.

Throughout 2020, we were kept busy doing what we do best: lots of custom duplexes, multi-unit, residential and acreage homes. In fact, we constructed 75 house and unit projects this year including a five unit development in Elermore Vale, three townhouses in Adamstown and a four unit project in Stockton.

The Government also threw in its support to stimulate the industry with the HomeBuilder $25,000 grant to eligible people building a new home or renovating an existing one. Due to expire at the end of the year, the program has been extended to 31 March 2021 with a reduced $15,000 grant for building contracts (new builds and substantial renovations) signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021, inclusive.

If you’re eligible for the Home Builder grant and have a project in mind for 2021, now is the time to get in touch with us.

This year we began construction on the first stage at Tallowood Medowie – a beautiful new address for over 50’s living situated in Port Stephens.

You may have also heard us over the airwaves? We’re creating better ways to share all our news and events so this year we ramped up our online advertising and commenced radio advertising for the first time. We’re also putting the finishing touches on our new website which will be launched in the new year to mark our 50th birthday. With new branding, a new website and new floor plans, 2021 is set to be pretty fresh.

Before we close the door on 2020, let’s review our most popular articles of the year:

5. Construction Only Service - Selecting the Right Builder If You already Have Plans

Your architect may have drawn up plans for your new home but you still haven’t settled on a builder or perhaps you’re unsure how to get approval for your plans. This article explores those issues, and more, and suggests ways to navigate the process of getting construction under way.

4. Plan Your Dream Home Without Leaving the House

This was the perfect lockdown invitation: to dream wild and create that ideal home without getting up off the sofa. Packed with loads of great suggestions, the big message was to research and take advantage of all the internet has to offer. There was no excuse to start that vision board!

3. Open Home - Joseph House - Medowie Acreage

Acreage build Joseph House Valley Homes alfresco

Showcasing the beautiful Joseph House, this article celebrates Valley Homes acreage series and the ways in which our designs can be customised to meet your preferred style. Whether you have land in the Hunter Valley or a large block on the outskirts of the city we have a range of contemporary acreage designs to choose from and inspire you to realise your dream home.

2. Ageing Gracefully House Designs With Your Needs In Mind

Our No 2 article struck a chord with readers interested in homes that meet the specific requirements related to ageing and disability. It explores the design elements needed to make a custom designed home liveable, accessible and adaptable and also provides definitions of these terms. Valuable reading.

1. Maximise Your Return on Investment - Feasible Dual Occupancies

With the economic downturn and drop in share prices as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, people are keen to invest their money where they’ll see the return so it’s no surprise that this article came in at No 1. It explores the need for a comprehensive feasibility study when converting a single dwelling property into a profitable dual occupancy. And if you don’t know what a feasibility study is - don’t worry, we’ve broken it down into the what, how and why. Whether you want to knockdown and rebuild or build on a vacant block, Valley Homes are specialist dual occupancy builders.

Valley Homes duplex Wadalba builder

So what are your building plans for 2021 and how can we help?

Let us know what topics you’d like us to cover in 2021. How can we enlighten and inspire your home build or help answer the multitude of questions about your next building project? We have a wealth of ideas and solutions to share. We’d love to hear from you.

Multi Unit Development


Building a home is a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle: there are a variety of pieces that need to fit together perfectly to create the finished picture. Of course, jigsaw puzzles typically arrive with each piece perfectly cut and all neatly packaged.

It’s not like you need to source materials, design and cut out each piece first! So too, when building a new home, the majority of people don’t want the responsibility of finding every trade needed to build a house – from designing and draughting to plumbing and tiling. They don’t want to be overwhelmed by having to source all the materials either. That’s why it’s beneficial to work with a building company that brings together all the right people, quality materials and the best products. It’s even better if they’ve built strong relationships with local trades and local suppliers. Achieving that finished picture is a lot less stressful when you have the right support located within your area.

The beauty of choosing a company that works with local suppliers is that it’s easy to pop into showrooms to seek inspiration. Not sure what carpet you’d like in the bedrooms? Need more information about the difference between various weaves or materials? What better way to help you decide than by visiting a showroom and stepping onto the carpet  with your bare feet and really get a feel for what you’d like to have in your home. The consultants are there to answer the multitude of questions you have and can help take the guesswork out of choosing the right flooring for your home.

Researching online can be a great place to start when planning to build a new home but something like colour-matching is often problematic. In fact, it can be frustrating and even misleading if that shade of green cabinetry you really liked on one kitchen website turns out to be more khaki than olive. In a showroom you can see the cabinetry, stone bench or bathroom tiles for yourself. So often, the way in which surfaces catch the light provides a whole new perspective. Frequently customers are inspired by what they see on display and contemplate colour schemes that they hadn't considered before.

Also, when you visit a showroom, you've got the benefit of chatting with staff who are happy to share their expertise and provide you with samples to take home. It can become a real team effort as they work with you to help piece together all those parts of the puzzle to build your dream home.

They can also be of assistance when it comes to making choices for a building investment. Sometimes a more objective perspective is needed when choosing fixtures and fittings for an investment property as choices need to be made based on practical needs rather than personal preferences.

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Having that face-to-face contact makes the whole decision-making process much less daunting. Time and again, customers recommend local trades and services based on positive experience. Word of mouth is a valuable means of advertising for businesses so it’s in their interest to ensure you are completely happy with their products and service. Their reputation rests on your satisfaction.

We're all too aware of the negative impact the Covid 19 pandemic has had on the economy in Newcastle, Maitland and the Hunter. By choosing a company like Valley Homes to help you build your home, you can be sure that the people working on your project will be local suppliers and local trades. You can make a real and positive contribution to rebuilding the local economy and protect local jobs. Valley Homes believes in supporting the community from which its business has grown.

What's more, using local suppliers reduces transport costs and contributes to your project staying on budget and to schedule. There’s nothing worse than discovering an unexpected delay for an interstate delivery. With our recent experience of border closures the risk of delays has been increased. Local suppliers can bring you greater reliability.

Utilising local suppliers isn’t just an economic concern it’s an environmental plus. Working with Valley Homes and their local suppliers mean there’s shorter distances for transporting supplies so less carbon emissions. You’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to the protection of our beautiful environment.

Since 1971, Valley Homes has worked hard to build strong relationships with local suppliers in Newcastle and the Hunter to ensure every project is constructed with only the best, locally sourced materials.

Time and again, Valley Homes customers have praised the professionalism of the teams that deliver quality work, on time and within budget. So take the puzzle out of your home build and get in touch with Valley Homes today.

Valley Homes Duplex builder house design Newcastle


Callum and Emma are super keen to build a new home. It was hard enough navigating their way through financial institutions to sort out their home loan but now they’re faced with the dilemma of choosing a reliable builder. They had hoped to find someone through word-of-mouth but they keep hearing horror stories about builders who overcharge for quality and others don’t seem to appreciate the meaning of good craftsmanship. They even heard of a builder who’d been operating without a builder license!

Paul wanted to support his nephew’s new building firm and employed them to work on his investment property. While the quality showed in the build, the project didn’t stay on budget. The little company just didn’t have the experience or the benefits of long-standing supplier relationships. Paul’s frustration increased as the estimated completion date fell behind by several months.

Anna and Graham are looking at building a dual occupancy home on their existing property as part of their retirement plan. They have good relationships with the neighbours and so they're keen to employ a building team that will reflect their own standards - no inappropriately loud music or language on site. It might seem old-fashioned but they believe their choice of builder reflects on them so they’re looking for a building team with a good reputation.

These are just some of the many concerns that home builders and everyday investors face when it comes to choosing a builder.

Whether it’s your first home build, an investment property or a retirement project, you want to know you’ve chosen a builder who will deliver a quality build, in a timely manner and within budget.

Valley Homes duplex Wadalba builder

Create your ideal builder wish list

Before you start contacting builders it’s a good idea to create a check list of what’s essential as well as what’s important to you personally so that you can maintain a good working relationship with your builder.

Some important points you might consider:

  • Does your builder hold a current license? Don’t make the assumption that they do and don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Can you see examples of their previous jobs? What’s more, can you speak with previous clients to ensure they’re happy with the finished product and the service provided?
  • Does your builder have a reliable and experienced team?
  • The size of the company you’re embarking on a building project with – are they big enough to handle multiple jobs and can your builder reassure you of this?
  • Has your builder established supplier relationships to ensure building materials are of the highest quality and readily available for each stage of the project?
  • The advantages of working with a builder based in your region. They’ll be making the most of local suppliers and contractors so delays are less likely and travel to your site won’t be as problematic.
  • After meeting a few builders your final decision might come down to your gut feeling. Once you’ve completed the fact-finding mission ask yourself if you think you’ll have a comfortable relationship with the people working for the business?

Avoid becoming overwhelmed by the mountain of decisions that need to be made when looking for the right builder. By taking the time to investigate and meet with several builders, you’ll find the right team who satisfies your builder wish list and increases your chance of a successful build.

Valley Homes multi unit townhouse development Kahibah Newcastle

A builder you can trust

When it comes to reliability and reputation Valley Homes has it all. For almost 50 years, Valley Homes have been creating a variety of stylish homes and effective investments to fit a range of budgets throughout Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. You’ll find there’s no hidden extras and there’s never a compromise on quality.

Valley Homes has a team of award-winning local trades with extensive construction experience and even provide a dedicated on-site supervisor who’ll be happy to talk through any issues with you and reduce unnecessary stress throughout your home build. You can rest assured that you have the backing of a great team because Valley Homes also has long-standing, positive relationships with their local suppliers.

What’s more, the reviews confirm customer satisfaction. Valley Homes’ clients talk of the efficiency, honesty and dependability of the team and how the process was made ‘smooth and easy’. Take a look and make an enquiry today.

Valley Homes Acreage design builder Hunter Valley dining living


“I hadn’t thought about that!”

When building a home, it’s inevitable that your first house plans won’t be your last. You’re going to change your mind as you factor in various considerations. It’s a good idea for a home builder to design with a 5-10 year perspective. The lifestyle you live now may change considerably so thinking ahead allows you to plan well and the following list just might help.

1. You can never have enough storage!

Your initial response may be, “We don’t have a lot of stuff.” That may be true for everyday living but consider storage for travel items such as suitcases or back packs and camping gear from tents to sleeping bags.

There’s also the sports kit, boogie boards, surfboards and outdoor furnishings like cushions and umbrellas. If you’re planning for it to all go in the garage calculate the space required around your car for access to shelving and racks.

Fitting an attic ladder allows you to take advantage of storage space in the roof cavity and it’s perfect for seasonal items such as Christmas decorations. It’s also a good spot for boxes of old tax files and memorabilia.

If you’re planning for a family, there’s an abundance of bulky items to factor into your house design. Within your first years of parenting there’s the pram then the stroller, car seats in various sizes, travel cot and the baby bath.

Even if you are a wizz at minimizing clutter it’s all too easy to keep things ‘just in case’ or simply for sentimental value - allow for extra storage.

Acreage build Joseph House Valley Homes

2. Mudroom or boot room?

Whether you create a separate room or a convenient alcove for a bench seat with a shoe rack below and coat hooks above, it’s great to have a space where people can stop and unload before they enter the house. It spares the rest of the house from muddy boots, wet raincoats, and smelly sports kits. It can even be a good base for school bags.

3. Fur family benefits

Pets bring another set of considerations particularly large dogs. You may need to allow space for a crate, whether for overnight use or for travel. Will you need a kennel outdoors or allocate a spot indoors for your beloved canine? Perhaps you could benefit from a doggy door, or a cat flap for easy access. Where will you wash your dog? Outdoor taps, both hot and cold are worth considering.

4. Space for bikes

How many bicycles end up cluttering the back deck or are left to rust while leaning on an outside wall because they weren’t included in the house plans?

Allow space for hanging bicycles via a pulley system or on a rack in your garage. If you’re keeping your bikes outside how will you protect them against weather damage? Will there be room in the shed and is it easily accessible?

If children are part of your picture, keep in mind that the family will go from tricycles and trainer wheels to mountain bikes which will all need to be kept somewhere along with helmets and other cycling paraphernalia.

5. Outdoor living options

While you’re thinking about where to wash the dog, how about installing an outdoor shower, especially if you enjoy Newcastle’s beaches? It’s the perfect way to leave all that post-surf sand in the back yard, not your bathroom.

You may have also planned for a deck, but will it be covered or is a pergola with a deciduous vine enough for shade? Don’t forget the gas outlet for BBQ and one extra for a heater - especially useful for when you’re entertaining in colder months under a beautiful Hunter Valley night sky.

Valley Homes multi unit townhouse development Kahibah Newcastle

6. Forget something? No problem!

You want the flexibility to change plans to accommodate all those things you hadn’t considered when you originally set out designing your home. That’s where a Valley Homes custom house design can make all the difference. The Valley Homes’ team has the expertise and experience to help you troubleshoot any aspect of your design and find solutions to those “What about…?” questions. For example, if you wanted to move walls or change a rooms entire layout, our team is more than willing to accommodate your desired changes during the design process. Our customisable architecturally designed house plans may well be the perfect match to your vision so it’s worth taking a look at our home plans and pricing.

We’re also happy to work with the architect or draftsman you may already have on board for your project. We understand that you want your home to reflect you and your family in terms of style and functionality. A core part of the design process at VH to ensure you’re 100% happy with the layout.

Once you’ve settled on your house design...

The Valley Homes’ team will give you the support you need to see it through to completion. For almost 50 years our custom home builders have successfully transformed house plans into dream homes.  Call or email us to discover more about our flexible approach to home building.

Dual Occupancy Newcastle


Quality construction is our speciality.

Construction only or design and construct – we’re keen to make your chosen site shine!

Whether you have architectural house plans already drawn up by an architect or draftsman and are looking for a respected Hunter Valley builder. Or if you are at the beginning of your house design process and want to organise a builder to take care of both design and construction. Either way, Valley Homes’ suite of building services, including home plans and pricing, can be tailored to your needs.

Design with site specific data in-mind

We have a team of design specialists working in-house, as well as a selection of home plans and pricing that can be customised to suit your block of land. All key information gathered about your property through site inspections, surveys and geotechnical reports, can and will be used to customise your design to ensure a smooth construction process follows – on time, on budget, and as you dreamt it.

display house home build design plans

The importance of site surveys and reports

If you have already engaged an architect or draftsman it is likely that you have already completed some important early steps in the planning process. However, if you are approaching a builder as your first point of call, because they offer both design and construction services, just as Valley Homes does, you may not have taken the step to get your reports and surveys done yet. This is a step we recommend you complete earlier rather than later.

This is because the site information collected during surveys and reports will form the basis for some critically important elements of your build. They will impact not only the aesthetics of your house plans, but also site preparation requirements and chosen building materials, which will impact your final budget. Having this information early can help streamline your house design and overall build process – whether your builder is hired as a construction only service or not.

Some of the specific information that will be gathered will include the exact slope of your block, the soil type, and what natural elements need to be considered, such as trees, rock etc. As well as surrounding elements such as the bushfire risk, stormwater run-off, and service connections. Not forgetting solar access, site breezes and orientation that also need to be taken into account. So it soon becomes very obvious that if you have this information early it will save your architect or draftsman and builder time in the designing and tendering phases.

Why our home plans and pricing can be trusted

As local Hunter Valley construction experts, either engaged as a construction only service or as a full design and build provider, we always demand a high level of detail in all designs, whether provided by an architect or our in-house teams. This means that the costs outlined for construction in all our tenders to clients are incredibly reliable with very minimal chances of unexpected surprises and variations occurring during the build.

We know that building your new home is a significant investment and we know that you also want to be getting value for your build. So if a house design has been signed-off to move into the construction phase, we will be highly confident that we know all there is to know about your site and any requirements have been addressed in the final house plans. We will have created a construction schedule with this information in mind and have selected construction materials from our local Hunter Valley suppliers that suit your unique site and house plans.

Budget is one thing, but customer satisfaction says it all

When researching which Hunter Valley builder you will award your new home construction to, it always pays to ask questions about previous builds. After all, you will want an experienced builder known for achieving great results. Valley Homes has an extensive history of building homes in and around the Hunter Valley and Newcastle, with a collection of testimonials and a building gallery to prove it. If there's a specific previous build or past experience you want to ask us about, we’re only too happy to provide all the information.

So whether you’re interested in a construction only service or a full custom design and build please call or email us to talk home plans and pricing today.

Modular Homes Newcastle


Covid-19 may have slowed our normal lifestyles and altered old routines, but it doesn’t have to impact the planning of your dream home build. With many Australians having more time on their hands, now is the perfect time to create vision boards and plan to build a new home when your life returns to normal.

Q: So what are some of the things you could be doing right now?

A: Research, research, research!

Research is one of the easiest first steps of turning your dreams into a reality, especially as internet access is available to most Australians and many businesses are either online or only a phone call away. This means your custom design planning can be done without walking out of your front door.

New home research step 1 – vision board

Researching a new home build can seem like a daunting task at first, as there are many bits of information required over the entire duration of planning and building, but if you break it into manageable chunks it’s really quite simple. Plus, it’s very easy to get started, as step one in your home research journey is by far the most fun – creating a vision board!

If you haven’t heard the term vision board before, it simply means a visual collection of images, trends and ideas laid out on a page. Vision boards can be physical boards, like your old-fashioned corkboard, or an online document, such as a word doc or even a Pinterest board.

To fill your vision board all you need to do is spend some time trawling websites, catalogues and brochures and either copy or physically cut out the things that stand out to you as beautiful, striking or just ‘your dream style’ and pop them on your board. Things to collect are ideas you like, trends in finishes and interiors, design inspiration, and even architectural plans that align with your own style. During the process you might find that you change your style and remove ideas and inspiration that you previously thought were great. This is exactly why vision boards are such excellent tools – they are a refining process.

Vision boards allow you to play around, to see what colours, finishes, interior design features and materials work well together and give you time to try different custom design combinations. You might start your vision board thinking your new home will have loads of sharp lines and bold colours, but by the end you might realise that you actually love neutral tones and natural wood.

Vision boards aren’t just about looking inwards either. The location of your land may impact the style you lean towards. If your new home build is going to take place in Port Stephens or Newcastle, you might find yourself drawn towards coastal style elements. Or for somewhere like the Hunter Valley, country finishes and acreage floor plans might be more your thing. Whatever it is that you like, eventually, what you will be left with is a visual representation of your design style, giving both you and your potential architect or new home builder a solid starting point to start your custom design.

Acreage build Joseph House Valley Homes living

New home research step 2 – design and floor plans

After your vision board is finished and you know your personal style and current trends, your next step in the new home research journey is who is going to design it. So you need to decide one of two things. Are you going to seek architectural plans and then engage a separate builder? Or are you looking to streamline the process to build a new home and go directly to a new home builder that offers a custom design service? With budget being a big considerations for most, the latter option tends to be more cost effective. But whatever option you think you might choose, before you make any final decisions the next step is…you guessed it, more research!

Of course, face-to-face meetings with potential architects or builders are a very important part of the process. After all, you need to determine if the person or firm you will work with has similar values, understands your vision, and generally makes you feel that you can trust them to bring your new home to life. Although the current restrictions might make this difficult for some people, fortunately there is always online platforms, such as Zoom or Skype, that allow you to be able to make eye contact with the person you are speaking to and build a rapport.

Acreage build Joseph House Valley Homes alfresco


Here at Valley Homes we have measures in place to help you navigate the custom design planning process without compromising your safety. Simply call or email us and we can discuss setting up a socially distanced meeting or online meeting to discuss your new home build. We’d love to take a look at your newly created vision board and initiate the design and quote process for you. If you have land - Valley Homes offers a free concept design service, and work with you to design the home you want.