Q&A With GJ Gardner Homes


Learn about a few saving tips you can make when building your home, with local building professional Sean Vickery from GJ Gardner Homes. Plus read about some of the current trends and home designs available at Calderwood Valley!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey with GJ Gardner so far? 

Hi, I’m Sean and together with my business partner and brother-in-law Nathan and both of our families, we own and operate your local G.J. Gardner Homes Wollongong. We’re 100% locally owned and operated. We have decades of combined experience in the building and house design industry and have established an exceptional reputation within the Wollongong and Illawarra property market.

I was born and bred on the NSW South Coast and have travelled the world working in many facets of the commercial and residential building sectors.  Being a second generation builder, my family has over 40 years experience building in the area. Nathan was a successful restaurateur on the South Coast for years, giving him great insight and understanding into the importance of providing exceptional customer service.

Our team at G.J Gardner Wollongong knows how important lifestyle is when planning your new home. We love to create spaces where life just happens. We have an exceptionally talented team of building professionals who love everything about house design and construction. We know the latest styles and trends in the local area. It does not matter if you want a coastal style, hinterland rustic or a modern contemporary home in the suburbs; we cater for all of the above.

All of our homes, whether it is one of our designs or 100% your own, come with a competitive fixed term contract that will guarantee your new home's delivery date and price, ensuring your new home is on time and on budget!

If you are looking for a local Illawarra builder who understands the area – you have come to the right place!

What trends are you seeing with buyers right now? 

We are seeing trends with our clients wanting Butlers Pantries, High Ceilings, Hardwood Flooring, Courtyard designs and continuing to request the Hampton Facades. 

2. What advice do you have for customers who are buying or building their first home?

Take the time to talk with the experts to help you understand what it is you want from a home. Don’t just think of the now but the future living in your new home.  For instance, if you have young children now, their needs and your families needs will certainly change, so it is important to build a home that will adapt to your families changing environment. When you are in your initial fact finding phase, make sure you are comparing apples for apples. Understand what is included and not included in your quotes. Ask questions, no question is silly. Trust local products and trades. 

3. Can you share your top dollar saving tip for customers when designing a new home?

Try to avoid wasted space areas; the smaller the home the cheaper the build.  Elect for a smaller footprint. Standard hip roof lines vs Skillions or pop up ceilings. Standard window sizes (sliding window vs awning or Double hung). Spend money on your features like your Splashbacks vs Ceasarstone - it is more cost effective & a feature that will be seen. Know where to splurge on upgrades like higher ceilings. Look at completing some items yourself, like the landscaping, fencing and driveways. 

 4. What homes do you have on display at Calderwood Valley?

The Kingscliff - Inspired by the best in coastal architecture, the Kingscliff is a large family home filled with natural light and cooling breezes. An open-plan living zone forms the heart of the home, comprising a designer kitchen, butler’s pantry, family living and dining areas, and a large covered alfresco. Upstairs is a separate lounge or activity room, along with five well-appointed bedrooms. The master suite has its own sitting area, huge ensuite and walk-in robe, and a private balcony. An additional two-way ensuite between the second and third bedrooms is ideal for teenagers or guests.

Beachmere - Looking for a large family home that’s packed with features and style? The new G.J. Gardner Homes Beachmere design range has your family’s needs covered. Choose from four floor plans, each built around a central courtyard to capture plenty of natural light and breezes. There’s a spacious master suite and a choice of three good-sized bedrooms for the kids. The Beachmere also boasts three separate indoor living areas, stylish kitchen with breakfast bar and butler’s pantry, and a private alfresco area – perfect for entertaining. With a choice of six stylish facades, this range can be tailored to suit any location or lifestyle.

5. What designs would you recommend for lots at Calderwood Valley?

Windsor 207, Upward Split
Tamar 205 downward split
Stamford 254 Split upward design
Regatta side to side split
Inglewood downward split
Seacrest half split up or down

6. What do you love most about living in the Illawarra? 

I love living in the unique Illawarra region, with its diverse range of coastal townships, stunning beaches and picturesque rural centres. Living locally and working locally gives us great opportunities to not only contribute to the growth and development of the local community but to also enjoy and experience everything the Illawarra has to offer. With some of the worlds best surfing beaches and rock pools lining the coast it feels like you're always on the perfect holiday, except you are at home. Opposite the coast is the forests, rocky cliffs, mountains and bush trails for those adventure lovers. What better place to call home is there?