Monique was initially doubtful of her plan to do a knockdown rebuild. However, with the guidance from Undercover Architect’s HOME Method, she gained the confidence and guidance she needed.
Monique had already completed the building plans for her new home, when she came across Amelia Lee and Undercover Architect.
However, she lacked the confidence to proceed with her build. She was unsure of the quality of the work that she had done and whether her plans were solid.
Through HOME Method she was able to easily identify the changes she needed to make, and she became more focused on creating a home to suit her family.
Monique is a member of HOME Method.
I’m Monique, I am married with two children. We live in Sydney. And we are doing a knockdown rebuild. We’ve lived in our home for 15 years, so we want to stay in the area. And just basically, the house we live in now no longer suits us. So we need to do a knockdown rebuild.
We actually started this planning five years ago. And all that work’s been done and everything, almost ready. And then we got to question ourselves whether we were doing the right thing, whether everything has, you know, done, you know, everything. So we got to the point that we were sort of having doubts.
And I said, no, I can’t do this. So we put that on hold, and then continue to just keep on looking for project homes and educating ourselves.
And that’s when we come across the Undercover Architect. And I said, ‘oh, this is great’. That was like, maybe two years ago. So we decided we have to enrol ourselves, we need to get this going. Because the kids are growing up.
So we enrolled in one of Amelia’s courses, so that’s how we started and just joining that course made us feel more confident and just knowing what to expect for this build, for this major, major project.
What concerns did you have before you started?
The major concern was really not knowing whether we are making the right choice. We’ve already done the project and the design and everything. But we started doubting, ‘hey, are we making the right choices?’
So we just need to know that, yes, we are on the right track, or we need to tweak some of our designs.
And just joining the Undercover Architect has given us that much needed confidence. Just reinforcing that, yes, you are making the right choices. And some of our choices, also not so good, which we managed to make those changes along the way.
How did you first discover Undercover Architect?
We discovered Undercover Architect from one of another podcasts that basically Amelia was, was introduced to us on. So from then on, because we’re very fond of podcasts, just listening to it to and from work.
So I got into the Undercover Architect. So from then on, I just keep on listening and listening and just continue to educate myself. So basically from, she was introduced by another podcast that I was listening to.
Did you explore any other options before joining Undercover Architect?
Yes, we did. We’ve visited all the project homes in Sydney. Which we, which was quite overwhelming. So many builders to choose from. So we’re sort of confused which of these builders actually would suit us and would work with us.
So during the joining the Undercover Architect has given us a checklist on how to choose the right builder that would suit us. So that even has empowered us to even, okay, keep going, keep going, we’re on the right track. And that’s it. Me, it makes the journey a lot easier. Be honest.
What made you decide to join the Undercover Architect online courses?
Well, we just feel like we’re sort of constrained in time. And Amelia has offered us everything in that course, like how to get it right, and everything that you need to know for our project. So we just focus on that one, and, and having that course and Amelia’s help behind it, it just makes everything so, so smooth and easy.
The paid course has actually given us more detail. It goes into the nitty and gritty, and giving you all the, she’s given us the spreadsheet even, up to the specification of materials. What materials to choose, and what options we have, which we didn’t have that one in the normal podcast.
And joining the courses also has a members-only Facebook page, which we can throw all sorts of questions, and Amelia will give us every fortnight, a live question and answer, which is great.
So having that support behind you while you’re having this big, big project and all these decisions to be made, and having that group is such a big help.
Has it been worthwhile doing Undercover Architect courses?
Yes. Oh, yes. I’ve recommended it to all my friends that are thinking of doing the build. I said, you’re not paying what the course is worth. It saves you a lot of headaches, and just avoiding those mistakes that you know, you’re likely to make anyway. So, yes, it’s well worth it.
What are you doing differently because of this Undercover Architect course?
I was more aware, working with the Undercover Architect, I was more aware of what is important. That I shouldn’t be looking or focusing my time and attention on what’s being shown in the project homes. Because those ones may not be suitable for our needs.
So Amelia has actually given us some tips on understanding what your family needs. And what you have to make sure that it ticks all the boxes. Your home will basically be a place where all your needs and that suits you, for, as a forever home.
How have you benefited from doing Undercover Architect’s courses?
Knowing this is in terms of the design, and the, about installations as well. And in getting into those details, because sometimes the designer just doesn’t really explain much or doesn’t give you, doesn’t give you the, what is it that’s available. What, what else can you do. What are the other options that are available. They don’t really give that to you unless you ask.
So having the knowledge from the course actually enables us to engage with the designer and ask them, can you do this? Or is this possible? And all those questions were basically what we’ve learned from the course.
So we know what to ask them, and what are the options and whether, then we can make those decisions, that okay, this is right. It’s working. The decision is working. And it’s all going to be good.
Did it help you save time and money?
Oh, absolutely. It does. Because in the long run, if we didn’t make the, or we didn’t ask those questions, that it’s not a priority for the designer, they’re not really focused on … I’m referring more to the, making sure the home is comfortable, thermally comfortable, and, and, you know, it functions well. That’s, that’s not really, the designer wasn’t really more focused on that one.
So I was the one that’s been pushing on that aspect, because I learned how important it is to have that tick that box. So that’s one thing we’ve learned from the course.
And just engaging the designer with, you know, those questions, and they, then they feel like, okay, you have some knowledge about this, then they’re more prepared to give you, you know, more information about those things. Just, just the way you ask.
If you know how to ask the question, then they’re likely to be more engaging, because they know that you know something.
Did the Undercover Architect course save you drama + stress?
Well the course, the Undercover Architect has really helped us avoid those mistakes.
Because during the course, Amelia actually signposts us, that hey, during this stage these are the most common mistakes. So knowing that, in advance, has helped us prepare or just don’t do it. Just don’t do it. So yes, it saves us a lot of money and time.
Time really, is because you avoid that mistake. So you don’t have to spend time fixing that mistake, because you avoided it in the first place.
What is the best thing about the Undercover Architect course?
I think so far the best one is knowing that the design of our home is to maximised to our orientation of our block.
And just knowing that the design, when this is all enough and is all finished, that the home will suit us in, in our functions well, in accordance to our needs as a family.
What would you say to others thinking of joining this Undercover Architect course?
Well, all I can say is it saved us a lot of time and money, and has given us the confidence that we didn’t have, and actually helped us to keep going.
Because every now and then you start to doubt your choices.
So having the help and being in this course, enrolling in this course, has helped us make those choices a lot easier, because you’re making an informed decision.
Who would you recommend the UA courses for?
It’s pretty much for everyone who’s planning to do a build or renovation. You get the benefit of joining the course, because the course is pretty much like, covers everything you can think of.
Before this course, I didn’t even realise how many choices we have to make. So just knowing what’s ahead of you has equipped me.
Okay, by this stage, I have to make this choice. So way in advance I already know I have to make that choice. And I have all the time to research, so I can make an informed decision.
What have you learned because of this Undercover Architect course?
Well, because of the Undercover Architect, I feel more excited and actually looking forward for this project to finish.
And I’m more like, okay, all the knowledge that I’ve learned, it gets tested.
So that’s really the most empowering part of like, joining the course. Because you know. You know what to expect and it’s a lot easier to deal with when you’re in that really stressful, you know, time that you’re doing construction.
And it just makes it a lot easier when you know what to expect, what’s ahead of you.