The conversion of our 2 bedroom 1950’s bungalow to a modern 4 bedroom house has been an enjoyable journey that completed on time, on budget and with results that far exceeded our expectations. The success of this undertaking is due to the vision, professionalism and execution that Martin brought to the process.
We initially engaged Martin based on his portfolio that emphasised an elegant and simple style. Upon meeting him for the first time, we were impressed by not only his professionalism but also his keen interest in understanding our living requirements and his ability to quickly provide ideas and concepts on how to achieve these objectives.
Once Martin quickly arrived at a concept, we had a number of very productive meetings in which Martin iterated over his designs with us. He made ongoing suggestions, listened to our feedback and provided some great ideas on how to design a house with 2 small children in mind, how to maximise natural light and how to realise an indoor/outdoor lifestyle.
We used Martin to prepare submissions for council and it was during this phase that Martin’s deep knowledge of the building and council process came to the forefront as he patiently navigated all the procedural waters. Even though there were a number of complicated elements to our design, Martin was able to use his expertise to ensure we were compliant on all accounts and the process moved incredibly smoothly under his guidance.
We ended up engaging the builders recommended by Martin (a fantastic team!) and, during the build, Martin remained close and regularly provided advice as building progressed.
The end result is a fantastic house that the family loves. My wife and I are regularly complemented on how it turned out and how lucky we are to have had such smooth journey. For anyone looking to renovate, I would not hesitate to recommend Martin.
"Quality in Every Detail. Invaluable Expertise Dealing with Council and Builder"
Our project, modest compared to some of the projects shown here dates back some 14 years. We were thinking of extending our home to include a new master bedroom, a laundry full en-suite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. One of our thoughts was to add a storey to the house, an option which turned out to be unrealistic due to the many structural changes that would have had to be made. We had some initial talks with builders, none of which instilled too much confidence in us. On the other hand, we hadn't really considered engaging a home designer, due to cost versus benefit considerations. How wrong we were. . . .
We decided to call Martin when we realised we were not going to make it as designers ourselves (l should say, when I realised this; my wife was already convinced of my lack of skill in that department) and one Sunday he visited us to discuss some ideas. From the very first moment we knew we had.wasted time trying to do things without input from an expert; we were able to tell him our thoughts which he translated into feasible and realistic goals. Martin showed genuine interest and knew exactly how to handle a guy who kept saying: "l can do this, this and this myself'.
During the design phase he kept us completely up to date on what.he was doing, ideas he had and the discussions were fascinating because of the learning exercise they were for us. We marvelled at the logic of Martin's ideas. During the construction process, that expertise proved invaluable when dealing with council and a somewhat recalcitrant builder.
I won't go on about the work itself too much, other than to say you can simply see the quality in every design detail. lt was just a perfect fit and all of it would not have been possible without Martin's expertise, care and complete end-to-end service provision. The additional fees for Martin's involvement were an investment, not a cost.
Over the years we kept in touch off and on, resulting in Martin designing and coordinating the build of a music studio and a recent approach for advice on some further renovations, based on which we have engaged his services again.
Finally, I can state with absolute certainty, that we will never consider further renovations, including building afresh elsewhere, should that be on the cards, without Martin's full involvement again. lt's that simple.
"Innovative, highly professional and sympathetic"
Martin was a referral to us and we worked with him to remodel our home and add an extension. We were immediately impressed by our first meeting, Martin was professional, had some fantastic ideas and very knowledgeable of our area and the restrictions we had as we lived in a flame zone. We knew what we wanted to suit the needs of our young family but Martin advised us on how we could transcend our house design to meet our families needs as our family grew up. Martin worked with the council and other contractors so that our planning application was submitted and the result was stress free, seamless, with no changes.
This was our first ever experience of remodelling and Martin was patient with all our novice questions.
We now have a stunning home and we couldn’t be happier with the architectural design.
Martin’s approach is innovative, highly professional and sympathetic and we have recommended Martin to anyone who asks us!
Martin was quick to understand how far we had progressed in our thoughts and then from his enquiries understood our lifestyle, needs by way of spaces, and the image of the completed home that we had in our minds. The end product of the design process is evidenced by the photos and by the recent design award from the BDA.
We agreed to Martin putting his thoughts to a concept design which was promptly returned for discussion, "fiddled with" and when the final concept was agreed, he immediately moved to the formal plan phase. Martin was a regular communicator so at all times we were aware of the progress and any issues quickly settled. I did not realise the depth of information required within a design for a council approval / builder specs which Martin completed faultlessly and timely.
I highly recommend Martin to all home builders/renovators for his total professional services to us were fantastic, we are very satisfied and we are so grateful for his assistance.
"Far Exceeded Our Vision"
I initially engaged the services of Martin Kolarik in 2005 to investigate the design and cost options for a significant house extension and renovation for our property in Turramurra. These plans were put on hold during several years living overseas. In late 2010, we re-engaged Martin to come up with new designs and prepare a package for council submission. The services included house designs, full council submission documentation package and assistance to achieve approval, support and guidance for engaging builders, support and assistance during the project including liaising with engineers, certifiers and the builders.
During the initial stages of the project, we met several times and spoke at length about our requirements and ideas for what we would like. Martin was able to take these on board and developed several initial design sketches (including plans and elevation drawings) to help refine our requirements. The final house plans met our expectations and with Martin's design guidance, we
obtained builder quotes that matched our planned budget. At the completion of the building works, the end result is fantastic and far exceeds the vision we had all those years ago.
In all aspects of dealing with Martin over the years, I have found his approach, professionalism and attitude to be excellent. He was able to take our scattered ideas for what we needed in a major extension/ renovation, at all times patiently working with our changing requirements, and deliver an end result that we are extremely pleased with. We have been more than happy to subsequently recommend Martin's work to several friends who are considering house extensions and renovations themselves.
"Very professional and a pleasure to work with"
We engaged Martin for a major renovation for our home including a extra floor with master bedroom and walk-in-robe as well as a greatly enlarged living/dining/entertaining area. We found Martin very professional and a pleasure to work with. Throughout the design phase he was sensitive to our requests and came up with both practical and aesthetic solutions for our needs and budget.
We were impressed by his body of work, and his experience in design and dealing with councils, certifiers and builders was evident and reassuring. We were particularly impressed with the builders he recommended and worked with during the construction phase.
Martin always made himself available at times to suit us, and he gave realistic and timely updates on his progress and budget. We are delighted with the transformation to our home and have recommended Martin to several friends.
We engaged Martin Kolarik as our home designer in 2010 to help us with an addition we wanted to build to an existing home and from our first meeting with him, we felt confident that Martin understood what we were hoping to achieve.
Martin was recommended to us as someone who had expertise in achieving the smooth progress of a building application through council to the final approval stage and we weren't disappointed in that regard. Although our development involved particular
challenges with respect to zoning and privacy, Martin was able to ensure our building work commenced and progressed to completion successfully within our desired timeframe.
In understanding the need for us to reside in the home throughout the building work, Martin showed sensitivity to our living arrangements so that we experienced a minimum of inconvenience. He was also able to suggest many design features we hadn't thought of but which admirably suited our needs and budget.
His capable oversight of the builders and other contractors ensured we had a trouble free building experience.
Martin also followed up after the work had been completed, to establish our satisfaction and whether any issues had emerged. We continue to be very happy with the result of his efforts.
"A Joy To Work With Martin"
For many years we were thinking about an extension to our house. When our children turned into teenagers we were keen to get more space such as bigger bedrooms, a separate parent area and teenager space.
Martin visited us for the initial discussion and asked us a lot of questions about what was important to us and what we wanted to achieve. Martin took the information away and came back with a few different concepts and ideas that we did not even think about. His drawings combined practicality with design.
Martin is very knowledgeable, organised and professional and it is a joy working with him.
He gives every request due consideration, no matter how challenging the request. We would not hesitate to recommend Martin to anybody who would like to make changes to their property. In fact our friends engaged Martin based on our recommendation.
"Seven years on and still really happy"
We became clients of Martin Kolarik in 2009 after much discussion over renovating/rebuilding versus selling our family home in Hornsby and buying a larger home for our growing family. We warmed to Martin after an initial meeting, that must have gone forever, as both Liam and I were adamant that Martin was going to give us a home that included everything on our wish list including our budget for the project! Martin is a fantastic communicator with all parties involved in a building/renovating project. After our initial meetings, we agreed on a ‘renovation’ project that delivered a home that we can be pleased to say had ‘simple elegance and maximum functionality’.
We had to put a hold on the project for two years due to Liam’s work commitments. When we resumed in 2011, Martin was ready to join us on our journey. We did not use Martin’s recommended builder/builders, but decided to do an ‘owner builder’ project, which was a decision we made according to our budget at the time.
I am sitting here typing this testimonial for Martin, 7 years later, and really appreciating this amazing home we live in that is part of the bush environment, as well as providing my family with a very comfortable and modern home. Thank you Martin for being part of this journey, making it a smooth and enjoyable one.
"Exceeded Our Expectations"
- Conceptual design
- Discussion of our requirements in regards to design, look, function and cost
- Presentation and review of several concepts
- Refinement of final design
- Assist in lodgement of development application
- Discussion and selection of appropriate builder
- Ongoing discussions with builder and period inspections whilst building works being undertaken
- Design of lighting layout, assisting and discussion of further internal design elements
- Assisting with certification of building works
The total budget of this renovation was approximately $280,000.
Martin's ability to understand our core requirements and present answers and new ideas for our project exceeded our expectations. After living in the completed project for more than 12 months we have found the renovation to perfectly cater for our family's requirements.
Several design features of our home that Martin presented to us (curved interior wall matched with curved lines on a rear balcony) have proved to have been outstanding and regularly get positive comments from visitors to our home, these comments have come from builders, designers and engineers.
We have no hesitation in recommending Martin Kolarik as a building designer or doubt his professionalism in any way.
We have recently completed substantial renovations and additions to our 1950’s bungalow. The planning and design of this work was completed by Martin Kolarik Home Design. Martin has exceeded our expectations during a lengthy design and approval process. His attention to detail and flexibility in being able to interpret our ideas into a new functional space has been outstanding.
Martin was at all times a true professional in his many visits to our house. We have achieved what is now a fundamental change to the size, flow and functionality of our existing house. Martin’s knowledge of process and products was also second to none.
His assistance during the quotation phase of the project was invaluable and resulted in us engaging a first class builder to complete the works. We would highly recommend Martin to any prospective clients.
Martin listened very attentively to our requirements and very cooperatively finalised the plan, with careful discussion back and forth. We felt he always took on board our thinking, while respectfully putting his own suggestions.
A rather difficult geometrical problem involved in joining a new carport to the existing house was solved very successfully. He then worked closely with the building team, with whom he had an existing good relationship.
We went overseas for four months during the project, confident that the continuing liaison with the builders and with us would keep the project on track. We were not disappointed - all worked out just as we had hoped.
All in all, we were very happy with Mr Kolarik's work and would recommend him to anyone.
Quyen and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your work in designing our renovations to our North Turramurra home. Your design captured our requirements and provided the practical, modern simplicity we were looking for to transform our
Quyen and I were very happy with your knowledge of the planning system, and the specific requirements of our site; being located within a flame zone. The design was always cognisant of the additional requirements this imposed, and ultimately we were able to deliver the desired result with practical solutions worked through in conjunction with the builder- a process that we were also grateful for your assistance with before the building work commenced.
Now that we have lived in the finished product we can categorically state that we wouldn't change any part of the design. Indeed, the only parts of the renovation that we would change are those you weren't involved with!
Once again, thank you for your work in transforming our home.
"I Cannot Begin To Thank Martin Enough"
I cannot begin to thank Martin enough for making what I had dreamed about for 8 years a reality. From the moment we moved into our home we knew we wanted to renovate. 6 years in an we finally got around to trying a few different providers. With the last option, we spent a lot of money upfront and by the time it came to quoting the build it was way out of our budget. I had wasted another 18 months.. Then I found Martin through his website. As soon as we met Martin we knew it was going to be a great match. He cared about what we wanted and what our budget was and was able to provide alternatives for us to consider. His advice was invaluable through out the entire process.
From a design perspective now living in it, our home is perfect. There is nothing that I would change. Through the design process Martin was able to provide us with clear visuals and was able to discuss any queries or changes we wanted to make, easily working through options to implement. One of our main concerns was getting the design through council as we were in a conservation area, again Martin handled it with ease, going through first time no amendments! Practically unheard of in our area.
For those who had seen our home prior and come back now, we always receive compliments of how much lighter and larger the space looks. They can't believe we didn't change the footprint.
Thank you so much Martin for everything.
"Martin had a vision that was totally in synch with ours"
We didn’t necessarily want a bigger house but one that was light filled and open plan. However, there were three things that were important:
1) Internal access from the garage
2) An en suite and walk-in ‘robe for the main bedroom
3) An internal laundry.
He was enthusiastic about the challenge and met our brief with some wonderful ideas to make an open plan, bright and individual looking house.
Martin nailed all these parameters almost from the first draft.
When I had any ideas Martin would say “Yes that’s great… but what about this?” This then elevated those ideas to a new level that we could simply not live without! We knew we would get this opportunity only once and were lucky enough, with Martin’s guidance and knowledge, to achieve our dream.
Martin was always accessible, available and would answer any questions with the utmost patience. Martin loved the idea and challenge of designing what we described as ‘an echo of deco’ i.e. a feeling of the Art Deco period without slavishly copying it.
It was through Martin that we were introduced to a fantastic builder and his team who were just as enthusiastic and embraced the challenge of our project. The same sentiments go to the fantastic cabinetry company that built the kitchen as well as the cabinets, built-ins and vanities throughout the house. In fact, all the tradesmen and women were exemplary.
We and all our family and friends agree our new home is beautiful. Also, our neighbours and all the local walkers have followed the progress diligently, often stopping to comment positively on the unique architectural features.
We feel such a sense of space from the open plan living that Martin has achieved. We also feel such satisfaction from seeing our vision and Martin’s interpretation of that come to life from the original drawings to the finished home.
We had an excellent experience working with Martin on the renovation of our home. We would not hesitate to recommend Martin and all those involved in bringing our project to fruition.
Thank you, Martin, and your team, we are delighted with our finished product.
"Martin is the ultimate professional"
I cannot recommend Martin high enough, based on his professionalism, his technical knowledge and skill and the ability to manage a project from start to finish, without us having to worry about anything other than colours etc. We have had several engagements over the past 18 or so years and would not embark on a project without consulting him as a first step.
Oh, and he also possesses that enviable quality of carefully managing a guy who kept saying: I can do a lot myself. . . . He is the ultimate gentleman and we regard the cost of engaging him as an investment, not a burden.
"Very happy with our new home"
I have no hesitation in recommending Martin Kolarik. Martin came to my house and after a discussion about what I was looking for he came up with a number of different options or concept plans. Martin understands the processes involved in getting plans approved by council and he is reliable with respect to estimating the time frame of the steps over which he has some control. We are very happy with our new home which is a vast improvement on the dysfunctional floor plan I had lived with for years.
"Exemplary Home Designer"
Martin is an exemplary home designer. He takes great care with his advice and really listens to his clients needs. He advises how to save money and how to prevent over-investment, We arrived at a design that not only suited our budget but also got approved by the council (we're in a bush-fire prone area) with minimum difficulty. What astounded me is how great the result looks - and when it was all paid for we were exactly in budget!
"The Ultimate Professional"
I take great pleasure in submitting this professional reference for Martin Kolarik of MK Home Design. I have had a professional relationship with Martin for the past few years with our companies' services complementing each other within the building industry.
On each occasion I have dealt with Martin and his business I have always found him to be the ultimate professional. Over the past few years we have both referred clients to each other. Any time I pass a client to Martin I feel confident the client is in good hands and will be given fair and honest advice.
In regard to Martin's professional ability as a building designer, I have found his design work to be of a high level with all the required information to build the project available on the project documentation. In Martin's designs it's always obvious that any potential problem areas have been identified and given the required amount of thought and solutions found. This allows the building process to continue without delay or added expense, often to the home owner's surprise.
One of Martin's strong points, which I particularly admire, is his ability to design to a budget and his understanding of building costs. I feel this is an area of design which many designers are particularly weak, however I find Martin's expertise in this area outstanding which is a main reason I feel comfortable referring potential clients to Martin. I believe a big part in this ability is that Martin is upfront with his clients from the start and will have the tough conversation with a client, if required, to set their expectations to a realistic level early in the process.
Outside of the building and design arena, I have also seen the way he conducts himself at networking and social events. Martin is always polite and generous with his time in that he is willing to contribute where possible or offer advice in his area of expertise to those in need, whether they are a client of his or not. I think this also speaks volumes of Martin's personal values which are carried through into his work and the way he manages his business.
I have no problem recommending Martin as a building designer and will continue to send potential clients in his direction. I look forward to many more years of fostering the working relationship between our two companies as well as on a personal level. I am happy to be contacted for any further information at any time.
"Excellent Service and Value for Money"
Single level home extension including addition of:
- Main Bedroom & Ensuite
- Indoor / Outdoor Entertainment Area
- Parents Lounge Area
- Large DLUG with new driveway
- New roof structure over whole building
Building Contract Value $400k
When your one and only home represents your life savings as well as being central to everything you love, the decision to tear it down and rebuild is a big one.
Understandably, to the people that become involved, your rebuild is just another job for a day, a week or a few months. It means a lot less to them than it does you. You need to work with people who understand that!
Martin Kolarik was not the first person we discussed our ideas with but he was the first to direct his thoughts to a solution that specifically addressed our requirements.
Initial consultations defined the possibilities for us both in financial and construction terms. Martin’s knowledge of Construction Methods, Building Codes and Costs ensure realistic budgets and expectations are established early in the piece.
As an accomplished Home Designer, Martin was able to offer ideas for our consideration. Ideas that challenged and expanded the scope of our own limited thinking. It was entirely optional whether we took up any or none of Martin’s suggestions. Those we did adopt have very much enhanced our living and the value of our home.
In the course of these projects, some potentially sticky negotiations become necessary where Councils, Builders and Certifiers need to agree. Throughout the Approval, Construction and Certification phases, Martin represented our interests with vigour and good judgement. His unwavering commitment continued until the last paperwork was done, long after the final fee was paid.
Levels of service and value for money are often lacking these days. In both, we found Martin Kolarik Home Design excelled. The Builders, Engineers and Trades he recommended were also very satisfactory in this regard.
Some frequent comments from friends and residents in our street: -
“it went up really quickly”
“house is fabulous – you’d never know it was an extension”
“seamless – suits perfectly”
“very contemporary – a wonderful transformation”