Halcyon nails the house for veteran builder
Having built close to 500 homes in the past 40 years, veteran builder Darryl Kleidon’s only reservation about moving to Halcyon Greens was not being able to construct his new home himself.
As the owner of his own building company it was natural that, in addition to his contractual work, he had always built his family’s homes.
But this time, for the first time, he had to put his trust in another builder.
“That was the hard thing here, me not building this myself,” he said.
“This is the first house that we’ve been in that we haven’t built ourselves. But I just had that gut feeling that they (Halcyon) were okay in doing what they were doing, and it turned out like that. If Halcyon weren’t as good as they are, it would have been different. But they were fine and they ticked all the boxes.”
Darryl, who runs his own building company, said he was impressed by every aspect of Halcyon’s approach to the construction process, so much so, that he and wife Clorien took a trip while their home was being built.
“We were away with the caravan in Tasmania for six weeks when the house was being built, and that’s never happened to me before because we’ve always been building it. But it all clicked and it all worked. The homes have good design and I liked all the construction methods like the Hebel and the insulation. It’s what I would have done if I had built it myself.”
And while they appreciated the wide array of variations available and the ability to personalise their home, Darryl and Clorien’s decision to move to Halcyon Greens hinged strongly on being able to adapt the garage to fit the caravan.
“If we weren’t allowed to do this, we wouldn’t be here, we would have been on acreage,” he said.
The adaption involved taking up their courtyard and some internal house space to create a garage big enough for the caravan and two cars.
“It’s the fourth bedroom,” Darryl laughed.
“We had a three-bedroom house and now we’ve got a four-bedroom house, because we’ve got the bedroom in the caravan. I think everybody knows us because of it; when we meet somebody for the first time they say, ‘Oh, you’re the ones with the caravan in the garage’.
"But I’m glad we did it. When we stop doing caravanning, I want the garage as big as it is because I still want to tinker around and it’s good to have that space.”
With some of their internal space taken up by the garage, the couple also elected to enclose the rear patio to create more living area.
Darryl, 63, said they were happy with the entire construction process, from concept through to completion.
“The service was as good as we expected from the first meeting we had with Halcyon, because we follow much of the same process with our building projects,” he said.
Clorien, 65, who works part-time with Queensland Health in Brisbane, is delighted with the finished product and is loving her new life at Halcyon Greens.
“We’ve really made the right decision,” she said.
“We thought it was going to be a slower pace, but it’s not, we’re still active and we’ve got beautiful neighbours and everybody else we know here are really lovely and friendly people. I know I miss out on social things on the days I work but they’re not going to go away. When I decide to give up work, I’ve got more of a social life down here.”
Shortly after moving in, the Kleidons instigated a Royal Wedding street party – complete with TV, tiaras and fire baskets - and they are planning more of the same in their very social street.
They laugh at how a five-minute cuppa with their neighbours can turn into an hour-long get-together.
“We sort of knew our neighbours at Kuraby, but we really know our neighbours here,” Clorien said.
“It’s more social.”
Darryl, who considers himself an all-rounder, is keen to try everything as more and more of Halcyon Greens’ recreational facilities are completed.
“We’re happy that we moved here because we’ve done it early enough, we haven’t left it too late,” he said.
“That’s an important thing, because we can still be active here and hopefully we are for a long time.”