Beaches Coworking – Q&A with Joel

Beaches Co-Working Q&A with Joel. 


Let me introduce you to Joel and Rachel from BTM Constructions.


This brother and sister duo work together like a well-oiled machine. Joel started BTM nearly 10 years ago, and having in the more recent years broken his leg, it has forced him to work harder off the building site and spend more time in the office. No stranger to family business (their parents are serial entrepreneurs), Joel convinced Rachel to join him behind the scenes 4 years ago and the rest is history!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

We asked Joel to share a bit about BTM with us:⠀⠀⠀


Q. Tell us about BTM Constructions? ⠀

A. BTM Constructions (BTM = Built to Matter) is a family run residential construction company with only good vibes, and the occasional golf day.

Q. What do you love about your job?⠀⠀

A. I get to meet new people every day – communication and relationship building comes naturally to me, so I really love that aspect of the job. We seem to attract great clients, which makes it even more enjoyable. I also love to share my knowledge about building and the industry in general, especially when it helps others’ dreams come to fruition. You can’t beat working outdoors all day either!⠀⠀⠀⠀



Q. What do you aim for BTM to be synonymous with?

Delivering good service, good quality and being efficient with time. For us, seeing the final product, and the client being happy with the end result, is what we’re all about. ⠀

Q. Who/what do you look to for inspiration?⠀

A. Personally, I don’t look to our competitors for inspiration. At the end of the day, to be successful, I believe you have to run your own race, be original and consistent with your own plans. I’m most creative with a good wine in hand, whilst travelling or and after a chat with one of the leaders in our industry. I really admire people who take risks and it spurs me on to continue improving what we’re doing too.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

We love working from the Mona Vale Beaches Co Working space!

See @beachescoworking on instagram for more information.


Builder or Architect First?

Designing Your Dream Home, Together. 


It is not unusual for the building process to begin with an architect and homeowner sitting down to discuss a potential project. During this time, there may be an exchange of ideas, draft sketches, and discussion about the preliminary specifics with the home renovation or build. The issue with this however, is that the concept of a ‘budget’ is often overlooked, or in actual fact, inadequately determined.

It happens all too often where a client puts forward their proposed budget, the architect designs their dream home, perfects the finishes, creates a wonderfully considered layout, adds in intrinsic detail to deliver a cleverly-creative outcome, and the plans are then ready for tender.


It is shortly after this point that the client is heartbroken, and left deflated.

All this time, money, and effort put into creating their dream home, only to discover the cost to build it is well beyond their initial budget. Even after receiving numerous quotes from builders, it still seems so far away. But how did this happen? Wasn’t the budget provided at the beginning? Weren’t you clear on what you wanted?


The answer: An architect is not a builder, nor an estimator.


The expectation that an Architect can deliver a masterpiece, whilst also understanding every dollar, every construction detail, engineering required, is outrageous. An Architect is engaged to provide function and form, artistic aesthetics, creative concepts, and distinctive detail. They know what works. So, what happens next is either a) a client is required to then spend far more than they anticipated, or b) a client must sacrifice a portion of the project, poor quality selections are made, the design is not delivered and the outcome lacks cohesion. Either way, the homeowner is not satisfied.

So how can an Architect design a home renovation, whilst actually producing a design that can be constructed for an estimated budget?

We believe the answer to this is to get your builder involved early!

A cohesive process between, home owner, architect, and builder, is the best solution to ensuring the homeowner has the most satisfying outcome. This way the team is able to assess things such as availability of materials, construction methods, site limitations, and site planning. This is actually called ‘Value Engineering’ and is extremely crucial to eliminate unwanted costs from the beginning of the planning process, while improving the functionality and quality of the build.

design and build

It could come at a slight cost to engage your builder in these initial stages, but trust us when we say, it is worth every cent in the construction industry.

If the builder is involved early on in the design process, there is far less unknown with the build, and a far more accurate quote can be produced for the homeowner. Elements which may be unforeseen can be reduced greatly, and you will not be designing something that cannot be built within reason of your budget.

At BTM, we cohesively operate in this way. We ensure attention to detail and involvement in all steps of the design and build process alongside the Architect and home owner, which ensures that all parties are on the same page and are able to stick to the proposed costs.

This means our builders will take more accountability for the project, deliver a smoother process from start to finish, achieve a quality project that they are proud of, and, the most important of all, provide the best outcome for our client and a home which they love!