Leading the way in NSW with Steel Framing
McDonald Jones Homes (MJH) has grown from its start in the Hunter Valley some 30 years ago, to NSW’s largest freestanding home builder, with a constant focus on the quality of each individual home. In the words of one of the founding members and Director, Bill McDonald, “We may have grown to be the largest [freestanding home] builder in NSW, but that wasn’t our ambition. We just grew the business by thinking about the customer and giving them the best possible materials for their home.” Having offered steel framing for almost 20 years, MJH is one of the most experienced steel frame residential builders in the country.
- Bill McDonald, Director (and one of the founding members), McDonald Jones Homes
Key Benefits Delivered:
- TRUECORE® steel is straight and true:
- Talking about building with frames made from TRUECORE® steel, Mr McDonald says "The character of the material means it doesn’t twist or warp over time, and it stays straight and true, making it easier to get a real quality finish."
- And, since TRUECORE® steel is dimensionally accurate, there’s no need to allow for frame creep.
- Cost savings:
- With their precision engineered framing solution made from TRUECORE® steel, MJH delivers high-end features such as picture recesses, TV recesses and shower nooks in a cost effective way. This is due to framing made from TRUECORE® steel being fabricated offsite which is more efficient than a nonengineered solution that has trades cutting and assembling materials on-site to achieve these architectural details.
- Design versatility:
- Working with engineered steel frame solutions gives MJH greater flexibility to deliver more difficult spans and pitches – whether these are for the aesthetic or to deliver a "room in a roof" – an option that is becoming more popular.
- By using frames made from TRUECORE® steel, MJH also delivers coffered ceilings without sacrificing room height. Mr McDonald explains: "When you do a traditional coffered ceiling with a timber frame, you need to start with a 9ft ceiling height, to end up with an 8ft coffered result. However, using an engineered solution with framing made from TRUECORE® steel, you can deliver a 10ft coffered ceiling in a 9ft ceiling height. It’s simply more efficient."
- Fast and efficient installation:
- The lightweight nature of frames made from TRUECORE® steel ensures a lighter structure for trades to carry and install on-site – something says Mr McDonald, "that can make a big difference through the working day – just because the physical load of their work is less."
- Follow on trades can also complete their services more quickly since steel framing is a precision-engineered solution. Says Mr McDonald, "Things go together exactly as they should – which takes pressure off them to make calls on the site. So, working with steel is getting a better job done, faster, and helps our trades to earn more money."
- Peace of mind:
- By using frames made from TRUECORE® steel MJH is reassured that they will get "what we want time and time and time again – without deviation." Says Mr McDonald.
- White ant proof:
- "White ants were really the challenge that got us into steel frames in the first place" said Mr McDonald. "Starting in regional NSW, where white ants were a real issue for our customers, being able to offer a framing solution in steel, that white ants can’t eat, was a significant opportunity for us... and we haven’t looked back!"
Mr McDonald also discussed his long-term relationship with BlueScope. "We like to use BlueScope because, especially in the Hunter, we’ve been brought up with the company – it’s part of our history. Steel is a central pillar that Australia is built around and I’m really pleased to see framing made from TRUECORE® steel coming of age; indeed, we see it moving to the forefront of Australian building and becoming the new benchmark." He continued, "Building with BlueScope materials, we know we’re getting the highest standard that we can get. And at the end of the day, we’re only as good as the partners we work with, and we have a great partner in BlueScope."
Watch this video of TRUECORE® steel ambassador, Tom Williams interviewing Bill McDonald, about how they came to be NSW’s largest freestanding home builder and how the company’s success lies in the market difference of steel frames.
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Disclaimer - The content of this case study is based on statements made by the sources listed above and is a reflection of their views and experience on the above Project.