Adelaide's Award Winning Custom Home and Renovation Specialists


New Townhouses, Semaphore Park

Project Brief

This project is a little different to your standard as it was a ZJ Building in-house development investment. We purchased an old 70’s home with the intention to knock it down, subdivide and build two high-end, luxury townhouses. We went through the process as if we were the customer; dealing directly with the architect/designer and making all the design decisions throughout the preliminary process. 

We were limited with the block width and we didn’t want a ‘cookie cutter’ home which meant the front elevation and street appeal needed to have a point of difference to your average townhouse.

A lot of time and consultation was spent on the layout of the home and orientation of the block. South facing frontage meant we could choose some timber highlight features without risking a high maintenance, faded look over time.

Some non-negotiables in the design included some cool features such as a laundry chute, open style ensuite and free flowing function of the kitchen, butlers and walk in pantry with ample storage. The brief was to build a luxurious, high-end home that a family could create memories in for a lifetime. It had to be a turn key solution; fully landscaped and ready to move into.

Our Approach and Scope of Work

With a large project ahead of us, we stayed focused on the result but kept thinking of ways to add those small differences that would stand out against your standard home. With a big long adjoining party wall, we opted for a system that allowed flexibility while maximising the footprint of the living. The CSR 360 party wall system allowed us to create in-wall niches along the fire rated party wall without compromising on the fire safety between the two properties.

Being a two-story home, we didn’t want a big blank wall of render or brick so we broke up the facade with different levels, textures and materials. We engaged an interior designer to assist with colour selection which also helped soften the facade. With a detailed colour schedule for external finishes, we had to ensure the trades were all up to speed and every detail was managed closely.

A big project that goes for almost an entire calendar year will go through every season and take its toll on the neighbours. A lot of effort was put into informing the neighbours of busier than normal days and when to expect high levels of activity or noise. The favours were returned in kind with full cooperation when updating fences and providing access to the rear gardens at late stages of the project. It was a great collaborative effort and we pride ourselves on maintaining relationships throughout pre and post construction with all parties involved – including neighbouring home owners.

Obstacles that we overcame

The scale of this project presented some issues, mainly being scheduling and managing trades over a large timeline. Also, with a boundary to boundary design, access was never optimal and communication with the neighbours was paramount. On site material storage became difficult at times and staggered deliveries were required to ensure a clean and organised work site. 

Obstacle #1

With many trades involved over a large timeline, scheduling was paramount. Constant communication and updates were sent out to all trades to keep them up to date with progress on the job and when they were next expected back on site. 

Obstacle #2

With two large footprint homes on a mid-sized block, material storage was limited and a lot of care and thought had to be taken into account when planning material deliveries. Site cleanliness was also a big concern and so all trades were managed to maintain the site to a clean and safe standard.

Obstacle #3

The timber frame design of the home called for a certain fixing detail for the upper external cladding. This was a wasteful and inefficient design so we came up with a slightly different system where we were able to add wall sarking to the entire upper frame and then batton it out to create an air pocket cavity between the external cladding and the insulation of the external walls. This also allowed us to increase the energy rating of the walls, improve the efficiency and speed of the installation and remove all risk of a potentially wavy external cladding. 

The Result

One of the homes was placed on the market prior to it being finished and was sold very quickly. The new homeowners, Julie and Doug, were so pleased with the final result, the photos don’t give these homes the justice they deserve. They are truly custom built to a high specification and have impressive street appeal. The dry stacked blue-stone feature centre column at the front gives it another level of sophistication and both the homeowners love it.


The finishes of the home were so simple yet, perfectly executed, which creates a wonderful experience upon walking through. We delivered the home to the client defect free and with a full walk through of all the home features. The kitchen showcased clean lines and thoughtful design with stone tops and modern finishes. The splashback window brings extra light in and the flow of the workspace into the butlers kitchen and walk in pantry works well for open plan living.

The house has a substantial amount of storage including a small room under the staircase and a pull down attic ladder to access the roof space. We provided a full turn key solution which meant fully landscaped front and back gardens with Sir Walter Buffalo lawn and an integrated irrigation system. 

The new home owners are over the moon with the results, here’s what they had to say: 

Julie and I (Douglas), purchased a house at Semaphore Park that was under construction by ZJ Building, we had not previously built a new home and we had some trepidations on building as we had seen the traps, pitfalls and anxiety that family and friends had experienced when building a new home.

Prior to purchasing the home we met Zak and he showed as through the partially built home, it was evident from the first meeting that Zak and his team were quality people with a real pride in the standard of workmanship and they had treated the build as it was the most important project ever.

During the build we visited them regularly showing family and friends and at times we were probably a little too frequent,  we were always made welcome and given a tour by Zak or Tim.

We were given regular updates and given the opportunity to make sure that we were okay and understood the small details.

Importantly we are absolutely satisfied with the end product, it has exceeded our expectations.

Our family and friends who have shared our journey think that we have been extremely lucky to have used ZJ Building and so do we.\

Finally the time and effort at the hand over by Jacqui and Zak to ensure that we understood switches, heating and cooling and appliances was great, as was the champagne personalised decanter and glasses, and most importantly the wall plaque in the garage.

Many thanks and well done.


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