You can create a beautiful home by bringing the pool right up next to the house. Imagine sitting in your lounge room and looking at the blue sky reflected in your pool. “You can create your own view” says Greg Lieberman who runs Freshwater Homes on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Freshwater Homes recently completed a beautiful weatherboard home renovation at Curl Curl Beach. The existing weatherboard cottage sat on wetlands and had a very poor sub-floor, “We dug 30 centimetres into the gound and hit water” recalls Greg. About 80 percent of the original house was demolished and the new house now sits on screwpile footings.

“Building a pool into the wet ground was also a challenge; but well worth the effort” Greg says happily.

The Curl Curl beach house follows the classic “Hamptons Look” where the weatherboard is painted a darker colour to contrast white window frames, railings and eaves. The house is clad in Scyon™ Linea 180mm weatherboard by James Hardie which comes with a 25 year warranty. Greg says “When you drive past the places you build 10 years ago you want them to still look great. Timber goes away really quickly near the beach. People just don’t give wood the maintenance it needs. With the Hardie’s weatherboard you don’t have a problem”.

The deep shadows from the 16mm Scyon brand cement composite weatherboard characterise the beach house look. This same style has continued inside with a James Hardie internal linings product called HardieGroove.

“We started with HardieGroove in the laundry as an alternative to tiles because it’s ideal for wet areas. The clients were happy with the look and it spread from there” Greg recounts. The durable fibre cement V-Groove panels now provide a feature in the stairs and front entrance.

Another clever use of the HardieGroove™ lining was around the fire place where the fibre cement’s fire resistant properties come in handy.

The grooved panels continue on the bright north-facing undercover verandah which overlooks the pool. White painted HardieGroove is used as a soffit.

The beach house is finished with excellent interior design and styling. The grey paint used for the fire place in the lounge room is duplicated on the walls surrounding the outdoor barbeque. However, Scyon™ Axon 133mm vertical cladding was used this time, instead of HardieGroove.

Greg builds beautiful multi-million dollar homes with incredible attention to detail. James Hardie asked him “What’s the most important thing when it comes to building a top quality home?” Greg says “It’s great when clients know what they want; when they have a clear vision. I prefer to see clients with their arms hugging folders of reference material; rather than coming in empty-handed”.

Freshwater Homes is located near Manly and specialises in renovations, new homes and swimming pools. For more information visit

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