Nathan and Krystin Trewin are in fierce agreement that relocating their successful building company from Melbourne to the Surf Coast was a masterstroke.
Having both enjoyed country upbringings, the lure of more space for their three boys to run free, and the appeal of being closer to Krystin’s Torquay-based family, inspired them to escape the city and call Bellbrae home.
They made the move four years ago and haven’t looked back.
The couple bought a beautiful 10-acre block in Bellbrae and have added a stunning modern extension to the original single-storey brick home, with further renovations and landscaping still under way. It is a fantastic coastal lifestyle which allows them to focus on their young family while running a business they are both passionate about.
“My family lives in Torquay and we had been talking about making the move for ages,” Krystin recalls.
“I guess the age of our kids made it the right time for us.
“We revolve everything around their school drop-off and pick-up and sport, we don’t miss out on anything – and that’s why we moved down here.
“I work a full-time job but I can work in the early morning, during the day or late at night if I have to which is great.”
Nathan started their award-winning building company, Tru-Form Construction, in 2006 and initially focused on small renovations and extensions in suburbs such as Williamstown and Seddon, working closely with Basset Lobaza Architects.
Krystin, also a licenced builder, soon joined the business and it proved to be a dynamic partnership where the client is at the heart of everything they do.
They have found their niche on the Surf Coast specialising in mid to high-range residential architectural builds in the range of $700,000 to $1.5 million, as well as renovations and extensions.
“We’ve always had visions of running our own business together and it has been awesome,” Nathan says.
“Krys has a real flair for interior design but we also work with an interior designer too and that works really well having that third person’s view.
“It’s just an exciting time to build down here. Budgets for new coastal homes are going up and up because it has become such a destination town in both Torquay and its surrounds.”
A standout recent project for the company has been the completion of a spectacular three-storey home in Bell Street.
The ultra-modern home boasts a basement floor with gym and sunken lounge and features a striking minimalist interior throughout that cleverly combines a mix of luxe textures and materials.
“Because they are all individually and architecturally designed each project is completely different,” Krystin enthuses.
“Bell Street was an amazing project to work on but each build is challenging in its own way which is great.”
Other recent Tru-Form builds include a striking hillside home in Fairhaven made from corten steel, a large country homestead in Bellbrae and a smaller home in Charles Lane in old Torquay which even includes a rooftop garden.
An upcoming extension and renovation to a Victorian-style homestead at Bells Beach is a future project the couple is keen to see come to life.
But perhaps their most heartfelt build was a single-storey home in Grandview Road, Torquay, for a semi-retired couple who had lost everything in a house fire.
“We finished that last year and the clients were just the nicest people,” Krystin says.
“They lost their house in Torquay about six weeks after moving in so we came in and did the design and build with them.
“At handover the client broke down in tears and she just said after what they had been through, we had created their dream home.”
“Something positive came out of it for them and it was one of the most satisfying builds we have done,” adds Nathan.
Tru-Form employs a full-time carpenter and four apprentices and the couple says supporting local trades and suppliers is a big focus. They also sponsor the local footy club and Krystin is on the school committee at the primary school attended by their sons – Jed, 11, Miles, 9 and Jax, 6.
“We are definitely passionate about local business and supporting local,” Nathan says.
“There are a lot of good, like-minded people down here and both Geelong and the Surf Coast have become real business hubs.”
Nathan says since COVID the level of inquiry and calibre of jobs has increased significantly, resulting in plenty of work for residential builders and tradespeople.
“Everyone has had an epiphany about moving into regional Victoria … I can’t believe the growth,” he says.
But, of course, they understand first-hand the appeal of a sea-change or tree-change.
“We love it here,” Krystin says.
“We can take the boys surfing and go on bush runs together which is something we enjoy doing.
“We’ve got to meet a lot of great people down here and word-of-mouth is filtering through for the business so we are really lucky and we’re very grateful.”
To discover more, head to truformconstruction.com.au and follow their account on Instagram