FIRST impressions count.
That is certainly the case for the Ocean Vista house at Maroochy River.
Approaching the Chris Clout-designed home, it appears like an aeronautical wing rising out of the trees.
As you come closer, you notice it is an elegant, gently curved two-level home facing the coastline to the south-east.
A finalist in the National Building Design Awards, the spotlight shone on Noosa builder Chris Smith on Friday night in Canberra when he took out the 2014 Master Builders Australia National Luxury Project Home - $1 million to $2 million.
A finalist last year for another Chris Clout design house, it was a real thrill for Mr Smith to win this time.
"While walking into the Great Hall in Parliament House I saw photos of the house on the walls," he said.
"What I liked was the way we made use of the site and full use of the views."
The main challenges facing Chris Smith in building the house were getting the levels right, especially the elevated swimming pool.
It was also the most satisfying part of the project, the way that it rises to meet the house.
"It blends in with the whole concept," he said.
Mr Smith loved the challenge of building something like that.
"This was not your standard home. It was not a case of taking one look at the page and going from there.
"There were so many pages here.
"When it comes together it's pretty amazing."
Mr Smith has been building right since school 20 years ago.
"You don't get projects like this every year."
Saying that, he has developed a good working relationship with designer Chris Clout.
He has an understanding of what the designer is looking for in the finished product.
An appreciation of his tradesmen has also been something the builder has learnt from the experience.
"You get used to working with them on projects like that.
"When I started out you banked on your own skills. Now it is about seeing a project through.
"You are no longer on the tools every day but you are on site every day."
What did he love best about the project?
"The end result. Turning 3D sketches into reality.
"And the appreciation of the owner," he added.
"In this case it was a simple text about how he enjoys dinner parties and the enjoyment friends get from being there."
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