Setting Up For Success, with Ohnmar Ruault


As we all take a collective sigh here in Melbourne, the team at BuildHer8 continues to buckle down using this time to plan, plan, plan – and ensure we are setting up for success on site!

When life gives you lemons… You know what Ivy says? Make gin and tonic!!! 

With all the services finally abolished, we wasted absolutely zero time in getting demolition officially underway! Woohoo!

Bye Bye Old Rathmines House!
A perfect day for demo!

Ivy (Homes by Ivy) recently caught up with Ohnmar Ruault ( who is responsible for All Things On Site.

Ohnmar shares with us her learnings so far and key steps to setting up for success when kicking off a new site!

We love Ohnmar’s story because as a busy mother of 2 with a challenging government role, she took time out to invest in herself and to follow her true passion. Inspirational for women everywhere!

Check it out.


IVY: Hey O, can you believe we are finally demolishing at the Rathmines Project? Can you share with us the key steps to this point?

O: Yes, finally and I’m so excited that we have demolished the existing house!!

Well, I’m a process driven and goal orientated person so first thing I did was work out the steps from go to demo! (corny I know!)

As the site liaison and the BuildHer responsible for All Things on Site, it was important for me to understand the site, what is currently on there and what needs to be done to prepare the site for construction.

I set out to:

1.   Understand & determine the scope of works.
2.  Tender the job & engage a demolition contractor.
3.  Once property was vacant, secure the site & organise the site office and amenities.
4.  Abolish all services to the site & cap the water service.
5.  Then we are ready to demo! 

Throughout the process I liaised closely with the demolition contractors (thanks @MelwayBinHireAndDemolition for answering my zillions of questions!). I have found it key to form a good working relationship. Having clear, open communication has really helped with setting up successfully and smoothly.

It takes me back to the module in the ‘BuildHer Like A BuildHer’ course where Rebeka & Kribashini explains the importance of communication with your team. Building those relationships is what makes building a pleasure. And it really has been a pleasure!

ICYMI: Check out our Podcast about the Rathmines Project


IVY: Did you experience any surprises?

O: With building there are always surprises and COVID-19 certainly threw a spanner in the works and caused a delay on our demo date. But we BuildHers are good at pivoting! We utilised the additional time to plan ahead.

Another exciting part of our site set-up is that we have partnered up with Expandable Container Homes (ECH) to have a customised 20 foot container as our BuildHer8 Collab Hub. 

This will be a beautiful space designed by Alison, Rachel and Kate from ECH collaboratively. It will host our site meetings, inspo and sample boards, plans and drawings, and of course, it will be a filming location!

Stay tuned as we will have more to say about this awesome set up throughout the build!

The ‘shell’ of an ECH. Ours will of course look very different…and let’s be honest, probably more pink!!

IVY: Ah that is so awesome. I bet we’ll have one of the coolest site offices in Australia!

O: Yep! We also discovered that the South house pool design was directly above some council assets so in true BuildHer style we pivoted and re-designed the garden and alfresco area instead.

After all, pools are not for everyone, right?!

At first, we were devastated by this news. However, after deliberating with the group and our agent Sam Rigopoulos from Jellis Craig, we realised that we can make this work to our advantage. We are truly creating two unique and individual houses.

Now North House will have a gorgeous swimming pool and South House will have the lushest landscaping and amazing alfresco area! Success!

Render of North House with pool by Ben Callery Architects


Ohnmar is passionate about property and encouraging other women to give it a go.

Hooked on property from the age of 25, Ohnmar had been wanting to transition from buy-and-hold to property development for some time. It was perhaps turning 40, or perhaps simply that she knew in her heart it was finally time to invest in herself, that she signed up and completed her Cert IV in Building and Construction.

Being only 1 of 4 women in the Cert IV course, Ohnmar craved to find other women out there who were passionate about property development. She was stoked to find the BuildHer Collective. Her first development site – the Rose St Project – is now underway.

Today, she is also working on Rathmines Project with the BuildHer8 as the Trade Coordinator and Site Assistant (Ohnmar is definitely helping us get set up for success with this project), all whilst working a part-time government role and running a household. It is frantic and chaotic at the best of times but to her, her projects never feels like work!

Follow her on insta to see Ohnmar’s projects and inspirations.

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