William won the contract to design and build the 36 houses in George Hoskins' model housing estate in Appian Way and Burwood Road, Burwood. (He was not responsible for the five houses on the north side of Liverpool Road, which, although part of the original estate, are slightly different in character.) To win this contract he must have established himself as a reputable builder. The estate is now heritage listed and is described by the National Trust of Australia (NSW) as: "…probably the finest Edwardian bungalow precinct in Sydney. By virtue of its architectural cohesiveness, idyllic landscaped environment of street and allotment alike with community related sports reserve, this development sets a high standard by today's criteria." (Phillip Clements "Development of the Hoskins Estate)
The houses are, without doubt, some of Sydney's finest examples of Federation housing.
He formed his own company, W Richards & Sons, and the twenty years after his move to Burwood would have been very busy - with the Appian Way houses (completed in 1911), shops in Burwood Road, the tower on St.Paul's church, the observatory in the grounds of "St Clouds" and
other unknown houses. William also built the following:
Retford Park, East Bowral, built for Samuel Hordern 1887.
Anthony Horderns new buildings in Sussex Street, Sydney, and additions to the New Palace Emporium. Architect Morrow & de Putron.
Babworth House, Darling Point, built for Sir Samuel Hordern. Architects Morrow & du Putron. Built 1912 - 1915. See the state heritage inventory web site where it is described thus: "an excellent and rare example of the Federation Arts and Crafts style in grand domestic architecture in Australia."
Extensions to Retford Hall, Darling Point - ballroom. Architect Morrow & de Putron. House now demolished.
Snows Buildings, Sydney