Block Selection & Orientation

The design of a house or an addition to a home requires a systematic and rationale approach to design. Design is about combining creative concepts with form and function.  Begin your design process by looking around at display homes or through design magazines, identify what you want, and what you can afford. Once you have the basic plan and design elements worked out you can start to talk about designing your project. Some issues that you should now start to consider are:

  • Selection of the block
  • Energy efficiency requirements and building alignment
  • Life style
  • Budget

    Selection of the block

    Many people starting out to build their dream home tend to look at a block of land and then seek to get a house to fit. Many building developers create a sub division from a secured allotment of land. In order to make a profit a developer will identify the number of blocks they need and where those blocks need to be located. They are required to put in power and other services with a minimum street size.  The prevailing decision is rarely what the client wants but what profit can be created from the venture.

    However, as the customer you can choose the block that suits what you want to do with it. A couple of design tips that may help you are:

    Do you want the sun in the house and if so where and when do you want it to come in?

    Ideally the building should be positioned to catch the winter sun, especially in South East Queensland. However, in warmer tropical climates it is better to reduce sun exposure to the windows by having wider sofits. Other design tips you may want to consider are:

    Face low traffic area rooms to the south east including:

    • Garages
    • Laundry
    • Wet areas
    • Generally rooms that can be blocked off

    Face certain areas north west to north east including:

    • Living areas
    • Dining
    • Decks
    • Bedrooms

    Life Style

    • Do you entertain? If so do you need a veranda or outdoor entertaining area?
    • Do you require drive through access to the backyard?
    • What storage do you want?
    • How many rooms and where do you want them located?
    • How many car parks?
    • Do you need a shed or workshop?
    • Do you want a walk in robe?
    • Do you need/want an ensuite?

    Once you have a bit of a picture of what you are looking for in a house you should probably reconsider your block purchase and may be pay a little more for a block that will enable you to build the home you want.

    Budget

    This is probably the most defining factor in your whole design. Consider the very maximum you are prepared to pay.  Building the house is only part of the equation.  You need to consider the type of fittings, floor coverings, white goods and landscaping. (more…)

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