Monthly Archives: November 2017

How to design your own home

The home design process can be a tricky juggling act. The nine steps below will teach you the basics of the process that is followed by architects and building designers in the building industry. Follow this process and you will have a better chance of designing a home that functions well and looks appealing.

Tools you will need
Sketch paper: you can buy purpose-made ‘Butter Paper’ from an art supply shop, but baking paper works just as well and can be purchased from your local supermarket for around $1.50 a roll.
A3 Drafting board: these boards are portable and come with a rule that attaches horizontally to the board. It can be purchased from an art or drafting supply shop for about $150.00.
Adjustable set square: this item is an adjustable clear plastic triangle that is essential in producing straight, angled, and vertical lines. This can also be purchased at an art supply outlet or drafting supply shop for around $30.00.
Pencil: you can purchase a specialised drafting pencil (clutch pencil) but a standard lead (graphite) pencil will do fine. If you do purchase a clutch pencil buy one with a very thin lead otherwise. you will then need to buy a clutch pencil sharpener which is different from a regular pencil sharpener.
Eraser: white Stanley erasers are the easiest to use and you can purchase these from the supermarket.
Rule: you can use a regular rule for drafting in 1:100 scale but if you want to draw your building at a smaller or larger scale you will need a scale rule from a drafting shop. These typically cost $10.00.

The nine new home design steps shown above summarise the design process that is taught to architecture students. If it seems a little “full-on” don’t be discouraged, it just takes practice. At the very least we hope we have provided you with enough knowledge of the home design process to enhance your ability to communicate with a professional building designer or architect, speeding up the entire process of designing your new home.

Entry space for your home

The entry to your home can be a wonderfully functional space, yet many Australian homes don’t have one.

So what is an entry?
An entry is a transitional space, where your family and guests can be greeted, organised and redirected to other spaces within and around your home. Your entry needs to (not only look great) but most importantly it needs to function well for it’s intended use, and you may need more than one!
The following 3 easy steps will guide you through the design process of creating well designed entries for your home.

1. Confirm number of entries required
Most Australian homes have a front and a rear access, as a result you will need to design two separate Entries for your home. We call these entry spaces the Front entry and Mud Room (for the rear entry).

2. Performance specification
You need to think about the way you use the current entries into your home. Write a list similar to the following for both the Front entry and the Mud Room:
Front entry
Needs to have a:

Store space for shoes, handbags, coats, school bags and a broom
Seat to put on your shoes
Powder Room close to this space for tradespeople and family to use
Enough space for you and your family to be able to fit into (1m²/person is adequate)
Lay off space for side table
Covered area outside front door for 5 people (5m²)
Direct access to the car space
NOTE: The front entry space:

is usually the best place to locate a stair to an upper level
should provide visually and acoustic privacy to interior spaces of your home

olden Rules of Home Design

Designing your own home can be a very exciting undertaking. The design process is a complex juggling act and there are 6 golden rules that you should follow designing your own home.

1. Think in 3D
Professional home designers like building designers and architects are always thinking in 3D when they’re working on a new home or renovation. They are constantly incorporating and taking away design ideas in plan and in a 3D form at the same time. For some people this skill is instinctual, but it can also be learnt over time.

Thinking in the 3D form can be difficult, especially when it comes to converting your own 2D house plans into a well form and aesthetically pleasing building. Weather you have this skill or not it is essential to always think about how your ideas will look as a resolved building form or you’ll run the risk of your building looking like a plan with extruded walls and a roof stuck on top.

2. Limit amounts of different building materials
Be very careful when using more than two types of external building cladding especially on the same plane (elevation). Research precedence’s for using the materials you want together, otherwise it could result in a messy façade & water leakage into the home. Ensure that material connections are well detailed and also ensure the builder understands how these materials will join while performing their essential waterproofing requirements. A neat trick is to step the building using a different material and avoid mixing materials at all on the same elevation.

3. Use site conducive construction methods
Ensure the structure types you choose suite your site, building style and budget. During the design phase you’ll need to start thinking about construction types to ensure your building form will look appropriate to the style of building you are envisaging and will be affordable.

Using inappropriate construction types can;

Make a building look heavy when you had in mind a light weight home
Result in expensive building foundations