Tips on Designing a New Home

Designing a new home may not come naturally to you; but be warned, it can be quite addictive and a whole lot of fun. Once you start, you may not want to stop as there are so many wonderful possibilities, particularly when you are starting with a blank piece of paper. Have a look at as many properties as possible and seek design inspiration both online and off. However, before you get carried away, here are some things which you may want to tackle before you get too far into the project.

Council Restrictions

First and foremost, it is important to understand if there are any council restrictions on your property. This will be your guide on what you can and cannot do. If there are no restrictions or covenants, then you should be relatively free to build the design of your choice, within reason, of course.

Shape of Land

Having a grand design plan is one thing, but you must make sure that it suits the size and shape of your block. If your block is a little odd shaped, then you may need to consider a custom-designed home to take its unique shape into account. Knowing the exact measurements will help you firm up your plan.


Do you know which way is north? Orientation is essential to the design of your home so you can consider such issues as solar access and any heating and cooling systems. Your ideal scenario is to keep your house warm in winter and cool in summer, taking advantage of the winter sun and summer shade where you can. You want your living spaces to be warm during the day and your utility areas such as the laundry and garage space cool. Flipping a house design may be essential to get it right.

Slope of Land

If your land has a dramatic slope, then it may be something you need to remedy before you start your build. However, if the slope is gradual, then excavation may not be required. Use any elevated points to your advantage, maximise your views, and try to come up with a design that will take the highs and lows into consideration.


If you were asked to sum up the style of your house in one word, how would you describe it? Knowing your style will help you find a builder that specialises in similar homes to the one you are looking to construct. If you need assistance in securing a builder, check with your designer as they will have developed good relationships with many local builders in your area.


You might not understand all of your landscape requirements early on in the design game, but knowing where to put shade cover for privacy, and the best way to distribute air flow, can be helpful. Look at the landscape and gardening aspect from both aesthetic and practical points of view.


It is critical to know exactly how much you have in your budget, so you don’t overcommit yourself. What is your baseline budget? The larger the house, the more it will cost you to build and manage on a day to day basis. Think about what the necessities of the design are – the non-negotiable items - and what may be a want; then rate them accordingly. Set aside money for the construction and then work out how much you have left over for interior design and other components. Always budget more than you need as miscalculations can prove to be unforgiving.

Once you have a general understanding of your home design, a qualified building designer can then bring it all to life. Not only do you get their attention to detail, but you also get to tap into their extensive knowledge base which will undoubtedly cover things you have missed.