What makes a Well designed Home Part 2

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Bringing in the Sun

Sunlit rooms with the right interior design, provide a comfortable and cozy ambiance that symbolizes the contentment in both winter and summer.  That is why we let as much sunlight in as possible without causing overheating.

Be mindful of the sun when creating your design. A well-sited home maximizes natural light, bringing sunlight into every room for at least part of the day.

It is a good time to think of the sun when on a site visit. The house utilize the natural lighting at best and enhance the overall house design through a good site planning. Variations can be created to control the amount of light that comes in every room. At one time, an interior stylist arranged the living spaces in a sequence to follow the sun on a lot set 45 degrees to the cardinal points of the compass. These elements directed the basic floor plan, although it made fitting the second floor bedrooms quite challenging.

Wind Considerations

Another factor to consider when planning a site is the wind. In order to place exterior elements in locations that take advantage of pleasing summer breezes while allowing extended outdoor activities in cool weather, it is important to know the typical wind patterns of the local climate. For example:

  • From the west and northwest: these cold winds freeze everything on clear winter days or cool things off in hot weather
    • From the northeast: cold winds, often comes with heavy rain or snow
    • From the east and southeast: warmer winds that bring in rain and unsettled weather
    • From the southwest: cool, welcome breezes in summer

Long periods of cool and cold weather are common in the northeast. So creating outdoor living spaces facing southeast is more advantageous because they are sheltered from cool winds and allow you to extend exterior living spaces into the cool swing seasons. This is something home renovation builders in Melbourne are achieving. Areas facing northwest are comfy in hot weather, which still comprise a small number of days despite warming trends. Catching any available breeze is desirable in southern climate where there are extended periods of hot weather.

Placing the garage on that side of the house is one method to protect it from strong winds. A landscape architect can help in deciding whether solid fences, perforated screens or dense vegetation is the best wind breaker for your house.

Trees and Plants

Sorting out existing plants and trees on the site might be difficult that us why it is recommended to get a professional opinion from someone familiar with the local flora to determine which plants are valuable and worth keeping and which can be discarded and replaced by coastal furniture or nick-knacks.

A professional can provide some viewpoint and help you make the right decision to minimize the environmental destruction. Professionals can advise how you can preserve the trees near the house so that they will not be killed by the inevitable changes in water level, cut roots, or compressed soil.

Soils, Ledge and Drainage

As part of the study involved in designing a septic system, a civil engineer can identify the soil and drainage on a specific site. In most cases, the foundation and drains are designed to cope with the local soil and water conditions.

A chosen site can become unworkable due to ledge, unsuitable soil or excess water. Sometimes ledge, unsuitable soil or excess water can render the chosen house location unworkable. Although the average civil engineer can manage these kinds of situations, however the advice of a geotechnical engineer or soils specialist may be needed if problems arise. Make sure not to try impractical methods such as trying to keep the water out of a basement located below the water table. While waterproofing is commonly is used in underground commercial buildings, such techniques are expensive and complicated.

The Front Door

Even though most residents use the back door for entry, many houses still feature a ceremonial, proportioned entrance even though it is rarely used. The entry is a key factor in any floor plan, but should be made as part of a logical design to a house extension.

Formal front entries are seldom utilized. Make the entrance a primary part of the design instead, take for instance, a small roofed porch protects the entry that connects every part of the house.

Other Climate Considerations

Gardening enthusiasts will want to examine the site carefully before locating beds. A professional gardener can create plans showing the shadows cast on the site by trees, providing you the option to locate areas with maximum sunlight during the growing season and ideas on where you can then put all your new eco outdoor furniture. If applicable, try to visit the site on different times so that you can determine where the shadows fall.

During the summer solstice around June, the sun rises and sets quite a bit to the north of east and west, and is high in the sky at noon. At the winter solstice around Christmas, the sun rises and sets just as far south of east and west and is quite low in the sky at noon. With a careful shadow study you can determine the best growing areas on the site. Insect infestation must be taken into consideration in some climates. A screened porch may be necessary in order to enjoy the outdoors. Since covered porches cut out the sunlight from the rooms behind, it is ideal to add skylights on the porch roof or use a translucent material for the porch roof.

An outside corner facing southeast, as mentioned earlier, can create pleasant outdoor living space in the spring and fall, when it otherwise would be too cold outdoors without direct sun and complete protection from the wind. Each site is distinctive, and taking advantage of its elements will require adjustments. Be sure to consider each factor to determine which should be prioritized.

What makes a Well Designed Home Part 1

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Finding the perfect location for your dream home is great feat. However the construction may not begin for a while due to the site variety and putting in all that beach style furniture may have to wait a little longer. Water, rock, vegetation, slope, local weather, soil type, surrounding construction, views and zoning policies vary over dimensions as small as a few yards. It takes incredible determination and resourcefulness to deal effectively with the variations. But it is effort well spent.

The Golden Rule of Site Planning

There is no specific method on how to deal with various sites but there are several insights that can be very helpful to builders, home owners or designers.  There is however one master rule and that is: Do not settle on a house design until you have settled on a site design.

Successful home designs are carefully crafted to fit the building site where the vision for home extensions are almost not existent.  As an architect, it is depressing to spend time trying to modify a client’s treasured ideal home design to a site that cries out for an entirely different house. Clients often come up with their “dream” floor plans or find them in a plan book, finally secure a site and force the two to come together.

Ideal floor plans are a helpful tool in writing the client’s goals and requirements for their future home. There are also various ways to achieve the ideal plans with the help of a meticulous designer and great perth interior designers. But it is best to work out the siting before choosing the model to build Even when dealing with manufactured and pre-designed homes.

Key issues to consider in site planning are:

  • zoning and other regulations
  • site utilities
  • access
  • topography
  • natural light
  • natural scenery
  • weather
  • foliage
  • drainage
  • type of soil


It is essential to consider Zoning and regulations first.

Public Bodies need to thoroughly inspect any proposed design. Regulatory matters are complex, but two general rules are useful:

  • Find out the local rules and regulations concerning a specific site before you buy it or plan to build (if you already own it).
  • Study all you can about the probable outcome of your building proposals.

Sounds easy enough but local officials recommend that you consult with a leading local civil engineer to make sure all requirements are met.


Town services and on-site utilities must also be taken into consideration. For instance, routing trenches to a building has to be planned in case the property you chose has town services on it. You need to be ready with alternative access route or building orientation plans in case the best route will disrupt the existing vegetation.

Waste disposal is another matter. The percolation and groundwater-level tests are essential to verify whether a site is feasible. Consult a local civil engineer to inspect the area to find out the potential of the site. Get a second opinion before you give up. If you’re willing to spend the money and time, it might still be possible use a septic design on a hopeless site.

Roadblocks in construction are often met in towns that use septic-system regulations to control development. A determined owner might expect a fight if they plan to work a site considered unbuildable. Nevertheless, issues may still arise when engaging the power company about total hook-up costs and fees.


Access is another key aspect in site planning. We need to consider how the size of cars, roads, driveways and garages affects the house. A home extension in Melbourne may have different planning requirements than one in perth. Adequate turning and parking space must be planned no matter the size of your vehicle. The designer’s dilemma is to make the driveway natural, while saving key foliage and providing a fluid transition between the car and the front door—all the while taking care to make sure that the site still looks domestic.

The garage door can be taken as one of a long line of elements since it draws modest attention. Transforming the big door by splitting it into individual single doors is one way to lessen the garage door naturally. Separate doors a less likely to overpower the front elevation.

Access roads leading up or down hills also need proper planning since there has to be level place to stop where the road meets the street. To prevent future issues problems with steep roads, grades should not exceed 10 percent. Moreover, water must be drained off or led through culverts to avoid washouts and erosion. And the route should be attractive and should protect the house from headlights.

The driveway should not be dominated by a huge garage door. Also accentuate the entry using steps with landscaping, a covered walk or porch with industrial interior design or anything to keep the garage door from dominating the composition.

And do not block the entry to the back or side yards if you have future plans to landscape or build on.


The topography of a site is the key feature for a designer. According to Frank Lloyd Wright, slopes and land shapes can establish not only the house setting, but the building form itself it can make your coastal furniture look like it belongs or is really out of place.

Subtle topography needs subtle craft in the blueprint. Houses that fit perfectly into site are much more pleasing to the eye than those that merely sit on a big terrace. However, terraces can be indispensable tools for wedding a building to the topography if it is the right size. Terracing can be quite expensive but sometimes can be completed over time after the home is finished. Making changes with a retaining wall or rock-covered bank can even enhance a 2-foot change in grade.

Once, we discovered a property on a west-facing slope overlooking a meadow on a one-acre site that looked magnificent because the house fit properly into the view. This resulted in an amazing split-level design, with the living spaces on the top floor, the entry and garage at the mid-level, and the bedrooms on the lower floor. This example goes to show that correct solution to the siting problem determined much of the house form and plan.