Need Help - front living house plan

4 May 2016

We have a North facing block in Western Australia and want to design a North facing living/dining/kitchen house with three large rooms. Block is 20m wide x 50m long.

We are thinking about a double storey with master/bath 2 and study only upstairs.

Any ideas/hints/ interesting plans would be appreciated!

Comments (2)

  • PRO
    Signature Custom Homes

    One thing is for sure you will definitely be able to design your home to take advantage of the northern light its just going to mean a slightly different approach. There are a few factors that come into play in this scenario like block width, block depth, block topography, views, privacy, street frontage and budget to name a few. You may not even have to place your living areas at the front to gain access to this northern light. Our company for example would have many examples of designs for past clients with a similar orientation and our team tend to borrow from these to help piece a new design together. A simple technique we have used very successfully over the years is to create an open courtyard in the centre of the house to allow light to penetrate into the rear and this will accommodate a rear oriented living zone if that is the preferred option. This courtyard space can be combined with the stairwell to create a buffer zone between the front and rear zones and will also let amazing light into your stairwell and create a real sense of light and space. Your plusses are you have a very wide and deep block to play with, this would be more challenging on a narrower block. I wouldn't think there would be too many off the plan designs to suit this situation so the best option may well be to sit down with someone who understands design and how to match your budget and your brief and work with them to create your design. Its also very important that the designer of choice is in tune with your budget or preferred spend.

    lisap1983 thanked Signature Custom Homes
  • PRO
    Manias Associates Building Designers

    Hi lisap1983

    Certainly is a great opportunity to have such a good block to design your dream home, its a good size and a variety of solutions are possible.

    The most important consideration is how you (this means all the stakeholders that will make use of the property) want to feel in your house when its built and what you need/want in terms of amenities.

    This will be the main driver of the design, (the brief) and it includes such items as;

    1. Do you want an "inside outside feeling", with east or north light flooding the living areas at a particular time of day.

    2. Which living areas are to be combined for family living and what areas are secluded "parents retreat area/s"

    3. An "atrium" i.e. internal courtyard sounds like a good idea - drainage can sometime be an issue but certainly solvable, sometimes a couple of internal courtyards can combine to produce a lovely feeling of relaxation.

    4. Which bedrooms will have an ensuite and which will be served by a common bathroom.

    5. Whether you will combine a pool (internally or externally) as part of the design, and external living areas and the extent of landscape design.

    6. The number of cars that form part of your family (basically to determine whether you need a two or three etc. garage size. (These are high visual items and do need considerable space)

    7. Indicating a preferred style, is sometimes a help, as at least your designer might come up something that you can relate to, rather than something that you have to become used to in accepting.

    8. An indication of budget is always a good inclusion.

    9. A description of the site (Site analysis) whether the site is on a slope, existing trees, noise due to traffic, views, the position of adjoining buildings (especially existing openings) will help your designer in coming up with something palatable to your requirements.

    10. Realising that the method of coming up with a design is a process of editing, the first design solution might miss the mark by quite a large margin but if you have chosen a designer that you can communicate with the solution will be achieved and improved as the design process.

    11. Allow a degree of time, if you consider your other large purchases like your best suit, or your car, and think how much time you spent in researching and deciding on these items which say for an ordinary car of $25,000 might have taken you a few weeks to decide multiply by 10 and you will get some idea of time. (For a build of $250,000)

    12. Maintain a separation of consultant, your Building Designer should not also be the Builder, or the structural engineer or you energy consultant. Let your Building designer choose the rest of the consultants (with your consultation) and this would mean that you keep control of your consultants costs and you can choose any Builder to price your job without any concerns of copyright issues.

    I'm sure that this is only an overview of the process, the most important issue is your relationship with your Building Designer, it should be someone you can communicate with, and can understand your requirement. After all the house should be designed for you (all stakeholders), if it is a fantastic award winning architectural masterpiece and it does not meet your perception you will not be happy, you know when you have the right design, and then you can go ahead and do some construction drawings and hopefully have a successful solution.

    A good solution is achieved by good communications by all stakeholders.

    I would be happy to continue the discussion.


    Michael Manias

    lisap1983 thanked Manias Associates Building Designers