Question: What are the fundamentals of new home building design?

Question: What are the fundamentals of new home building design?


Coastline Homes have spent a long time in the Southwest of WA carving out a niche as a small builder dedicated to design and customer service, without the price tag.

We have done such a good job that we have received requests from far afield including Perth Regional and Greater Southern area for our services. In fact we are starting to build in Mandurah, where the large project builders have a strong presence, along with all the same problems as they do in the South West.

So how have we achieved this in such a competitive market?

Well it’s no secret that we provide exceptional industry recognised quality, and we have unrivalled customer service (which large builder gives you direct access to the owner of the company, and you registered builder?).

But just as importantly, we design homes that suit YOU.

Some builders design and build a house to be the cheapest possible result, and others design and build with no thought to the clients’ budget.

Coastline Homes draws on 30 years of experience in design, pricing, and construction to design you the correct home, within your budget, and we get it right!

So what should you be looking for in a house that’s designed for you? What are the fundamentals?

  • Energy efficiency. Those who have read my blogs in the past know I harp on about this subject, but that’s only because I understand how important it is. Right this minute I live in home very poorly designed in this respect (nope, not built by me), and the heating bills in winter are horrendous. It is cold, damp and dark, and I know that no-one put any thought into the homes energy performance when it was designed. Your designer should understand, and incorporate energy efficiency principles including:
    • Northerly aspect/ orientation
    • Shading
    • Heat sinks
    • Glazing
    • Insulation, and
    • Construction materials


  • Air flow. There are correlations between the item above and air flow. Breeze paths are important in summer in our climate. South Westerly & Westerly afternoon breezes should accommodated through transitional areas between low and high openings.


  • The strengths and weaknesses of your building block. Northerly orientation, any views, proximity to neighbours, low lying areas, existing trees and bush areas, all these and many more can affect how you position the home, and how the design incorporates these conditions.


  • Simply put, how do you want your home to look? Do you like traditional pitched roofs, or modern skillion design. Do you like render, weatherboard, or face brick? Do you prefer gables and finials, or clean straight lines? There’s so many different looks and options out there, you need to find a builder happy to research materials, and apply the latest trends to your home.


  • Special Requirements. This can encompass a whole range of items, from the need to store a boat, to specialised furniture. The correct builder will be happy to discuss these sorts of things and incorporate them into your design.


  • Room sizes, number and position. This item sounds intuitive and it largely is. Factors like family size, the way you live, your need for entertainment areas, your ages, and special interests all affect the size and layout of your new home. For example, as a new family with young children you might want smaller minor bedrooms but a larger communal kids’ area overlooked by the kitchen and with lots of storage for toys.


When those kids are teenagers, then those minor bedrooms need to be doubles, and the communal play area is now a study. You might no longer need to keep an eye on them in that play area, but it might be a good idea if the Kitchen overlooked where they entertained their friends.


Finally when those teenagers have moved away, you might be looking to downscale the number and size of bedrooms whilst increasing your entertainment areas for those nights of cooking, eating and enjoying the company of your life-long friends. You might also need that guest wing, for when the kids and grandchildren come visit.


As I said a lot of this is intuitive, but you need a builder who can ask the right questions and glean the right information from you, otherwise your home isn’t going to suit your needs.

There are other factors not mentioned here. Many of them a subtle variations on the items mentioned above, and others are specific one off issues or challenges that relate to your individual needs.

Regardless, the best advice I can give you as a designer with 30 years of experience is, find someone who listens and has the experience to turn your needs and wants into reality.


Kevin Blackwood

Director Coastline Building Group WA Pty Ltd