You will plan your home with the person that will build it, not someone with a few forms to fill in. We make the time to sit down one on one and listen. Making sure that you get the home of your dreams, no cookie cutter designs, no short cuts.
When designing your home, we want to make sure that it can handle whatever life throws at it. Designing your home with movement in mind will mean that you never have to worry about different ages and abilities. This can include but is not limited to wider doorways and floor spaces for wheelchair accessibility, lifts in multi-story homes, step-less entry and ramps.
No. We have a range of standard plans available to help guide you. However, as we are custom builders, we prefer to start from scratch and work with each client to create their dream home.
No. As custom builders we are by your side from concept to completion. You can come to us with your own plans predesigned or just an idea of how you might like to start. With the support of 40 years’ building experience behind us we will work together to find a practical solution.
We’ve seen these mistakes a number of times over the years. Make sure they don’t catch you out!
- Not setting a budget
- Not involving a builder during the design process
- Not being realistic in your deadline
- Not knowing the style that you want
- Using unlicensed trades
- Not discussing your living arrangements during a renovation project
Gecko Lifestyle Homes is experienced in both types of frame construction. Regardless of the frame that you choose, your home will always be of the highest quality and meet Australia Building Standards. Consider the pro’s and con’s for your build:
- 100% reusable
- Less waste
- No twisting or creaking house walls
- Termite proof
- Still require a termite protection for other timber in your home
- Made off site
- Natural product
- Easy to work with
- Timber shrinks and expands with changing weather conditions
The sun is one of the best renewable energy sources. You can make the most of the sun by installing solar panels that provide hot water and power to your home. You can also select building materials and finishes with large Thermal Mass. Over time this can significantly save money and minimise the use of fossil fuels.
Every home, object and living thing has ‘Thermal Mass’. Thermal Mass is related to how heavy an object is compared to the air around it. Being heavy and dense means that it takes a long time for the temperature of the air outside to change the temperature of the object inside. For example, in winter the frosty mornings might make the thin windows feel cold but your brick walls will feel warmer because they are heavy and have maintained the heat from the sunny week. In the summer, your concrete patio will take a long time to heat up because it is connected to the ground which has a huge thermal mass. Building with materials with higher thermal mass makes your home more resistant to quick changes in the weather. Consider concrete, waffle pods, stone, bricks and tiles to stabilise the temperature of your home.
Windows can have a massive impact on the feel of your home. Large windows bring the outdoors in, but it is important to consider a windows position, size, and type. North facing windows can provide light and warmth from the sun in winter. Options like double glazing reduce heat transfer through the window, preventing those big windows from turning your home into an oven in the summer.
Passive cooling is the circulation of natural airflow throughout the home. Positioning openings like windows and doors thoughtfully in your home can take advantage of cool night air and southerly changes. If you position your home, doors and windows just right, in the heat of summer you can open up the house at night to move out the hot air without using an air-conditioner. Sealing up the house again before the heat of the day traps cool air inside and reduces your dependence on artificial cooling mechanisms.
There are many simple and cost effective design elements that you can use to increase the efficiency of your home. The following are important to consider from the early stages of planning through to moving in.
Orientation: A game changer when it comes to utilising natural light, heat and air flow. North facing aspects provide year round natural light and warmth. When you start to look for your perfect block of land, we recommend that you consider the following questions: Do neighbouring buildings block sunlight? How can you position a house on this block? Does this position make the most of north facing aspects? Where will your living spaces sit? Do existing structures reduce air movement around your house?
Considering these factors up front can help to make your space comfortable, cost effective and reduce your environmental footprint.
Shading: As much as natural light and warmth are important, no one wants those hot summer days blazing into your living room. Effective shading can keep that summer blaze from following you all the way to the fridge door. Consider strategically planting trees and other landscaping including deciduous plants that block the summer sun but let in the winter warmth. Eaves are also an effective method for blocking the heat of midday summer sun without making rooms dark or reducing the warmth of winter sun which sits lower in the sky.
Insulation: Installing insulation builds a buffer that assists temperature regulation and sound proofs walls, creating your perfect retreat.
Durable materials: The materials that you choose for indoor and outdoor environments impact how much maintenance your custom designed home may need. Your builder can discuss options to help you reduce on-going maintenance costs and keep your home looking as fresh as the day that you moved in.
Efficient appliances: Household appliances account for approximately 30% of total residential energy consumption, with lighting contributing an additional 12%. Selecting fixtures and fittings with higher star-energy ratings reduces your energy consumption. Everything from the kettle to the toilet has an impact on the overall needs of your home. These choices have an influence your consumption, the environment and your savings.
Landscaping: There are many benefits to having a green space, but did you know that where you plant which species can impact your home?! Plantings have the potential to provide shade in summer and light in winter, the right selection can influence your ability to control temperatures and reduce on heating and cooling costs.