Ask the designer

Planning your new home`s design, renovating or extending your house is not just challenging, but also brings up a lot of questions about regulations, permits, town planning. The purpose of our Ask the Designer page is to give you lots of valuable information so you can get prepared. Have a browse through our topics and see if somebody has already asked something similar. Or to save time, type your question topic in the Search box and see what you find. If you can`t find the answer for you question, click on the orange Ask your question here button. Our team will get back to you as soon as possible.


Ask the designer

(Extensions)I am currently renovating my kitchen and would like to move it to a new area. Is this possible and is it expensive?

It is possible to move your kitchen from one area to another. Cost will be determined based on the floor system it sits on as the kitchen will need to access its services such as pipework for drainage and gas. If it is situated on a suspended flooring system (timber or steel) the cost is within reasonable limits to achieve. If the kitchen is situated on a concrete floor (though it is possible), it is not advised as the movement of pipework is a costly exercise and should be avoided if possible.  

(Extensions)Is it possible to add an additional level above my current existing single storey home? How can I keep the price manageable?

Yes you can! Extending your home is a great way to increase the value of your home while also tailoring your home to your needs. A few points to remember:

  • Try and keep the upper level walls lining up with your lower level.
  • Always design for the future rather than for your current needs.
  • Try and align heavy load areas such as bathrooms and study to sit on walls which can either support the weight or can be accessed and upgraded to handle the heavy load.
  • Avoid having upper external walls running over open spaces. The loads of these upper external walls need to be supported by heavy beams if spanning over large areas such as living areas.
  • Engineers will always be involved with two level extensions. By engaging with a structural engineer consultant at an early stage regarding issues such as walls being upgraded for heavier loads, it give you a clear picture regarding cost and how to minimise structural construction cost.
I’m planning to update my new living room and would like to use down lights instead of traditional lights. How far should I space them out?

It is always a good idea to consult your lighting supplier for details as lighting can come at different colors and intensity. It is a good rule of thumb to space the down lights between 1.5 meters to 2 meters to ensure the room is evenly lit. 

We are in the planning stage of a major renovating and extending our 2 level home built in the 1970’s. Will the roof trusses need to be replaced or only the roof sheeting if adding major sections to existing roof?

It is possible to retain the existing roof depending on the scale of work being done which may save on cost. However it is best to consult your builder/ structural engineer about the feasibility of retaining the existing roof. Also consult them about both options before making and big decision especially in relation to structural issues.

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Kelie Savage Camp Hill
We are very happy with the work Otto has done for us in the design for townhouses. He is very easy to deal with, open to our suggestions and very happy to listen to our requests and explain why he...