Property News


Standard Ceiling Height in Australia

By | Property News

There are lots of things to consider when you’re building a new home. 

Ceiling heights play a major role in the look and feel of a property. Lower ceilings create intimacy and comfort that’s perfect for bedrooms, while higher ceilings increase volume and provide a sense of grandeur that’s hard to beat.

Australia’s National Construction Code sets out a variety of minimum ceiling heights for residential construction.


What is the Standard Ceiling Height in Australia?

The standard ceiling height in Australia is 2.4 metres for all habitable rooms within a home.

Service rooms and other non-habitable spaces have a minimum ceiling height of 2.1 metres. Habitable rooms include bedrooms, living spaces, home theatres, kitchens, dining rooms and home offices.

Service areas and non-habitable rooms include bathrooms, laundries, pantries, hallways, walk-in robes and other spaces that aren’t occupied for extended periods of time.

You can read more about minimum ceiling heights in the National Construction Code.


Upgrading to High Ceilings

While the ceilings in your home only need to be 2.4m, higher ceilings are one of the most popular upgrades in the building industry.

High ceilings can make a huge difference to how comfortable and liveable your home is.

Many builders offer upgrades to 2.6, 2.7 or 3 metre ceilings. This minor change can significantly increase the volume of a room.

That’s great if you want to make a statement, but it’s also the perfect design centrepiece for large rooms such as living spaces.


The Benefits of High Ceilings

The height of your ceiling can make a big difference to how your home looks and feels.

Standard ceilings are a great starting point for most spaces.

They offer plenty of height for standard furniture, fittings, lighting and design elements.

But, if you want your home to make an impact, upgrading to high ceilings is the way to go.

Opting for high ceilings comes with a few major benefits:

  • Make your home feel more spacious. Having extra ceiling height can go a long way to making rooms feel more spacious. Creating extra visual space is a great way to make the most of small rooms, or to make large spaces feel even grander.
  • Improved natural lighting. Higher ceilings means more room for windows and more surface area on your walls. These two factors work together to improve natural light in a room, which can reduce the need for artificial lighting.
  • Improved ventilation. We all know that hot air rises. When you’re heating and cooling your home, extra ceiling height can make a big difference to airflow through your spaces.
  • Sense of luxury. High ceilings provide a real sense of grandeur and luxury that’s hard to replicate any other way.
  • Increase the property value. Even if you don’t intend to sell your home any time soon, high ceilings are always popular with buyers. An upgrade to 2.6 or 2.7m ceilings can significantly increase the value of your property.


Different Types of High Ceilings

High ceilings are a popular feature because they’re a blank canvas for any design you have in mind!

While most ceilings are flat and simple, the sky’s the limit when it comes to building your own Hampton style house.

High ceilings give you plenty of flexibility to play with shape and volume, so your builder may offer designs such as:

  • Flat Ceilings

Flat ceilings are popular for a reason. They’re simple to install, compatible with all design aesthetics, and they don’t require any special lighting schemes. This type of high ceiling works well for bedrooms and main living areas, although it makes less of an impact than other ceiling types.

  • Raked Ceilings

A raked ceiling (sometimes called a cathedral ceiling) is sloped to follow the angle of the beams and trusses. Of all the high ceiling designs, raked ceilings make the biggest impact. They’re especially popular in core living areas where the additional volume allows for more creativity in lighting and furniture design.

  • Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings have recessed sections that bring depth and texture to a space. Coffered ceilings are popular in intimate spaces (such as bedrooms) because they allow for higher ceilings without sacrificing the cosy feeling of standard ceiling heights.

  • Exposed Beam Ceilings

Large rooms with high ceilings pose a design challenge. The extra volume can run the risk of looking bare. This issue can be addressed with windows, lighting and features such as wallpaper, but exposed beams are a great alternative.

Exposed beam ceilings turn your ceiling beams into a feature. In modern builds, it’s more common for the exposed beams to be a decorative feature, rather than a structural element. Despite this, exposed beams add a fantastic sense of texture, depth and colour to rooms with high ceilings.

  • Full Height Voids

High ceilings are common in single-storey homes, but they’re also suited to two-storey builds. Full height voids are often installed in entryways and stairwells where the overhead space extends up through the entire home.

Voids are a great way to invite light into the lower level, and the extra volume makes a real impact on anyone who visits your home.


Design a Home that Stands Out with McCarthy Homes!

Building a new home is an exciting journey. There are lots of things you can do to make the space your own, but high ceilings are one of the most popular options.

At McCarthy Homes, we offer complete freedom to select a ceiling design that suits your lifestyle, and we’re happy to incorporate any custom build elements you’d like!

McCarthy Homes is a Brisbane and QLD home builder specialising in crafting homes that are as unique as you.

Building your dream starts with a conversation! Get in touch with us today if you’re ready to explore the McCarthy Homes experience.


The Knock Down Rebuild Process Explained

By | Processes, Property News

Knocking down an existing house and rebuilding a new home is a great option for many homebuyers. If you already own a house, a knock down rebuild allows you to enjoy a brand new home without having to move an inch. That means the kids can stay in their schools and you can stay near your family, friends and work.

There’s even better news – a knock down rebuild project can save you tens of thousands of dollars, and the process is very similar to a standard new home construction. In this article we’ll go over the knock down rebuild process and explain the extra steps involved with your project.

1. Pre-Construction Planning

Just like any other new home construction, your knock down rebuild begins with some serious planning. During the pre-construction planning phase, you will meet with your builder to discuss your design concepts and assess your existing property. If your property is suitable for a knock down rebuild, the planning phase will move forward, and you’ll have a chance to talk about design requirements, floorplans, finishes, fittings and other inclusions.

Note that not every property is suitable for a knock down rebuild project. For instance, if your house is subject to heritage listing, you may not be able to demolish the property. Talk to your builder to find out whether your existing house is suitable for a knock down rebuild.

2. Obtain Demolition Approval

Demolition projects are subject to strict council requirements. Since demolition can have an impact on the surrounding area, you will need to check with your local council to find out whether you can demolish a property. Demolition approvals are subject to:

  • Zoning laws
  • Heritage listing
  • Overlays (such as flood zones)
  • Neighbourhood planning

Not all demolition projects require building approval. Each local council has its own requirements for granting permits. You can read more about Brisbane City Council’s requirements on their website, but you should check with your local council for more accurate information.

3. Organise the Demolition

You will typically be required to organise demolition with an independent contractor. Demolition is heavily regulated and highly skilled, so you’ll need to work with a reputable contractor.

The demolition process is relatively straightforward. Your contractor will review your building approval and site plans, and then get to work on removing the existing house. This includes demolishing the slab and removing underground utilities, such as water, power and internet.

Demolition should only be carried out by a contractor that holds a valid Demolition Work Licence. Talk to your builder if you need help selecting a reliable demolition company. Your builder may be able to refer you to a contractor they have worked with previously.

4. Laying Foundations

With demolition complete and the waste removed from the site, your builder can start on the rebuild! During the foundation stage your builder will:

  • Clear unwanted vegetation and other features
  • Perform earthworks (such as flattening the site)
  • Construct retaining walls and terraces
  • Lay underground utilities (such as water, power, internet and gas)
  • Mark out the location of the slab and/or foundation posts

Once that’s all complete, the concrete slab will be poured and allowed to cure ahead of further construction.

5. Framing the Home

Framing is where your house really starts to come together! The frames are the skeleton of your home. Your builder will begin by marking out the location of each frame, window, door and roof truss. Those markings are then translated onto the framing timbers or steel studs, and the frames can be assembled one by one.

Depending on the design of your home, framing may be completed onsite, or your builder may prefabricate components offsite. Prefabricated frames can shorten the total construction time, but they aren’t suitable for all types of builds.

6. Enclosing the Home

Enclosing your home marks the halfway point of the build. During the enclosing phase, your new home is fitted with its roofing, insulation, external cladding, windows, doors and gutters. The aim here is to make the home secure and weatherproof before the interior fit out takes place.

At this stage your trades will also rough-in electrical, plumbing and HVAC services while they have access to wall and ceiling cavities.

7. Completing Fixings

Once your home is secure, your trades can move onto the interior and complete the fixing stage. During fixing, your builder completes major details like wall and ceiling cladding, and they’ll install features like skirting boards, cornices, doors and cabinetry. They’ll also complete the installation of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC services that were roughed-in earlier.

Lots of work goes into completing a home and adding finishing touches such as stairs, appliances, kitchen equipment and custom features. The fixing stage is often one of the longest phases of your knock down rebuild.

8. Project Handover

Your knock down rebuild is almost complete! At this point your builder is effectively done with their work, and it’s your turn to examine the property and make sure it meets your expectations.

At handover, you’ll meet with your site supervisor to inspect the completed build. During your inspection you should look for faults or anything that the builder has missed. Inspect your walls and ceilings for paint consistency, test appliances, check cabinetry and test whether fittings like taps and lights work as intended.

Your builder is required to fix any little issues before handing over the keys, so don’t be afraid to go over the property with a fine-toothed comb.


Talk to McCarthy Homes About Your Knock Down Rebuild Project!

A knock down rebuild project is a great way to build your dream home in a location you already love. Not only does a rebuild give you more freedom than renovation, it can also save on stamp duty, moving costs and agents fees. If you’ve outgrown your current house and want to build something that suits your lifestyle, McCarthy Home would love to hear from you!

As Hampton style home builders, we offer knock down rebuild services that allow you to turn an existing property into a home you’ll cherish for decades to come. You can browse our home designs to get started, or talk to us to find out more about our custom built homes!

Knock down rebuild

Knock Down Rebuild Cost

By | Property News

A knock down rebuild is a type of new home construction that involves demolishing an existing home and rebuilding a new one in its place. In most cases, the existing property is demolished completely (including the slab and underground utilities), giving you a blank slate for your new build. Families typically opt for a knock down rebuild due to one of two reasons:

  • You already love where you live, but your home no longer suits your family’s needs. If that’s the case, a knock down rebuild gives you complete freedom to redesign your home without having to move to a new property.
  • Your dream property already has a house built on the land. Some of Queensland’s best properties aren’t sold as vacant land. If you have your heart set on a particular block, but it already has a home or other structures on the land, a knock down rebuild can clear the way for your dream build.

How Much Does it Cost to Demolish a House?

It costs anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000 to demolish a house in Queensland. The cost of demolition depends on the size of the home and the property layout. Demolition is the only major “additional” cost of a knock down rebuild when compared to a new build on vacant land. While it may seem like a lot of money, the cost of demolition is easily offset by the money saved on moving, stamp duty and the cost of new land.

Demolition typically isn’t included in the price of your knock down rebuild contract. Demolition is a highly skilled service, so most builders will ask you to coordinate the knock down process with an independent contractor. You’ll need to discuss the demolition phase with your builder to see whether it’s included in your contract or not. Your builder may also be able to refer you to a high quality demolition service they have worked with previously.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Demolition

The demolition process is an affordable way to clear your block of land and prepare it for new construction. The cost of demolition largely depends on the size of the home and the layout of the property. It can also be affected by:

  • Asbestos. Asbestos was officially banned as a building material in 1990, but it’s found in many homes from that era. Removing asbestos during demolition is a dangerous task that can only be performed by licensed professionals. This will add to the total cost of your demolition.
  • Site access. Knocking down an existing house requires serious equipment. If your home has good site access (such as sealed roads and plenty of space to manoeuver heavy machinery), this will reduce the cost of demolition.
  • Underground utilities. Demolition typically involves removing underground utility runs (including water, gas, sewerage, electricity and NBN). This process may attract additional fees from the utility provider.
  • Materials recycling. Queensland has a growing market for recycled construction materials. Hardwood timber, roof tiles, bricks, doors, windows and other features can often be recycled, and the value of those materials may be deducted from the cost of your demolition. This is a great way to offset the expense and reduce the amount of waste generated by your project.

In some cases, you can significantly reduce the cost of demolition by having the home removed from the block. This option is usually only suitable for timber homes such as Queenslanders that are built on platform foundations.

How Much Does it Cost to Rebuild a Home?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The cost of building a new home varies widely depending on your location, design, materials selections, floorplan, custom requirements and more. In general, rebuilding your home after demolition costs the same amount as building a new home on a vacant block.

Advantages of a Knock Down Rebuild

Building a new home is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. While the process can be intensive, you’ll end up with a home that supports your lifestyle perfectly. And, when you opt for a knock down rebuild, you also benefit from:

  • Location. The biggest advantage of a knock down rebuild is that you get to stay in the location you love. There’s no need to move away from family, friends, work and the kids’ schools – you can build the lifestyle you want without moving an inch.
  • Price. There’s no question that a knock down rebuild is a serious investment of time and money. But, it’s also a cost-effective way to build a home you’ll love in exactly the right location. While there are additional costs (such as demolition), your knock down project can save tens of thousands on things like stamp duty, agents fees, moving costs and more.
  • Taxation. Stamp duty, CGT and other tax obligations are some of the biggest costs associated with buying a new home. For example, if you were to purchase a house and land package in Queensland for $700,000, you would pay $17,350 in stamp duty. However, you won’t pay a cent in stamp duty if you choose to build a new home on your existing property. You can use this stamp duty calculator to estimate how much money a knock down rebuild could save your family.
  • Design flexibility. A renovation project is a good way to update your home, but there are limits to what you can achieve. A knock down rebuild gives you complete freedom to design a home that’s perfectly suited to your family and lifestyle. It’s also more cost-effective than performing major renovations that include structural changes or extensions.


Build Your Dream Lifestyle with a Knock Down Rebuild from McCarthy Homes!

Investing in a knock down rebuild project is a great way to turn an existing block of land into the perfect property. If your family, lifestyle or needs are changing, McCarthy Homes can turn your current house into the home you’ve been dreaming of!

McCarthy Homes are Hampton style builders working throughout Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. We specialise in crafting homes that are uniquely yours, complete with high-end features that complement your ideal lifestyle. Our knock down rebuild service includes everything you need to transform your existing property. If you’re ready to get started then you can browse our home designs online, or start a conversation about your knock down rebuild project today!

Should I Buy or Build My First Home?

By | Property News

There are lots of decisions to make when buying a house. But, the very first thing you need to think about is whether you’re going to build a new home or buy an existing property and do a knock down rebuild project. Building vs buying is a big choice, and it can make a major difference to your budget and lifestyle. Each type of property comes with its own pros and cons, and it’s your job to weigh up the differences and decide which option is right for your family. In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you need to consider when deciding whether you should buy or build your first home.


1. Finding the Right Location

Location is one of the biggest factors when buying a new home. The location you choose impacts the price, and it also affects your access to friends, family, schools, amenities and other lifestyle features.

When you buy an existing home, you will have more freedom to choose a property in an established suburb that’s closer to schools, shops and other amenities. That’s great for your family and lifestyle needs, and it can also shorten your commute to work. On the other hand, most new home builds occur in developments, which tend to be located in up-and-coming outer suburbs. While it’s possible to build a new home in an established suburb, the price of vacant land rises sharply in popular areas, so you need to factor in the additional cost.


2. Your Budget

Budget is a major consideration for all home buyers. According to the latest property data, it’s currently cheaper to build a new home in most of Australia’s capital cities.

The median price of existing homes vs new builds is as follows:

Existing Home New Build (House + Land)
Brisbane $705,016 $646,717
Sydney $1,031,138 $1,065,381
Melbourne $751,125 $709,125
Adelaide $650,981 $509,500
Canberra $839,732 $1,062,863
Perth $572,837 $525,750

Source: Property Update, Property Update, UDIA

There’s no simple way to estimate how much a newly built home will actually cost. The final price varies based on the size, style, location, building company, materials availability and the level of fit and finish. While median prices can give you a good idea of the cost of a house and land package, you’ll need to talk to your builder for a quote on your project.

3. Creative Freedom

There’s nothing quite like living in a home you designed yourself. Building a new home gives you complete creative freedom to design spaces that perfectly support your family and lifestyle. If you need additional bedrooms, office space, specialty entertaining areas or a spectacular master suite, a custom home build offers everything you’re looking for.

Buying an existing home is a bigger compromise. You’re locked into the original floorplan, and the cost of renovations adds up quickly if you want to update core spaces like kitchens and bathrooms.


4. Timeline

Getting into a new home isn’t as simple as picking one you like and shaking hands. The process can take anywhere from a few weeks to 12 months, depending on whether you decide to buy or build. As a rule of thumb, it takes anywhere between 6-12 months to construct a new home. That doesn’t include the time you spend researching Hampton style builders, finding the perfect block of land and designing your ideal home. On the other hand, it may only take you 2-3 months to buy an existing home, but the process can be drawn out if you are struggling to find the perfect property.


5. Stamp Duty Concessions

Stamp Duty (also called Transfer Duty) is a one-off tax you pay when you buy a house. It’s calculated as a percentage of the purchase price, so it can be a major expense. When you buy an existing home, you pay stamp duty on the entire value of the home. When you build a new home, you pay stamp duty on the cost of the land, but not on the price of the actual build. That can save you tens of thousands of dollars!

We can use Australia’s median house prices to estimate the stamp duty you’d be required to pay when buying an existing home:

Median House Price Estimated Stamp Duty
Brisbane $705,016 $17,579
Sydney $1,031,138 $41,494
Melbourne $751,125 $40,137
Adelaide $650,981 $29,635
Canberra $839,732 $25,338
Perth $572,837 $21,227

Source: QLD, NSW, VIC, SA, ACT, WA

Depending on where you buy and whether you’re buying a first home, investment or off-the-plan property, you may be entitled to a variety of stamp duty concessions. That can make a small difference, but you’ll still pay significantly more stamp duty than you would for a newly built home.


6. Sustainability and Energy Consumption

If a sustainable home is high on your priority list then you aren’t alone. Almost 50% of the population is on the lookout for eco-conscious homes built with sustainable materials and energy-efficient features. That can be a bit of an issue if you’re buying an existing property.

Older houses rarely feature the sustainable materials and energy-saving design that modern homes are known for. If you buy an existing property, chances are you won’t benefit from things like recycled materials, passive heating and cooling, double glazing and energy-efficient appliances. It’s possible to add some of these features to an older home, but the property’s layout limits what you can achieve.

On the other hand, a newly built home can incorporate as many sustainability features as you want! Sustainable building practices are always advancing, and building a new home is the best way to take advantage of passive heating, solar power, house batteries, efficient appliances, natural light and eco-conscious design.


Build a Home that Supports Every Part of Your Life with McCarthy Homes!

Building a house vs buying an existing home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever need to make. Your choice can have a major impact on your budget and lifestyle, and it can also impact things like long-term capital growth. If sustainability, creative freedom and lifestyle are at the top of your wish list, it’s time to start a conversation with McCarthy Homes! McCarthy Homes is an award winning home builder that works across South East Queensland.

We specialise in crafting incredible homes that feature timeless design, quality finishes and the personal touches your lifestyle needs. You can explore our home designs on our website, or contact our team to discuss building a new home with McCarthy!

Exploring the Best Orientation for Houses

By | Property News

Thousands of decisions go into designing your new perfect custom home. One of the most important is the orientation of your house. Choosing the right orientation can have a big impact on how you use your spaces and whether you’re prepared for the hot summer months. Good orientation, combined with things like ceiling fans, smart window placement and energy-saving features, can set you up to enjoy a comfortable, sustainable home for decades to come! Designing a home with the right orientation requires serious planning and forethought. In this article, we’re going to explore the best orientation for houses and how you can design an energy-efficient home that stays comfortable year-round.


What Is House Orientation?

House orientation refers to the direction that your home faces on your block. Facing your home the right way allows you to take advantage of passive heating and cooling. With good design, passive heating and cooling can warm your home in winter and keep it cool in summer. This dramatically reduces your energy bills and makes your main living spaces more comfortable, even during Brisbane’s hot summers.

There are two major factors when it comes to house orientation: the sun’s path through the sky and the prevailing winds in your area. In South East Queensland, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but it travels through the northern sky at a slight angle. This means the northern side of your home will receive the most sunlight during the day, and that the western face will get most of the hot afternoon sun.


The Best Orientation for Houses in South East Queensland

The best orientation for a house in South East Queensland is usually north-facing. Facing the home to the north allows you to capture light and heat during winter while keeping out the worst of the sun during summer.

When we say a home is north-facing, we typically mean the main indoor and outdoor living areas are placed on the northern side of the home. These areas receive the most use throughout the day, so they benefit more from the natural light and warmth. This also keeps bedrooms, offices and other areas cool, making it easier to get to sleep at night!

It’s not always possible to buy or build your new Brisbane home with a north-facing orientation. If that’s the case then you don’t need to let alternative facings put you off. With the right layout, an east or west-facing home can provide passive heating and cooling that keeps your spaces comfortable year-round.

How to Design for Passive Heating and Cooling

It’s simple to say a north-facing orientation is the best option for homes in South East Queensland. But, designing a home that takes full advantage of passive heating and cooling is a much trickier task. The best design depends on the orientation and layout of the block, road frontages, neighbouring properties and terrain features like slopes and mature trees.

If you’re interested in designing a passive home, talk to your builder about the goals of your knock down rebuild or custom home project. They will be able to help you craft spaces that stay warm in winter and cool in summer by:

  • Placing living areas on the north side of the property to take advantage of natural light and solar heating
  • Extending eaves, awnings or external blinds to provide shade during summer without blocking the light in winter
  • Placing covered outdoor living areas on the west or eastern faces to shade the walls of your home
  • Considering neighbouring homes and whether they will block sunlight from reaching your windows, walls or solar panels
  • Using fences, vegetation and other design features to shade your walls and direct the prevailing breeze through your home
  • Designing open plan interiors that make the most of cross-ventilation during the summer months

It’s worth noting that your home doesn’t need to face perfectly to the north to take advantage of passive heating and cooling. In South East Queensland, homes can be rotated approximately 10 degrees west or 20 degrees east of north and still benefit from the sun’s light and heat.


The Best Orientation for Natural Light

In South East Queensland, the best orientation for natural light is north-facing. That is, the rooms on the northern side of your home will receive the most light throughout the day. We typically design homes that place kitchen, living and dining areas on the northside of the property to capture this stunning natural light. Combined with east and west-facing windows in bedrooms and other areas, this creates a bright and airy lighting plan without overheating your spaces.


Using Landscaping to Improve Passive Heating and Cooling

Blocks of land come in all shapes and sizes. Whether they’re long and narrow, sloped or a wide-open space, you won’t always be able to design a home with the perfect orientation. On these tricky properties, landscaping can make all the difference to the passive heating and cooling in your home. Landscaping features like hedges, shade trees and covered alfresco areas can be used to:

  • Keep the sun off the walls of your home
  • Provide shade for outdoor entertaining and play areas
  • Redirect the prevailing winds and funnel them into your home
  • Block hot, dry or harsh winds

It takes forethought to plan a garden that will add to your home’s beauty and comfort. Talk to your Hampton style home builders to find out more about choosing greenery that will grow to provide shade and protection from Brisbane’s harsh summers.


Build Your New Home in the Best Orientation with McCarthy Homes!

Designing a home that makes the most of its orientation is equal parts art and science. If you want to take advantage of passive heating and cooling then there’s no substitute for experience! McCarthy Homes is a custom home builder working across South East Queensland. We have delivered hundreds of unique projects, and our expert team can craft a stunning home that offers natural light and comfort in abundance.

With endless customisation options and home designs that are suitable for any block, we can create a property that’s perfect for your lifestyle and the local climate. Contact us at any time to discuss your block of land and let our experts help decide on the best orientation for your new home!

Stages of Building a House

By | Property News

Building a new home is a major project! There’s an incredible amount of work that goes into the stages of building a house. From planning and clearing the site to laying foundations, erecting frames and completing the property, it can take months of effort to finish a new home. It might look a little daunting, but your home builder will break the journey down into stages that make the whole process more rewarding.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the 6 stages of building a new home so that you know what to expect along the way.

1. Pre-Construction Planning

Lots of planning needs to be completed before your new home can be built. You’ll need to meet with your builder to discuss your custom home design, the block of land you’re using and any custom home features you want. During pre-construction, you’ll meet with your builder’s selections team to choose things like design aesthetic, finishes, fittings and other inclusions.

2. Base Stage

The base stage includes all the work that goes into preparing your block for a new home. This includes all site preparation work, such as levelling the block, clearing vegetation, earthworks and laying underground utilities. Once that’s completed, the concrete slab can be poured to finalise the base stage.

3. Frame Stage

Framing is one of the most exciting parts of a new build! This stage is your chance to see your new build come together and get an idea of what the home will look like when it’s completed.

As the name suggests, this stage is where your home’s frames are assembled and erected. Framing starts with your builder marking out the locations of walls, roof trusses, windows and doors.

4. Enclosed Stage

The enclosed stage is a major milestone that marks the halfway point of your build! At this point, your new home receives its external cladding, insulation, roofing, doors, windows and guttering. While the ceiling and wall cavities are still accessible, trades will also perform a “rough-in” and install the major pieces of your plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. The main goal is to make your home secure and weathertight so that work can begin on the interior.

5. Fixing Stage

The “fixing” stage encompasses all the work that goes into your new home’s interior. This can include major details like all and ceiling cladding, built-in cabinets, internal doors, skirting boards, cornices and other internal features. With these done, other work can include installing the plumbing, electrical and HVAC services that were roughed in earlier.

6. Handover

Your new Hampton style house is almost ready now! The final piece of the puzzle is your Practical Completion Inspection (PCI). Your Site Supervisor will book your PCI once the fixing stage has been completed and signed off by the building inspector.

During your PCI you’ll be taken through the entire home by your Site Supervisor. This is your chance to inspect every nook and cranny and make sure you’re happy with the workmanship. You should test fittings like lights, taps, draws, doors and windows to ensure they work properly.

The Elevated Design of High Ceiling Homes

By | Property News

High ceiling homes are one of the most popular building upgrades across Australia. Increasing ceiling heights is a simple and affordable design touch, and it’s an incredible way to create an unmatched sense of grandeur in a new home. If you’re envisioning life in a bright, spacious house, high ceilings can create the aesthetic you’re looking for. In this article we’re going to discuss high ceiling homes to find out how one simple upgrade can make your new home build stand out!

Standard Ceiling Heights in Australia

In Australia, the minimum ceiling height for a “habitable room” is 2.4 metres. The term “habitable room” encompasses most of the indoor spaces in your home, including bedrooms, living areas, dining rooms and kitchens. While 2.4 metre ceilings create a cosy, intimate feel for the more private areas of your home, many house builders offer upgrades to 2.55, 2.7 or even 3 metre ceiling heights.

High Ceiling Living Room Design

While ceiling heights can be increased in any space, a high ceiling living room is one of the most popular options. Increasing the ceiling height of your central living areas makes sense. You’re going to spend a lot of time in those rooms with your family and friends, and a high ceiling instantly creates a relaxing sense of volume and grandeur. Simply increasing ceiling heights to 2.55 or 2.7 metres instantly increases the available space and provides a canvas for adding flair with furniture, lighting design features such as fireplaces. Combined with plenty of natural light, a high ceiling living room can serve as the backdrop for the luxurious lifestyle you’re looking for!

High Ceiling Kitchen and Dining Areas

Increasing the ceiling height in living rooms certainly adds a sense of luxe to those important spaces, but a high ceiling kitchen can also make your busiest rooms feel more liveable. If the kitchen is the heart of your home, it more than deserves the additional space, drama and liveability that come with high ceilings! 

Kitchen, dining and living areas aren’t just limited to high ceilings. They’re also the perfect place to add flair with a full or partial cathedral ceiling. Combining high ceilings with the angularity and volume of a cathedral ceiling is the ultimate luxury detail, and it’s also a great solution for creating separation in combined living areas.

The Benefits of High Ceiling Homes

High ceilings can have a major impact on the design of your home. In fact, increased ceiling heights are one of the most popular design upgrades offered by home building companies. Upgrading to higher ceilings is typically very affordable, and it’s the perfect way to make your home stand out. Here are some of the main benefits of high ceiling homes:

  • Expand the space. The biggest benefit of high ceilings is the additional sense of space. Without having to increase the size of a room, raising the ceiling adds volume and grandeur that’s difficult to replicate any other way. If you want to make small rooms feel large and give your home real impact, high ceilings are the way to go. 
  • Lighter, brighter rooms. High ceilings are often matched to larger windows and feature lighting that make them lighter and brighter. Increasing your ceiling height slightly to 2.7 metres can have a dramatic effect on the amount of natural light in a room, further adding to the grandeur of the space.
  • Design flair. Looking to set your custom home apart? High ceiling homes are the perfect opportunity to add serious impact to the design! Not only do high ceilings look good, they change the sense of scale in a space, allowing you to use furniture, artwork and feature lighting to make your home stand out.
  • Luxury addition. The extra space, natural light and design impact that come with high ceilings all combine to create a sense of luxury. High ceiling homes are always impressive, and it’s a simple upgrade that can lend everyday luxe to your build.

Explore High Ceiling Home Designs with McCarthy Homes!

Starting a knock down rebuild project or building a new Hampton style home is one of the best ways to make your mark on a property! When you have the freedom to add the design elements you need, it’s possible to create a home with all the lifestyle elements your family is looking for. If you’d like to add an unmatched sense of luxury and grandeur to your spaces, high ceiling homes are the way to go!

At McCarthy Homes we specialise in building custom homes that blend everyday functionality with considered design and luxury materials. Our approach to building means you have full control over every detail. From ceiling heights down to the smallest fittings, our team strives to provide a building experience that offers everything your new lifestyle needs.

Start a conversation with McCarthy Homes if you’d like to find out more about high ceilings or our other inclusions!

Soil Classification When Building Your Home

By | Property News

Building your own home is an exciting journey! Having the chance to design all the little features you’ve been dreaming of is a lot of fun. It’s easy to get lost in that process though, and most people aren’t particularly worried about things like soil classification. It might seem like a minor detail, but your builder will need soil testing results before work can even begin. In this article, we’ll be exploring more about the role of testing and soil classification in the new home build process.

The Role of Soil Classification in Building

Soil classification and ground features play a major role in building projects. In your hunt for the perfect block, it’s easy to focus on things like orientation and slope, but the quality of the soil isn’t always so apparent. Before you get too excited by a property, it’s worth having the soil tested. A professional tester can take samples from a block to develop a soil classification that will inform your new home’s slab, footing and engineering requirements.

What Are the Soil Classifications?

Because soil plays such an important role in the building process, soil classifications are laid out in AS2870 by the Australian Government. Soil is typically classified based on how reactive it is. Soils that are prone to movement (such as after it rains) are considered more reactive and they may need additional preparation work before building. According to AS2870, the soil classifications are as follows:

Site Classification Surface Movement Description
A Sandy or rocky sites that show almost no movement due to changes in moisture.
S 0mm to 20mm Mildly reactive clay sites that show slight fluctuations due to moisture.
M 20mm to 40mm Moderately reactive clay sites that show middling amounts of ground movement.
H1 40mm to 60mm Highly reactive clay sites that are prone to lots of movement.
H2 60mm to 75mm Highly reactive clay sites that demonstrate lots of movement.
E 75mm or more Extremely reactive sites.
P Problematic sites, usually composed of soft sand, silt or filled material. P grade sites often have abnormal water conditions.

What Are the Soil Classifications?

Because soil plays such an important role in the building process, soil classifications are laid out in AS2870 by the Australian Government. Soil is typically classified based on how reactive it is. Soils that are prone to movement (such as after it rains) are considered more reactive and they may need additional preparation work before building. According to AS2870, the soil classifications are as follows:

Testing and Classification of Soil

Classification of soil is a compulsory part of the construction process in Queensland. During a soil test, a geotechnical engineer will visit the site and use a hollow drill to take cylindrical samples from the ground. These samples show the soil composition and what’s happening underground, and they allow the geotechnical engineer to develop a soil report for your builder. When preparing land for a new home build, it’s important to take soil samples from all over the block. Soil classifications can vary from one part of your land to another, so taking a single sample won’t provide the information builders need.

Other Soil Classification Factors

Geotechnical engineers determine soil classification based on how reactive the ground is. While that plays an important role in how the foundations of your home are designed, builders will also test other factors:

  • Erosion. Highly reactive soils tend to absorb lots of water, which often leads to erosion. Soil erosion causes major shifts that may crack your foundations, so your builder will need to take extra precautions to prevent erosion.
  • Load Bearing Capacity. The ground beneath your foundations needs to be capable of bearing the weight of your home. It’s possible for soils to have low reactivity but also low bearing capacity. If that’s the case, the soil will need additional compaction treatments to make it suitable for building.
  • Seasonal Shrinkage. Prolonged rainy or dry seasons also need to be accounted for when designing foundations. Excessively wet soil can swell and damage footings, while very dry soils can shrink away from the slab and compromise its support. In areas that are prone to seasonal shrinkage and swelling, engineers often use additional drainage to reduce the impact of changing soil conditions.

Getting Ready to Build Your Own Home? Contact McCarthy Homes for Inspiration!

The process of a knock down rebuild or building a custom home can be highly involved. With thousands of little details like soil classifications and engineering to worry about, it’s important to work with reputable Hampton style builders. If you’re ready to build but need someone to take the hard work out of the process, start a conversation with McCarthy Homes! McCarthy Homes is a bespoke house builder working throughout the Brisbane region. We specialise in designing incredible properties that deliver all the stunning lifestyle features our clients need. When you build with us you’ll have access to leading designers and trades who can take care of the little details like soil testing and classification. Contact us today if you’d like to find out more about building with McCarthy Homes!

Custom home being built

How to Design a Custom Home

By | Property News

Designing a custom home is an exciting and rewarding process. It might take some effort to craft a layout that matches your vision, but the result is a home that’s uniquely yours. Working with a custom home builder means you’ll have access to industry experts with the skills and knowledge to turn your dream home into a reality.

You can speed up the process by getting started on the design before you speak to your home builder. To point you in the right direction, we’re going to cover 6 6 simple steps to design a custom home that suits you perfectly.

1. Set a Budget for the Project

Working with a custom home builder gives you the freedom to achieve almost any vision for your new home. That presents a unique opportunity, but it makes it all the more important to set a budget at the start of the project. Your budget will ensure you can realistically afford the property, and it serves as a useful tool for deciding which features you do and don’t need to include. 

Remember to think about additional expenses when setting your budget. Features such as decks, landscaping and driveways may be considered add-ons, so it’s a good idea to think about them up front.

2. Determine Your Home’s Orientation

The way your home is positioned on a block has a major impact on its design and features. For example, if you wanted to make the most of ocean views, you could design a layout that delivers the best scenes to the main living area. Similarly, the positioning of windows in each room can help you create a more sustainable home and take advantage of passive heating and cooling. Visit your block of land and try to pick the location and orientation that suits your layout and budget.

3. Design for Your Lifestyle

Building a custom home is your opportunity to design a property that perfectly suits your family and lifestyle. When creating your new home wish list, prioritise the features that support the lifestyle you’re envisioning. Do you need multiple living spaces for extended family or adult children? Do you spend your weekends entertaining? Do you have a young family that needs yard space to play? Now’s your chance to think about those things!

There’s lots to consider when designing a home that meets your lifestyle, including:

  • The size of the home and how many rooms it needs
  • The number and size of living rooms 
  • Additional features such as a home office, butler’s pantry or theatre room
  • Storage space in bedrooms and throughout the home
  • Integrated garage spaces
  • Whether you need separate or additional areas
  • Outdoor entertainment areas

4. Choose a Style You Love

Homes come in hundreds of different design aesthetics, and this is your chance to choose the one you love. Making the most of your home’s style isn’t just about the facade – the style should work its way into every corner of the property. Make sure you’re setting the tone for your design properly by choosing a style at the start of the project. If you need inspiration, it’s easy to look up popular styles like Hampton homes online and see what others have done.

5. Explore Existing Home Designs

It can be challenging to design a custom home or even a knock down rebuild project. Thousands of tiny details go into creating the perfect floorplan, so it’s a good idea to borrow some ideas from existing homes you like. Many home builders offer examples of their work on their websites. Browsing through their home designs can give you a feel for which features you want and how they fit into the home’s layout.

6. Create a Floorplan

Custom home builders have a wealth of experience in designing bespoke homes to suit their customers’ needs. That means you’re free to lean on their expertise to design a custom home. However, you can make the design process much simpler by bringing your ideas to the table.

If you have the time, sketch out some floorplans of your own. Even rough floorplans will be enough to help a builder understand your vision. They’ll be able to refine the plans and add any missing details later, so all you need to do is focus on getting the broad strokes right.

Turn Your Vision into a New Custom Home with McCarthy Homes!

Taking the time to design a custom home can dramatically speed up the process of working with your builder. Having a clear idea of what you want from your property means it’s simple to turn your dream home into a reality. If you’re ready to get started, McCarthy Homes is here to help!

McCarthy are Hampton style home builders working throughout the Brisbane region. We specialise in crafting high quality homes that feature all the details your new lifestyle needs. You can contact us online at any time – we’re always happy to have a conversation and find out how we can support your custom home dream!

Custom home plans drawn

How to Draw Your Custom Home Floor Plans

By | Property News

Designing a custom home is an incredibly rewarding experience. Once it’s all said and done, you’ll end up with a home perfectly suited to your family, needs and lifestyle. The only hard part is figuring out exactly what you want!

Having creative freedom is great, but it can present a unique challenge if you have never designed and built a custom home before. With some thought and planning, you can create a unique design that helps your builder shape your ideas into a refined home-building experience. To get you started, here are our tips on how to draw your custom home floor plans!

1. Make a List of What You Need

Every custom home design begins with a wishlist. You need to know exactly what you want from your new home before you can start sketching your design! Your wishlist doesn’t need to be complicated, but it’s worth putting in extra thought to make sure you’ve got everything you want. As a guideline, you’ll need to think about things like:

  • How many bedrooms you want
  • The number of bathrooms and ensuites
  • Kitchen size and layout
  • Whether you want extra living or working areas
  • Garage and workshop space
  • Outdoor living areas
  • Luxury features like butler’s pantries or steam rooms
  • Practical features such as laundry rooms and stairwells

2. Decide On a Style

If you have a specific architectural aesthetic in mind, now’s the time to include it in your plans! Hampton style homes, farmhouse properties and coastal homes all have specific features and layouts that you’ll need to think about if you want to match the aesthetic. You can always search custom home builders’ websites for inspiration. You can also visit their display homes or use their custom home floor plans as a starting point for your own design.

3. Measure Your Own Spaces

To help keep your sense of scale in perspective, get out your tape measure and measure the spaces in your existing property. This is also a good chance to figure out what you don’t like about your current home. Are the bedrooms too small? Is there enough room to walk around lounges and dining tables? Is the kitchen laid out effectively? The things you dislike often come down to the amount of space available, and you can use that information to improve your own design.

4. Start Drawing

The best starting point for how to draw your own house plans is to use grid paper and sketch your design by hand. The grid helps keep your drawing in scale and gives you an idea of how big spaces really need to be.

There are two main ways of drawing a floor plan for your new home:

  • From the inside out. If you aren’t sure what shape the house needs to be, it can be helpful to start designing your internal rooms first. Most houses are built around central living and kitchen spaces, so that’s a good place to start. After that you can add bedrooms, bathrooms, study spaces and other living areas as needed.
  • From the outside in. If you know what the outside of the house needs to look like, or if you’re working with a specific block shape and size, it can be helpful to draw the external walls first. Once you know the external dimensions you can fill in the internal walls to create the rooms you need.

5. Add in the Details

Good floor plans show more than just the walls. Details like doors, windows, appliances, showers, toilets and light fittings all help to envision the finished product. Adding in these sorts of details can help you design effective spaces. It also gives you a chance to make sure you’re allowing enough room to accommodate furniture and fittings.

6. Let Your Builder Help

Rather than spending countless hours chipping away at the design yourself, focus on getting the broad strokes right and work with your builder to nail down the details.

The custom home builder you work with will have a design team that can take your rough ideas and shape them into fully-fledged plans. Not only can they turn your vision into reality, professional home builders are filled with helpful advice to help hone your ideas into custom home floor plans you’ll love!

Design a Custom Home with the Team From McCarthy Homes!

Crafting a home that’s perfect for your family and lifestyle is no small task. It’s easy to put hundreds of hours of planning into the process. If you need help, home builders in Brisbane, McCarthy Homes have all the advice and tools you need to get started!

We’re experienced custom home builders working throughout the Brisbane region on multiple knock down rebuild and new home projects. Our team lives and breathes home design, so we know what it takes to shape your ideas into custom home floor plans that capture your vision. Start a conversation with McCarthy Homes if you’re looking to build a custom home – you’re always welcome to contact us online for a chat!