Getting the right team for your dream project is not a minuscule task. There is plenty of homework to do, quite a lot of internet searches and some credible resources as well. Apart from looking for certain qualities and skills in your designer, there are a few things you have to do yourself too.

Financial situation, specific requirements and creative contribution are among the few aspects that will influence the designing process from the very beginning. Even with the best of interior designers, your contribution as a client could make the most obvious difference. So it is necessary to find someone who can suit your needs the best.

The first step towards that is to ask around in your social network for recommendations. This is the best way to get honest reviews from people who are vested in you. But before you set out for the first interview with an interior designer, here are a few things that you need to consider.


1. The Budget

Just like you need a clear idea of your budget Before hiring residential builders Brisbane has, approaching an interior designer also requires you to have a crystal clear idea of what you can afford. Professional designers are equipped to work within budgets, but even to get started, they would need to know the extent of resources and the limit of them as well. This is one of the first concerns of the designer to know how liberal you are with the finances. Once this is established, it is much easier to go forward with the partnership.


2. The Payment

Every designer has their own schedule of payment. They also charge you differently for different phases and for different types of work. It could vary from a lump sum fee, consultation by the hour or a percentage of the total cost of building a house interior. While talking to your designer, it is important that you are explicit about the payment options and how the payment would be released.


3. The Reference

Without a question, everyone will have an idea of how they want their house to look like. If you are prepared to give the designer complete creative freedom and be surprised by the end result, you can do that. But if you have a particular style in mind, you have to prepare to speak about it to the designer without any inhibitions.

It is true that not everyone can communicate effectively what they have in mind. So try collecting images of what comes the closest, as you also do not want a ditto copy of someone else’s house. Designers can comprehend most of your ideas and make better and personalised versions for you. All you have to do is steer them in the direction and be open about your specific requirements.


4. The Time Frame

Most people leave out this key element during the initial discussions and then end up blaming the designing team for delays. Designers usually have a time frame for each phase and the task is not something that could be whipped up in a few days. So if you hope to host an event or finish the interior within a specific time frame, you have to establish it before commencing the project.


5. How Particular Are You?

While we all have some ideas pictured in our head, at times we are ready to let it go if the designer suggests something better. But if you have a specific detail in mind, and are very particular about having only that in the house, it is something you have to be upfront to the designer. There are instances when your ideas might not be practical for the space or compliment with another one. If there is a confusion there, you will need to be sure whether you are ready to listen to the designer and value their input. After all, that is what you hire them for.


6. The Style

Not only should the designer be aware of your ideas and requirements, they should also be fine to work along those lines. Many designers have their own signature style and do not appreciate interference from the clients in the design process. It is this better to find someone who specializes in the style you want rather than to ask someone to change their ideologies to work with you. If they are not ok with your suggestions, then the partnership will only arise issues in future.


7. The Experience

Touching many points we have discussed above, how included do you want to be in the whole design experience? There are clients who would like to accompany designers while they select the materials. Some might not want anything to do with the process at all and leave every decision to the designer. It is wise to discuss your involvement with the designer in the initial stages itself.


8. The Functionality

As much as you want the designer to contribute ideas, you also have to let them know about the functionality you seek for each room. If you have any particular use for one space in your mind, pass it on to the designer and they will focus on not just making it look beautiful but also to make it feel beautiful.


9. Future Expansion

The needs of a house always evolves. The preferences might change over time and you need to keep this in mind if you are planning to stay there for a long time. Make room for future expansions and structure that could adapt to your needs as it changes over time. You might also hope to change the style, so the design that does not stand in the way of future renovations would work well in the long term.

If you are looking for home builders Brisbane to complete your project, you are at the right place. At TrustCo, we are committed to assisting everyone to fulfil their dream houses. Contact us to know more about how to proceed with construction and how to assemble the team for each task.

You might have come across many articles on why you should hire an interior designer. But what about those who are already in a home that still hasn’t got that finishing touch? A few years back, hiring an interior designer was not a prospect looked forward by the average middle-class families. But now the scenario is changing.

The outlook that everyone deserves to be pampered has resulted in many of us welcoming the idea of investing in ourselves more. The perfect place to start that is right from your home itself. Between juggling work and family, squeezing in the social life, and all the wear and tear, it would only be surprising if you have time to dress up your home like you dream it to be.

Moreover, if you take a moment to look around, you will notice that many spaces you set aside, and many pieces you picked with care are almost left without regular use. So if you feel like you have let things slide a little with your home interiors, here are a few more that would allow you to reflect on whether you might need an interior designer.


1. You never Use that Room

“Oh this is our formal dining room, but we hardly use it”. Have you found yourself saying this often to someone who visits? It does not have to be the dining space itself, but you are most likely to have at least a nook that you have left unused or use it once a year or only on some occasions.

It might be time to rethink the purpose of these rooms. With the help of an interior designer, you will be able to identify many such spaces and help you to transform them into spaces that could be put to better purposes that suit your lifestyle more. It might also help you to make changes in the way you live, by creating areas that you could share more as a family or solve a problem that you have been facing.


2. Your Kids’ Room Desperately Needs a Makeover

If you have kids, then there is no need to stress how difficult it is to keep the entire house clean, let alone their play areas. No matter how many weekends you have spent on it, or how many DIY projects you have taken upon to tidy it up, the room and the storage still is not sufficient to keep up with your kids.

But if you give the chance to a designer, they would definitely be able to build up some sleek solutions. Storage has now extended much beyond just boxes and the right person would know to create those that looks well hidden and out of sight. While they are at it, they can also use the space to make it into something that nurtures creativity, a place where kids want to go to sleep and appealing for not just the young ones but for everyone.


3. You Still Have Furniture from College

Unless you have a sentimental connection to the piece or that piece fits perfectly to your home decor, it is unnecessary to hold on a furniture piece that takes up some space. Moreover, it could be an irrelevant thing that makes the rest of the place looks tacky.

If you are thinking that you cannot afford a room makeover now, that is precisely why you should hire an interior designer. They can work in any budget, and according to the clients’ needs too. There might be places where you can find cheap furniture other than Ikea which you have no clue about. A professional can open many doors for you in terms of both resources and contacts.


4. Kids Grow

As your kids grow, it is almost unavoidable not to make changes in their room. Past a certain age, you simply have to give up on the nursery aesthetics and add some of the “big kid” elements to the room. In fact, the kids’ bedroom goes through many phases from being a nursery to a teen room, and eventually an empty room when they leave for college.

While it might be impossible to alter the room for every change, with some planning you can make it easily adaptable. That is where an interior designer might be able to help with their different ideas which homeowners might not be able to think of themselves. Even in tiny house floor plans, a designer will be able to create private spaces just sufficient for everyone to have some personal time.


5. The Master Bedroom Makeover

Many of the new home designs put equal focus on bedrooms as well as common spaces. But not before long, most of us used to make up only the common spaces such as living and dining spaces, or at the least, the priority was given to these first. It is obvious as these rooms are that the guests would see first.

But if you have noticed, it is the private spaces that need more attention and that could easily affect your mood too. Bedrooms often tend to get overlooked, unless you are doing some house renovations. So think about your bedrooms and see whether you have been neglecting it for a while. If so, it is time to make the call.


6. Where do You Unwind?

It is not only about bedrooms, personal spaces are also very important. After all, we have had the idea of “man caves” for a while, now its time to think about what women need too. Whether it is a reading nook or carpentry shed, a designer can help to repurpose a space where everyone can come to unwind themselves. It could be a converted garage or even under the stairwell, many such overlooked spaces could be put to better usage by a talented designer.

Are you considering hiring a team to get working on your dream home? Whether it is a designer, architect or the best builder Brisbane has, we have got all the right contacts at TrustCo. Reach out to us to get more information.

Everybody wants a perfect house with just the right imperfections. Our homes are the embodiment of our lives, its different phases, and all our emotions, good and bad in one package. It also speaks volumes about ourselves. There is nothing further needed to emphasise why house design matters to each of us.

Whether it is for small house plans or split level home designs, it is sure that excellent design can add some magic to its beauty. We take pride in showing off our house to others, to have it as a source of happiness. For the very same reasons, interior design is one of the soaring businesses of all times.

Unfortunately, many people are very sceptical about hiring an interior designer. One of the misconceptions is that hiring a designer would not make much of a difference, as it is something that you can do yourself. A few are worried about involving a designer in the process considering the additional expenses too. While it might sound valid to a few, there are plenty of reasons why you should go for it as well even according to local builders Brisbane.


1. From Dream to Reality

Having a clear idea of what you want the house to look like is not sufficient to make it look like that. Then there are those among us who lack the edge of creativity to perceive what would look good in different spaces. Apart from what we see, there are dozens of things that make a design come together such as the different styles, colour schemes, materials and finishes. It is only when you decide et do it yourself that you might realise that there are many aspects which you are unfamiliar with.

An interior designer knows their way around these and also knows the right home builders Brisbane has to choose for your specific requirements


2. Save Time

Hiring an interior designer can save you plenty of time. For one, you do not have to take care of everything by yourself and would be needed only to approve the designs and materials. A trained professional would be doing the creative part, procurement of materials, and the final installation to deliver the finished product to you. They will also take care of any obstacles that might occur during the process.


3. Save Money

As much as it sounds like an oxymoron, if you are planning to do the interior design of the entire house, then you are better off by hiring the expert. Right from the correct dimensions, to the right materials, there are plenty of things that could go wrong when decided by an amateur. Yes, the fee for the interior designer itself could seem like an additional expense, but when compared to how much you might lose by making the wrong decisions, the first is the better choice. Moreover, the designers are all equipped to work within the budget to offer the clients the best value for what they can afford.


4. Professional Approach

The difference between doing it yourself and hiring a professional starts right from the moment you approach them. With a trained designer, you are getting an action plan almost immediately. They will also pick up on details and scope for space which an untrained eye can easily miss out on. It is not only art but also comes with different technicalities that have to be carefully addressed.


5. Access to Resources

A major part of nailing interior design is to find the right products. Interior designers have access to resources that the client does not. They also know where to find what, whom to contact or whom to hire for a specific task to be completed. An interior designer can help you find the right Brisbane builders for your project, the best electrician, plumber and everyone else who can contribute the best to the team.


6. Access to the Best Deals

Having the right contacts also open doors to getting the best deal. As an individual client, you might not have access to many rates that interior designers are offered by retailers. They also know to check for the worth and quality of the materials and get the best bargain for what you are paying for. If you approach them separately, the chances are meagre that you will find the same product for the same price.


7. Working With the Team

Having the right team is not only about finding the right people but also about being able to work together with them. For a design project to complete, many artists and technicians have to come together. The professional designer you choose should be able to work well with each and every person on the team. They know how to speak the language of the owners, architects and builders. It is crucial when it comes to managing the decisions and finances as well.


8. Can you be the Boss?

Above everything, if you are doing the interior design yourself, that means you will be holding the reins. It is going to be much more demanding that you imagine, one that requires time, energy and a lot of effort. It also means you have to be the leader and communicate with all the teams, get them to work together.

There are a few things to consider in this. Will you understand the terms, jargons and technicalities? Will the team actually listen to you? Can you trust the team to do the job when you are not there to supervise them? There are many more questions to be answered. The simple solution for all would be to hire someone who knows what they are doing.

An interior designer will let you enjoy the part of building your space up rather than being a part of the strenuous portion of the job.

If you are hoping to find the right partner for that, contact us at TrustCo and we will give you the list of the best interior designers and the best custom home builders Brisbane has to get you started.

So you are looking for an interior designer. How do you know whether their style would suit yours, or whether they would be able to portray the essence of your lifestyle? There are many questions that need to be addressed in the scenario.

Much like the architect, an interior designer can contribute to the kind of life you would have in the house. For those who are new to the scene, we definitely understand how daunting the whole process might feel like. So here, we have a few questions that could help you understand more about your designer.

It is best to ask them these before you put down a deposit, to know whether this new partnership would bring in the value you seek for your home design.


1. How does the Designer Choose a Project?

It is not only you who hires a designer, but the designer should also need to know whether the client is fit for their firm. It is similar to how an employer asking a job candidate why they think they would be fit for each other.

This can answer how a designer would be perceiving a project, what factors they find interesting in your project. According to professional designers, they take into account several factors while agreeing upon a potential project, the main one being the rapport with the client. A project could last for months and even years in some cases, so it is wise for both parties to ensure that the partnership is an amicable one.


2. How Involved Should the Client Be?

Many designers prefer if the client gives them full creative freedom concerning the design. On the other hand, there are those who want the client involved in every step of the way. This is a very significant aspect as it could determine how the project turns out, and how the different decisions would be made.

As a client, if you would like certain things carried out in your way, it is essential to let the designer know before you hire them. You should also be willing to trust the choice of designers as their creativity and style is the reason you hire them in the first place. Too much involvement from the client will only further the decision making and might hinder the whole process.


3. What Style Does the Designer Follow?

You might want to choose a designer who has done previous works similar to the style you have in mind. For instance, if you want the interior to go hand in hand with eco house plans australia finds suitable, then you will need to hire a designer who is experienced in green designs.

You can start by looking at the completed works of a designer. At times, even though the designer wants to do a style, they might not have had the opportunity with the right client. So be vocal about what you have in mind and communicate clearly with the designer. Start by asking questions about their favourite project, whether there is any particular design style they prefer. You can also show them your apartment or mansion floor plans to see how they perceive the project. Even questions like their favourite travel destination or their inspiration to follow a career in design.


4. What is their Biggest Challenge?

While discussing the design process, it is a simple tact to ask the designer what particular aspect they find the most challenging. Mostly, this would depend upon the type of projects they are handling. However, you can ask them for any specific predicaments they have had to face in their previous works. This will allow you to avoid any communication barriers if such a situation arises later. Insight on how they handle the challenges can also tell you whether the team is fit for your house design.


5. About their Project Management Style

Interior design is not only about creativity, it extends far beyond that on how they manage the entire project from the moment they are handed it over until they hand it over. You need to ask them about the different schedules they follow, how they divide the process into different phases. You should also find out whether they provide 3D renderings and also the fabric selection

Ask whether they themselves provide the builders for their project. A few teams might recommend third parties to get the construction part done, and you will need to make sure whether they are licensed builders.

Usually, the process is categorised into design phase, procurement phase where you collect the materials and manage the contractors before entering the final phase of installations and the finishing touches. Every designer handles these phases differently and knowing about how they do before committing to them will give you an idea of what you are getting into.


6. Ask About a Specific Mistake they Made and How they Handled it?

This is one point that not everybody thinks of asking a designer. It is not considered unfair to ask a designer about a time they made a mistake and how they overcame its repercussions including the budget. You can also ask them what preventive measures they take for installations that goes wrong or any precautions they take from the start itself.


7. About the Budget

It is imminent that you talk about your planned budget to the designer. In fact, that is one of the first things you should be upfront about. Talking about this beforehand can avoid many conflicts in the later stages. It is also better to how much the fees are and how much should go for the design realisation itself.

It should also be made clear at what stages the payment should be done. You can also go a step further and discuss about the contingency budget and plan.

Efficient communication is important to complete any project successfully. It should start right from the hiring of the team itself. We recommend that you contact TrustCo to find the best builders Brisbane has to make sure you receive the best work.

It is everyone’s dream to have a house as fabulous as it could get. A major contributor to creating a beautiful house design is its meticulous interiors, that makes the house a home. Whether it is for modern house designs or classic ones, the interior could add the last finishing touches to make your house feel complete.

That said, it is not a surprise that interior designers are very high in demand. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a designer for their new house designs. Then there are also those among us who want to curate every little piece of furnishings by themselves. So apart from pinning your favourite images, how can one make the house look like it is made up by a professional designer?

Here are a few tips that can help you to organize your ideas and create an incredible interior all by yourself.


1. Look for Inspiration

This is the most obvious thing you have to do first. Even the professionals themselves look for inspiration to get started on a project. Today, anyone can find plenty of ideas online or from the good old home design magazines available.

Begin by creating an inspiration board for your house. You can also pin images for separate furniture you would like to put together in a space. Even if you are unable to find a piece, for spaces like TV sets or cupboards, you can show these references to custom home builders Brisbane who can make it for you. Websites like Pinterest and Freshome have several mood boards that can spark the creativity in you.


2. Create a Color Scheme

One common mistake amateurs do is to use too many colours or patterns that clash with each other. This can instantly reveal that space was not designed by a professional. To avoid this, the best way is to start with a colour scheme. While choosing colours that you like, make sure to not go overboard, It is best to stick with a maximum of three colours or different shades of the same colour.

Try to use one prominent shade and accentuate one wall or larger surfaces with another one. Use a third colour for smaller accessories and furnishings. Each colour changes the mood depending on the lighting too. So while picking the colours, remember to consider the natural light, the size of the windows and whether the shade of artificial lighting is going to be white or warm.

You can also make your room monochrome with just one colour or different hues of the same. There are also many ways to spruce up such a concept.


3. Bring in Textures

Adding textures is one of the simplest ways to bring in dynamics to any space. Especially if you are going for a single colour scheme, different textures can elevate the whole feel. One can do this by using different fabrics for different surfaces and furnishings.

A plush velvet chair, linen curtains, cotton couch, and a faux fur blanket, even if it is of the same colour could add more depth to the rooms.

It does not have to be textures alone, even patterns could create the same effect. But it is necessary to be careful while choosing textiles as it should suit your lifestyle too. If you have kids or pets, it would not be wise to use fabrics that could easily get damaged. If you prefer luxury products, try to limit it to draperies and pillows rather than in furniture and most commonly used places.


4. Make a Personal Statement

Having too many things in any space will make it feel too cluttered. Mixing different textures, patterns and even different styles of furniture could bring in conflict and might not be pleasing to the eyes.

Another way to go about this is by focusing on only a few elements that work well with each other. Make sure to not fill up every inch of any room with furniture. There has to be a balance between the bulky items and the small elements in the space.

Designers recommend having one bold piece, like a painting, a chair or a cabinet that immediately draws attention to it.


5. The Details

To make any room feel complete, attention has to be given to the details. According to the current trend, small features like trays, baskets, and bowls are much favoured by everyone. These items would go with any style and any setting.

You can bring in a bit of glimmer by selecting such pieces of curios carefully. A bright tray on your coffee table, a vase by the corner or even a basket with blankets curled up could make your room more personalized and vibrant. They might seem too silly, but this is what that add layers to the aesthetics.

You can also go for neutral pieces and tones that will go well with different rooms, so if needed you can swap them and create a new feel every now and them. Make these niches in every room, including the bathrooms.


6. Invite the Nature In

If you carefully look at the stunning interiors you have come across, the one common thing most of them will have is a green element. A bit of nature, whether it is a beautiful floral arrangement, some plants or even a few pebbles, make a room more attractive in an instant.

There are plants that could be maintained easily and will survive for years if you water them regularly. If maintaining them is too much, you can go for artificial ones too, but make sure to keep them clean or else it could easily have an adverse effect on the space.

It is not necessary that you should hire an interior designer to make it look like your house was designed by one. It is still possible to put together that feel, by taking a bit of effort and focusing on all points mentioned above.

If you need a helping hand in achieving the same, contact the experts at TrustCo to help you find the best builders Brisbane has to make your dream home a reality.

House And Land Packages Brisbane

What you feel when you enter a space could determine the course of life you could experience there. The bright shades could cheer you up, a painting could bring in life into the rooms, or even the right flower vase kept at the right place could alter the whole effect. All of these could be decided by the one single factor of interior design.

Interior design is an art by itself, not just to design space but to find the right pieces that make it a reality. They could solve problems in floor plans or even make a fantastic plan to go to waste with terrible design. So when it comes to hiring the interior designer, it requires much more attention than you would think.

Without further ado, let us get into how to make sure that you are hiring the right interior designer for your house the home you seek.


Where to Start?

House And Land Packages Brisbane

It might be daunting to know what the first step should be. The internet is flooded with listings of interior designers and it is not always possible to find out how good they are at their jobs. One of the easiest ways would be to ask friends whose house designs your admire about their designers.

If you find any works online, do not hesitate to reach out to the designers in person. It is alright to ask them for client testimonials or request to see their prior works in person to get an idea of how the finished project would be.


How to Shortlist?

It is only practical that you do consult more than one designer before narrowing down to the shortlisted candidates. At times, what the portfolios show might not be what you require in your house. But even in that case, you might just get along with the designer and trust their instincts.

Much like the architect, an interior designer will also have to know how your family works, what the links and dislikes are and how the day pans out to create spaces that can work the best for your family. It is necessary that you find someone who shares the same wavelength and your thoughts.

There are also many designers who are willing to work outside their cities. So do not let the location limit you while choosing your favorite designer. Budget is another part that will help you to make decisions while shortlisting the best candidates for your home designs.


Conduct Interviews

Usually, the designers highly recommend one on one meetings before taking up a project. This will help both the parties to understand their prerogatives. As mentioned before, interior design is a very intimate process shared by the designer and the inhabitants of the house, The interview is a critical part that would help you to understand whether you both are on the same page on main aspects like the style of the house, the rapport with each other and even on the budget.


What Questions to Ask?

We highly recommend that you allow the designer to visit the house before signing the contract. This will give you an opportunity to discuss what ideas they have in their mind for your house. This does not even have to be working layouts or renders. Their initial thoughts are the ones that eventually turn out into detailed designs. So at this stage itself, the clients could reflect on their thinking process to know whether it feels right for them.


How to Plan the Budget?

It is important to know how much you can afford to know what to look for. Interior design often does not come as a cheap process. This would be additional apart from the cost to build a house and then you would also need to factor in the charges of the interior designer as well. Most often what people do is to assign whatever is left after completing the civil structure to set aside for interior design. But it is a part that needs more attention; so make it a point to plan the budget for interior design too right from the start.


What if you don’t Know what you Need?

It is absolutely fine if you don’t know what style you need for the house. But regarding the requirements, it is always safe to know what your priorities are before you discuss with the designer. You can also show the designer images you have collected to show them what you would like to see in the house. It could be that of a room, a particular type of furniture or even a lovely wallpaper that you have taken a liking to.


What is the Process Like?

Once the designers have studied the floor plans and the spaces, they usually start with a mood board to work with. Before this stage, it might even be possible to make alternations in the flow of the floor plan by adding partitions or breaking walls.

Then it is time to choose the finishes such as floor and wall tiles, stone selection, bathroom finishes, fixtures, the and other aspects. However, it could also depend on the designer and the size of the home. Few designers also prefer to go room by room or floor by floor depending on how extensive the project is. Renovations might have a whole other set of obstacles to tackle and requirements to deal with.


What about the Pieces You Already Own?

The home is yours and in any case, you have the upper hand to say if you would like to keep a piece of furniture you prefer. In most cases, the designer will try to embrace the piece and integrate into their designs too.


Why hire an Interior Designer?

Many people think that interior designing is as simple as choosing pieces you like and putting it together. But it also has many parts that you might not like to do like budgeting and sourcing materials. An interior designer could make the whole process a lot easier and their professional touch will surely be obvious in the end.

A design team also requires the right licensed builder to complete the project successfully. To find the best designers and designer home builders Brisbane has, reach out to TrustCo to start.

House And Land Packages Brisbane

Cyclones are not that rare in Australia. The Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia, see the most in the country. The set building standards for cyclone prone regions were introduced only after 1895. Since there, there have been significantly fewer damages from this natural cause.

The cyclone prone territories in Australia encounter the Category C cyclones. This has a wind speed of up to 252 kilometres per house. Then there is the Category D of 317 kilometres per hours that hits the coastal areas of Western Australia.

Cyclones are often accompanied by heavy rainfall too. This causes flooding and storm surges resulting in large tidal movements in coastal regions. That is why every home needs to adhere to the rules and ensure that their houses are resistant to all elements that come with a cyclone.


How to Build a Cyclone Proof House

A cyclone proof house should be able to withstand the strength of water and wind right from its foundations. Here are a few things to consider

  • Foundation and footing of the house should be strong enough and set to the recommended depth to avoid collapse.
  • There should be measures taken to prevent moisture from entering a home like water- resilient exterior cladding and waterproof seals
  • The doors have to be reinforced with barrel bolts
  • The windows require shatterproof glasses along with shutters and mesh screens.
  • Sloped roof angled on all four sides withstand strong winds better, All roofing materials have to be screwed down, as nails could quickly come off during cyclones.
  • Guttering should be securely fastened to the house and roof
  • Add vents in the ceiling and roof to reduce wind pressure in case the doors or windows are affected.
  • Try removing trees with proximity to the house as they could fall on the roof and destroy the entire home.

Every regional council would have set up specific standards for the region depending on the strength of the cyclone to be expected. It is essential to follow them strictly to reduce the impact on the house. Without them, it not only poses a threat to the house but also to the safety of people inside. It is always better to expect higher winds and build homes strong enough. Regular maintenance is still necessary to make sure that the house is in shape for any unforeseen damage.


With damages, the maintenance costs could get extremely high, and if damages are in foundation or structure, it could drag its impacts for a long time.


Look out for Rust

Even if you have followed the standards, it is essential to check up on the house design features and reinforcements to make sure they are strong enough. Rush is one of the worst causes of damage from cyclones. If the roof coverings, bolts, fixing plates or any pat is showing signs of rust, they have to be treated immediately. Any material that is rusted is not strong enough to stand up to cyclonic winds, and the rain would fall right through the roof.


Loose Fixings

In the tropical climate of Australia, timber tends to expand and contract, It is a common phenomenon, but continuous expansion could lead to loose fixings making it more fragile. You have to ensure that the fixings are tight and add extra if required.


Timber Rot and Termite damage

Without proper treatment, any timber can rot. If used in structural frames or even in the decks, it could cause severe damage to the house. Termite infestation is another thing that affects the strength of the timber. Check regularly for both these damages and replace the affected timber.


How to Protect an Older House

Older houses might not be built precisely to the current standards of cyclone prone houses. So it is even more critical to take precautions to minimise the damage. The part of the house most affected would be the roof. A combination of high winds and torrential rain could prove to be extremely catastrophic and even partial damage to the roof could make the situation dangerous.


You might need to hire one of the master builders Brisbane has who are experienced with such aspects. They can check for the parts that need upgrade or reinforcement and bring it to the current standards. The following sections might require urgent inspection.

  • Roof sheets and connections
  • Roof frames, trusses and sheaths
  • Roof to wall connections
  • Floor  to foundation connections


Other points to keep in mind


  • The roof gables are the most vulnerable part of the house. Wider gables have lesser strength to withstand strong winds and are one of the first parts that would need reinforcement in forms of extra bracing and anchoring.


  • Doors and windows are the next most affected parts. You would have to replace older windows with shatterproof glasses and fix barrel bolts on doors.


  • The wider garage doors can also sustain damage and if attached to the house, extend the damage to the house too.


  • Separate smaller structures like patio roofs, gazebos and carports could easily be lifted off and carried to other properties causing further damage. Even solar panels, flashings, satellite dishes, antennas all pose the same threat. Ensure that these are also adequately reinforced.


  • Any leakage caused by cyclones also has to be attended quickly. The water could damage walls, floors and spoil the interior completely.


The first thing to do is to check with the local authorities in which zone you fall under and take the necessary steps to ensure that your home is safe. It would also be wise to hire one of the local builders Brisbane, to do regular checkings of the house to evaluate its condition. Cyclone proofing might cost you money, but that expense would be far less than the cost to cover damages if a cyclone hits.

If you are building a new home also, such matters have to be inspected regularly. The rules might also change frequently depending on the predictions, and the older your home gets, the system might also be outdated. Make it a point to check with the council about the latest ways to cyclone proof your house.

Start with finding the right licensed builder for the job. Contact TrustCo to reach out to the best in Brisbane.

Timber is found in buildings in every nook and corner of Australia. The country is blessed with dozens of indigenous species of wood. Many of the timber is suitable for construction. What is tricky is choosing the right one for your house. Not all wood is the same and best for every purpose.

Read more to find out about choosing the Australian Timber for a building.

How is Wood Graded

The food is first milled or sawn to flat and square before using for construction. In Australia, timbers are graded based on their suitability for different applications. The milled or sawn food are classified using the following gradings.


  • A visual inspection checks for visible and visual defects like long cracks or checking, visible knots and others.
  • Using a machine, the next level of grading is done to measure the stress level of the timber. This is to measure the ability of timber to withstand stress and is not a standard procedure followed everywhere.
  • Mechanical stress grading is the third way to check the elasticity of timber. A timber with good elasticity can handle stress better. It is used for softwoods and hardwood suitable for domestic timber construction.


Timbers are further classified based on how they are fit for specific purposes. It is separated into various classes, with each one suitable for distinct construction. Class One timbers are best for ground contact, and Class Four should only be used above ground level. These classes also have durability rates with Class One being the highest above 25 years and Class 4 the least. A few examples of the types are


  • Class One: Tallowwood, Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, Forest Red Gum, Ironbark
  • Class Two: Bluegum, Karri, Jarrah
  • Class Three: stringybark, Mountain ash,
  • Class Four: Oregon (Douglas Fir)


Using Australian Timber for Building

Though Australian timber could be used for structural components, it is rarely employed for structural frames in the country. Treated Structural pine is the most used for framings and easier to work with. Australian timber comes in beautiful colours and thus mostly used for exterior and interior elements including flooring, decking and furniture.


Here is a list of the popular timbers and their uses.


BlackButt – This is a Class One timber with colours ranging from blonde to honey brown. New South Wales and southern Queensland has a lot of New England Blackbutt trees and are primarily used for general construction. .A related species is also found in Western Australia and is used for general construction, flooring and panelling.


Mountain Ash – Commonly called the Tasmanian Oak or Victorian Ask, this timber is used for interior flooring and timber framing. The blonde timber is also an attractive option for doors and drawer front. It gowns in Tasmania and Victor and is the tallest species of timber in Australia.


Blue Gum – Comes in a variety of species including Forest Red Gum, Southern Blue Gum and Sydney Blue Gum, There are also variations in the colours with the first being red, second pale and the third a slightly darker shade respectively.  All three are used for flooring and furniture.


Brushbox –  Brushbox comes in many colours from greyish pink to dark brown. Sapwood grows in the rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales and is used as a flooring material.


Jarrah – Jarrah is one of the most demanded Australian timber. It is highly durable and has a beautiful range of colours from rich red to brown. If not treated, the tone could turn greyish that adds another layer of beauty. It is used for decking and a wide range of interior elements like flooring, handrails, furniture and even in joinery.


Karri – Karri was the most extensively used structural timber before treated pine took over. The colours range from pale pink to reddish brown. This coniferous softwood is mainly found in Queensland and is now used for furniture, woodturning and joinery.


Ironbark – Ironbark is a Class One timber and one of the best available for underground use. It is extremely dense and is not always utilised for house works for flooring and decking. The wood is most commonly used for railway sleeper, bridge construction etc. that require rot resistant and dense wood.

Spotted Gum – This name is used for four different timber species that comes in colours from green-tinged honey to brown with stunning purple streaks, The Class Two timber is used in general construction, flooring and decking. It is highly durable and bushfire resistant.


How to Choose Australian Timber

Like mentioned before, the timber in Australia is not widely used for structures. It is sought after for its appearance and durability. Residential builders Brisbane use these timbers commonly in landscaping elements like flooring, decking and benchtops. The timbers are also prominently used for furniture and interior design.


There are three things to consider while choosing Australian timber for your home design.


  • Aesthetics – The timber is admired for its beauty and vibrant colours. The grains and colour combinations are thus the most important part of the Australian timber. Choose something that works well with the new home designs and interior decor.
  • Durability – The timber has to have high durability especially if you are using it for outdoor purposes.
  • Bushfire rating- in Australi, this is a very valid consideration. Check with the standards to ensure that the timber has a strong bushfire resistance.


When it comes to interior applications, aesthetics are given more priority than the other two. While building a house, you can check with the designer home builders Brisbane to see which timber is best to work with. Certain woodworkers many prefer specific types of timber for the furniture and other elements.


Every timber would need occasional maintenance. Even if it is treated, it is just like having to polish furniture. When it comes to outdoor spaces, the decks would have to be refurbished, and the interior floorings would require sanding and polishing too. It is with certainty one can say that the Australian timbers are among the best in the world.


Are you looking for ideas to use timber in your new house,? TrustCo can help you to get in touch with the building designers and best builders in Brisbane TrustCo.

The goal of a green building is to cause minimum impact on the environment. It not only has sustainable features that make it environmentally friendly, but green houses are also very comfortable to live in.

If done right, the house design for eco house plans Australia can reduce the external energy consumption to keep the houses at optimum temperature. The home could adapt to the climatic changes by itself and thus offer a healthier set up for the inhabitants.

Green buildings are no longer considered just a trend. It is a conscious decision acknowledging our responsibility to the earth in minimising the harmful effect we cause. In a broader perspective, a green house should consume less energy, use less water, produce fewer greenhouse emissions and make the best use of recyclable building materials.


How to Build Green

There are many ways to implement sustainable ideas in your house such as

  • Retain the natural features and landscape
  • Use as many recycled materials as possible
  • Ensure to design home to allow maximum natural light and ventilation.
  • Incorporate passive design elements
  • Use an energy efficient heating and cooling system and proper insulation
  • Use renewable energy sources like solar energy
  • Use sustainable building materials with low embodied energy and emissions
  • Use appliances that consume less power
  • Implement rainwater harvesting


Here let us take a look in detail at a few green building ideas for your home.


  1. Sustainable Plumbing

Around the world, we see the water resources depleting. It is only when you live with no water to drink and for daily needs that you realise its importance. So it is our duty to do the best to conserve water as much as possible. It does not need any dramatic changes but could be something as simple as

  • To install low-flow shower heads and taps
  • Use a washing machine and dishwasher model that are highly energy efficient and low flow.  
  • Repair leaky plumbing as soon as possible
  • Install rainwater tank
  • Use natural filters to reuse grey water from the shower for gardening and landscaping.


  1. Rain Water Harvesting

One major point of conserving water is to build a rainwater tank. The building council regulations might require you to have one at your home. But even if it doesn’t, it is the first step towards a sustainable home. While planning with the new house designs itself, take measures in the drainage to collect rainwater from the roof and landscaping. Integrating plumbing to use this water throughout the house could save you both water bills and energy.

With a little filtering, this water could be used for the garden, washing your car, laundry and outdoor activities.

  1. Solar Energy

The one source of energy that is absolutely free and always available comes in the form of the sun. Solar panels might have expensive installation costs, but in the long run, it is the best way to save electricity bills and make your home sustainable. Depending on the power requirements of your house, you can determine the size of the solar panels and its output. Even a partial use of solar power for water heating could make significant changes in the use of electricity. It is best to integrate the system in your home design while construction itself, as you might need approvals.

You can also use a hybrid solar battery system along with the photovoltaics that is more expensive but reduces the dependency on grid power exponentially.

  1. Use of Sustainable Materials

One of the popular and most effective sustainable construction technique is to build using.  Strawbale is treated and compressed to a large block and tightened with wire around it. These large blocks are used to build walls just like using bricks. The wall is then plastered with a layer of soil or cement render to hold it in place and provide protection against fire.

Due to its properties and thickness, strawbale is an excellent choice of material to provide thermal insulation. It is environmentally friendly and highly durable that could last into even a hundred years. They are also strong enough for load-bearing walls, and even could be built in a frame structure. The wall can be used as both an external and internal wall, covered or exposed. You would need highly skilled home builders Brisbane with prior experience to do this work.

You can also use stabilised earth as a sustainable construction material. Use of recycled timber and brick is also an approach to being more eco-friendly in house designs.  


  1. Passive design and Insulation

The passive design takes advantage of what nature has to offer to make your home more comfortable. It means to use energy sources, particularly sunlight for both heat and light. We are not talking about solar panels, but carefully designed homes that allow the maximum use of light and heat to keep it comfortable.


In Australia, north facing windows welcome more light and warmth from the sun int the house. Cross ventilation also stresses the flow of air inside the house without the need for artificial air conditioning. The openings also require proper shading to avoid extra heat during the summer months.


Whatever building technique you choose, it is essential to use the correct insulation without that the energy could flow out requiring the house to consume more.


Choosing the Builder

Energy efficient houses require project builders Brisbane who have prior experience in building green homes. Make it a point to get answers for the following questions before choosing the builder.


  • Qualifications, and license to practice
  • Valid builders warranty insurance
  • Offer for a written quote
  • Required time for completion of the project
  • Standard of the products used
  • References from earlier clients


It is also advised to hire an architect who is specialised in building green homes. Usually, the architect themselves can suggest a builder for such homes, with whom they have worked together The builder should also be able to source the materials and have labour equipped with the construction techniques.

Contact Trustco to find designers and builders for your green home designs who comes with the best expertise in the field.

Embodied energy in building refers to the energy that is consumed during the process of building construction. It includes the energy required to extracting, processing, manufacturing and delivering of the products to the construction site.


Why is Embodied Energy Important?

Embodied energy gives an approximate indication of the environmental impact of the materials used. Many materials have a maximum effect on their surroundings in the initial stages. This energy could constitute 20% of the building energy consumption. Reducing this energy will further the overall environmental impact of the building.


This energy is considered over the lifespan if the building and at times, a  material with a higher embodied energy might have lower operational energy. To increase the energy efficiency of the buildings, thus embodied energy is of utmost importance.


How to Measure Embodied Energy?

Embodies energy is measured as the quantity of non-renewable energy per unit f the material. It is expressed in kilojoules or megajoules per unit weight or area. The process of calculating this is complex and could be done only be knowledgeable professionals.


Usually, the materials with higher embodied energy are considered to have a high impact on the environment and the lower embodied energy materials the lower. But it is also necessary to take into account the course of the energy throughout the span of the building.

  • Low embodied energy building materials
  • Here are a few common characteristics of materials with low embodied energy.
  • Recycled materials have low embodied energy than new materials
  • The durability of materials reduces embodied energy over time
  • Easily separable materials use less energy
  • Local materials require less transportation energy thus reducing the embodied energy
  • Renewable energy resources use up less embodied energy.
  • Reducing wastage of materials
  • Using standard sizes instead of custom designs


The embodied energy can considerably be reduced by making the processes of extraction and manufacturing more efficient. Even aspects like the mode of transportation, the fuels used, the travel distance will all play a big part in the calculation of embodied energy.


Embodied Energy of Construction Materials

Many of the common materials used in construction have higher energy. The more process materials require the more energy it consumes. To generalise, materials like wood, soil and stabilised earth has much lower energy compared to materials like ALuminium, acrylic paint and PVC.


Check the official website of the Australian Government to know more about the embodied energy of different construction materials.


How to Reduce Embodied Energy

There are many ways to reduce the embodied energy consumption of the building. It is essential to look at it in the long term and not just during the time of construction. For instance

  • In a hot climate, lightweight materials use less energy
  • For places with extreme summer and winter conditions, a highly insulated home would consume less embodied energy
  • Use of passive energy resources will reduce energy consumption.
  • Placing windows that allow winter sun and block summer sun.
  • Cross ventilation across rooms
  • Insulation to reduce energy consumption.


If the house is poorly insulated, even if the construction materials have low embodied energy, the house design will demand more energy use. So optimising the home for energy efficiency has to work hand in hand with the use of proper materials.


Over time, highly durable material can reduce the amount of embodied energy used in the course of the building. If energy efficiency is a serious concern for you, consider the following factors.


Size of the House

We tend to buy bigger houses that we actually require due to many reasons. Whatever the house size may imply, and even if you can afford to maintain it, it would still have a huge impact on the surroundings. Energy consumed for lighting, heating, cooling and appliances constitutes humongous energy that’s disposed of. Build a house that is right for your family, rather than building one that is vast just for impressing society.


Use of Alternate and Recycled Construction materials

Alternative materials have very less energy. For example, stabilised earth uses the energy of only 0.7 megajoules per square meter. So construction materials made from this earth like mud bricks and blocks offer low energy and provide excellent insulation. Aluminium and PVC have higher energy, but it requires less maintenance over the years.


Use of recycled materials is also encouraged for construction. You can source them from recycling centres that sell timber, recycled parts from buildings like windows, door frames, bricks, tiles, polyester and even furniture. Such materials can also be used as many interior elements including countertops for the kitchen. Recycled materials are also less expensive and require little to no processing to bring them back to excellent condition. Local builders Brisbane can help you find recycling centres that have the reputation of selling quality materials.


Reduce Waste during Construction

Waste of materials during construction is not uncommon. There might be an excess of materials or the remains of what that has been used. Paint cans can stay for a longer time, but don’t buy extra just for the sake of precaution.


There should also be measures taken to use building waste. Broken bricks could be used for paving, landscaping, garden edging and as a strong base for pouring concrete. Even concrete debris could be chipped down and used for flooring with a binding material.


Recycled materials use 95% less energy than new products. Especially materials like aluminium, plastic and glass used when recycled will reduce the impact on the environment, reducing its embodied energy to less 10 % of its energy as new material.  Many brands are focusing on using such materials for furnishing also. That would be a good way to approach energy efficiency in your home.


Remember that the energy for the same material in one location and another would be totally different. It would depend on a large extent on how the material is transported from its source. While choosing to build an energy efficient building, it is relevant to discuss with the designer home builders Brisbane and architect so that the house design and construction could be chosen expertly.

Find house builders Brisbane who have expertise with energy efficient buildings by contacting Trustco.