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12

Sep

Adding Personality to Your Façade

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then the façade of a home tells the story of its occupants.  Your home exterior, whether elegant or bold, will set the tone for the rest of the home and give passers-by a small glimpse into your life. If you want your neighbours to stare in envy, you need to do something to make your façade stand out. Fortunately, giving your exterior some life can be as easy as some clever landscaping and some stunning architecture. Whether you are building new or looking to renovate, an interesting façade is certainly achievable.

Today we’re going to talk about façades and give you some ideas to inspire your exterior.

The Flexibility of Modern Facades

The modern façade and garden is a reflection of landscape architecture at its finest. Not only are these exteriors sensitive to climate and the water restrictions that come and go, they are enhanced by better access to technology. Lightweight and inexpensive materials are giving home owners and new home builders more options than ever before, allowing you to customise the story of your home.

Theme

New homes are the perfect platform to build your façade because they give you a clean slate to start from. Most home plans are flexible, with plenty of options to change the look of your exterior. If you like the idea of a more traditional home, think verandas and eaves for passive solar energy and a truly ageless look. Light colours reflected in hedgerows and a picket fence perfectly complement this approach.

Starkly contrasting colours are another bold option that can draw people into your home. Think rich wooden doors and arches set against bright white walls. You can complement this with a lush garden, featuring succulents, neat fencing and raked paths.

The theme you choose will depend on how much you want to spend – in both time and money – on your home. Remember to consider exterior maintenance, materials, and your climate when designing your façade – being outdoors, it is sure to react to the environment over time. Working with experienced home builders in Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay can ensure that your theme comes to life at a great price and that it lasts in local conditions.

Security and Access

Garages and gates are the first line of defence and will add to your home’s resale value. In terms of exterior practicality, these additions absolutely shine but they can play a part in your overall design too.

A Facelift for the Front Garden

A renovation of your façade is nothing without a front garden to match. A new fence, a gate and even a path to your front door can completely transform the feel of your home.

If you make the effort with your garden design and add a coat of paint or render to the front of the home, you’ll instantly take it from bland to beautiful, reflecting what’s going on inside. Take the time to play with shapes in your garden, cultivating the paths, the fences and even the plants to complement the architecture of your property.

If you’re looking for ideas for your house plan – from the bedroom to the front garden – look no further than PJ Burns in Hervey Bay, Sunshine Coast. With more than 38 years experience as house builders on the Sunshine Coast, we can help you house renovations or new home construction. Contact us today for help with your dream build.

6

Sep

Internal Courtyards

Internal Courtyards create a beautiful addition to homes, and can be designed to open from bedrooms, living rooms or kitchens.

With the incorporation of timber or aluminium bi-fold doors, courtyards will add space to your home and create a private multi-purpose, dining, living, entertaining, communal area for your family.

Your rooms opening to the courtyard will be brought to life by gardens and nature, and in the following recently completed PJ Burns Builder home, a seasonal lychee tree.

PJ Burns Builder Design & Constructed Home

PJ Burns Builder Custom Design & Constructed Home

Internal Courtyards offer a chance to play with lighting and design details that will add unique character and atmosphere to your home. The inside of your home will draw more natural light, making the home lighter and airy, while outdoor feature lighting at night will create a resort style of living.

If an internal courtyard is something that you are interested in incorporating in your home, contact our design team, and bring your plans to life.

PJ Burns

PJ Burns

PJ Burns Builder’s Hervey Bay Display Home

PJ Burns Builder Design Tip: Raised Ceilings or Glass Panels attached to a courtyard will take indoor natural light to the next level, as captured in the following images, for design inspiration.

internal-courtyard-woods-bagot-1-use-20160906114822-q75,dx1920y-u1r1g0,c-- internal-courtyard-lainey-1-use-20160902113124-q75,dx1920y-u1r1g0,c-- internal-courtyard-matt-gibson-1-use-20160902113738-q75,dx1920y-u1r1g0,c--

Last three images via insideout.

by sarah burns

18

Aug

Gorgeous Staircases for Your Two Storey House

A staircase can be purely functional, but with so many innovations in materials and design, why settle for the pedestrian? Whether you’re considering a house renovation in Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay or a custom home design with a second storey, a staircase can be a beautiful feature that invites admiration, provides clever storage space, and both connects and separates areas in the home.

If you want a staircase that takes your home to a new level, consider these innovative ideas.

A Functional Staircase

If storage space is high on your list of priorities, a staircase is one of the most obvious spaces you can fill with large items.  Storage space in your stairs isn’t a new idea, but there are a few innovative ways you can implement it.

Perhaps the most iconic staircase storage idea was made famous in the “Harry Potter” books. A cupboard under the stairs could house a single bed – as the novels showed us – but it could also be the place to store seasonal items or other belongings that are rarely used.

For a more grand design, you could install multiples doors under the staircase. This creates a greater sense of separation and a more elegant under-the-stairs storage space. You could use this space to store items away in boxes or you could get creative. Consider making this space its own mini-room such as a library that is lined with books or a wine cellar to store your collection.  It just takes some stairs and a few doors to create a whole new area in your home.

A floating staircase can also provide storage options, for books, plants and even a study nook. Custom built homes will attract a premium for design features like these, but they also differentiate your home and make it a space worth experiencing and living in.

Embrace the Environment

Indoor-outdoor living is a big part of modern homes, especially in tropical and evergreen environments like Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. If you’re interesting in growing an indoor garden, a staircase can be an opening for light to or an easy way to provide shade for more sensitive plants. Depending on how your home is designed, a staircase can also provide additional air flow for cooling breezes in summer and keeping air fresh in cooler months.

Getting Creative with Materials and Designs

Spirals, wide stairs, floating stairs, steps built into walls and even hanging stairs –the only limitation is your imagination. Wood is the most common material used, but even with wood there are so many different kinds to choose from, including recycled timbers.

If you are looking for house builders in Sunshine coast or design advice that will set you staircase apart, you can rely on PJ Burns Builders. Whether you’re building or renovating, we can use staircases to create new space and provide a flow for your home. Ready to take the next step? Contact our experienced Queensland team today.

11

Aug

Built-In Bars… You Know You Want One

As real estate trends continue to evolve, homeowners and designers are looking for more out of every room in their home.  Home entertainment areas are no longer just places for families to grow, but rather more innovative spaces where friends and family gather and celebrate.

Mid-century design is a great resource for home builders looking for inspiration, with sunken living rooms, breakfast booths and built-in bars making a come-back.

A bar can create a separation between your living and dining areas, essentially creating a third living environment. Whether you create a built-in bar or use moveable furnishings, you can create a space that reflects any era you’re drawn to.

Considerations in Designing a Bar Area

What your bar looks like will depend on your budget and your goal. At the very least it will be a place to store liquor, an ice bucket and some glassware. You’ll also need a space to mix drinks. If you want to make your bar portable, consider a bar on wheels. Second-hand stores, particularly antique dealers in the country, are a great source of vintage bar carts. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, there’s no shortage of options at boutique furniture retailers.

Starting from Scratch as a House Builder or Renovator in Sunshine Coast

If you have space or are planning on house renovations Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay, your choices and options are much wider.

If you love the idea of a sunken lounge, consider your bar as the entrance to your “conversation pit” where you welcome guests and greet them with refreshments. Incorporating a bar into a living room that doesn’t access a kitchen can warm it up, creating a more hospitable environment for formal entertainment. A welcoming formal lounge also means you don’t have to entertain in the area of your home where the magic (or mess) happens.

Brilliant Bar Inspirations

A bar doesn’t just have to be a hive for formal entertainment and with a bit of creativity, your options are almost endless. Think about these great ideas that revolve around your bar:

  • Stylish storage – with a display case and a few bar fridges you can put your whole collection stylishly on display while still storing it discreetly. The less glamorous items like cutlery and drink mixers can always sit behind the bar where they are out of sight.
  • Casino theme – if you ever want to host a casino-themed night all you need is a tux and a pack of cards. Whatever your party, a bar is a ready-made solution for entertainment
  • The (wo)man cave – if you’re getting a dedicated room, why not style the whole area around the bar with a pool table, dart board and some stylish décor. If elegance is more your style, build your bar among bookshelves and warm wood surroundings.

Research Your Options

If you’re building or renovating, have a good look around for house plans that meet your needs before making a decision on the position and design of your bar. The best builders in Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay will be able to give you advice on how to design your interior space.

If you’re inspired by the built-in bar idea and want to discuss how one could fit into your dream home, contact us for more information. PJ Burns are your experts for residential renovations and new home builds on the Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay.

Modern Home Bar

Image via houzz.

14

Jun

Keeping the Heat Out with Insulation

When most people think of insulation they think of carpets and thick curtains and the stuff that goes in your roof. All of this works to keep your home warm, but did you know that insulation can keep out the heat too?
Today’s modern floor plan designs are conscious of both the need to preserve heat and the need to circulate air. These two things combined can keep your home comfortable in any weather, helping to combat high energy costs. Combined with supplementary methods, insulation is a less expensive and more environmentally sustainable way of creating and maintaining a comfortable temperature in the home.
Today we’re going to look a little bit at insulation as well as other cooling methods that all work together to create a comfortable home.

Roof Insulation – Essential for Fighting the Heat

Roof is one of the largest and most exposed parts of your house, meaning it will be more exposed to the elements than most parts. Effective new home designs realise this, investing in room insulation that will also keep the home cool in summer.
Here’s how it works:
In winter, your roof insulation blocks the cold air, keeping your home warmer and giving your heater less work to do. In summer, a similar concept applies. All of the heat that strikes your roof is trapped in your roof space and its movement into your home is slowed. This creates a cooler environment, meaning your air conditioning doesn’t need to work overtime.

Keep Cool Air Flowing

The other aspect of insulation in summer is being able to maintain a constant airflow. This is why over-insulating your walls may be overkill.
Insulating your ceiling and roof is the most efficient means of keeping your home cool, but over-insulating walls may prevent airflow throughout your home. Cool air is easier to maintain inside your home than hot air – because hot air rises – so maintaining moderate insulation in your walls will allow your open windows, air conditioning and an open floor plan to work their magic.

More than Just Insulation

From before a home is even built, you can take steps to create a cooler home – after all, it takes more than insulation to create comfort. Here are a few examples:

  • Clever house plans – many Queenslander house plans are designed to move air under the home, where the air is cooler.
  • Orientationtrusted home builders will also understand that the positioning of a home can affect comfort. A good orientation will take things such as the sun’s path and wind patterns into account, allowing you to have naturally warmer winters and cooler summer while increasing your energy efficiency.
  • Zoning for the seasons – similar to orientation considerations, you can divide your home into seasonal zones that reduce your reliance on energy for heating and cooling. A house built with zoning in mind will be able to be easily reconfigured to take advantage of shade, breeze and the sun.

Help from Experienced Sunshine Coast Builders

PJ Burns combine nearly 40 years of experience to provide quality all year around. Contact us to speak with one of the most experienced home builders in Brisbane that will provide design and insulation solutions for your new house or when you are looking to renovate your house.

18

Jan

Making The Most Of Vertical Space At Home

Designs for narrow lot homes don’t have to mean space issues. In fact, with the right amount of creativity and clever thinking, you can make your vertical space a stunning and very functional asset. A properly designed narrow-lot house plan “lives” just like any other quality home and offers you more lot options once you make the most of your vertical space. Take our tips below, and you’ll never consider narrow lot homes as limiting again!

Embrace Natural Light

Making a small space seem more expansive means maximising the amount of light coming in the space. Integrate extra windows into your home design for lots of natural light, as this will make your home look larger and feel more open despite its narrow plan. Cleverly placed mirrors and glass create reflections and bounce light around, so hang mirrors at each end of a room in the upper third of the wall to reflect light throughout the whole area. You can tuck mirrors into corners of rooms and hang art in glass frames to create more reflections, and also try using a glass coffee table instead of a bulkier wooden one.

Reduce Dead Space

Spaces such as hallways and beneath staircases are often just areas of dead space. Try using bookcases to fill these areas, freeing up space in bedrooms or living areas for other functional furniture. Try connecting your bookcases together to create a full wall that not only displays all of your favourite literature as decorations, but stores them neatly as well. Extending your bookcase from the floor to the ceiling and over doorways can also give the illusion of more space as it draws the eye upwards.

Multitasking Furnishings

Get clever with sleeping arrangements, particularly in a child’s small bedroom. Keep the top bunk bed of a set of bunk beds for sleeping and convert the bottom bunk into an open space that can be used as a computer workstation, wardrobe or storage area. Bunk beds take advantage of the available vertical space with stylish flair and functionality.

Clutter Free Space

Small or narrow homes can easily feel cluttered, so it’s important to keep things as simple as possible. A soft, light coloured theme running throughout a small or narrow house allows the focus to remain on the sweeping views outside the living room windows, and can make the space feel larger than what is contained within the walls. The absence of rugs and small trinkets on tables can keep the “fussiness” to a minimum, and having only a few selected light framed artworks on the walls can also keep the space from feeling closed and cramped. If you like to keep trinkets and photo frames out, open shelving uses the notion of hiding things in plain sight to transform common objects into decorative collection, without the bulk of cabinets – just remember to keep it stark and minimalistic to avoid the feeling of clutter.

Ask An Expert

As an award winning residential and commercial builder, the friendly team at PJ Burns Builder can offer you direct one-on-one service to provide you with a home to suit any block, regardless of how narrow and it may be. Browse through our extensive range of designs or contact us today!

21

Dec

The Perfect Kitchen Design For Entertaining

Lots of people are using their kitchen as the primary space for home entertaining. There are a lot of ways to ensure the functionality of this home hub, both for cooking and entertaining! Here’s some simple tips on how to either design or look out for kitchen designs that provide an ease of conversation and movement, while still allowing plenty of room for the chef of the house to get on with what they do best – cook up a storm!

Bring The Indoors Out

If your kitchen opens out to an alfresco area, large bi-fold doors look super chic and can easily transform the kitchen into a large entertainment area. An indoor/outdoor design makes the most of the space you have available and encourages movement between the kitchen, the living area, and the deck or patio. Do away with the dividing wall between the kitchen and dining room too, so even when you’re playing the perfect host, you can still enjoy the party and mingle with guests.

Get Organised

It’s much more inviting for guests to arrive to a tidy space. Think carefully about what needs to be stored or presented in your kitchen and how to do it. Deep drawers are a great way to store plates, pots and pans as they provide easy access to your most used kitchen supplies. Maximise the space you have to avoid cluttering work surfaces, and utilise that space under the sink! Most importantly, you need a functional kitchen that you and your guests will enjoy being in.

Out Of Sight

If you can afford the space, a butler’s pantry is the ultimate utility room to keep storage and cleaning away from the main kitchen and entertainment area. Fitted with a sink, it keeps dirty dishes out of sight, showcasing your kitchen as a glistening focal point for eating and socialising in.

Install An Island

An island in the kitchen provides guests with room to sit, eat and socialise on one side, while still giving adequate preparation space on the other. This allows everyone to gather together and share occasions without feeling overwhelmed or confined. Islands can be placed vertical, horizontal, or diagonal to the rest of your kitchen and can be made even better with bar or stool seating, which also makes a fantastic breakfast bar. Adding a second sink or small wine cooler to your island can transform it into a wet bar to further impress your guests and make it even easier to entertain while cooking.

Functionality Above All

The kitchen design should never come at the cost of functionality, as you can’t effectively entertain at home if you can’t prepare and cook efficiently.  Plan for the essentials first: your stove and oven, fridge, and sink. Where each of these appliances is located will impact your ability to cook and socialise in your new kitchen while entertaining guests.

For more ideas on designing the perfect kitchen for entertaining, browse through our extensive range of designs and display homes or contact the PJ Burns team today for a consultation.

12

Nov

How To Choose the Right Floor Plan

When choosing the right floor plan for you and your family, there are a number of things to consider to ensure you make the right choice.

The Building Site

It’s often recommended that you have a specific site selected before choosing a floor plan. This allows you to envision how your home will sit on the site and to compare floor plans with the features of the site you’ve chosen. For example, if your lot is narrow, you might consider a two-storey home to maximize on your allotted space.

Regulations

Before you get too carried away building your dream home, you should check with your local council and other relevant authorities regarding zoning and regulations. There may be a limit on the height of a house in your selected area, or restrictions on the minimum and maximum home size in terms of a percentage of the total lot size.

What New Features Does It Offer

Consider what a floor plan will offer that you don’t have in your current home. How will it improve your lifestyle? Your answers may include increased storage, more bathrooms, more bedrooms or a bigger space for entertaining. It may include a great home office or a larger garage for bikes and sports equipment. Try making a list of the things you don’t like about your current home, which will guide you with choosing a new floor plan.

Ease of Extension

Consider how easy it will be to extend in the future if you decide you need more space or wish to add value to the property. Even if you don’t need planning permission for your extension, as you are using permitted development rights, you must get building regulation approval.

Existing Furnishings

Unless you’re planning on buying completely new furniture to fill your home, you’ll need to accommodate the existing furnishings you wish to bring with you in to your new floor plan. Factoring in adequate walking space around each item of furniture will help you avoid the possibility of your beloved furnishings not quite fitting.

Who Is Living Here

Considering how many children you have or plan to have in coming years will make a big influence on the floor plan you choose. If you still have children living at home, elderly family members who reside with you, or other family members who visit often, this will help you determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that are necessary. For your situation, would a floor plan with split bedrooms, all bedrooms on the second floor, or a handicap accessible bathroom suit better? Considering these factors will help you make your decisions more wisely.

Privacy

Once you decide on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll require, consider how best to locate them in terms of privacy. Are you comfortable with guests using the bathroom in your master suite, or would you prefer a specific guest bathroom or half bath? Do you want the master bedroom secluded from the other bedrooms? If bedroom privacy is a concern, opt for home designs with enclosed patios, porches or deck areas to help create more privacy in personal spaces.

Our team can offer you a direct one-on-one service to provide you with a home to suit any block on any budget. Browse through our extensive range of designs or contact us today!

1

Nov

House Designs Perfect for Entertaining

When dreaming of their ideal house design, many homeowners take in to consideration the entertainment aspect of having friends and family over for dinner parties, drinks and special occasions. When deciding on floor plans for entertaining, you should consider your home fully occupied when planning kitchen, dining room and living room areas to ensure you will have enough space for hosting guests. Here are our top kitchen ideas to keep in mind so that your finished home is a perfect layout for entertaining all year round.

Open Layouts

Some of the most popular house plans available today are those with open layouts. Open layouts increase the options for entertaining guests, fostering a sense of togetherness in the heart of the home. Choosing an option that combines larger spaces, such as the kitchen and living room, creates a shared experience of cooking and eating. Look for plans with wide openings or walkways, where the dining room flows effortlessly from the kitchen into other living and entertaining spaces.

Without walls limiting flexibility, smaller tables can be joined to a dining room table to accommodate extra guests, or the space can be left open to allow guests to move around, mingle and chat. In addition, house designs with open layouts can make your home feel larger than the square footage would have you believe. By removing constricting doorways and widening passages, you obtain a sense of spaciousness even with a smaller, less expensive floor plan.

Big Kitchen

This seems an obvious one, but as a family who has food and entertaining as a focal point, what you define as a ‘big kitchen’ may vary. When choosing a spacious kitchen, look for floor plans that offer spacious central islands, abundant countertops and workspaces, cupboards and butlers pantries. Some cupboards and the butler’s pantry will often be situated off to the side or behind the kitchen and overall, the convenience and style of this type of kitchen will create a space that is suited for easily hosting many guests. Having a central island bench is also quite popular in that it creates a link between the family and meals areas without interfering with each individual space.

Indoor/Outdoor Dining

Entertaining at home is a breeze when you choose a house design which incorporates a spacious, covered outdoor area with the internal kitchen, dining or living area. Not only does an indoor/outdoor dining area allow your guests to flow from the kitchen to the outdoor entertaining area with ease, it also gives your home a sense of spaciousness and increases overall ventilation. Combining this layout with a designer kitchen as a focal point is absolutely perfect for entertaining.

Before You Start

Before choosing a floor plan, it’s important to assess your lifestyle. Is a single story sufficient or would you like a multi story home? Do you prefer an open floor plan or individual rooms? Do you want your new house plan to include formal dining? Or do you simply prefer relaxed family gatherings in an open planned space around the kitchen?

If you need a little help or advice on deciding on the perfect floor plan and home design, our team can offer you direct one-on-one service to provide you with a home to suit any block on any budget. Browse through our extensive range of designs or contact us today!

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