Designing to suit a very steep building site

Does your dream home need to be built on deep, sloping land? No problem! The Traditional Queenslanders team has successfully constructed many homes on steep building sites.

We met our clients on a site with magnificent views they were considering buying. They had seen one of our homes in Bowen, which they loved. The clients asked if we could build a home for them, with a similar appearance, but on this very different site and to meet their desired budget.

The problem was that the home in Bowen is on a level block of land, with good soil and no access difficulties.  The land at Yarrawonga, on the slopes of Castle Hill in Townsville, was not only extremely steep, but had buried rocks and very high wind exposure. Additional challenges posed by the design brief were to include two living areas to accommodate their young adult family members separately, four-car accommodation and a workshop area.



The design process resulted in a home which fitted perfectly into the diagonally sloping site. The different sections of the home were completed across four levels, with the lower level floor only partly underneath the upper floor. We did not disturb the natural ground, apart from anchoring the foundations. The natural slope allowed rainwater to simply run away underneath, without the need for expensive retaining walls or excessive drainage costs. Each floor takes advantage of the views with its own rotunda for outdoor entertainment. The garage is built with a raised timber floor, elevated on steel posts, with the workshop underneath.



Building on a site of this nature will inevitably cause challenges, however the experience and expertise of the Traditional Queenslanders team enabled the clients to avoid excessive costs.

The buried rock was an unknown factor, but the clients accepted this in the knowledge that we would do our best to keep the cost to a minimum, while ensuring the finished product was structurally strong to deal with possible future cyclonic attack. It has since proved itself by enduring cyclone “Yasi”, without any concerns at all.

We are very proud of the result and our clients love their home.

Unusual Height Requirement

Traditional Queenslanders understands that creating your dream home is both an important and unique process, differing between every client. The Traditional Queenslanders team was approached by a client with two special requirements relating to the height of their new home.

Upon retirement, the clients were planning extended caravan trips around Australia. They needed to fit an exceptionally high caravan, as well as a 4WD that mounted a boat atop of it within the garage of their home between trips. In addition to this, while the building site was close to the water, a normal height 2-story home would not provide water waters.

Due to our extensive experience building homes on stumps it was just a matter of establishing the clearance heights needed underneath and the floor level required to obtain the water views. Once done, the remaining variables of good home design were employed to ensure the home flowed to the dynamics of the owners. Of course framing the views from the selected rooms was also important.

You will notice that the skirt battens under the front verandah are shaped differently in front of the garage doors and that these doors are higher than normal, to allow vehicle access.  We also adapted the structure by strengthening the rear verandah floor joists where a very large spa was to be set up.

Since the home was finished, on one occasion we were lucky to be able to catch the owners at home between trips, when we visited the area.  They invited us in for a cup of tea and told us how they loved their home – and the water views were just as delightful as we expected.

Challenge us to meet your budget

Building the perfect home often requires compromise. This home is a perfect example of how Traditional Queenslanders strives to meet our commitment when challenged to meet a client’s specific budget.

These past clients contacted the team and expressed their interest in owning a “Hamilton Series” home, as seen in our Superior brochure. After calculating the costs for that particular home on their land, the clients were initially disappointed to discover that their budget was about $80,000 short. However, both the clients and the traditional Queenslanders team worked together to arrive at a sufficient solution.

Upon investigating the design of the Hamilton home, we found that the layout was not suited to the location of the land, or the design preferences as outlined by the client. For example, they wanted the master bedroom closer to the living areas and kitchen, for ease of servicing the needs of a young family. Moreover, the size of the bedrooms and living spaces were larger than required.

The final result was a smaller, refined version of the Hamilton design.  Traditional Queenslanders were able to successfully meet the clients budget and build their home by leaving some sections unpainted, and a verandah that was prepared for but not completed.

The clients were extremely happy with the result, stating that “we now have our dream home. It is slightly different, but just as good”.

A new North Queensland home

Traditional Queenslanders was delighted to complete another magnificent custom designed home located in tropical North Queensland.

The British couple, who trusted the Traditional Queenslanders team to build their dream home, were unable to view changes as they happened throughout the building process. In fact, the first time they ever laid eyes on their new home was when it was close to completion! Needless to say, the couple were very excited and extremely delighted with what they saw upon their arrival in Australia.

This is what the clients had to say about their home:

“Just a short note to let you know how delighted we are with our new Queenslander & to thank you & all the staff at Garth Chapman Queenslanders for a job well done!! On arriving in Australia we drove straight to our plot to see the house for the first time, to be honest we weren’t expecting much as we knew it was still under construction, but it just blew us away!!

As we drove around the corner not knowing what to expect & got our first real glimpse of our new home, we stopped the car in the middle of the road & both just said WOW!! It totally exceeded our expectations.Since moving into our home we love it even more & wouldn’t change a thing. The quality of the finish & craftsmanship of the builder are exceptional.

It has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in our area, in fact I do not think a day goes by that we don’t have cars stopping outside to take photographs, or just to congratulate us on our amazing home. I would absolutely recommend Traditional Queenslanders to anybody wishing to build a new home.  Thank you once again.”

Kitchen Inspiration with Burgess

One of our preferred kitchen solution manufacturers, Burgess Kitchens, have designed and completed a stylish new kitchen in a home built by the Traditional Queenslanders team. Being the hub of a family home, the kitchen required a large open plan, with maximum prep space and storage. This kitchen epitomises functionality, and aesthetic beauty with a classic design.

Kitchen Specifications include:
Bench tops – 40mm Quantum Quartz with a pencil edge
Doors/Drawers – Dulux Vivid White Lacquer Satin 2 Pac with a Ballarat profile
Kickboards – 2 Pac as doors with feature skirting kick to island
Handles and Knobs – Supplied by clients

Appliance Specifications include: 
Sink – Schock Signus D-200 in black
Hotplate – Neff Induction 90cm
Oven (2 of) – Neff Series 5 Stainless Steel single
Rangehood – Fisher and Paykel 90cm wall canopy
Dishwasher – Bosch white freestanding
Refrigerator – Fisher and Paykel 90cm french door

As outlined by the client, the kitchen was to have no overheads, ensuring the open large windows were point of focus, with only the fridge and wall oven tower to be built to the ceiling with a small shadow line.  The deep fridge wall encases the large fridge, ensuring its depth and size was encountered for.

The design was to include only drawers to the base cupboards, except for the sink and feature doors on the rear of the island bench.  A tall oil drawer is positioned to the left of the hotplate with internal cross dividers for organised oil storage and a large slide out bin is fitted underneath the sink.

The island bench was to have no seating areas as the large family dining table was in close proximity, instead its large purpose was for maximum storage and preparation space.  On the outside end is a large open book space, suiting the young family’s style.
Behind the kitchen is a large butlers pantry with a second fridge, microwave, bench space and open storage both below and above the bench.

Click this link to view more images of this kitchen: 


Interview with QLD Home Design & Living

Stephen Havas, managing director of Garth Chapman Queenslander, recently did an interview with QLD Home Design and Living Magazine on the topic of American Architecture and Cape Cod Style Homes.

Snippet from Magazine:

“With a number of award-winning residential projects to its name, Garth Chapman Queenslanders is a well-known and highly- regarded Queensland building company that specialises in capturing the comfort, charm and timelessness of traditional-style homes.

Here, Queensland Home Design + Living speaks with managing director of Garth Chapman Queenslanders, Stephen Havas, who reveals the sought-after design elements of a traditional American colonial-style home, and discusses what makes this style of architecture so enduringly popular among homeowners.”

View images of this style of home on our Pinterest Page

Real Cool Homes for Summer

Classic Queenslander Homes to Keep You Cool this Summer

Spring is here and Summer is fast-approaching. No doubt you will be starting to feel the heat in your homes. To keep you cool this Summer we have expanded our Classic Queenslander Range to now include:

  • Burdekin 187 Classic
  • Carpentaria 178 Classic
  • Dawson 201 Classic
  • Diamantina 190 Classic
  • Georgina 199 Classic
  • Hamilton 238 Classic
  • Queenslander 167 Classic
  • Ranger 147 Classic

These homes are specifically made to be suitable for the Australian Climate Zone with features that minimise heat in the Summer and protect against the cold in the Winter. To learn more about our “all-weather homes”, visit

Now is the perfect time to enquire about our classic homes to prevent expensive air-conditioning bills this Summer. For more information visit or feel free to contact us at

Winner of Best Heritage Style Home

Garth Chapman Queenslanders is very proud to have taken home the 2014 Master Builders “Best Heritage Style Home” at the Brisbane Housing & Construction awards night.

The Garth Chapman Queenslander that recieved this award was the Burdekin style home in Samford. This double storey Queenslander is set on two and half acres featuring a seperate garage with a professional cellar, travertine & marble bathrooms and luxury bedrooms with access to verandahs via cedar French doors.

See images of the event:

Read more about this home at:

New Classic Range Launches

The management and designers of Garth Chapman Queenslanders are proud and very excited to announce the launching of our new range of Queenslanders – the Classic Range.

In designing and developing this range, our vision is to provide affordable Queenslanders to a much wider group of clients, who want a “Real Home”, far more suited to our Australian climate and lifestyle than ordinary “project homes”.

The first release of this range is based on some of our most popular and proven designs. Other designs will be released during the coming months.

Read more about the Classic Range online now.