New Special Feature Homes

We have images for two of our most recent projects up on our website and social media.

The first is a Cape Cod Style home in Mount Tamborine which is currently under construction. You can have a sneak peak of the progress by visiting our Pinterest board.

The second project is our Burekin style Queenslander customly built in Samford for a client who was looking to create a valuable asset that enhanced the value of the land. This home 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.

Home Energy Standards Can Really Save You

At Garth Chapman, we consider carefully all the important design and inclusion attributes of each home to maximise the energy efficiency and minimise the energy costs over the life of the home. Our homes are designed so that our clients are able to adapt to their indoor living areas with little use of heating and cooling appliances.

Choosing or building an energy efficient home can substantially reduce your running costs without reducing the comfort or visual appeal of your home. Over the years, you can save thousands on your utility bills by ensuring your home energy efficient.

Here are the first five things we think about when making a new home a little greener:

1. Orientation

Reduce exposure to the sun with northern orientation of living rooms. We traditionally think about building orientation to maximise street appeal, but it is becoming more important to facing a new home to minimise energy costs. The ideal orientation for living areas is within the range 15ºW-20ºE of true or ‘solar’ north.  This will give you relief from the sun in the summer.

2. Insulation

Insulation will help reduce the amount of heat entering your home in Summer and trap the warmth in Winter. It will make your home a lot more comfortable and far more energy efficient. Install a whirlybird on the roof if you want to further reduce the heat in your ceiling.

3. Water efficiency

There are numerous ways to improve your water efficiency. This includes landscaping with water wise plant and turf species, mulches, soil conditioners and sensored irrigation systems. It is also highly beneficial to install hot water recirculation systems, rainwater tanks and choose appliances with a high Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) rating.

4. Energy Efficient Lighting

Light fittings should be compact fluorescent lamps or LEDS.

5. Window treatments

There are many ways that you can reduce heat loss in Winter and heat gain in the Summer by treating your windows. This can include creating shading with wider awnings, installing blinds, draperies, high-reflective films, insulated panels, mesh window screens and shutters. To find out more: Energy-Efficient Window Treatments.

To find out more about Garth Chapmans Energy Efficient Homes and more tips on how you can reduce your energy consumption visit: Traditional Queenslanders.

Coreen Manor for sale

Located at Mount Samson, ‘Coreen Manor’ is a Hamilton Series home – one of favourite builds. It recently went on sale. Take a look.

Follow Garth Chapman Traditional Queenslanders’s board Coreen Manor on Pinterest.

Choosing the Right Block of Land

Choosing the right block of land is an essential first step to building a Garth Chapman Traditional Queenslander.  In fact, you really need to choose or buy the land BEFORE we can help you plan the perfect home, as the plan needs to be developed to suit the land. There are two key steps and factors to consider when buying land: lifestyle and budget. Choose the neighbourhood to suit your lifestyle needs, then choose the block of land to suit your budget.

1. Choose the right neighbourhood for your lifestyle.

Things to consider when choosing the neighbourhood:

  • Does the neighbourhood suit your lifestyle – is it young and vibrant or quiet and peaceful?
  • How close are shops, public transport, schools or other community amenities
  • If you intend to drive to work test drive the commute time

Get a feel for the area by walking around the neighbourhood – in the morning and evening; and talk to local residents.

2. Choose the right block for your budget.

Once you have short-listed preferred areas or suburbs, start looking at the blocks of land available. Things you need to consider when choosing the right block are:

  • Steep blocks or sites with difficult access all have challenges that will cost you more money
  • Check flood levels, landslip, buffer zones, easements and building regulations with your local council
  • Consider how you could position a home so that it’s naturally warm in winter and cool in summer
  • Find out whether the block you’re looking at has had a soil test conducted. It’s important to check the soil before making an offer
  • If you already have a house style or idea in mind, check that the block will suit the planned layout

Remember, talk to your local council and industry experts, including the team at Garth Chapman Traditional Queenslanders, and do your homework well; the more research and planning you do, the fewer surprises you will have when you start building

Tips for Building on Small Lots in Brisbane

If you’re planning to build a house on a smaller lot, there are a few things you should know before you begin. The following tips will help you get your home constructed on a small lot in Brisbane.

Demolition and building restrictions vary greatly across the suburbs of Brisbane and if they aren’t followed closely, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.

As things currently stand, Brisbane considers a small lot to be one that has an average width of less than 15 metres and/or a total area of the lot is 450 square metres or less.

To undertake a small lot project, you will first need to find out the key facts about the property (zoning, constraints and lot size).  This will help you determine whether your small lot project needs planning approval.

The Garth Chapman Traditional Queenslanders team is experienced in assisting Brisbane residents obtain planning approval for small lots. We can project manage the entire process or we can just point you in the right direction until it is time to start building, or anywhere in between.


Depending upon the location and council assessment of your land you may choose to build either a Contemporary facade or a Traditional style streetscape.

Not every home design is suitable for every small lot, so you should carefully consider the traits of the place you’re planning to have your home constructed in. When in doubt, try to maximize lighting and ease of access.

When natural lighting is maximized, chances are that the windows will be looking out on as much open space as possible. Long-distance views can be difficult to find in the middle of a city, but using the space in and around the lot to its best possible potential can help you feel like you have more room.
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As for the interior, consider the rooms you’ll be using most and their placement within the house. Look for designs that maximize the space these rooms get; this will help you get the most out of the space you have.
Garth Chapman has developed a range of traditional and contemporary style homes that will deliver style and complement your location, including:

PEGASUS – this modern skillion style home has a 10m frontage

MITCHELL – provides those who like some of the “Queenslander” attributes with a modern twist of open style living in a two storey, 4 bedroom home
BARAMBAH – Designed specifically for small inner city lots with a 10m frontage this home is modelled on the large terrace style cottages built in the early 1900s. With the Garth Chapman focus on authenticity the Barambah will blend beautifully into any inner city street containing original homes.

DAWSON  – modeled on the large terrace style cottages built in the early 1900s, another 2 storey home features 4 beds + study, 2 ½ bathrooms, 2 separate living areas, and front and rear verandahs.

Contact Garth Chapman Traditional Queenslanders team today for asistance planning your small lot home design.

Building on Sloping Sites

A lot of home owners are deterred from building on these sites due to the extra costs. Builders with little or no experience with building on slopes will try to convince potential new home buyers to choose a level block. They do this by exaggerating extra costs associated with the slope. Educated builders with the knowledge and experience of construction on slopes would have no need to cover themselves with excessive costs.

Are you having trouble finding a builder who can accommodate your need to have beautiful views? Well I have some good news for you. We have time and time again proved our success with building on steep slopes, while keeping the costs down. This is achieved by designing a house or selecting one of our many designs suited for your particular slope. There are a number of factors and tricks you need to consider when designing a house for uneven or steep ground. You need to know where you can save dollars; so that you can direct your expenses on the important aspects such as retaining, water management and landscaping. We have saved clients as much as $20,000 with a suitable design.

Queenslanders and Contemporary Queenslanders respond perfectly to the challenge of sloping building sites.

These are just a few tips to consider when building on sloping sites:

  • Maximum finished height for the best views.
  • The need for excavation.
  • Types of retaining and wether required at all.
  • Construction materials.
  • Overland water flow of surface water.
  • Flow of stormwater from the roof catchment.
  • Consider carefully the type of footings – Unnecessary use of strip footings to hold a concrete slab and heavy masonry block walls creates extra costs and has a significant impact on the slope stability. Why restrict yourself to masonry block construction that requires enormous excavation and will reduce the finished height of the home. After all you have spent your hard earned money to take advantage of those beautiful views?

8 Star Energy Efficient Display Home

A custom-built dream home on a prestigious Brisbane acreage displays the eye-catching design skills and meticulous attention to excellent workmanship for which Garth Chapman Queenslanders are renowned.

This extra-large, double-storey home is a unique blend of timeless colonial styling and up-to-the-minute practicality. With this desirable residence, The Normanby, Garth Chapman Queenslanders demonstrates an amazing ability to cleverly transform a client’s wishes into a tangible and valuable asset, and a desirable place where any family can enjoy a comfortable retreat.

As with most of our designs, it has a very high energy-efficiency rating of 8.0 stars – compared with the usual 5 stars usually achieved by modern project homes.  The result is significantly reduced energy costs for the life the home. There are no overly expensive inclusions to achieve this rating – just good design and well placed value based inclusions. Queenslanders are designed for this climate so we are not reinventing the wheel.