Are you building your home from scratch or making some improvements toward a more comfortable home? It’s important that you consider the elements and incorporate design essentials that will harness the optimal temperature. Regardless of whether you are based in a cold or warm location, you do have the power to control the elements to some extent. Now, let’s explore how we can do this to keep protected through those challenging seasonal months.
Most Australian home builders will advise on a home design that is going to thrive in the environment it is built upon. This is why double-glazed windows are such a worthy investment for homes in colder climates, as they work to contain the warmth within the home and reduce the need for artificial heating technologies. All this while barely impacting the look of the home.
You will typically see double-glazed windows in commercial buildings, and their efficiency cannot be debated. The investment can be sizable, depending on the number of windows, but this may negate other household investments as the temperature is being controlled. Double-glazed windows also have the advantage of diffusing noise also, which may be an additional drawcard for homeowners.
If you are embarking on a new build, then overhanging eaves will be something that you want to include in the design. As the name suggests, the overhanging eaves will protrude from the base of the home to act as protection against harsh weather. This means that your paint, windows, timber and home materials are better equipped to withstand the elements. An overhanging eave will also ensure that rain is largely kept off the face of the home, directing it away from the home. Don’t have overhanging eaves on your existing home? You can add this onto your roof through an extension, so get in touch with a builder who specialises in exterior builds.
This also means that you can have the luxury of opening your windows during the rain for airflow, without the worry of getting wet or bringing water inside the home. Without appropriate airflow, there can be an issue of mould, so overhanging eaves should be a critical component of any home design.
Passive cooling is a term that you might not be aware of, but it is all the rage when it comes to home design. Passive cooling is about creating systems and design features in your home that will passively keep a home cool, reducing your reliance on active cooling agents and the bills they incur.
Air conditioning and fans are identified as active cooling systems, so a passive system would be having curtains with varying thermal qualities to harness cool air. Another example of passive cooling techniques would be painting your home with heat-minimising colours, framing the house with trees and foliage to diffuse the sun and other components like this that are ‘passive’.
Another effective way to protect your home from the elements is with natural screening. Sure, you can invest in a wall or fence, but why not use a thick hedge bush that looks great as it frames your home. Alternatively, you might like to plant some trees in the front, back or sides to bunch together and create a screen. Ideally, you will want to do this on the side of the home that gets the harshest sun so you can diffuse some of that heat.
If you would like to use other screening solutions, consider the materials you chose. Aluminium can withstand wind and rain, but they do very little against the cold and heat. Timber can retain heat and provide core shade, but it will eventually break down if exposed to the elements for too long. Look at all of your screening options and judge them based on their merits and shortfalls. Which option is going to make the most sense for your home design and the climate you reside in?
Use your textures strategically
Styling your home with a range of textures that provide warmth in winter, or a cooler alternative in summer is going to be a great asset. You can achieve texture laying in your flooring and in the cushions, throws and decor you have around the home. Use your shaggy rugs when you need some extra warmth, and feel free to revert back to bamboo mats in the warmer periods. This is a great way to control the elements in your home, and it’s quite an easy solution. All you need to do is stow the furnishings you are not using in the off-season, and recover them again when the weather changes and you are seeking some seasonal relief.
We hope that you take these ideas and put them into practice in your existing home or new build plans. Deep thinking now is going to save you time and energy bill expenses in the long run, so do not rush this step.