How a Small House Can Create a Fantastic Lifestyle


Whether it’s a cozy cottage in South-East Queensland or a practical and energy-efficient home in the Brisbane suburbs, more and more Queenslanders are choosing to downsize the space they live in to reap the rewards of a tiny house lifestyle.

The tiny house movement is gaining popularity among Australians across all age groups, and for good reason. The benefits of small houses are varied, from helping people embrace a more environmentally friendly lifestyle to lower maintenance and utility costs, less stress, and ultimately freedom and time to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle.

Here are some of the reasons why small house living can be a liberating lifestyle change.

More financial freedom

Small home living can be a smart financial choice. Since a tiny house means a smaller mortgage to pay off, this makes it the ideal choice for younger homeowners who would like to buy and own their home sooner, and for middle-aged homeowners who would like to make the most of their retirement savings, settling into and enjoying their senior years.

With fewer bills, tiny houses are easier to clean and maintain, and much less expensive to run. Tiny houses use far less electricity than larger homes.

A larger backyard

One of the best benefits of small houses is that they use space more efficiently than a larger house - providing you with a larger plot of land to do with as you please. Depending on your lifestyle, this could mean a bigger backyard for the kids to enjoy, a space for you to grow the flower garden of your dreams, or even a larger outdoor entertaining area. BAAhouse builds houses with expansive decks, creating an intimate yet inviting space to entertain guests and hold social events.

Due to their intrinsic efficiency, small homes are perfect for people looking to embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle. If you’re interested in self-sufficient living, this could be the perfect space to build the vegetable patch, chicken pen, or shed you’ve always dreamed about.

Multiple bedrooms

Have a big family but worried that choosing a tiny house lifestyle means fewer bedrooms for your family? Need multiple bedrooms for your children, or guest rooms for your grandchildren to stay over? Small homes may be compact, but they can be surprisingly spacious - it’s all about optimising the space available with clever design.

Live in your home for longer

A smaller home means that as you grow older, your home will remain affordable and easy to manage. Older generations often enjoy the freedom that comes with living in a tiny home, as they can enjoy peaceful living without the need to spend a fortune on regular maintenance.

To view examples of fantastic small homes designed and built in Brisbane, visit baahouse

Article written by Rycon construction 

Modernising the Granny Flat


Baahouse + Basstudio    
Sept 2016 Newsletter
t:  0409 577 705

Modernising the Granny Flat

Gone are the days where we think of a Granny Flat as a small brick veneer box like structure with a few windows tucked away in the back corner of your property with little thought to aesthetics when accommodating your elderly parents during their final years. 

The aging population is now expected to enjoy a longer life expectancy with the number of people aged 65 and over tripling over 50 years to 3.4 million in 2014, and projected to increase to 9.6 million by 2064 (statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Baby boomers in this category will increasingly look to down size but they no longer need to settle for the traditional style ‘Granny Flat.’ BAAHouse is a modern solution to the traditional granny flat design. We have created a new range of architecturally designed and affordable houses that incorporate lifestyle requirements and design elements so our clients will enjoy their grand years.

These custom built Granny Flats means are constructed as a 2nd dwelling on an existing site with low impact on site conditions. Our range of designs are small in size to meet council approval however designed in a way that ensures there are no wasted circulation areas and suit the particular site conditions to maximise views, natural surroundings and breeze/light flow and the Australian climate.

 They feature large ceilings as well as a large connecting deck to the outdoors giving the feel of a larger home. 
Visit to see the new range of granny flats

Designed by Baahouse + Baastudio, this 80sqm+20sqm 2 Bedroom small house was built by Saunders Building Company Brisbane. 
It is located in the beautiful hilly area of Samford Valley located 21km from Brisbane City in Queensland, Australia and was designed for an astute and hip elderly couple who wanted to live on the same property as their children but sought their own retreat to enjoy their retirement years.

The brief for the project was to design a small, tropical, modern house that utilises the steep site.
The client decided on the Lincoln 2 bedroom from the BAAhouse range. It consists of 2 bedrooms, ensuite, shared wc, large study, laundry and the main kitchen - living / lounge area.  The Lincoln is cleverly designed to maximize all internal spaces; the large windows and sliding doors allow for airflow and a large high raking ceiling and the position of high windows makes the 80sqm house feel more like a 100sqm house. A large open deck flowing into the main living area with the sliding doors merges two spaces together to create a large enjoyable space that connects inside and outside together which was a key element for the design.
The clients were able to use the same vertical textured cladding from the existing house on site which was painted a dark colour so it disappeared into the leafy surrounding.  With the use of hardwood outriggers, handrails and vertical timber battens, the house has become a stunning tropical form of modern architecture that will over time blend into the surroundings but hold its own style for years to come.
One of the feature materials is the use of fiberglass transparent cladding on the deck area. The fiberglass is semi-transparent which creates a lovely sense of light, and from the outside gives the house a water like appearance glow. At night the house glows in the dark like a Japanese lantern.

The inside finishes consist of Spotted Gum Hardwood timber flooring which is the same material as the outside decking. The spotted gum flooring wraps up the kitchen island bench. The Feature kitchen bench is raw concrete Caesar stone that compliments the colours of the dark grey laminate and the natural colours of the timber flooring. With the use of timber veneer in the kitchen and tv unit, the blend of materials work together to create an inviting space.
Main Design features are:
  • Large eave overhangs.
  • Expressed hardwood studs.
  • Kitchen designed custom designed to suit your requirements.
  • Separate powder room and ensuite.
  • Large high raked ceilings.
  • Privacy to rooms and neighbours.
  • Storage spaces.
  • Functional laundry area.
  • Natural lighting and airflow.
  • Interior detail.

BAAhouse have truly created a new style of Granny flats /Small houses that combine architectural features and concepts together with natural materials to blend in with the environment that sets them apart from what’s on the market.

Book a 2hr onsite design consultation today for only $395 .

What we offer:
1.      Initial investigations regarding your site
2.     Travel to and from site (Subject to location)
3.     The meeting itself
a.     Confirming client ideas & brief
b.     Discussing client budget
c.     Discussing key site issues
4.     BAA House + BAAStudio introductory forms
5.    Onsite sketches
6.    Post meeting investigations into any specific items discussed on site
7.    Drafting of fee submission or turn-key engagement if requested
8.    Any further correspondence

Baastudio website
Baastudio website
Baahouse website
Baahouse website
Email us
Email us

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Winter Newsletter


Baahouse + Basstudio     June / July Newsletter   
0409 577 705


We cannot believe half a year has gone and winter is upon us already. So we thought we would give you some tips on staying warm through the cold winter months.


1. Install insulation in your house 
2. Close off any rooms that are not in use
3. Let it shine! Let the sun in.
4. Maintain your heaters
5. Seal up gaps and cracks that let the cold air in
6. Use Thick Curtains
7. Double glazing
8. Cover Bare floor boards
9. Reverse the fans and get them going
10. Choose energy efficient glass
11. Have a fireplace


1 . Get a quote from three builders and consult with your Architect
as this could potentially save you thousands of dollars

2. Know where to save and where to spend. While and addition such as a pool may seem like a luxury, it adds to the enjoyment value.

3. Do you research on materials and products you use for your project. Your Architect may be able to save you money using their product suppliers. 

4. The more details and documents you have for your project the more accurate fixed costing you will get for your project and you'll be less likely to get variations.

5. When engaging an Architect company, know who in the company will be working on your project? Sometimes a small company which can provide you a personalised service will give you a  better service and outcome that can save you money through out the project.

6. Be honest with your Budget. As this can help with the design process and outcome.

Make sure you understand what is

your overall budget and construction


Below are a couple of new jobs on the drawing boards.
New Indoor-Outdoor living / Cannon Hill / Manly
Completed job at The Gap. Modern Tropical Living.
Creating indoor-outdoor spaces.
Homely Hampton style house renovation. Converting an old cattle ranch house into a inviting house for the young family. (Dalby/QLD)
2 New BAAhouse designs currently under construction at Samford Valley
and Lennox Heads. 

Book a 2hr onsite design consultation today for only $395 .

What we offer:
1.      Initial investigations regarding your site
2.     Travel to and from site (Subject to location)
3.     The meeting itself
a.     Confirming client ideas & brief
b.     Discussing client budget
c.     Discussing key site issues
4.     BAA House + BAAStudio introductory forms
5.    Onsite sketches
6.    Post meeting investigations into any specific items discussed on site
7.    Drafting of fee submission or turn-key engagement if requested
8.    Any further correspondence

Baastudio website
Baastudio website
Baahouse website
Baahouse website
Email us
Email us

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5 steps to a successful renovation

Hampton Queenslander house renovation Brisbane

We have identified 5 steps that will ensure your renovation project becomes a reality

1.Create a Wish List.

In architectural terms this is a brief you would present to your architect at your first consultation. We suggest that you estimate your ideal housing situation in a 5-10 year time frame. Are you looking to increase your house size to accommodate a growing family, work from home, downsize due to retiring or children moving out of home? Please keep in mind bigger is not necessarily better or more functional. Even larger size homes if they have not been designed properly will lead to wasted spaces and poor airflow.

Questions to consider include;

•How many bedrooms? •What is the best aspect on the site? •Are there potential issues on site to factor into the design plan? E.g. noise, obstructing views, wind, sloping site, or pesky neighbours! •Do you like open plan living? •Do you prefer separate living spaces to the bedrooms? •What type of entrances do you prefer? •Do you want to accommodate indoor/outdoor living spaces?

2.Choose a theme or style.

The best way to choose a style that you will enjoy for years to come is to find inspiration by researching housing(exterior and  interior) styles and ideas via housing magazines, web based sites such as pinterest and housing websites. Here is a link to some of our favourites. Houzz, Home and Beautiful 

Questions to consider include?

• What overall style or theme appeals to you? Some examples include Contemporary, Provincial, Minimalist, Queenslander, Art Deco, Eco-friendly, Beach shack, Hampton style. •What suits your personality and lifestyle choices? 



When evaluating your budget for the project you should also do your research into the real estate potential of your area, the demographics and lifestyle of your neighbours particularly if you may re-sell at a later stage. It is important to know the possible capital gain value of the renovation as this may determine whether you focus expenditure on certain areas of the house.

Questions to consider include;

•What materials will complement your style as this will dictate the overall cost? •Have you allowed for overall construction cost, consultant fees? •Will you be required to temporarily re-locate? •Have you factored the cost of items you will need to purchase such as lighting and appliances? •Do you know the sqm rate for building a project? Most renovations today you need allow for approx. $2700sqm. This will include everything within that space and also includes Builders margin and GST. Simpler spaces like a carport will be less and mass produced brick veneer project homes will be less. You should get you Architect to run through the sqm rate and costing for certain rooms and areas in your house.

$ Cost / Square metre * guide only

$1200 - $1500 / sqm Project homes

$1700 - $3000 / sqm Design + Construct projects

$2500 - $4000 / sqm* Architect designed homes & renovations

*Some luxury homes cost much more

•Ask for our information guide on Budgets.

4.Engaging an Architect

Engage an Architect

Engage an Architect

In your first consultation with an architect they should be asking you questions such as those listed above to understand your requirements, lifestyle and personality in designing a renovation solution.

•The architect will then arrange a site visit to measure up your existing house and site. They will take note of the site slope and orientation, existing layout of the house, the condition of the structure and materials, water flows/ runoff and survey of stormwater and sewer pipes. These details will be drawn up by the architect and is the basis from which they can draw up a Masterplan (Wish List) of your entire project.

5.Master plan .


Based on the clients brief (wish-list, style, budget) and the measured drawings of the existing house, the architect will create conceptual design or a master plan. A master plan is essential as it ties all the elements of the project together to create cohesion.


The benefits of master planning include;

•Clear picture of the overall design so project does not have a piece-meal approach.

•Save on future consultant costs.

•Know that even if the builder does work in stages future work will still complement and blend into your existing house.

•Ensures that structural elements and materials work with future stages.

•The design is based on a detailed understanding of your site giving you the best living solution outcome.

•Gives you a realistic goal you can constructively plan towards.

•Having an Architect design your wish list and discuss budgets, planning regulations, and building restrictions so you know how to stage your project and what the process involves.

Masterplanning your project

Lastly, remember that

your architect is a great source of information regarding

all of the above stages. They can provide great professional advice on engaging builders and contractors for managing a successful renovation. If however you desire your renovation to be completely stress free they can project manage and deal with the private certifiers, consultants and contractors for you!

It is important to choose the right Architect or company

Here are some of the questions to consider before engaging an architect


1) How interested is the Architect in your project?

2) What are the Architects fees for the entire job? Are the fees transparent?

3) Who in the Company will be working the project?

4) Has the Architect explained the different stages required?

5) What services does the Architect provide during the construction?

6) Can the Architect provide you with onsite ideas and understand what the project will cost you?

7) Does the Architect provide meetings and sketches along the different stages and what involvement do you have throughout the job/process?

8) Is the Architect a designer? Do they have creative ideas and can they think outside of the box to give you a unique design that will suit your lifestyle needs

We provide all of this at Baahouse + Baastudio



Designing your home to stay cool over the summer months.

Now is the time of year where we attempt to keep cool at all costs which usually means turning on the air-conditioning or being in close proximity to a pool or a large expanse of water!

What if you could design your home to be that cool oasis you desire over the summer months without needing air-conditioning. We believe this is achievable with the following building tips:

1) Ensure that your house is designed to face predominant breezes (south easterly and north easterly winds) and the house can be opened up to capture these breezes once the temperature cools. Shade your east and west facing windows. Window and door options can include: louvres that open wide, bi-folding and sliding doors, effective screens and shutters. Avoid aluminium frames.

2) As hot air rises, if you are building or renovating a two storey house, design this so your main living and sleeping areas are downstairs.

3) Effective insulation will keep your house cool and reduce energy use in the future.

4) Raise your house slightly off the ground to allow air flow underneath. See our Lincoln BAAhouse design above.

5) Create a lovely outdoor shady area with landscaping to enjoy the cooler nights. Plant trees for shading east and west walls.

6) Choose lighter colours for your exterior and interior walls. As black and dark clothing absorb the heat, so lighter colours reflect the heat and are therefore more cooling.

7) Eaves. Make sure these are at least 900mm wide.

8) Equip your house with quality fans.

9) Allow for internal voids, high ceilings, and roof ventilation for better air flow and cooling.


If you need further advice on these options and the types of materials to stay cool for future summers, give us a call.

Building New vs Renovating

Should i renovate or Build new at my house. Here are a few helpful hints.

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “Should we keep our old house and renovate it or demolish it and build new?” So what is the answer and what is the most cost effective option?

Well, until you get a professional expert to inspect your home, run through your brief and understand your requirements and budget, this is too difficult to answer as every circumstance varies, but below is a guide that shows the pros and negatives for each option to consider when making that crucial decision!

If you have any queries or would like to discuss this further contact BAAStudio today at or T:0409 5777 05 



1. No restrictions on what you can build, apart from site overlays and council building codes. The style, materials, layout is up to you.

2. Your design can work around the site utilising all aspects of sustainable design, capturing breezes, airflow and the option to gain extra height on site by using flat skillions roofs.

3. Building sqm rates for a new build are normally cheaper than renovation sqm rates and therefore overall may be a cheaper option.

4. Minimal hidden variations or unknowns as every detail should be shown in the construction drawings.

5. Construction time frames to completion is normally quicker when you are building new.

6. The option to build off the plan meaning the house is pre-designed then placed on site saving time and costs.


1. The quality of the build could be inferior as builders use pine framing instead of hardwood. Many of today’s builders don’t have the knowledge and skill compared to builders in the 50,60s.

2. New foundations and structural type may have to change to suit new building codes.

3. The new build may have to be situated in a new location on the property due to the boundary setback and building codes which may mean certain restrictions required on your property.

4. Removal of the existing house, clearing the site and preparing the site for new structural footings may cost you a lot more money than you thought.

5. You may need to factor in the cost to rent/move elsewhere while you home is being constructed.

6. You may not be able to stage your project and therefore financing upfront may be an issue.



1. You know what you are dealing with onsite so you can either renovate to match the existing character of the house or build a new modern extension that may contrast the existing house.

2. You may already have a good solid structurally sound house with fantastic hardwood timbers or quality features that you can work with.

3. Potentially your house will be better built than a new home that is constructed with inferior materials and where corners have been cut to meet construction timeframes.

4. Your house may already have the street character and aesthetics which you may not be able to achieve by building new.

5. You may have already closer setbacks than what is needed due to the building code changing over time.

6. You may be able to stage the project so you can still live on the property during construction.


1. The cost of renovating can be very expensive as there can often be a lot of hidden costs and unknowns.

2. You will need between 5-10% contingency of your overall budget required when renovating due to all of the unknowns that may be discovered along the process.

3. You may need to select your builder more carefully. Does your builder know how to renovate old houses or has he just done low set brick veneer new houses? Take the time to look at the quality and style of homes that the builder has produced.

4. If the house is in a character overlay you may be controlled by council restrictions on what you can build.

5. The existing house may face the wrong orientation and not capture the views. The house plan may not be right for the site or location.

6. Does the existing house how termites or rot that you may not know about.

7. Does your existing house have street appeal? You may need to factor this into a renovation also if another part of the house is being modernised.

This Hip Granny Flat Seems To Float Among The Trees

This 592 sq. ft. home in Queensland, Australia might be called a “granny flat” because of its practicality but you won’t find any mothballs, chotchkes, or wild wallpaper. This accessory dwelling has enough clever features to accommodate anyone who has a sense of style thanks to the collaboration effort between Baahouse + Baastudio and Kim Alexander builders, who delivered on their promise to construct a fashionable secondary dwelling on the owner’s property. With lower construction costs and advances in prefab and modular design approach, it makes sense to build a small place like this to keep your aging parents, or “returned to nest” college graduates out of your hair. Plus if there’s no full-time occupant, you always have Airbnb as an option to pull in a few extra bucks to offset a mortgage.

This particular design seems to float among the trees thanks to the steel beam foundation that raises it above the ground. The designers found a perfect blend of hip modern aesthetic and a touch of country with the wedge shape and pitched roof, plus the huge deck that wraps around the house adds a ton of extra space to relax.

The living room and bedroom each extend right onto the deck, accessible through large sliding glass doors and covered by the cantilevered roof.

The living room especially makes great use of the deck, basically doubling the floor space as the two areas seamlessly blend together with the doors are wide open.

Inside you’ll find tastefully Scandinavian style decorations, with lots of white, a splash of color, and plenty of open space. A galley kitchen offers plenty of space to prep and cook, with the island featuring a built in sink and seating for 3-4 on the barstools.



Over 25 million users in Australia and around the world select the best of 

Home Building, Renovation and Design

BRISBANE February 19, 2015 – Baahouse + Baastudio of Brisbane has been awarded ‘Best of Houzz 2015’ for Design by, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The Company Baahouse + Baastudio was chosen by the more than 25 million users that make up the Houzz community (with over 1 million in Australia). Baahouse + Baastudio was selected from among more than 500,000 home professionals worldwide!

The Best of Houzz awards fall under two categories: ‘Design’ and ‘Customer Satisfaction’. Design awards are granted to home professionals whose work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, affectionately known as ‘Houzzers’. Customer Satisfaction honours are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews received by a professional in 2014.

Winners of the awards will receive a ‘Best of Houzz 2015’ badge on their profiles to highlight their talents to the community. The badges will highlight the award winner’s popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers on Houzz, distinguishing them to Houzzers around the world who discover and love their work.

Jason Chuck, Managing Director of Houzz Australia, says: "It's great to see Baahouse + Baastudio recognised as the Best of Houzz from across Australia and more than 500,000 businesses worldwide. It's a genuine tribute to their expertise when the award is judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively building, renovating and decorating their homes."

"For homeowners, provides them with everything they need to build, renovate or decorate their homes, connecting them with not only the best home professionals and products from Australia, but also from around the world. Our community in Australia is already over 1 million and growing every day."

Follow Baahouse + Baastudio on Houzz