In By Christmas – 5 Step Checklist & Tips
In by Christmas


When hiring a designer to assist you in your build, they should consider the following:

– Are there building and/or site regulations and restrictions that need approvals or appeals by town planning or local council?

– If you’re looking at off-grid options, what will work best on the type of block you are on?

– Are there current restrictions or regulations in your area regarding off grid or your other options?

– Does your site have any classifications we need to be aware of?

TIP: Whilst it is not imperative to use a local designer, it is important to know if they have a process for understanding the environment of the location (rainfall, where the breezes naturally come from, the view – and if that will be effected over the next 5-15years, where the light is naturally positioned, seasons etc).  From this information your designer will be able to determine how the house breaths and fits into the surrounding environment.  It will also advise if you should you investigate air and light easements.


A great designer will work magic with your budget and help you with the decisions you need to make early in the design process to ensure that throughout the build, you stick to your budget.  If you are spending 700k – 1+M on your dream home, how much time do want to spend planning to make sure that it’s right?  The planning is where the magic happens.

TIP: A major budget oversight can be under or over capitalisation.


Design concepts are the fun (and magical) part of the process.  This is where creativity can flow and grow.  First drawings may show you even more possibility than you imagined, and this is where collective dreaming really comes alive.  While it is important to keep it fun and exciting, it is also crucial to use high levels of analytics.  Remember, your home is where you will live every day.  Your doors are ones that you will open every day, and what you want is to see something you love! 

TIP: The design process is vital to achieving a home you love, as the designer will help you make decisions early that will help you not only stay on budget and within scope – but also help you to see how the final picture will look AND that you’re happy with it.


After concepts have been drawn, it is part of the engineering process to get soil checks, site certifications, check for easements etc.  This process can take up to 5 weeks and will affect the materials used in the foundation of the build (and how you may landscape around the home). 

TIP: It is vital to have all of this in place (design concepts > working drawings > engineering > certification) by the beginning of April to allow time for your new build to be completed by deadline.


A new build will take 6 months or more to build.  Remember that Christmas isn’t actually Christmas… It is the beginning of December.  This is so at the busiest time of year in your work and with children through school holidays, you aren’t trying to move in the day before Christmas.  You want to be in within the first week of December and the READY for Christmas.  To hit this deadline, your builder needs to break ground late April, early May.  This is also the best time of year in South East Queensland weather wise so it’s an optimal time to start your new build.

TIP: Choosing your builder can be a daunting task.  Allow one month for your quotes to come in (so that means starting to ask for quotes at the end of March).  While cost is important, alongside this, consider:

a) Will they have the time to build when you are ready?

b) Will they understand you as a client and your emotional needs?

Are you wanting to build or renovate and create your dream home?  

Do you want to be in by Christmas?  

Don’t wait!  To reach your end goal, the planning starts NOW. 

Now you can see why most people don’t achieve their deadline move-in date of “in by Christmas”. 

Adrian Ramsay from Adrian Ramsay Design House is a multi award-winning Sunshine Coast designer who specialises in creating bespoke dream homes, specifically tailored to your wants, needs and desires. If you would like to talk more about getting In by Christmas 2019, call us at the studio today: 0490 547 760 or email

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