Remodeling my home in Australia. Goal: more natural light, nicer facade, better set out

No, maybe the media room yet that’s good where it is so the kids can watch movies

It depends on the time of day or season; Sun in Summer here is hot Sun in Summer is amazing

The ceilings are high 3m (10ft), so the house doesn’t get hot, the floor is concrete, and the concrete’s thermal mass keeps the temperature pretty consistent.
The bedrooms get afternoon winter sun, yet in summer, the sun is approx 45 deg to the windows, so it is not a priority except for in heatwaves, and in those cases, we use the airconditioning.

Yes, that is true, it will be a big cost and inconvenience to remove the entire roof just to let natural winter light in. I think I have been spoilt as my last home was amazing to live in all year round, you can’t beat the sun inside in winter.

I have considered a light well, I may just see how that would work. I must say I don’t really like the roofline of the existing, it’s not well balanced and I prefer the modern look.

My biggest reservation of reducing the pitch is: We get huge rain falls here, we have had 300mm in 5 days before and shedding water quickly is a distinct advantage of hip rooves. I will have a quick play with a light well.

I’m no pro, and this might not work, but have you thought about using a tray tracing renderer (like VRay) to simulate how the light bounces around the house? Or would the Predesign thing do that?

Predesign won’t do that.
Sefaira and V-Ray are better suited for that type of thing

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Ok sure thing.

I use vray which I’m sure has plenty of issues / quirks, but may help someone visualise where the dark areas are (in this instance he can compare to his actual house) and then adjust the house accordingly (on sketchup / vray). That could then drive where the new openings should be put, and then worry about aesthetics.

Not sure how well this would work in the real world though?

Hello Andrew,

To increase the availability of light, it’ll help to scope this problem tighter -

  1. Pick a room you want more light in
  2. What days and times will I want more light in those spaces? - Make a list of those dates and times
  3. Put those dates and times in Sketchup, in different scenes and see what goes on today (as far as Sketchup is concerned) and what that looks like.
  4. Use an extension like Curic sun to find out where the sun is at the times you need it most -
  5. Change/Optimize design to let the light in at those dates/times
  6. Use Sefaira or Vray to find out what the light quality actually is at those dates at times

That’s the short of it. Here’s an old blog post I wrote for a similar problem - its kinda dated but the workflow is still relevant - Good daylight brings all the employees to the (court)yard

Hope this helps,



Sorry I missed this one; I agree.

The view is excellent, and the layout you have drawn is much better than what we have now. I will consider this. The only drawback of that area is the heat in Summer, yet a louvred screen could most certainly fix this.

I have four kids, 2 have cars, and 2more coming in the next 3 years, keeping them out of the sun was the idea.

I was contemplating 125mm at 3.13r value over the garage and 150mm sandwich panel over living 3.72R

Yep point taken, Ill mock it up as soon as I get a minute, it will be easier and cheaper, and maybe I could add a mezzanine floor for Friday beverages. :beers:

Thanks Hari, I usually run through the cold and warm months of the year and study the effects from inside and outside; I was not aware there was a plugin. I also have Sefaira, but I have not used it either; you know what it’s like we get used to what we know, I need to break that mentality.

Theog, it is a good point I had not considered the reflecting light, I do have VRay, I struggle with it internally but again, I need to learn.
As a Builder, feasibility is my main consideration on client homes yet when it’s my house I kind of throw that to the wind.

Aesthetics are important yet they must be in combination with practicality and budget.
The home is 13 years only and it is in need of a freshen up, personally, I do not like the existing roof lines they actually grind on me as there’s no real thought gone into it.

I will mess with the roof windows and see what I can come up with.

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To be honest, for me VRay has been a steep learning curve but I’m gradually getting better.

Hope all goes well with the project. The space you have looks stunning so will keep an eye on the thread!

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Although I do have vray, I outsource my rendering as my skill sets can be better utilized in other areas.

Now that the Finance Minister ( the wife) is involved, the project is becoming more of a priority which is seeing my budget for the all important man toys being reduced. ARGHHH

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Finance Minister haha

In addition to farming, home reparations are the best known way to get rid of all large amounts of money you have lying around. And you get the noise and dust as additional benefits.

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This was my idea when it comes to the roof changes, this’ll enable me to get natural light in the living area in winter. I am still working on the internal layout and counting the dollars as I do it. It is so much easier to spend somone elses money.

sun in roof window1
I accidentally posted this in another thread about pitched roofs.

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