Building in the Southern Highlands – what do you need to consider?


If you are planning on building in the Southern Highlands, whether a new build or renovation to an existing home, it’s important to consider factors like climate and situation early in the design phase in order to maximise efficiencies long-term. Ultimately the goal is to build a home that is comfortable all year round and as energy efficient as possible to run.

Our team are all Southern Highlands locals and love living and working in this beautiful part of the country.  The Highlands are well-known for having four distinct seasons, a long history and an abundance of nature and space.

You need to consider:


The Southern Highlands region is prone to some extreme weather.  It isn’t uncommon to have frosty mornings right through to September, and in Summer we can swelter through days in the 40s – your home needs to work hard.

Orientation should aim to strike a balance between maximising the effects of the sun in Winter and managing the heat of Summer.


A key factor for consideration is where your house and its internal spaces are placed.  Orientation should aim to strike a balance between maximising the effects of the sun in Winter and managing the heat of Summer.

Heating and cooling

A heating and cooling system can be a large investment, so efficiency is important.   Setting up zoned spaces and looking at options like adding solar panels to your home are a great way to maximise performance.

Insulation, cladding and glazing

For your heating and cooling systems to be effective, you need to ensure that your house is well insulated, ideally with double glazed windows to maintain thermal efficacy.  Cladding is also important, not just for aesthetic appeal but also for environmental performance, insulation capabilities and fire resistance.

Bushfire Zones and Bushfire Attack Levels (BALs)

Unlike building in a Metropolitan area, undertaking a building project in the Southern Highlands can present you with additional challenges around your property’s compliance with the National Bushfire Attack Level Ratings Standard.  As the rating increases, so usually does the cost of your build, due to stringent requirements that are enforced to prolong the durability of your home in the event of a bushfire – your builder should be able to guide you on building to meet required standards while keeping costs down.

Off-grid considerations

Building a home in the country can sometimes mean living off grid.  This means you may need to consider alternative ways to manage sewerage, power and drinking water.

Our advice is always to talk to your builder in the early stages of the project.  Our experience and knowledge of building locally will ensure all these aspects are considered and your Southern Highlands dream house becomes a reality.

Contact Waratah Building to discuss your next project.


We’d love to discuss your next project. 

Jack Malavey 0409 834 371

Nick Marland 0402 224 770

Click here to get in touch.