Brisbane Traditional Character Housing Guide Review

If you are working with traditional Queenslander home, you need to read this.

Brisbane City Council  released the Traditional Housing: Alterations and Extensions Design Guide (in 2020). The guide promotes the retention of traditional character being pre-1947 houses and offers up detailed advice on how to ensure your development complements the existing streetscape.


Council have identified 4 key areas for homeowners and designers to consider:

  • Development should complement existing character of the street.
  • Enhance and retain original details of the home.
  • Do not impact your neighbours negatively.
  • Design your home to adapt to the needs of the future.


The guide provides information on how to identify which traditional housing style your home falls into, and how to undertake design which supports these housing styles, as well as accommodating for your needs. Additionally, it goes into extensive detail about the materials, decorations and features commonly found on traditional homes. This is fantastic if you’re looking to retain or match original details from your house.

A strong theme in the guide is front gardens. If you’re looking to embrace the traditional streetscape in your home, front gardens are a great way to go. While gardens are often used for aesthetic purposes, they can also provide many functional benefits and alternatives to hard infrastructure which may otherwise compromise the appearance of your home. Some of their other benefits include:

  • Natural noise barriers
  • Shading
  • Privacy
  • Filter air pollutants


If ever unsure about designing in character areas, please contact your private town planner.