Drafting & Design Services

Studio 4 is a Sunshine Coast new house and renovation building designer and drafting service. We are unique as we assist you through the design stage of your project making this as easy as possible for you. We take the stress away by arranging and liaising with other professional services – such as engineers and surveyors.

New House Plans

We work in with your needs to create an on budget and aesthetically pleasing home to suite your needs and future growing needs, living on the Sunshine Coast for over 30 years we have a strong understanding of environment and solar passive designing as well. We prefer not to keep on trend as much as giving you a family home that will stand the true test of time. We give the house an architectural edge without the budget of an Architects design. Preferring high raking ceilings and open plan living with strong architectural influences flooding living areas with light and ventilation.

Soil Testing

Sunshine Coast based soil testers will be appointed to conduct a soil test, Studio 4 Building Design will organise this on your behalf at the preliminary planning stage. This makes the engineering component of your working drawings stage go through quicker and can give your builder a sound knowledge of your sites conditions at the time you get a rough estimate of your project at the end of the preliminary design stage.


We specialise in renovations and can transform any home into a castle. Keeping the house on budget and suggesting ways to overcome any design obstacle. Miracle workers has been a comment given by many clients using our services. They often say I didn’t think of that and are thrilled with the outcome. It is very rewarding transforming old homes into new usable comfortable homes that work in the 2020’s and beyond as our needs and budgets change for QLD living so should our ideas with living spaces. We have a site consultation service where we come out and give you advice on what you can do what you can extend where all your existing services are on the block if your in a flood zone, bushfire zone etc.


If your block is sloping has an existing house or some boundary pegs are needed. Studio 4 building design Coolum beach will organise a quote and a professional Sunshine Coast surveyor to attend to your block and supply you with these requirements early on in the design stages to avoid any hold ups prior to building.


This is the final stage. The builder of your choice will submit your plans to the certifier on your behalf. If at any stage of the project you require a siting variation (building relaxation) Studio 4 building design will arrange this on your behalf. Otherwise there is no need to put your plans into council. Private building certifiers on the Sunshine Coast will be appointed to certify the plans on their behalf.

Site Consultation

A QBCC qualified building designer draftsman will meet you on your site on the Sunshine Coast to give you professional advice on aspect and professional services required for your block.

Site Investigation

Dial before you dig council mapping and overlay codes napmap government acoustic requirements.

Why Use a Building Designer?

People often wonder what a building designer does! They ask themselves,  don’t I need an architect to design and draw my house plans or renovation? This is not the case, building designers on the Sunshine Coast and all over QLD need to be QBCC registered – that means that they need to undertake training through TAFE and generally practice full time for 4 years under an architect or qualified building designer before they can register as a licenced building designer. There are multi licences classes a building designer can have depending on their level of study. Studio 4 (Julie Hourigan) holds a higher class of licence being a “medium rise” QBCC building designers licence allowing designs for residenctial and commercial buildings (up to 3 storeys). The understanding about design is identical to an architect after the years of training on the job. You will achieve the same product. Building designers often work on medium to high end priced homes, whereas architects generally work on the top end of the design sq.m. budget. Some architects with only a few years experience may charge less than some building designers but generally an architect will charge a higher rate for the same job. 

Architects often offer you the additional service of project management which is post certification and watch over the build. This is usually required on high end buildings with a lot of custom made windows and unique building details, where they will troubleshoot any on site problems that arise. This is at a cost. Studio 4 does not offer this service as most of our buildings use standard building practices, with an architectural twist (although builders are free to call to discuss the project build at any time without an additional expense to the client).

Building designers tend to design “off the shelf” and choose products that do not require so much customisation hence projects tend to be more cost effective for what you get for your budget, often achieving a similar result for less money.  Also stretching the limits of design bang for your buck and have a practical understanding of beam spans etc. that will get you as far as you can without going next level into custom steel beams etc. In saying that, a building designer is always capable of designing architectural looking homes depending on your requests.  Building designers do not design high rise and larger developments like hospitals, shopping centres etc. If you are just looking for a new residence a building designer is your best choice.  

When choosing your building designer consider their past experience, their client testimonials, their previous work (and whether it aligns with your taste). Studio 4 will design to your preference and does not particularly have one style. Bring me your ideas and we can work out something to your budget and block.