Grand Designs Australia House of the Year: Terms & Conditions and General FAQ

What is different about the Grand Designs Australia Magazine House of the Year Awards?

This program spotlights Architects and Builders in particular as the primary players in delivering brilliant Client outcomes for detached designer housing projects around Australia.

The emphasis of this program is on Client outcomes – we are looking to see how the design or build has facilitated the desires of the Client.

There will be 8 finalists and 1 winner.  All will be heavily promoted throughout 2021.

The program aims to:

  • Give Architects and Builders and easy-entry experience
  • Parade 8 finalists projects before an audience of people with impending project plans via print, digital and social media for 12 months,
  • Associate 8 finalists with the Grand Designs brand – thus ensuring finalists stand out from the pack when being considered for work,

Entry is easy, and the benefits are significant in the real world of winning business from Clients in the years ahead.

Why Architects and Builders?

In the real-world practice of delivering brilliant Client outcomes, the Client is handled by both Architect and Builder. This program recognises the importance of this relationship.

The Winner will be the entity that entered, but both Architect and Builder must be credited, and credited with accuracy.  This entity can be a sole tracer, partnership, business and/or company.  Architects and Builders may or may not be from the same entity but both must be credited.

Who is behind the Grand Designs Australia Magazine House of the Year Awards?

This program is run by Universal Media Co as the promoter.  Universal Media Co is fundamentally a data business with media assets.  As a data company we routinely collect data on people with projects as they enter the market, using digital, social and ecommerce tools.

Our media operation is extensive and is part of how we engage this data.  Through the media operation we learn how close each audience member is to making plans, what those plans are and how they are positioned.

The media operation includes 11 print media brands and two digital portals – and  One of those brands is Grand Designs Australia Magazine, which is the official publication of the Grand Designs Australia TV show and published under license from Fremantle Media.

Grand Designs Australia Magazine has developed a reputation for connecting consumers to the builders, architects and suppliers who can make their dreams come true.  As a brand Grand Designs Australia Magazine is the “blueprint for designer living” – the publication exists to develop positive collaborations and brilliant customer outcomes on detached designer homes.

Universal Media co is the Trading Name of Universal Magazines Pty Ltd (ACN 003 026 944)

Basic Entry Criteria

Entry is free

Entry is Open to licensed Builders and Architects who are involved in residential construction in Australia.  We will check licenses and qualifications.  Both the primary Builder and Architect must be credited.

Projects must have been completed to practical completion within the last 5 years, specifically from 1st Jan 2016 to present day.

The closing date for entries is COB 26th May 2021. Late entries will not be accepted.

By entering participants are confirming…

  1. Participants agree to be bound by these general terms and conditions and entry criteria for this competition,
  2. That your organisation wishes to enter the competition and that you are authorised to enter on behalf of your organisation,
  3. That you have filled in this form accurately,
  4. That you have the authorisation of all significant project stakeholders including the Client to enter the competition and that you have obtained consent to share, publish or release information or data relating to the project including information or data that may be potentially sensitive or confidential in nature,
  5. That you acknowledge that you have obtained the necessary copyrights and permission to use all of imagery or photos that you submit for the purpose of this competition, including property, business and person, for publication in media, which includes but is not limited to coverage in Grand Designs Australia Magazine, plus associated digital and social media,
  6. A willingness to receiving information emails from the Promoter and their Sponsors,
  7. That there were no serious injuries or deaths which occurred onsite during construction, and
  8. That there are no outstanding debts or complaints relating to the project.

See below for full entry requirements.

Assessment Criteria & Selection of the Winner

Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges, or representative of the promoter, based upon the following criteria.  There is not set word limit, but participants should be prepared to submit well-constructed bullet points that get to the heart of:

  1. Client Brief – A list of the client’s own stated objectives for the project and how these were managed – 15%
  2. Design – How design answered those objectives specifically – 20%
  3. Specification – Notes on specific items specified to deliver the client’s own outcomes – 10%
  4. Execution of Design – Functionality and serviceability, degree-of-difficulty in construction – 20%.
  5. Client Management – Processes or systems for client communication before, during and after build – 20%
  6. Visual Build Quality – Both Internal (Joinery, fixtures, Fittings, Finishing) and external (Structure, Fixing, Finishing) – 10%
  7. Client Testimonial – Desirable but not essential. You may supply additional information including; client satisfaction letters, media articles or video. – 5%

The judges’ decision is final and binding. If in the opinion of the judges the entries do not reach the quality standard for the competition, the judges and Universal Media Co, in their discretion may decide not to grant all eight finalist positions. There will only be one winner.

The finalists and the winner will be notified by email.

Media Coverage

Media coverage of the Grand Designs Australia Magazine House of the Year Awards includes (but is not limited to) Grand Designs Australia Magazine,,, and associated social media channels.

Editorial comment on and photographic display of the projects entered will be at the discretion of the media. Whilst it is the aim of Universal Media Co and Grand Designs Australia Magazine to feature the work of entrants accurately, the Promoter makes no representations or warranties as to the quality, suitability or merchantability of goods and services offered. To the extent permitted by law, the promoter is not liable for any loss suffered to person, business, entity or property by reason of any actor omission, deliberate or negligent, by the Promotor its employees or agents in connection with the arrangement for the supply of services.  Whilst the promoter will make its best effort to feature the work of entrants accurately, then promotor including Grand Designs Australia Magazine is not liable for any discrepancy, error, omission or misrepresentation of that participant or entry in any media report.

Universal Media Co will also be promoting pre, during & post awards, on all of our social media channels.

Universal Media Co shall promote the entire program to other media, seeking coverage. Whilst it is the aim of Universal Media Co to feature the work of entrants accurately, there will be no responsibility taken for discrepancy, error, omission or misrepresentation of that entry in any media report.

Award Party

The promoter is considering an award party at the conclusion of the program.  We will send invitations prior the event.  We are unable to provide for flight or accommodation for attendants from interstate.

Entry Requirements

The following information is required to provide judges with information regarding the project prior to inspection. This information must accompany your entry.

Your completed entry will comprise of the following components:

  1. Online Form. A completed official online entry form.
  2. Digital Images. Images must be taken by a professional photographer. Entrants are responsible for the quality of all images. These images will be used in an audiovisual presentation and media; so good quality material will better profile your entry. If providing ‘before’ shots, please ensure these are clearly identified as ‘before’ shots. Images must highlight any special features of the project as well as general shots. A minimum of eight (8) images (mix of internal and external images).  Resolution of 300dpi with an image size of 21cm x 29cm (i.e. equates to A4 in size maximum) in JPEG file type only (please no PDF, PPT or TIFF file types). No mobile phone images accepted. Please note if your images are not of high quality you could be asked to resubmit them.
  3. Concept Plans. Max A3 size include elevations/floorplan.
  4. Please provide a copy Building Permit and Occupancy Permit/Certificate of Final Inspection. In the instance that the builder is entering their own home or that of next of kin a warranty certificate will need to be supplied.

What do finalists get?

Finalists will receive a purpose-created project profile in the bimonthly Grand Designs Australia Magazine.  At the publishes discretion this profile will also be distributed throughout our social and digital media channels.


Data collected from both Entrants and Consumers participating in this competition and associated marketing program shall be used by the Promoter and its Sponsors.  To see the company’s privacy policy go here:

Key Dates

Entries are to be received by the Promoter by 5pm on 26th May 2021

Finalists will be announced 31st May 2021

Finalist marketing program starts in April 2021, with exact date of commencement to be determined by Universal Media Co at its discretion

Voting closes 31st December 2021. Winner will be announced Thursday 24th March 2022

32-page coverage will be in Vol 10 No 6 of Grand Designs Australia Magazine in March 2022

Award Party dates are TBC in March 2022 and will be announced by the Promoter by email by 28th February 2022