7 tips for choosing a floor plan for your new home

When you’re building a project home, you’ll find that there are a lot of different styles of floor plan available. Your choice will first be narrowed down by the size of your land and your budget, but you’re likely to have a number of options that will suit your family.

This can be overwhelming for some, so before you go ahead and choose your house plan, here are a few things to think about:

1. Know your budget

Before you start looking at plans, have a realistic idea of how much you have to spend.

The builder’s brochures will give you the basic idea of the look of the house and the floor plan. Generally the more you want to change the design, the more the basic price will increase, so it’s worth hunting around the different house styles to find one you don’t need to adjust.

Some builders also have ‘custom services’, which means that for a fee you can either ask them to design a bespoke home using their standard materials and fixtures or make significant changes to one of their off-the-shelf designs.

Custom designs will, of course, add to the overall cost of the build.

2. Know where you will Build

If you have several designs that you like, it’s worth asking the builder which one would work best on the block you have purchased. Project homes are designed for flat or gently sloping land, so this question is particularly important if you have an awkward block. A design that works well with the block could be less expensive to build.

3. Make a wish List

Take a critical look at your existing home and start noticing what works for you and what doesn’t. Of the features you want in a home, create a list of ‘must haves’ and a list of ‘nice to haves’ and also the things that don’t work for you at all.

Project home floor plan - the Bailey

4. What will fit your Lifestyle?

Your wish list should reflect the lifestyle you want in terms of layout and practicality.

Do you entertain frequently, or rarely? Do you love to have bustling outdoor summer barbeques by the pool, or prefer snuggling up in front of a film in the home theatre?

Single storey or double?

Not every floor plan will suit your lifestyle and your phase of life. You may have small children needing you close by, or possibly teenagers wanting space. Going up the stairs a few times in the night to little ones may not be very appealing, but also hearing a beginner drummer practising in the next room may not be either.

You may need to think about where to put a home office, or the in-laws when they come to stay. Or not! Having these things in mind can help you to stay focussed on what you really want and need, and not get sidetracked when you start looking at amazing floorplans.

Open Plan, or more rooms to close off?

Do you have little ones you want to keep an eye on while making dinner? Or are you the messy type that needs a door to close the mess behind when guests drop by? Keeping in mind your lifestyle when looking at plans will help you choose the right one for you.

5. Making Space

Make sure the sizes of the rooms will be adequate for the usage you want for your lifestyle – check with the builder that the design you are looking at getting will be adequate for your furniture. You don’t want to end up with a teenage retreat that is more the size of a reading nook.

If you plan on using furniture from your current home, get out the tape measure and note down the sizes of your favourite pieces and try to envisage where they would fit in your new space. Make sure they will fit.

If you are planning on styling the interior to suit the new home, get an idea of the style you want to go for, and measure some lounges or other large items from a showroom to get a sense of space.

6. Visit a Display Home

Visiting display homes will also give you ideas. Think too about the future value of the property – an attached garage is more valuable than a carport, for instance.

Make the decision based on how the home flows and feels functional for your daily activities. If you are viewing a display home, bring your family along to see their reactions and get feedback. How do they move through the space?

7. Strip it down

There will also usually be a range of materials available both for the home’s exterior and interior, and of course paint colours, roof colours and even fencing colours (if fences are included). Deciding on these aesthetic features can be the hardest part, but it’s important not to get too hung up on it – after all, you can always change the colour later. Making firm decisions on the things you can’t change after the house has been finished is most important.

In fact, changes after the contract has been signed (‘variations’) are definitely something to avoid, as they are likely to cause delays and extra expense.

So before you choose your floorplan, walking through the display home and visually strip it down to the bare essentials, ignore the lush carpet, the amazing finishes and colours and really get a sense for what the house will feel like to be in.

Before you talk to the builder, it’s a good idea to make as many of the decisions as you can, so that when you meet with the builder you can focus on the details that need their input. Write a concise list so that when you speak to them nothing is forgotten, and you get the best the design to suit your needs.

So make your wish list and check out our ever-growing range of contemporary homes. Use the ‘filter’ tool on our website to narrow down your search quickly to get to styles that will suit your family.

Alternatively, give us a call on 1300 100 922 and we’ll be happy to talk you through the designs, and make a time for you to visit our showroom.

Holler Box