10 QUESTIONS: House Plans

Posted On Feb 11, 2019 in Design

10 QUESTIONS: House Plans

1. What is a house plan? 
A house plan is the design for a layout of a home. It doesn’t include any decor or materials and is more about providing a template for a style of living. Signature Homes offers a range of pre-designed house plans that you can choose from as a template for your dream home. Choosing the right plan will depend on a number of factors, such as the size of your family, the characteristics of your site and the things you love doing in your spare time.

2. Why build off a plan? 
House plans are a great way to understand how a home can be designed and laid out in different ways. It can also help speed up the design process if you find a plan you like that fits on your section. Many of our clients tell us they wish they had gone to our website before spending money with an architect because their ideal plan was already there! A plan is just a starting point, particularly with our Pacific Collection, where most clients choose to make some or many changes. Our clients have full control of every design aspect that goes into their home, from kitchen layout to flooring choices, tiling and paint colours, and every home we build is different, just as each of our clients 
is different. Whether it’s adding extra space in the garage for the boat or rearranging the kitchen cupboards, it’s all up to you. 

3. What makes Signature Homes’ plans special?
Our plans have been tried and tested by our clients. Many of them started as custom designs that have proven popular with other families. We have built thousands of homes across New Zealand so we know what works, and our teams across the country are in touch with local trends, which means we have lots of choices available.

Dreaming of a butler’s pantry? We have them. Want your kids’ bedrooms close to the master bedroom? We’ve got it. Want the kids’ bedrooms at the other end of the house? No problem! We regularly review our plans and designs to ensure we are keeping them fresh and up to date with current trends. We also work closely with our suppliers to ensure
we get the best and latest materials and products to go into all our homes. 

4. How do I know what plan is right for me? 
Our New Home Consultants are experts at finding the perfect home for you. They’ll get to know you, your interests and lifestyle, where you see yourself in the next five to 10 years, and so on, in order to find you the right living solution. We also recommend you visit one of our showhomes and take a virtual tour online. This is the best way to see how a plan works in real life, as well as the quality of the build. 

Building a home isn’t easy and the process is different for each and every home we build. The one thing that’s always the same is we are with you from the first point of contact right through to handing over the keys, so we go on the journey together.

5. What does a house built from 
a plan include?

Whether you build using one of our plans or we design you a home from scratch, you will be provided with what we call a Total Cost To Build. This will include everything you need to move into your home once we hand over the keys. All aspects of the design, consents, construction and internal fixtures and fittings of your home are included in this estimate. So when you sign a build contract, you’ll be receiving everything you need to move in. On some sites, such as steep sections or reclaimed land, there may be additional engineering requirements and costs, and these can’t be fully determined until we start work on the site. In most cases we are able to provide an estimate for the siteworks so we can determine how much of your budget is required for your siteworks, and what budget you have available for the build. 

6. Can I customise parts of my plan such as the kitchen layout? 
Yes! We provide a variety of experts for you to consult at different steps in the design process. We have a number of local and national suppliers who can help with different parts of the home such as kitchen layout, interior design choices and bathrooms, plus our New Home Consultants and in-house designers are with you every step of the way to help with these big decisions. 

7. Will it cost extra to make changes to my plan? 
This depends on what the changes are and at what part of the journey the change is made. We have pricing on some plans to provide guidance for our clients so if you change those plans, sometimes this can impact the cost of building the home, but we are completely transparent throughout the process. We have systems in place to show how any changes can impact the cost for everyone so there are no nasty surprises down the road. 

8. Which are the most popular Signature Homes plans?
Out of our four collections we have a number of popular homes that get lots
 of hits on our website. From our Design & Build homes, the Tamahere 
is popular, as is the Tasman and the Greville. In our Pacific Collection, three- four bedroom designs with two or three bathrooms, a double garage are popular, and we have a number of plans that fit the bill including the AustralMacauley and Nautilus. Our Smart Collection is our most efficient in terms of cost and has several options under 200 square metres; our most popular plans are HeronWeka and Kingfisher. Our Aspiring Collection was driven by the trend towards open-plan spaces and smaller footprints, and this new collection is seeing a lot of interest.

9. Can Signature Homes help me draw up my own plans?
Absolutely. Signature Homes started in 1983 as a house design and build company, and we still work with in-house designers 
to create unique homes to suit our clients’ budgets. We found many clients were asking for similar styles of homes, so took our most popular plans and turned them into plan collections to make it easier for families to start with a template, then add their personal touch. However, custom design and building is still a big part of our business, as some sites require an architecturally designed home, and many clients have unique needs. We take a holistic approach to the design process and keep our clients involved and engaged at every step of the journey. 

10. What are the most exciting trends you’re seeing in house design? 
We are seeing a lot of changes in what people are looking for in a new home. In Auckland there is a growing need for two-storey and terraced homes with efficient design for smaller sections. We are also getting a lot of requests from clients looking to add extra living spaces and kitchenettes, sometimes to accommodate parents continuing to live with the family, children living at home for longer, and people looking for additional income. As the kitchen has become the heart of the home, we have seen more floor space given over to this area, and we don’t build many homes without a butler’s pantry of some description. Similarly, ensuites and bigger master wardrobes are becoming must-haves for our clients. With an evolving focus on devices and entertainment, we are also designing more and more work stations in living areas and media rooms or versatile spaces that can be closed off through the use of sliding doors.

To find out more about our Signature plans, click here.

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