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What to Consider When Choosing House Plans

Housing plan

If you’re getting ready to build a home, there are a few things to consider before signing off on the house plans. Getting the layout of your home right from the start can have a significant impact on the home’s liveability and overall comfort. Here’s what you should know!

Different ways to choose house plans

There are a couple of ways to get house plans for your new home. Each has pros and cons, so it’s really about determining which one is best for your needs.

House plans from a builder

One way to get started is to choose an existing home design from a builder. These are standard home designs that the builder has already created. They may have even been used before. So, while you won’t get a 100% unique design, if it suits your needs, it doesn’t really matter.

In most cases, you can also ask to use a builder’s existing design as a basis and then ask for small changes. This is a good way to get exactly what you need without the cost of a custom home design.

Fully customised

The other alternative is to have your home designed from scratch. This option is more expensive, however, it’s a great option if you want more control over your home’s layout. Most builders offer custom home designs, but the cost obviously increases because there’s significant work involved in designing a home.

But, if you want your dream home to be exactly how you like it, this is the best option. It can also be your only option if you’re building on a sloped or otherwise complex block. Many standard home designs offered by builders are best suited to level blocks of land.

Things to consider when choosing house plans

So, now you know the different ways to get house plans drawn up, let’s look at the things you should take into consideration. Ultimately, you want the home to suit your lifestyle. If you love entertaining guests, you want room for that. If you’re downsizing because your children have moved out, you probably want something easier to manage.

Here are some of the things you might like to consider when choosing your ideal house plans.


One of the most crucial factors to consider is access to the house. For most people, a standard front and back door are fine. However, you may want to think of other access points. For example, if you have a garage attached to the home, you may want to be able to enter through the garage.

If you don’t want to carry groceries inside while it’s raining, for example, internal garage access is perfect. Alternatively, you may even be able to consider a door from a carport or other covered area.

Access should always be easy, and you should consider your future plans here too. If you’re getting older, stairs may not be desirable. The same applies if you plan on having children because you need to consider easy access for strollers.

Heating and cooling

Most homes today are built in a very energy-efficient way. However, that doesn’t change the fact that heating and cooling remain one of the most expensive household functions, electricity-wise. So, consider how you intend to use the house and whether the heating you intend to install will be sufficient.

Excellent heating can be achieved with ducting, but if that’s not in your budget, you need to know how you’ll keep your most used areas warm in winter. For this reason, you may want a house plan that’s quite open, allowing heat to flow freely. But you should also have the option of shutting off unused sections of the house so that you don’t waste power.


Natural light is one of the best ways to light your home. When looking at house designs and considering your particular lot of land, try to ensure that your main living areas can access as much natural light as possible. Not only is it great for general comfort, but it’s good for electricity costs too.

Typically, your main living areas should face north if you want to capture as much sun as possible. If there are rooms that won’t get as much direct sunlight, perhaps consider skylights so that you have beautiful natural light throughout the home.


It might sound obvious, but storage space is one of those things that can become an afterthought when planning a house. If you want built-in wardrobes in the bedrooms, you need to plan accordingly. Allow extra space in the bedrooms for the wardrobe to be installed. There are plenty of creative ways to maximise the space and your builder or architect can help here. But it definitely pays to make this a priority in your designs before it’s too late.


If you have pets you need house plans that suit them, too. For example, older pets especially won’t enjoy a lot of stairs. They may require a dog door. You might even need a way to let them come in and out of the house during the day but keep them restricted to certain parts of the house. You don’t usually need anything too special in terms of your house plans but keep your animal companions in mind too.

Multiple-use spaces

Many modern homes are moving away from the older style of keeping the kitchen, dining and living areas separate. Today, a large open-plan space might be more appealing, and it can be used for dining and living. Creating these multi-use spaces gives you more flexibility in how you use your home.

In fact, by combining two areas like the kitchen and dining, or the dining and living room, you may open up more space for an additional multi-purpose room. Whether it’s an entertainment room or a study, you’ve got plenty of options.

Speak to us about amazing house plans in New Zealand today

Here at Stonewood Homes, we’ve got an enormous selection of home designs to choose from. With house plans already done. You can move to the building stage even faster. But don’t worry, if you love one of our designs but want to make some alterations, we’re happy to work with you. Contact us today and find out how we can help.

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