How easy is it to change my house's layout?
When building a new house, one of the key advantages is being able to adapt it to suit your needs and lifestyle. However, it is a common misconception that you're limited to the floor plan you choose.
If you have a plan you like but it isn’t quite perfect, why not change it? In this article, we explore the types of customisations you can make to a house and how to do it without a budget blowout.
Floor plan customisations
House customisations can be big or small. Some common examples are adding another bedroom or upgrading appliances. While each change may affect the price, they can also improve your quality of life when you move into the home.
Length and width
One of the most significant changes you can make to a house plan is altering the exterior dimensions. By adding to the length or width, the structural engineering and compliance requirements will change. This can give you more space to work with, but you will need to decide if it is worth the added cost.
Depending on your needs, you may want to change the number of bedrooms in your house. While the rest of the house plan suits your needs, an additional bedroom can serve as a guest room or provide more room for a growing family. Keep in mind that adding an extra bedroom will usually mean space is taken from elsewhere. If you want a design that offers an extra room for a family member or even as an investment you could look at the Kingston which features an additional room that’s semi self-contained.
Another popular customisation is adding another bathroom or ensuite. This can increase the privacy for everyone in the home, especially when hosting guests. Keep in mind that another bathroom will require additional plumbing, fixtures, and finishes.
If you want to change the bathroom layout, just ask our team what can be done. For example, you may be able to move the bath, shower, vanity, or toilet to increase storage space or add an extra towel rail. You can even upgrade to a wet floor tiled shower, using premium fixings and fittings, installing a tiled wall or using a duma wall.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so many homeowners like to change the layout to better suit their lifestyle. For example, you may wish to increase the indoor-outdoor flow, add a second fridge, or extend the benchtop. These changes are possible but may impact other living spaces and the overall feel of the home. This is a common area to change and it makes the biggest difference to the flow and feel of the living areas.
How to customise your floor plan
When it comes to changing your house designs, you can reduce delays and complications by following these four steps:
1. Research other houses
One of the first steps in planning your new home is to find out what you like. The best way to do this is by looking at other homes and taking notes of what works and what doesn’t. You are the best judge of your lifestyle, so keep an eye out for anything that you like or don’t like, and let your building company know.
You can find design inspiration in home magazines, on social media, by visiting friends and family, or by browsing our gallery.
You can also talk to our designers for recommendations on our popular designs.
2. Use our dream home finder
Once you know what you need, visit our online home finder tool. You can simply input the features you want and we’ll show you the most suitable house plans from our range. This way you won’t need to look through all the plans for the ones that make sense for you.
3. Talk to your builders
Now that you have the basic layout to start with, it’s time to find out which changes can be made. Simply speak to your building company about your options and let them know what you’d like to change. Here at Genius Homes, these consultations are part of our building process, giving you the opportunity to raise any concerns or questions.
4. Request changes early
The number one rule of building a house is to make customisations early on in the design process. This ensures all the design work can be done in advance of compliance and consent applications, keeping costs down. It may be possible to make changes later but this will affect the price of your home. Most companies will only give you a certain number of changes after the signed contract - they will also charge a lot for changes.
Examples of small things that are frequently missed at this stage include:
Window size changes
Adding decks, ramps, and steps
How customisable is a prefab house plan?
By working closely with your building company, you can create a customised floor plan that suits your lifestyle and needs. There are various changes we can make to a prefab house plan, from minor tweaks to major adjustments.
While some customisations may come with a higher price tag, the trade-off will increase quality of life. From adding extra bedrooms and bathrooms to changing the layout of the kitchen or living spaces, you can greatly improve the liveability of your new home.
Smaller features in your prefab home are relatively easy to change or adjust. For example, you may like to swap a window for a sliding door or add an extra light fixture. Provided the change does not interfere with any structural elements or affect the functionality of other fixtures, we should be able to make it happen. Common examples of minor customisations include:
Changing windows and doors - increasing the size of windows is the fastest way to blow your budget while relocating doors or windows is an easier change.
Upgrading lighting and appliances - this is a great way to customise your home with minimal cost.
Rearranging the kitchen layout.
Changing bathroom and kitchen fittings and tapware.
For more significant changes, like adjusting the shape and size of the house, the process can take longer. These adjustments are likely to affect the structural integrity of the house and will require more engineering and consent applications. If you opt for one of our off-the-shelf designs, you won’t need to worry about this as everything is already planned according to the legal requirements.
What’s worth considering is that if you’re using a raking ceiling or moving from a gable to a monopitch roof, based on your wind zoning there could be additional reinforcements required to manage the loading.
While structural customisations are more time-consuming and generally more costly, they may still be achievable. Examples include:
Moving internal walls
Adding or removing a bedroom
Changing the overall length or width
Designing a house can be daunting – especially when there are so many options to choose from. However, if you plan carefully and discuss your ideas with us, we can bring your dream to life. That way, you’ll have a home that adds the most value when you live in it and when you’re ready to sell it.
Ready to get started on your new home? Contact our team to find out what can be achieved.