Affordable Farm Accommodation
Providing staff with comfortable farm housing leads to a happier workforce and a more efficient farm. To help you find the best farm housing solution, we’ve...
Choosing a house plan for your new build can be a challenge and is often confusing to navigate. Every new home has unique features and often a few hidden surprises that you might not think to look out for. A basic floorplan might not provide enough detail on what goes where, however, a more detailed plan, full of symbols, is likely to confuse the uninitiated. That’s why we’ve put together a summary of everything you need to know about house plans, from the various symbols and identifiers used to key considerations on the customisations you could make. Keep reading for a list of points to consider when looking at your house designs.
Interior and exterior walls in a house plan
Walls are what make up the shape and structure of your new house, and they must fit together perfectly before the design is signed off. On a house plan, you’ll either have thick lines which represent exterior walls, or thin lines for interior walls.
You can also change the roofline to affect the ceiling height, silhouette and feeling of space. From a central roofline apex to a flatter style, you can customise your roof to suit you, but you’ll need to do this early on in the design process.
It’s important to get your door placement right because it will influence the overall flow of the space when the house is built. Depending on the door style it will be drawn as an opening in the wall, either as an arc, sliding door, bifold door, cavity sliders or arrows. Each type of door has a unique purpose or function to maximise the space it will be in. Make sure you look at all the options before you finalise the design, and look for any limitations for doors such as limited room to open them or obstacles in the way.
Windows are an important part of a build because they affect light, airflow and views from your home. Sizing your windows is important for getting proportions right in your home, especially in comparison to the ceiling height, door sizes and any furniture you’ll need to fit in the room. All Genius Homes windows meet the latest standards for the South Island, using thermally-broken joinery with argon-filled, Low-E double-glazing as a standard inclusion in every house plan. There is still flexibility if you do want to make some changes or upgrades.Customisation options for windows:
In a house plan, windows look like a break in the wall, usually with thinner lines to represent the glass panes. Some will use arcs or arrows to show how the window will open, and some have exterior sills.
Flooring is easily overlooked when it comes to a house plan, but you must get this step right. For areas like bathrooms, kitchens or laundries it is important to choose a waterproof flooring that’s easy to clean, while a living room or bedroom might benefit from a softer flooring like carpet. As a standard inclusion, our prefabs feature vinyl floor coverings in wet areas and Godfrey Hirst nylon carpet with 10mm underlay throughout the rest of the home. The exact colour and style of the flooring can be chosen from our wide range of options.
Furniture is generally not a fixed feature of a house, but many floorplans will showcase how the furniture could naturally fit within a certain space. That means you’ll need to consider how your existing furniture will blend with your home, and any new investment pieces you’ll have to find. You can find bespoke furniture builders to custom-build furniture for your home but this can be expensive, so getting your layout right is much more economical.
You can check whether your existing furniture will fit in the house’s rooms by looking at the dimensions on our more detailed plans. These are sent via email when you request a quote on any of our designs. Measure your furniture and the room in the plan to see how much space you have.
Knowing how your fixtures will function in a new house is crucial to the planning process, and that’s why having a professional on board is worth every dollar. The ins and outs of plumbing and electricity can be complex, so deciding where your toilet, shower, bath and kitchen appliances will be is a vital step. You’ll also need to take into account where electrical fixtures like light switches, smoke alarms, fuse boards and meter boxes will be installed, as well as plumbing fixtures like a hot water cylinder, dryer and washing machine.
Understanding scale is a challenge for many people, especially when looking at a 2 dimensional, bird's eye view. The size of your new home will dictate how everything else fits within it, and if anything will have to be adjusted. That’s why it’s important to have a professional on the job that can talk you through it and help you visualise the result.
Another important factor of the house during the design stage is orientation and how it will sit in the landscape. In New Zealand, North-facing houses are generally the sunniest and most sheltered. Because of this, many house designs put the garage or utility rooms on the South facing side to bear the brunt of stormy weather.
So that’s what is included in a floor plan, but there are still some things that aren’t shown. For the most part, the more complicated features of a house are included in the blueprints instead, which gives builders an in-depth understanding of exactly how to complete the build.
While changing a house plan can be complicated, it’s more achievable than you might think. Working with a high-level industry team will help you to ensure all customisations fit within structural limits and functional design. You’ll have all the best advice for making your house into a home, and creating a space that suits your individual needs.
With Genius Homes you can customise your square meterage, roof, windows, verandah, exterior cladding and interior finishes easily. We’ll talk you through your options, and discuss any changes you want to make to the plan. Just remember that the sooner you bring these ideas to us, the more affordable they will be to execute. With us, you can customise your new house to look and feel exactly the way you want it to.
Download our 2022 Genius Homes Catalogue to get a closer look at all the different house plans you can start with.
Genius Homes designs and builds prefabricated and transportable homes for delivery across the South Island of New Zealand. From small studio homes to large 4 bedroom prefabricated houses we can be relied upon to deliver your next home.