Planning a new build? We answer 7 essential questions about house plans

Article by Homes to Love

As well as designing and building homes from scratch, Signature Homes offers some inspiring pre-designed home plans. Find out if one of their plans might be right for you


Planning a new build? We answer 7 essential questions about house plans

Building a new home is an exciting journey – the key is to complete it as smoothly and stress-free as possible. If you’re looking for a more “architectural” or unique plan, or just want something simple and straightforward, discover the options made possible with Signature Homes.

Here are the answers to 7 key questions about building from house plans which will bring you closer to your dream home:

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.

3. What are the most exciting trends in house design?

There are 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 an efficient design for smaller sections. People are also 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.


Tamahere design.

As the kitchen has become the heart of the home, more floor space is given over to this area, and many new homes aren’t built without a butler’s pantry of some description. Similarly, ensuites and bigger master wardrobes are becoming must-haves. With an evolving focus on devices and entertainment, Signature Homes are also designing more and more workstations in living areas and media rooms or versatile spaces that can be closed off through the use of sliding doors.

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. It’s not uncommon for people to spend their money with an architect before discovering later that their ideal plan was already available on Signature Homes’ website!

A plan is just a starting point, particularly with their Pacific Collection, where most people choose to make some or many changes. You have full control of every design aspect that goes into your home, from kitchen layout to flooring choices, tiling and paint colours, and every home they build is different, just as each of owner 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.



Tamahere house plans

4. Can I customise parts of my plan such as the kitchen layout?

Yes! They provide a variety of experts for you to consult at different steps in the design process. They 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 their aforementioned New Home Consultants and in-house designers are with you every step of the way to help with these big decisions.


Wellesley design.

5. Will it cost extra to make changes to my plan?

This depends on what the changes are and at what stage of the journey your changes are made. Signature Homes have pricing on some plans to provide guidance in case you change your mind. This can sometimes impact the cost of building the home but Signature Homes are completely transparent throughout the process. Their systems can track the cost changes so there are no nasty surprises down the road.

Takaka design.

6. What makes Signature Homes’ plans special?

Signature Homes’ plans have been tried and tested by thousands of New Zealanders across the country. Many of them start out as custom designs that end up being popular with other families. Signature Homes knows what works, plus they’re in touch with local trends which means they have lots of choices available. Dreaming of a butler’s pantry? They have them. Want your kids’ bedrooms close to the master bedroom? They’ve got it. Want the kids’ bedrooms at the other end of the house? Say no more! They regularly review their plans and designs to ensure they are keeping them fresh and up to date with current trends and work closely with suppliers to ensure they get the best and latest materials and products to go into your home.


Cashmere design.

7. Can Signature Homes help me draw up my own plan?

Absolutely. Signature Homes started in 1983 as a house design and build company, and they still work with in-house designers to create unique homes to suit your budget. They found many people were asking for similar styles of homes, so took their most popular plans and turned them into plan collections. This makes 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 their business, as some sites require an architecturally designed home, and many people have unique needs. Signature Homes takes a holistic approach to the design process and will keep you involved and engaged every step of the journey.

To find out how you can build your dream home your way visit

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