Building a home can be a daunting proposition – from consents to building codes, geotech reports and elevations – it’s a lot to get your head around. If you’ve never built a home before, building one from a plan can make the whole process simpler. And just because you’re building from an existing plan doesn’t mean your home won’t be absolutely unique to you.

Our NZCB Builders can help you choose from our range of Certified Plans, then help you personalise it to your specific needs. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you decide if a Certified Plan is right for you.

First things first, while you can look at plans anytime to get a feel for the kind of thing you’d like, we don’t recommend you make any firm decisions until you’ve got a site. The main reason for this is every building site is unique, so yours will have its own soil and sun aspect which should be the first things considered when selecting a plan. The way you position your home on your site should make the most of the sun to help naturally warm your home.

One of the best reasons to use a Certified Plan, instead of working with an architect from scratch, is that Certified Plans are already completed and just need final touches, NZCB builder Ben Grady, of Discovery Homes in Blenheim, says. “A Certified Plan creates ease for the whole process. The plans have already been engineered, quantified and budget estimated. All that is required to start the build is a site-specific soil test and then building consent can be applied for.”

NZCB builder Hayden Simpson, of Simpson Residential Ltd in Hokitika, also points out that if you find a plan you like, you’re not necessarily locked into that exact house. “Remember, you can change things to suit your style and needs.”

“We have had clients add carports and verandahs, or change the layout internally to suit their needs, as well as some who don’t change anything. So the homeowner can change anything that they don’t like,” Hayden says.

When you’re thinking about your new home, consider any needs specific to your family. Do you have a child (or partner!) with a noisy hobby? Is sound-proofing a good idea? Do your kids need their own separate socialising space? Do you need a large garage for all your bikes and beach toys? Of course, changes may come at a cost, but it’s not necessarily huge.

“You can easily make small non-structural changes,” Ben says. “Structural changes can be done – this will incur more design costs, but can certainly be done. The other option is a re-draw based on the concept plan, then it can be altered as required.”

So, if you’re thinking about building your next home, have a look at our Certified Plans today. Ben says there’s no reason not to.

“The one piece of advice I would give to someone considering a Certified Plan, is go for it. The builder can help you pick the right one for your budget and situate the house on your site. And then you also enjoy having peace of mind, by using a Certified Builder, who has access to great contracts and guarantees as well as association back-up.”