Planning your house design

The Consumer guide to designing your own house.

Planning your design hero default

Before you choose someone to design the house, you need to gather ideas of what you want.

Gathering ideas

Start collecting together ideas in a scrapbook or shoe-box. Every time you see something you like in a magazine or book, cut it out or photocopy it and add it to the collection. Visit shops and websites and get brochures and information sheets on products. Start a dossier of roofing materials, types of exterior claddings and interior linings, joinery, paint, wallpaper, ceilings, appliances, carpets, taps, etc.

Keep a note of prices as you go – this will help with budgeting later on.

To help with house design ideas:

  • Visit show homes, home expos and open homes.
  • Drive around new subdivisions and older areas for ideas about exterior design, materials and colours.
  • Ask others who have been through this process for recommendations on designers and, if possible, visit homes they have been involved in.

A skilful designer will be able to work out from talking to you and discussing your ideas what you really like, turning your collage of ideas into a design.

3 approaches to house design and building

Want to read the full article?

  • Heaps of buying advice so you can choose with confidence
  • Independent reviews of thousands of products and services
  • Personal advice an email or phone call away on our advice line (members only).

Group housing companies

Design and build builders

Importance of good design

What to consider in the design

Glossary

Case study

Building articles

Renovating articles

Home maintenance

Member comments

Get access to comment