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Customising an Existing House Plan

Last Updated Mar 8, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

If you’re looking through house plans, chances are that you’re not going to find the perfect one but rather one that is close to perfect but it would be better if you could make a few changes.  If you’re in the situation of having one that’s almost but not quite right, don’t think that you have to keep searching!  You can customise the plan that you have to get something that you find absolutely amazing.  Here’s what you need to know.  For more information talk to your local builder.

What Can You Customise on an Existing House Plan?

You might be wondering exactly what you can change on an existing house plan.  After all, it’s already designed so the builders prefer to just go ahead with what’s on the plan, right?  Not necessarily!  Most builders will actually let you change quite a lot on an existing plan. Just some things that you can do include:
  • Adding or removing bedrooms
  • Increasing the size of the pantry
  • Upgrading materials and finishes (e.g. to a better floor covering)
  • Adding skylights
  • Adding extra bathrooms or toilets
  • Adding outdoor entertaining areas
  • “Flipping” the plan to better suit the block of land
  • Adding walk in robes to bedrooms
  • Changing or upgrading external finishes

Who Can Customise an Existing House Plan?

If you’re choosing an existing plan from a builder, the builder will usually have in house designers or architects and a sales team that will work with you to customise the plan.  The architect/designer and sales team will adjust the plan according to you and your family’s needs and advise you of the associated costs during the process.  They will also be able to help you to choose different finishes, fittings or materials where necessary.  For example you might upgrade to hardwood floors from tile floors, or downgrade the benches from Caesar stone to laminate.  The architect or designer will work with you every step of the way and create a customised plan that you find perfect.

What to Check When Customising an Existing House Plan

If you’ve got your heart set on customising an existing house plan, then there are some things that you’ll need to check, particularly in regard to your budget.  You should be clear on exactly how much the proposed changes will cost you both in building and material.  The revised plan and contract should show the additional changes that you’ve made very clearly.  Also ask the designer or builder if the changes will affect the standard building schedule that they quote.  That is, will your building time become longer or shorter?
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