Designing Your Dream Home: 3 Main Design Stages

What is the main idea of the design stage for a custom house?

Many homeowners who have decided to go the route of building their own house have the option of choosing from a selection of pre-designed plans or customizing their dream home design. This will entail a few questions that must be asked, namely why? Why do you want to go through this process and not buy directly from a developer in the area?

There may be many reasons, but generally the opportunity to select your own fixtures and fittings and being precise about your home layout gives you the feeling of non-conformity and exclusivity. Additional items such as building an energy efficient home or living off the grid, may be something that is close to your way of life, which can be incorporated in the planning and design process.

What are the main steps of a custom home design stage?

When the decision is made to undertake this journey, there are some vital steps that need to be considered to make the process flow more smoothly. When buying a house off-plan, many of the steps are predetermined and generally just need to be ticked off a list, like selecting the style of house and signing off. Taking on the design of your dream home, becomes a slightly more complex process.

Determining a budget and sticking to this can be a difficult task, so selecting the correct professionals to work with is important along with choosing a contractor that comes well-recommended. A good idea is following up on referrals and reviewing their portfolio of work so you are comfortable with their level of skill. Try and get your contractor involved early in the process as this allows for more input sooner.

Design Meetings

The most important aspect of this process is to choose the right architecture and design team. They need to have the same vision as you and try in every aspect to reproduce your dream design. Not everything may be workable, but they need to give you the best possible alternatives. This involves consultations and meetings to understand your concept design.

There are many aspects to what design meetings are all about. They may sound daunting, however by not sticking to a plan and not staying within the budget, it can become a very frustrating and costly process.

Different home design styles may have customization requirements to fit in with the look and feel of your home. Selecting colours and designs of the floor and wall covering with the designer, as well as the structural and visual aspects of the house needs to be determined. So, it is important to discuss all these factors with the architect and structural engineer at these meetings.

Design meetings can take place on site or at the architect or designers’ premises. They will be ongoing throughout the building process to keep everyone involved and up to date with the progress. Timelines and budgets will be checked at various stages throughout the build.

Preliminary plans, preparation and presentation

Working with your architecture team, you will need to finalize a detailed brief that lays out the most important aspect of the house like room size, ceiling heights and the general layout feel of the house.  This may be a very open plan with lots of glass, or having sliding doors leading out to the garden, or perhaps you’re looking for a cottage feel with a thatch roof, warm face brick with wooden windows. One must consider that there is never too much information that can be provided, so submitting a basic sketch would be helpful to the designer and allows the professionals to sift through these drawings.

The architect will prepare and present preliminary floor plans to the client. At this stage, the plans won’t be very technical and are designed to give you the ability to see the various views of the house and understand the layout and basic concept, along with elevation and how the house will be placed on the site in relation to its immediate environment. These plans also provide a platform for communication between the architect and the client on where adjustments and changes can be made. If the client has different custom home design ideas, this is where they can be noted and added to the plan. Once these plans have been finalised, the architect can go ahead and produce the technical drawings.

Detailed façade design creation

Custom dream home designs can utilise various facade designs to make a statement and create a visual impact to your home. It is an integral piece to the design of the building. There are various types of facades, for example, a curtain wall has no structural impact on the building and is purely decorative. This gives the architect and designer the opportunity to showcase their talent, along with being aesthetically appealing. Facades can also assist with creating an energy efficient home along with linking the interior and exterior building design.


In conclusion, the process of creating, designing, and building your dream home can be an exciting and challenging process. If you stick to the agreed custom home design plan, budget carefully, and stay within the boundaries of the custom home design process, your little piece of heaven will start to take shape. Good communication with the entire team will have everyone on the same page and adheres to the processes needed for a successful project to be completed.

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