4 key points to consider when designing your new modular home (and how to make it under budget!)

Building yourself a new home is one of the most exciting adventures you can embark upon. Unfortunately, getting overwhelmed with details and decisions is an all too familiar feeling for persons building their new home.  

You will find out along the way that one of the things we builders all love to do is ‘Data Dump’ on our clients – we send you all our floor plans, lists of what we DO include, lists of what we DON’T include, information about ourselves (the list goes on…!) and then expect you to ‘sort the wood from the trees’ with no help or guidance!

In the points below, we share what we believe are the key items you need to consider to get your new modular home off to the start it deserves. If you follow these points we can assure you that you will have a far better building experience!

So, read on to find out how to make your modular building experience as effortless as possible!


First off, you absolutely need to make a list of those top 5 or 6 features your home must have. It’s important to be really honest with yourself here – this list is one of the single most important things you will do to ensure you get your design right.

As you go through the process you will be swamped by all manner of options, variants, ideas (some good, some bad!) and plans. So, this list is going to be your guiding light through all the late nights of browsing Pinterest, lengthy chats with your friends and family and meetings with builders and designers.

So, how to do it? Start off by firstly putting as many items as you can on paper. Go with the more general items such as the number of bedrooms, do I need an ensuite, the size of living areas, etc.

Then move onto some smaller items like “I want a walk-in pantry”, the master bedroom needs to fit my existing furniture, “I need a large laundry bench for folding washing”, the WC needs to be in a separate room and so on. It’s important to remember that there is no limit here. Just get as many ideas you can think of on paper.

Now – sit back and look at that list. Grab a highlighter and highlight the things that really matter to you. This is a definitive list. Don’t highlight everything – just pick the top 5 or 6. Done! Now put all those other ideas on a wishlist. Keep them in mind and the more you can include the better!


Next – start to think about what the external and internal style of your home will look like.

Do I need my home to have a country feel? Or do you like ‘Hampton’ style homes? You need need to think about what style you want and the main features of that style.

You also need to think about what suits your block of land. Obviously, a large ranch style modular home is not going to fit on a small in-town block of land. Likewise, a double storey narrow frontage home won’t necessarily suit a large acreage.

We really recommend you browse Pinterest & Houzz and builders’ websites to really give yourself an idea of what is out there and what is available. Save the photos of the homes that strike you as something you would like incorporated into your home. Feel free to check out our gallery for some inspiration!

Then, put the main features of your style of the home under your “Must Haves” list. Keep all those photos you’ve saved and when you visit your designer or builder – show them these pictures. This will provide invaluable information to your builder as to what you have in mind plus they will be able to make suggestions to you on how best to achieve the desired looks and features.

My Land.

If you have purchased a block of land or you maybe are still in the market looking to purchase land, you will need to consider the following points before designing your new home;

  • Is my site sloping? Sloping sites are more expensive to build on so you will need to restrict your building footprint
  • What is the best orientation for sunlight and breezes? Think about how you will orientate your home to take advantage of summer breezes for cooling and winter sun for heating
  • Think about the view available to you as well as the view from the street. Does your block offer great views you want to take advantage of? What about the street appeal? Remember to try to get your living areas to take advantage of any views your block may offer!
  • What about soil type? Reactive soil sites or sites with a lot of rock are more expensive to build on. Keep this in mind and try to keep your building footprint down if your land falls into these categories.
  • Take the time to call your local council to discuss any potential council requirements for your land. They will also tell you if your land is in a bushfire or flood area.


How much does it cost?

Now is a really good time to set yourself a budget. We get it – no one has endless amounts of money. It’s really important to get a figure in your mind to use as a benchmark when comparing builders down the track. But firstly – you need to think about how much you really want to spend now.

Once you have an amount in mind you can easily convert this into a square meter rate to give you an approximate idea of your house footprint. Check out this article on realestate.com which helps give you an idea of what the average cost per m2 of a home in Australia.

If you are considering building a custom-built modular home, you can normally expect the per m2 cost to be similar to the average ‘high finish’ onsite builder. Feel free to check out our What will it cost? page for some more details!

Now – all you have to do is get out that pencil, rubber and paper and start putting those ideas on paper!


If you have your own vision for your house, we are happy to work with you to design the perfect layout that is tailored just for you.


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