Make your custom home build your summer project

Stannard two storey home designs - Cape Mill 370.

The sun’s coming out more and more as another year winds down. With summer well and truly on the way, you might be thinking about what to get up to on your end of year break. Well, if you’ve been harbouring some Grand Designs envy to build your own custom home design, why not make it your number one summer project?

But before you get swept away with dreaming, creating a custom home also requires a lot of careful planning and forethought. With so much to consider, where do you start? Well it’s a good thing Stannard Homes have been doing custom home designs for decades. So we’ve put together this handy little guide for how to start planning:

Dollars and sense

There’s not a lot of use getting swept up with the thought of a 3-storey palace with a golden fountain out front if you don’t have the budget for it. From the get-go, you’ll need to set a realistic budget based on a number of factors. Look closely at your projected finances, or work with your accountant or financial advisor to figure out the range and upper limit of what you can spend or borrow, and how you’ll manage to finance the project along the way.

Here are some of the main costs involved that you’ll need to factor in:

  • The cost of land (and stamp duty)
  • Council fees
  • Design and engineering fees
  • Construction costs
  • Landscaping costs
  • Interior decorating and furnishing
  • A contingency budget

Divide your needs from your wants

Unlike purchasing a pre-designed home (such as a house and land package), when it comes to custom home designs, you’re in control of everything. But that also means making a lot of decisions about what’s in and what’s out.

Start by thinking about your functional needs. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? One storey or two? Do you need a big backyard with room for pets or entertaining? Try to think of everything down to the minor details.

It’s also vital you plan for the future – don’t just get caught up thinking about the here and now. Could there be more kids or even grandkids in the picture you’ll need space for? Will you need more storage room down the road? It’s better to have considered every factor upfront, rather than build something you quickly outgrow.

After you’ve figured out your baseline requirements, move on to listing out your wants and must-haves. Maybe you crave a massive cinema room, or a big open-plan kitchen with island benchtops. Or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of a big beautiful spa in your ensuite. Whatever it is, start by dreaming big and then prioritising these wants, so you can scale back as you go through the process. Because depending on your budget, you’ll eventually need to figure out where to save and where to splurge.

Location and block

The block of land you end up with will be the biggest determinant of what you can or can’t do when it comes to custom home designs. Factors like location, lot size, slope, and orientation will greatly affect what a homebuilder can achieve for you.

When considering land, you’ll need to look at titles, zoning, local planning guidelines and restrictions too. A good start is to check out other custom homes near where you plan to build, to understand what the local council has previously allowed.

You’ll also want to match your design vision to both your lot and neighbourhood – so you get something that looks ‘in its element’. For instance, a traditional country estate design style isn’t going to ‘fit in’ squeezed onto a super narrow lot. Nor would an uber-minimalist urban home look right if it was set amongst bushland.

Get inspired and build your vision

Now you’re done with some of the boring (but very necessary!) bits, it’s time for the fun part. It’s time for you to start the dreaming phase. The best question to ask yourself is ‘what sort of impression do I want my home to leave?’. Start wide, then filter through all of your ideas to reach a clearer picture of what you want.

There could be a style or trend you’ve always envied, or a unique feature that you want to incorporate. Maybe you’re into Hampton style homes, a mid-century aesthetic, or a leafy urban sanctuary? Whatever your style and ideas, you’ll need to eventually settle on a clear vision for your home. Whether it’s scouring Pinterest boards, blogs, or magazines, the clearer and better articulated the vision you have for your home, the easier the decision-making process will be once you get to the design and finishes phase of the project.

Engage a custom homes specialist builder

While all of what’s been mentioned up until here is incredibly important, not much more can happen without engaging a homebuilder, because they’re the ones who will help you bring it all together and make it happen.

With so many moving parts and pieces, you’ll want to talk to someone who has done it time and time again. As second-generation luxury home builders, Stannard’s have built over 10,000 homes since 1964. Creating custom home designs is also a core focus of ours.

When you choose us, we guide you through every step of the way, helping you match your vision to your block and budget, to design you a home with the features and specifications that are right for you.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, check out some of the past custom home designs Stannard’s have brought to life.


When you’re ready to get started, get in touch with Stannard’s Perth home builders today to see how we can assist you with your custom built home.