Home Design vs. House Plans

Drive around Joburg and you are bound to come across the ‘House Plans’ street ads.
There are no pretty pictures. No person’s name. No company name. Just the words ‘House Plans’ and a cellphone number.
It’s intriguing. We’ve always wondered who is on the other end of that cellphone number…but let’s leave that up to our imagination. The point of this blog post – house plans, and why you should think twice when what you actually need is a home design.

The term ‘house plans’ is so loosely thrown around, that it’s become quite synonymous with home design and residential architecture. Many websites and even books are full of different house plans. It has always been an aspect of the architectural industry that has rubbed us the wrong way though. We feel it doesn’t really have any relation to the architectural service, and dare we say, offer you a good end product.

You see, house plans are…well house plans.
A set of plans…for a house.

So why should you care?

Simply put, house plans will not give you a home. We are not referring to the dictionary definition of the words ‘house’ or ‘home’. To us, a house is a structure that provides you and your family shelter. A home, on the other hand, is far more personal. It is the result of a one-on-one process between you and your architect. A process of idea exchange, creative exploration, disagreement, collaboration, compromise, etc. The list goes on, but that’s what makes realising your home so unique. This non-linear process, that pushes both you and your architect to develop the best possible solutions. The best possible home. Oh, and yes it is still made up of structure that provides you and your family shelter – we may be creative, but we all need shelter.

A home is designed in a way that is more attuned to you and your family – the way you live, what spaces you enjoy, how much you like your rooms to interact with your garden, etc. It goes further than paint colours, finishes, and materials. Those are all personal, and yes they create a sense of home. A sense of you. But they are aspects anyone can essentially apply to any house.

The first thing people do when they move into a new house is change paint colours, finishes and fittings to suit their taste. This is the best we can do to create a sense of home in an existing house. But, when building a new house from scratch, creating your home requires more than house plans.

We know what you’re thinking. You can take your preferred house plan and have an architect alter it to better suit you. Remove walls here and there? Make this window bigger? Extend the covered patio? Yes, all possibilities, but you are still starting off with a house design that is flawed. We like to think of it as the same as changing paint colours, finishes and fittings on an existing home. Altering a house plan may give it that sense of home, but it’s potential to be the best possible home for you and your family, simply cannot be achieved.

So think twice before you go down the route of getting house plans that you believe will give you a home design. A true home design, will come about through the creative and personal approach of working with your architect, from scratch.

Want to learn more?

Get in touch with us and let’s chat about the best home design for you.
A Home Design For Me