There are two ways to design a home: you can have a custom-designed home, designed by a professional designer and tailored to your block and personal requirements; or you can choose a design “off-the-shelf”.
A custom-designed home can take anywhere from 1 month to 6 months or longer to design. There is usually a lot of detail that goes into the design, and a lot more consultation with the home owner in regard to materials and inclusions.
An off-the-shelf home can be chosen and a contract entered into within a week. However, finding a suitable plan can take months. Although the basic layout of the home may suit the home owner, the design may not suit the block. Generally, first home buyers/builders and investors will choose an off-the-shelf design due to the simplicity of the design and build process. Home owners who have built before may opt for a custom-designed home because they want a unique home or a home that suits their lifestyle perfectly.
Project builders will usually simplify the selections a client can make. Generally, you will have 2-3 tile, colour, carpet options etc or these may be items that you need to supply yourself separately. This helps speed up the design and build process. Clients designing a custom-designed home will seek the services of specialised cabinet makers and may choose select items such as appliances, carpeting, tiles etc.
The option you decide on will depend on several factors including your budget, time constraints, lifestyle...