Make the most of your show home visit

Show home image corrected

Visiting the show homes of home building companies is a great source of inspiration when you’re planning your own new build. You’ll be able to see what features you like, what doesn’t appeal and how certain layouts flow; it’s also an excellent opportunity to get an idea of size and how much space you need. With so many things to potentially be on the lookout for, here’s our list of tips and things to help you get the most out of your visit when you’re doing the rounds.

Keep an open mind

Showhomes are a builder’s opportunity to showcase what they’re capable of so it’s likely to have all the bells and whistles; that is, a home that’s had all the premium upgrades like fancy tiles and benchtops, for example. With this in mind, pick up a spec sheet to look at as you wander around. This should inform you of what is standard and what’s an added feature. And don’t be afraid to ask how much they cost as this will help you better appreciate your own building budget. It’ll also be nicely styled to look the part, right on trend and perfect for the space. It’s important to keep at the back of your mind what your own furniture and belongings might look like in a similar space. Would they look good/fit with the size, layout and style?

Go as often and stay as long as you like

There’s no entry fee or pressure to buy so take your time. Sure, they have opening hours, but within those times you don’t have to rush, and you can go back for another walkthrough on another day. It can also help to go at different times of the day to see if/how the light and ambience changes certain features.

Space them out

Trying to get round 10 show homes in a single day will not only be tiring; with that kind of overload, you won’t be able to appreciate and compare the individual nuances of each. Go into each with as fresh and uncluttered a mind as possible then take time afterwards to digest what you’ve seen and learnt.

Take notes and lots of photos

Document your experiences, make a note and take photos of the things you like (or don’t like). If you plan on visiting many, to keep track of which photo was taken where snap the first pic with your own version of a movie clapperboard with the show home’s details on it. No need to get fancy, just write it on a piece of paper and include it somewhere in your first shot.

Focus on the big stuff

Remember that you’re there to look at are the big things (eg. cladding, roof, layout, kitchen, window frames and heating options, etc). Assessing the flow and functionality should be top priority. Be careful you’re not being wooed by the pretty furnishings when you come to snap a picture or take notes.

Take into consideration the space and orientation of each room. How much room do you need to entertain your wider family and friends? How much storage seems right? And what about where power points should go?

Take a tape measure

Get detailed during your visit. When you find a room or layout you really like, measure it and sketch it so you can recreate it. You also need to know whether your existing furniture would fit into a room that size so having a list of those measurements on hand, while not essential, is handy. Because it’s not just how much room an item takes up but how much space it needs around it. So much better to know how much room you need before you start committing to a plan. Plus, show homes are styled to look a certain way so while you might think that master bedroom looks roomy, it could be a small bed deceiving you.

Bring your list of must-haves, nice-to-haves and wish-to-haves

No doubt you’ll have a list of the things your new home absolutely has to have and the things you’d like but are willing to compromise on. Once you see examples of how these features are executed in real life, that list might change. For example, that butler’s pantry you thought you really wanted, when seen in situ, may turn out not to be as functional as you dreamed.

Look at the inside AND the outside

It’s easy to get carried away with the interiors, after all that’s where you’ll spend a lot of your time. But also look at how the exterior of the property has been designed and built; how big is the patio, do you even need a patio, what about landscaping, how well does the indoor/outdoor flow?

Visit our show homes

Before you crack on and get started picking and customising a plan using our online tool, start your show home inspiration journey by checking out our quality workmanship at a couple of locations across Christchurch.


Published:  5 July 2018
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