You are currently viewing Building outside the box with a set plan

Building a house from a set plan may seem restrictive.

And, like the Little Boxes song, you might have the perception that they “all look just the same”.

But each house is as unique as its owner and set plans are no exception.

Our transportable homes are designed to be affordable, so if you are wanting to stick to a budget you won’t want to deviate too much from the original specifications.

However, there are things you can do to give your home a more architectural feel for little or no extra cost.

Windows and doors

Our homes come with sliding doors, but if you’re not going to have a wrap-around deck, you might want to think about replacing some of the doors with full height windows instead. Or, replace a standard window with a full height window to create a design feature.

Full height windows, which are 800m wide and go right to the floor, create a point of interest, let in lots of natural light, frame views and bringing outside greenery in. Plus they don’t cost much more than a standard window.

You might also want to consider adding a front door, especially if the house fronts onto the street. While our plans only include sliding doors, if you’re happy to forego a little space, adding in a front door and small reception area is an easy alteration to make.

This is more suitable for our larger homes but, alternatively, you can formalise an entranceway by adding a pergola, which also provides shelter from the elements.


Our standard cladding is 240mm-wide Hardies weatherboard. For a more traditional cottage look, you might like to choose narrower cladding, which gives the effect of colonial timber weatherboards.

Timber weatherboards have been used by some customers – and they look stunning – but are a much costlier option. With 180mm Hardies weatherboard you can achieve pretty much the same look for an additional $2000 – $2500. Like, our Mount Maunganui showhome, below:

Box corners and picture frame windows can also create a colonial aesthetic and make your home look more bespoke.


Making small changes to the layout of a home can make the space seem bigger and more luxurious.

In this home, for instance, the owner chose to combine the toilet and bathroom, to make room for a separate bath.

He also opted for an open plan kitchen, as below. The changes he made meant that, overall, the house ended up being slightly cheaper, but looking more high-end.

Colour choice

A house’s colour scheme – inside and out – can make all the difference in creating the look and feel of a home.

The owner of this home chose to paint the exterior black for a very modern look, but instead of pairing it with stark white joinery, he opted for a neutral shade called ‘Matt Titania’. It was a subtlety that made all the difference, elevating the house from ordinary to eye-catching.

And, in this kitchen, while standard cabinetry was used, the kitchen island and the cabinets are in two different tones, creating a more chic look, at the same cost.

Some people have a knack when it comes to colours and interior design. If you don’t have an artistic streak or the budget to hire an interior designer, there is plenty of ‘inspo’ out there to tap into. Lifestyle magazines, Pinterest and paint suppliers are all good sources of inspiration when it comes to the latest trends and colour palettes.

Our homes come fully painted – inside and out – so choosing colours is the only ‘paint job’ you have to do!

Outdoor living areas

As Kiwis, we love to spend as much time outside as we can. Outdoor living spaces are becoming more and more popular – and grand!

The great thing with an outdoor living space is that you can add it to your home as time and budget allow. You can start with decking, then add a roof and even drop-down sides.

An outdoor ‘room’ is much more cost-effective than adding on an actual room, and can create a considerable amount of useable space for your home.

Like this 60sqm deck, which is half the size of the actual house.


For something a bit special, you might choose to up-spec certain areas of the home, like the kitchen and/or bathroom. This can range from choosing bespoke handles and tapware to a fully custom-designed kitchen, like the one below.

Of course this comes with an additional cost, so you need to be mindful of pricing everything carefully beforehand to make sure you don’t blow your budget.

Finishings and flooring

Your choice of flooring has a big impact on the aesthetic of your home. For this reason, we leave this up to you. Laminate flooring can be very effective when used in an open plan space, but if you’re wanting to cut costs you might want to consider vinyl – there are some very convincing options on the market these days. 

When it comes to window dressings, we also leave that in your hands, as individual preferences vary widely. Some people like thick plush curtains, while others prefer minimalistic blinds.

Your choice of window dressings can really make or break a space. Things to consider include privacy, warmth, colour and scale. Bulky curtains can make a small space look smaller, while blinds can be cold and unforgiving in winter. Different spaces require different solutions, so take your time to work out what’s not only going to look great, but is also the best, workable solution.


A transportable house is just a house, until it reaches its resting place – then it becomes a home. And the way you choose to landscape the surrounding area makes all the difference.

Fencing, paths and planting all bring a sense of permanence to your home. You may want to add a carport, or a pergola? Or perhaps some garden sculptures? It all comes down to what your needs are and how you want the finished product to look. 

The great thing with landscaping is that you can do it yourself and add to it over time. Plants are a relatively inexpensive way of providing screening and injecting personality into your home. 

Here at Ezyline we love seeing customers put their own stamp on a home (and we might be guilty of stealing a few ideas here and there!).

If you’ve got any questions about what you can and can’t do within the scope of our plans and specs, get in touch.