What to look for during a showhome visit

Showhomes, also known as model or display homes, are developed by home builders to use as an example of their work/storefront for new business opportunities. A showhome also serves as an inspiration to those looking to build a new home or renovate a home – and people often go to showhomes to pick up ideas and elements of what they would like to incorporate into their new build. The trick to a productive showhome visit is to know what to look for, so you find the inspiration that you are after.

Most popular builders in Waikato have a showhome in Hamilton and across the region. Before you decide who to build with, it’s useful to visit a few show homes that different builders have to offer, so you can get a fair idea of different styles of build, and which ones you are inclined to the most. Take Urban Homes, for example, they have a range of show homes across Hamilton and Coromandel. They have the award-winning high-end luxurious Pukekura showhome in Cambridge, a beach retreat in Whitianga and a modest one at Riverpoint Hamilton (and a few more). Each of their showhomes falls into a different budget and build style – visit all of them to experience their builds across different ranges.

When you visit a showhome for the first time, the experience can be overwhelming. So, here are some pointers to make your showhome visits useful –

Look for light

Natural light makes a home feel warmer, comfortable, safer, and healthier. Look at how natural light has been incorporated into the design of the showhome. How many windows are there and what kind? Have they used blinds, shutters or curtains over the windows?

Look for design elements that you can then incorporate into your home. A strategically placed mirror can increase the amount of light in a room. So, go around the showhome and explore each room to see how they have amplified natural light.

Photos, photos and more photos

Take photos. It is that simple and often forgotten. If you see something you like, take a photo of it from different angles. While you are visiting a lot of showhomes, it is easy to forget and be caught up in the moment. You can take a piece of inspiration from each showhome and stitch it up together to build your dream home.

Indoor-outdoor flow

You’ll see that all award-winning homes have one thing in common – wonderful indoor-outdoor flow. Indoor-outdoor flow is about opening up your home and extending the living space to create a seamless extension which looks amazing! Landscaping and gardens are integral to the effectiveness of indoor-outdoor flow. So, look for it, not only in the high-end showhomes but also in the smaller, more modest ones.

Touch and feel

Colour, fabric, layout and certain elements have the ability to make you happier & positive when you walk into a room. Home builders and interior designers understand this really well and incorporate it into the homes they build. Different shades of colours evoke certain emotions – so note down what you see and speak to a colour consultant when you are ready to build your home. For example, shades of white do a fantastic job of lighting up a room and can make smaller spaces look larger, so you could consider opting for white for a smaller room in the house. Blue on the other hand can have a calming effect in a home and a green interior can have a deep association with the natural world.

Also keep an eye out for styles, and elements that have been used in a home. Is the wooden beam that runs across the living room something you like? There is a science that proves that wood reduces stress and has a calming effect. If you see certain patterns in the showhome, touch them to see if you like what it feels like. Note these down so that you can incorporate them into your home build.

Ask lots of questions

Go prepared and speak to the consultant at the show home. They are there to answer anything you might want to ask. To get the ball rolling, here are some pointers:

  1.       Costs – ask them how much it cost to build the showhome, how much the beam in the living room cost or even the cost of the tap you really liked in the ensuite.
  2.       Ask them what’s included and what’s not included when they build a home for a client
  3.       Do they work with any external suppliers (landscaping, doors, etc)?
  4.       How did they incorporate light into the showhome?
  5.       Why did they choose certain colours and fabrics?
  6.       How long did it take to build the showhome?
  7.       What are the showhome highlights according to the consultant (in case you miss seeing some intricate details)

Hope this helps! Take your time, do your homework, and explore as many showhomes as you can to get the inspiration for that dream home of yours!