Crafting Bespoke New Homes CHCH

New Homes CHCH

First Homes

Your first home is an important milestone in life – a place to call your own that provides comfort and shelter and can adapt to the changing needs of you and your family. Most of us have spent time living in poorly designed houses, and the decision to build often arises from frustration at the quality of houses that are available for sale.

Are you looking to overcome some of these common problems?

  • Insufficient space and poor layout
  • Expensive winter heating costs
  • Cold and damp conditions affecting your health
  • Worrying about finding enough space for your growing family

We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to live and grow in a comfortable, healthy environment where they can flourish. Congratulations on recognising this, and taking the first steps towards building your first home.


As ‘first-timers’ to building we appreciated Stephen’s wise advice, and his ability to identify and address issues. He certainly saved us a great deal of stress and prevented costly mistakes – without a doubt, value for money! We are delighted with the end result – our vision has become reality.

A & R Barnes, Christchurch


Where to begin?

We have a simple process that you can work through to start creating your new home today.

  1. Contact us now to arrange a FREE initial consultation so you can tell us about your project and ask us any questions. Find out what you’ll get from your free consultation.
  2. After our meeting you’ll receive a detailed plan specific to your new home that includes:
    1. A summary of your requirements
    2. A description of the process we will go through to design your new home together.
    3. Processes we will put in place so you can stay in control of your budget.
    4. Several options for architectural services so you can choose a package that suits your needs.
  3. Once you’ve decided which option is right for you the design process can begin – to keep you informed and involved we’ll use a computer model and drawings to ensure you fully understand the design and can give feedback at each stage.
  4. We can also assist with tendering, construction contracts and observation throughout the construction phase, which can help make this time less stressful for you.

Click below to arrange your FREE consultation, and to find out what we’ll cover and how you can prepare. We’ll send you a ‘guide to writing a brief’ booklet that’s full of valuable tips – very useful if you don’t know where to begin!



You may not realise it, but right now is the easiest time to make the major decisions that will determine how happy you feel in your new home. You’d be surprised how many alteration projects we undertake to help out people who have bought or built houses that have been poorly designed and require significant changes to improve their layout and performance. They can end up paying twice to fix problems that could have been avoided the first time around.

This is a clear demonstration of the value of design – by investing in a concept that has been well thought through and is backed up with clear and accurate documentation you know you’ll end up with a comfortable home that will have a smile on your face from the day you first walk through the door.



By investing in a well-considered design our home has served us well through changing phases of life. We’ve been able to initially plan for, and then later build, more storage and another room as our family has changed and budget allowed. We enjoy a comfortable and dry home that is healthy for our family and economical to run.

N Norton & T Page, Heathcote

Thinking of building a first home? Discover the appeal of custom-designed new homes CHCH.

The decision to build a new home is often a result of dissatisfaction at the quality of existing houses that are available on the market. Most homes in Christchurch fall well short of current expectations for quality housing; poor insulation, dampness and lack of ventilation can lead to houses being uncomfortable and unhealthy throughout the year.


Coupled with the fact that most existing homes need costly alteration work to add more space or improve functionality, it’s unsurprising that so many people now see building as the best way to provide a healthy and comfortable home for their families. The Chaplin Crooks Architects approach to home building allows you to create a comfortable living environment that not only ticks all the boxes from a performance point of view, but is carefully tailored to the way you want to live in your new home.

Addressing Core Challenges in Home Designs & Builds

Home designs & builds offer a unique opportunity to tackle long-standing issues with residential properties:

  • Space and Layout: Lack of space can severely impact daily life. We aim to create designs that make optimal use of available space, providing room for current needs and future expansions. It’s usually not about building bigger, but making smarter use of the space you have.
  • Heating Costs: Older homes are notoriously hard to keep warm, but you may be surprised to know that many newly-built homes are still expensive to heat, or suffer from moisture issues. We have a robust design and documentation process that carefully assesses all parts of the thermal envelope to minimise heat leakage.
  • Overheating: Too much solar gain is an underappreciated problem, and i particularly prevalent on hill sites with no shading. We will work with you to find the right balance between windows to make the most of your views and natural light, while ensuring that roof overhangs and window sizes are carefully designed to avoid overheating through the summer months,
  • Health Concerns: Cold, damp homes can exacerbate health issues. We integrate design elements that counteract these problems, like efficient ventilation systems.
  • Family Growth: Your house should adapt, not constrain. Our designs can be planned to accommodate easy modifications to meet evolving family needs as your family grows or as your budget permits.

The Process: A Structured Approach to Home Building

The first step is to establish your precise needs through a free initial consultation with our architects in Christchurch, NZ. This meeting results in a comprehensive new homes proposal that summarises your requirements, describes the design process, outlines budget management mechanisms, and offers a range of architectural service options. The objective is to keep you informed and in control at all stages.

Building your new home requires a detailed brief outlining your specific needs and desires. We then blend this brief with pre-design site information to develop an architectural design concept presented through 3D modelling to help you visualise the outcome. After confirming that the project aligns with your budget via a cost estimate, we fine-tune the design in the developed-design phase, proceeding to detailed construction drawings.

Our services go beyond architectural planning, extending to interior design, resource consent documentation, and landscape design. We also facilitate contractor procurement to ensure competitive pricing and can provide contract administration and site observation for a smooth construction process. These steps are all part of our holistic approach to making your new dream home a reality, allowing you to manage your budget effectively and enjoy the building experience.

Technology Informing the Design Phase for Christchurch Properties

Right front he start of the design process, we employ the latest technology for computer modelling and visualisation. The aim here is to ensure that you fully understand the design of your new home right from the first concept. This is so you can give useful feedback and suggestions about how spaces could be adjusted to achieve exactly the size or style that you are after. We can supply computer models that you can view at home so you can share your plans with family, you’ll soon discover that everyone has an opinion!

Ensuring Quality Through Oversight of the Process

The commitment of our Christchurch architects doesn't end with the drawings. We oversee the entire construction phase for builds in Christchurch, Canterbury and and locations throughout the South Island, offering services that include tendering, contractual documentation, and regular on-site assessments. These measures provide a seamless building process, reducing stress and unforeseen complications.

Bespoke Homes Design

The design phase is without doubt the most critical stage of homebuilding, and the decisions you make before construction commences will determine how successful your project is. Post-construction modifications are costly and can be limiting in terms of what you can achieve structurally.

In recent years we have undertaken several alteration projects to houses that are virtually brand new. The unfortunate homeowners are faced with costly alteration work that is required only because the original design wasn’t well thought through and has resulted in spaces that are too hot, too cold or otherwise not well-suited to their daily life. It’s heartbreaking to have to spend more money on your dream home when these changes and costs could have been avoided entirely had the design been given more thought.

Investing in a well-thought-out design backed by detailed documentation can save you significant amounts in the long term. A well-designed new home will meet your needs and can adapt to lifestyle changes, thereby enhancing your long-term satisfaction.

The Advantages of Building a Smaller Home: A Strategic Approach to Residential Construction

In New Zealand, the average size of newly constructed homes has increased by approximately 45% compared to those built in the 1970s and 1980s. Opting for a smaller home, however, can offer many benefits, from budgetary considerations to a reduced environmental impact. 

Whether you are building your first home, considering downsizing, or looking for a holiday property, a compact home design may provide the best solution tailored to your needs. We always recommend that clients build the best house they can afford rather than the biggest house they can afford. It’s always possible to design a smaller house that can be extended to grow with your family, whereas it can be harder to upgrade the performance of a larger house if you had to make concessions to accommodate your budget.

Schedule a Free Consultation

We encourage you to initiate the process by scheduling a free consultation with our architects based in Christchurch. Your early involvement and our expertise can help eliminate common design flaws in homes that necessitate expensive alterations later on.

Partner With Chaplin Crooks Architects, Christchurch, NZ

Your decision to build a custom home can solve problems you may have experienced when living in pre-existing homes. When undertaken with professional guidance, the benefits are far-reaching, affecting everything from your monthly expenses budget to your daily comfort and long-term health.

By partnering with Chaplin Crooks Architects in Christchurch, you receive design expertise and practical construction knowledge that ensures your new home will be a carefully planned living space aimed at enhancing your quality of life. Schedule your consultation and take the first definitive step toward resolving longstanding living issues through a home that's custom-built for your life's needs.

November 23, 2023
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