Customising a Carlisle Home: Your Questions Answered

by Carlisle Homes

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With over 90 stunning designs to choose from – more than any other Melbourne builder – you’re sure to find your perfect Carlisle home. But if you’re interested in customising one of our designs, here’s what you need to know.

When you build with Carlisle, you know you’re getting a beautiful, timeless home with outstanding value, not to mention our award-winning customer service. To help you find the ideal design for your block size, budget and lifestyle, we have over 90 home designs for you to choose from – all expertly designed to provide optimal functionality, flow, flexibility and natural light. And we’re adding new designs all the time!  

Building with a volume builder like Carlisle Homes also means you’re getting the best value for money and faster construction – this is because working with a series of fully approved, standard designs allows us to secure great prices from our suppliers and trades, which we then pass on to you.

With so many incredible designs to choose from, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re after within our range. But if you’ve fallen in love with a design, and there’s a particular feature or two that you’d like to change, you can put in a request for a customisation (otherwise known as an NSV or Non-Standard Variation) with your Sales Consultant.

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At Carlisle, we always try to accommodate clients’ modification requests where we can – for example, changing a type of window, or extending or reducing the back of the house by half a metre or so. However, there are certain ones we are unable to approve due to Australian Building Code or ResCode (the Victorian Residential Design Code) regulations, or potential risks to the structural integrity of your home.

Here, two members of our NSV team – Kuy Chao, NSV/ Sales Estimator, and Michael Doyle, Estimating Manager – explain the rationale in more detail.

What is a customisation?

“A customisation or an NSV (Non-Standard Variation) is a modification to a standard design, such as a request to increase the size of a bedroom, extend the living area or change the position of a door or window,” says Chao.

Are there hard and fast rules?

“Unfortunately not – every request has to be considered on a case-by-case basis as even the smallest structural change can have a major impact on your home's structural integrity, services like plumbing, heating and cooling, and Australian Building Code regulations,” says Doyle. 

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What are some common NSV requests?

“Extending or reducing the size of a home minimally without impacting the overall design, altering room sizes, adding an additional master suite with an ensuite, removing a wall, moving a door, and adding or moving windows are some of the most common requests we receive,” says Chao.

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Why isn’t every request approved?

“There’s a lot that goes into the design of a home, much of which you can’t see as it’s hidden behind walls and ceilings – elements such as plumbing, electrics, and structural walls and beams that help keep your home standing. These elements are difficult and costly to alter, and trying to accommodate them could mean compromising the overall design of your home – something we’d never be prepared to do,” says Doyle.

“In addition, the Australian Building Code has strict rules when it comes to factors like overshadowing neighbours, site coverage, and window size for room ventilation, which all our homes comply with,” he says.

“And some requests are simply impractical,” adds Chao. “For example, a request to move the position of a door might mean that it doesn’t fully open, or a request to change the position of the kitchen island might mean there’s insufficient room for two people to comfortably use the kitchen at the same time, or joinery doors or drawers might hinder traffic when opened.”

Is there an alternative?

“Yes,” says Doyle. “If you’re thinking of making lots of significant changes to a standard design, our recommendation would be to take another look at the other 90-plus designs we offer. We have a huge range of incredible floor plans to choose from, and often many different size options within just the one design. You’re bound to find something closer to your needs, or a design that is nearly perfect and only requires minimal changes.”

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Does a home with customisations cost more?

“Yes, it costs significantly more. We charge a premium for customisations as they require a lot of extra time and work,” says Doyle.

Does your approach differ between Carlisle ranges?

“It does,” says Chao. “There are more options within the Affinity Collection, which means that customisation requests are generally easier to accommodate. Affinity homes also tend to be bigger, which gives us more scope to make design tweaks. We will consider modification requests to T-Range floorplans, but we are unable to make any changes to EasyLiving homes.”

Is there a deadline for customisation requests?

“Customisation requests should be submitted to your Sales Consultant during the Sales stage, well in advance of the Tender Stage. Smaller cosmetic changes to the interior of your home can be considered during the Colour Selections stage, but no later,” says Chao.

What constitutes a reasonable extension request?

“Anything up to half a metre at the back of the house is fairly easy to accommodate. Positioning here is key – extending through the back of the house or extending a habitable room is quite straightforward, but it becomes very difficult when you want to go through the middle of the house, which impacts services like plumbing stacks, or if you want to extend a wet area, such as a bathroom,” says Doyle.

Which requests are you generally unable to accommodate?

“We always try to approve what we can, but we would decline to move load-bearing walls or modify wet areas in a double storey home,” says Chao.

Ready to start planning your dream home? First step – explore a few of our 77 spectacular display homes, which are conveniently located right across Melbourne.