Single family homes - design ideas and pictures

What are single-family homes?

Choosing the right style of home for you and your family can seem like a daunting task, but let’s start with the basics. If you prefer to live just with your own family, a single-family house will be best for you and there are a number of options available. While all single-family houses will be detached, the style of building selected will all come down to personal taste, budget and preferred location. Common incarnations of the single-family home model include:

- Single-storey (bungalows)

- Two-storey

- Detached condo

Building a single-family home

If you look into the possibility of buying a new residence and decide that it would be far better for you to commission, design and build something totally from scratch, there are a number of things to consider, including:

1. Standard construction concerns. Architectural fees, design limitations and style will all be major concerns, right at the start of a project and you will be best to ask your project manager or design team to explain and oversee everything for you.

2. Energy efficiency. Modern construction now needs to factor in certain levels of sustainability and socially responsible design. To this end, new buildings, especially residential ones, need to have green energy initiatives running throughout them. This might increase your final spend, but in the long run, will save you money.

3. Natural disaster planning. If you live in a region that is prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods or harsh weather, your home design will need to account for these. The structural element of your build needs to be perfectly attuned to conditions that are likely to be experienced on a regular basis.

What legal issues will be important when building a single-family home?

If you are building a new home, given that it will be detached, you won’t have to concern yourself with liaising with a potential neighbour, but you will still be liable for ensuring that any permits needed are applied for and attained within good time. Building regulations and construction standards will also need to be met and might need to be assessed by a professional inspector. Your architect will be able to advise you as to all of these issues.

Pros and cons of single-family houses

Any style of home will always have advantages and disadvantages to weigh up, but in the case of single-family homes, they are quite clearly defined. The important thing to remember is that your list of must-haves could differ greatly from the next family’s, in which case, what makes one home perfect for someone will make it totally unsuitable for you. For example, you might like the idea of a quiet detached house, but if that is outweighed by not wanting sole responsibility for repair bills, a single-family home might not be the right choice for you.


- You won’t have to deal with noisy or annoying neighbours.

- Most will come with enough land to enjoy a private garden.

- They are ideal for growing families or couples with young children.

- You can make any adaptations that you want to, within legal confines, without needing to liaise with a neighbour.


- If your budget is small, you might only be able to afford a small property.

- Energy efficiency can be a concern.

- Maintenance costs are the sole responsibility of the owner.

Maintaining a single-family home

In contrast to a multi-family home or an apartment, any maintenance costs that are incurred when living in a single-family home are the sole responsibility of the owner. With no adjoining properties, if anything needs replacing, updating or improving, you will be fully liable for the entire bill, which is worth thinking about. Specific maintenance tasks to keep an eye on include:

- The roof and guttering.

- Front and rear gardens.

- Driveways.

- Windows and doors.

Professionals to hire when choosing a single-family home

Whether you have decided to build a brand new house or are planning to restore an existing one, you will need a contingent of professionals and tradespeople ready to help you tackle the more complex projects. You should expect to need the following:

- For new builds – Architects, surveyors, project managers and specialist contractors.

- When renovating - General contractors, decorators and interior designers.

- For extensions – Architects. General contractors and decorators.

- When decorating – Painters, decorators and interior designers.

Before hiring any professionals, always ask for references and, if possible, see examples of their work. The homify directory is a great place to begin your search for trusted tradespeople in your area.

Naturally, you might decide that you are able to tackle most,. If not all of the DIY tasks involved with restoring a home yourself, in which case you can expect to save a significant proportion of your budget. We do not recommend that you attempt specialist projects, such as roofing or electrical work, however, as this could prove dangerous.