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Top tips for building a warmer, smarter, healthier home.

Posted 13 months ago | By Latitude Homes

Lat FB June winter

With the temperatures dropping and the days getting darker and wetter, it’s safe to say winter is officially upon us. 

A topic we frequently get asked about is, “how do we build a warmer, healthier home?”

One of the main benefits of building your own home from scratch means that rather than trying to find an existing home that meets all your needs, you have the opportunity to create your dream home, integrating features into your design that help keep you warm during the cooler months.

1. Positioning your home. 

If you’re lucky enough to be designing your own home, it means you have the ability to choose how you position your build so that it can suit your requirements for morning and afternoon sun, taking advantage of the natural light in the rooms you spend the most time in. 

These decisions on house orientation and window placements must be made in the early stages of your design process and sometimes still have limitations, depending on the location, size and shape of your land. When designing with the sun in mind to take full advantage of warmth & natural light, positioning your main rooms to face north is a key takeaway. The main glazing on both windows and glass doors will benefit from facing north.

Top tip: just remember - when designing your home always think of all seasons. Whilst you want to keep warm in winter, you too may want to benefit from shade in summer. 

2. Double glaze your windows & glass doors.

Building a home with double glazed windows is a no-brainer when it comes to keeping warm and dry during the colder months. You may be wondering at this point, “what is double glazing?” This is when two panes of glass are used (instead of just one), and separated by a layer of air, commonly used for windows and glass doors in homes.

Double glazing comes with many additional benefits aside from warmth, it also reduces energy costs, noise and condensation. This feature adds value to your property, making it desirable for future buyers if you plan to on-sell. 

Double glazing is standard in all of our Latitude Homes builds, with various additional options to upgrade. These include higher rated window joinery to allow for colder climates, or Low-E glass.

3. Remove the moisture with extraction fans.

Removing excess moisture from your home is a key element to reducing condensation and making the air in the home easier to heat. Your kitchen and bathrooms are the worst perpetrators of moisture in the home which is why all Latitude Homes builds come with a rangehood in the kitchen, extraction units in the bathrooms and ensuites as a standard feature.

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4. Ensure your home is well insulated.

It’s easy to think that insulation solely focuses on keeping your home warm. But it really serves a dual purpose. One of the main benefits of insulation is that it thinks of you all year round. Not only does it act like a blanket for your home in the winter, but it too keeps your home cool in the summer through its varied properties. 

So what should I be insulating? 

It’s important to keep in mind areas such as your ceiling, all internal walls and floors when formulating your insulation plan for your home. Take some time to research your options; including higher rated insulation or even sound insulation. Again, this is a design feature that can affect the way your house is built, so this needs to be considered during the early stages. 

There are many different materials that can be used to insulate your home, with the most common being glass fibre, mineral wool and cellulose (paper-based insulation). Depending on where you are in the North or South Island, Latitude Homes use different rated pink batts to ensure the insulation is right for the climate. 

 5. Install an effective heating system.

Whether it’s installing a heat pump, gas heaters, or building a fireplace, it’s important to consider installing an effective heating system in your home to assist in keeping you both warm and dry for the colder months. 

These can be centrally positioned in your main living areas, such as your living and dining room, or scattered throughout your home to ensure an even distribution of heat is enjoyed throughout your home.

 6. Underfloor heating. 

Enjoy the perks of a luxury hotel from the comforts of your own home through integrating a design feature of underfloor heating into your build. 

Say goodbye to the quick dash from the bedroom to the shower and hello to a toasty warm floor, where you can enjoy even heat distribution throughout your house.

Whether it’s for underfloor heated tiles for your bathroom, kitchen, hallway or full house, this is a simple feature that can be built into the design of your home.

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Whether you’re looking to fully customize your home or buy off existing plans from us, all of our Latitude Homes designs provide a number of features that enhance your home’s performance and environmental impact, ensuring a warmer, smarter & healthier home for you & your family. 

Want to see a great example of a warmer, healthier New Zealand built home? Read more about our  6-star rated, Homestar Waikato showhome, here.

Get in touch with one of our Latitude Homes representatives today and chat about how you can plan for a warmer winter and a cooler summer in your brand new home build.




We have had such a great experience building with Latitude homes, they have been so flexible in meeting our needs. Our build was on time and to what they quoted us. We would definitely use them again. Thanks to Todd and team for all their patience, understanding and hard work, we feel so blessed to be moving into a brand new home!
Janelle Smith