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Cool House Plans - Tips for Buying Cool House Plans

consider the lot and foundation searching for the plans the perfect home the plans

Building a new home is an exciting adventure, and finding the perfect house plan to fit your family’s requirements is a crucial step in turning your dreams into reality. Most will find that they are working within a budget of both money and time. Buying stock house plans rather than having an architect design a home will save a significant amount of money and reduce the time involved in the planning and building phases. With thousands of house plans available the biggest problem may be narrowing the choices to just one!

Consider the Lot and Foundation

Although not as exciting as choosing a pleasing floor plan, taking into account the future home’s lot is of primary importance. Considerable grading or infilling is an expensive prospect, so finding a house plan that accommodates the lot is crucial. Local climate, water table, soil type, and slope of the lot will help determine the type of foundation. The local builder can change the house plan’s foundation type so this does not have to be a determining factor in choosing the plan.

Searching for the Plans

Although books of basic plans are available, the widest variety of choices can be found online. Doing a search for cool house plans will return thousands of results. When you first start the search, do not exclude anything. Start with an open mind, looking at house plans you had not initially considered. Narrow the search after spending sufficient time browsing the wide range of plans available. Consider your needs and lifestyle. There are barrier-free house plans, energy-efficient house plans, eco-friendly earth sheltered house plans, passive or active solar homes, single story and multistory, and every exterior style imaginable.
Be flexible about square footage; look at homes within 300-500 square feet larger and smaller than what you initially planned. The trend is for open floor plans, fewer hallways, and high ceilings with large windows, all giving the feel and appearance of a larger space. Consult with other owner-builders, read reviews of plan websites, and discuss with your builder home plan companies that have a good history of customer satisfaction.

The Perfect Home

The perfect home doesn’t exist, really. As your family grows your lifestyle changes, the perfect home today may not be perfect just five or ten year into the future. Look for flexibility in the floor plan. Consider a plan with rooms that can have alternate uses as needs change, a small suite over the garage that would be the ideal space for a teenager or an aging parent, a formal living room that could be a home office or master suite, a covered porch that could later be enclosed for additional living space. Find a floor plan with adequate storage, great flow to the living space, and an emphasis on what is important for your family. Is garage space important? The position of the door can be easily changed but is the size adequate? The key to success is listing your present and future needs and finding a floor plan with the flexibility that can easily accommodate both.

The Plans

After a final decision has been made, it is time to purchase the plans. There are usually five different types of plans sets that can be purchased. A single set package is marked “not for construction.” This set should only be used to obtain bids from builders. It cannot be used to build from. A five-set or eight-set package comes complete with a building license and includes everything necessary to obtain financing and a building permit. One single home can be constructed from this set, and copies cannot be made. A reproducible set is intended for making small to moderate modifications to the plan and copies after the modifications are made. The initial set is printed on an erasable medium, and a copyright release is included to allow for making additional copies. Everything required for obtaining a building permit and financing is included. A PDF file can usually be emailed the same day as ordering. It can be modified and printed in different sizes for different purposes. A CAD file package is perfect if a professional will be making significant changes. This computer aided design package can be printed multiple times in the necessary sizes. Only one home can be built from any of the plans unless a multi-use permit is purchased.
Some locations require an architectural or engineering stamp before issuing a building permit. This must be obtained locally as it will not be included with the house plan.

Finding the cool house plan that perfectly matches your requirements can be an enjoyable experience that leads to long-term satisfaction with your new home. Approaching the project with an open mind and a store of useful knowledge will assure a problem-free experience.

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