The House Plan Shop Blog

Sep 26 2016

Classic Country House Plans

Country House Plan 055H-0007Just imagine yourself living down a quiet gravel road lined with shade trees in the middle of nowhere. Just image a cozy yet comfortable home where you can relax on the front porch with a glass of iced tea while the dragonflies and butterflies flit by. Just imagine living in the perfect country home…..

If you like the idea of peaceful and relaxed living with a comfortable floor plan, chances are you’ll like one of our country house plans! Country house plans are designed for comfort and everyday living whether you’re living along that quiet little road you imagined in the middle of nowhere or in the suburbs of a bustling city. These homes are most easily recognized by their covered front porches featuring columns and rails or covered wrap-around porches, but country house plans have some other notable characteristics too!

Dormer windows and window shutters are sometimes easily recognizable as exterior highlights of a country house plan. While they offer visual interest to the exterior, they keep the décor to a minimum. Dormer windows also have another purpose. They deliver plenty of natural light to the interior living spaces.

Counrty House Plan 064H-0043Country kitchens or eat-in kitchens are popular among country house plans. They are designed to enjoy a meal with a large group of people but are comfortable enough for everyone to relax and talk at any time. Additionally, the kitchen is the ideal place for the kids to do their homework while Mom or Dad prepares dinner and lends a helping hand with those tricky math problems and writing assignments.

Country house plans are often informal in design and generally feature an open floor plan that delivers free-flowing spaces and functionality. The open floor plan easily accommodates a crowd for holiday get-togethers or delivers relaxed space to share popcorn and a movie with the kids. These flexible spaces allow homeowners to use home in a variety of ways without a need for dedicated spaces designed for specific purposes.

In addition to covered front porches and the wrap around porches mentioned above, country house plans are often known to features plenty of outdoor living spaces. Outdoor living spaces such as covered patios, screened porches and grilling porches, extend the living areas outdoors easily blending the interior and exterior spaces. This is an added bonus for those who love to entertain. With expanded entertainment space the possibilities are endless!

Practical spaces and features abound with country house plans. Kitchen islands, walk-in pantries, built-in desks and shelves, and mudrooms are just a few of the elements that deliver practicality with these homes. Bonus rooms and oversized garages provide room to grow and extra storage space.

Though the idea of a country house plan seems to promote a sense of a rural, rustic or even a nostalgic way of living, don’t be fooled! Many of the designs in our collection feature some of today’s most sought after features and up-to-date amenities like home theaters, wine closets/cellars, main floor laundry rooms, vaulted ceilings, and luxurious master suites.

If you’re looking for a home with a relaxed floor plan, practical features and a few special extras, take some time to browse our entire collection of country house plans.

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Aug 31 2016

Attention Hunters: Cabin House Plans for the Fall Hunting Season

Attention all hunters! The fall hunting season is nearly upon us, and you are probably already imagining a chilly fall morning with a trophy buck in your sights. Do you know what would make your fall camping trip even better? A brand new hunting cabin! If you like the idea of giving up the rickety ole’ camper on cold rainy nights for the comforts of a more accommodating “camp,” you should consider building a cabin house plan. Cabin house plans are designed to provide all of the basic necessities and blend nicely with wooded surroundings. While most are rustic looking, they vary in style, and typically offer no more than 1200 square feet of living space.

Though modest in size and design, cabin house plans make efficient use of space and offer all of the basic comforts of home:

  • A full bath offers a hot shower at the end of the day
  • Compact/galley-style kitchen is enough to prepare a hot breakfast or warm evening meal
  • Combined eating and living area allows room to relax or talk about the “good ‘ole days” with your hunting buddies
  • Private bedroom or a sleeping area combined with the living space offers a place to rest

Depending on its size and design, some cabin house plans offer more than one bedroom providing extra room for friends and family who might be hunting with you. Additionally, some floor plans provide room for a stacked washer/dryer unit ensuring you’ll have a place to do laundry when necessary. Other accommodations that are sometimes offered with cabin plans include a crackling fireplace, a sleeping loft, and covered porches or decks for grilling, relaxing and enjoying the scenery. Take a look at the three cabin plans listed below and imagine yourself enjoying your next hunting trip in one of these comfortable getaways:


Cabin House Plan 032H-0005032H-0005: This two-story cabin house plan is just right for a couple of hunters or your family. With three bedrooms and two baths you can accommodate the kids or your hunting buddies. A compact kitchen and dining area make it easy to enjoy a warm meal after the hunt, or fire up the grill or smoker on the deck if you prefer. Everyone will appreciate the living room fireplace on a cold day. There’s plenty of storage upstairs offering a place to store your hunting gear until the next hunting season.


Cabin House Plan 066H-0033066H-0033: A rustic exterior and covered front porch make this cabin house plan the ideal fit for a wooded lot with a view. Its 216 square foot floor plan makes the most efficient use of space. Combined living and sleeping areas eliminate the need for walls while ensuring a warm place to relax and rest at the end of the day. A compact kitchen offers a place to make coffee or cook a pot of stew. A space-saver bath completes the design. For those who spend the majority of their time in the woods, this cabin house plan offers just the right amount of space.


Cabin House Plan 072H-0185 072H-0185: Here’s a cabin house plan with a modern twist! The covered porch and plenty of windows allow you to enjoy the view of your property while still blending nicely with the surrounding wooded landscape. With just 480 square feet of living space, the floor plan delivers modest accommodations. The kitchen lines one wall of the combined living and dining space where you can kick back and relax at the end of the day or plan tomorrow’s hunt. A comfortable bedroom and a full bath complete this cozy cabin plan.


If you have a special property that you head to every year for the fall hunting season, enhance the value of your property and enjoy your next hunt by building a comfortable cabin house plan.

While cabin house plans offer the ideal living quarters for hunting, they are also just right for rental property, a lakefront getaway or your vacation home. Cabin plans are flexible, comfortable and accommodating, making them suitable for a variety of uses. Take some time to browse our collection of cabin house plans to find one that is just right for your needs.

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Jul 26 2016

Will My Stock House Plans Be Stamped or Sealed by an Architect or Engineer?

House Plan 062H-0088Are you planning to build a new house using a stock house plan? If so, it is possible that your state or province, city, county, or local building department will require your house plans to be stamped or sealed by an architect or engineer. This is not something that The House Plan Shop can provide with your blueprints. The house plans published on our website are pre-drawn stock plans. This means they were designed to meet the national building codes in place at the time the blueprints were created. Therefore, we do not guarantee the house plans will meet all of the specific requirements and local building codes for the specific location or area where you plan to build. Since our house plans and multi-family designs are sold and built throughout the United States and Canada, it is impossible for our residential designers to ensure the blueprints will meet or exceed all local building codes for every state, province, city, county, municipality, or jurisdiction. If you need an architect’s or an engineer’s stamp or seal on your house plans in or
der to obtain building permits from your local building department, please be aware that the stamp or seal is a local building requirement and we cannot provide it to you. The items required for the architect’s stamp or engineer’s seal in one part of the country are completely different than the requirements for a customer building the same plan in another part of the country. They are commonly influenced by local climate and geography in the area where the house plan will be built making the stamp/seal a local requirement. For example, a home owner building a house along the coast of Florida will need engineering to meet hurricane codes while a customer building the same home in certain parts of California will need engineering for seismic codes. If yoHouse Plan 069H-0027u need your blueprints sealed or stamped, it will be up to you or your builder to hire a local architect or engineer to review the house plans and stamp or seal them before you apply for building permits. The design professional who provides the stamp or seal must be licensed in the state or province where the house will be built. The House Plan Shop strongly recommends that you find a design professional in your area that you can work with before you purchase your blueprints. Sometimes the architect or engineer you hire will have a preference as to which plan package he or she wants to work with when sealing or stamping the house plans. This will influence which blueprint package you purchase. Take some time to discuss your needs with your local design professional before making your blueprint purchase. For additional information, please review our FAQs and Resource page.

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Jun 27 2016

6 Commonly Asked Questions about House Plans

House Plan 037H-0234If you are planning to build a new house, chances are that you have quite a few questions about buying house plans. There is a lot to learn and know about house plans before you purchase blueprints for your new home. We’ve listed the six most commonly asked questions about house plans asked by our customers. Take some time to review these popular questions and their answers to ensure you make the right decision when it is time to purchase your house plans.


Are there any photos of a particular house plan that has already been built?

If exterior or interior photos are available for a particular house plan, we make every effort to post them our website as soon as we receive them. If there are no photos posted for a specific house plan, we simply do not have any photos to share with our customers at this time. We rely on past customers and builders to share photos of the house plans they’ve built. Often, these people are so happy to be done with construction and busy moving into their new homes that they don’t even think about sharing photos with us. Others choose not to share photos (especially interior photos), because they feel like it is an invasion of privacy knowing that everyone can see what their house looks like when we post the photos online.


What is included in a set of house blueprints?

The house plans published on our website are complete sets of blueprints for each home to be built from the ground up. The blueprints typically include a cover page, foundation plan, floor plans, exterior elevations, interior elevations when applicable, cross sections and/or details, basic electrical information and simple plumbing. NOTE: The information included in each set of blueprints varies from one designer to another. Please contact us with a specific plan number for verification regarding the elements included in a particular set of blueprints. From more extensive information, please review our resource article: Everything You Need to Know about Stock House Plans.


Can I modify the house plan I like?

Of course you can! When it comes to making modifications to a house plan, our customers have a couple of options. The first option is to submit our modification request form to our modification team and receive a free quote for your proposed changes. It usually takes a couple of business days to receive your quote by email from our modification team. This gives you the opportunity to find out what the extra costs will be for your home building project before you purchase your blueprints. Please take some time to review our home plan modification page to learn about how our modification process works. (For additional information, please see our previous blog post: House Plan Modifications? We Can Help You!)


The second option is to purchase either a reproducible master, PDF or CAD file house plan package (depending on availability), and take the plans to a local residential designer to have the plans modified. One of these three blueprint formats will be required for modifications because you’ll need a copyright release granting legal permission for you to make changes to the original copyrighted house plans in order to satisfy your specific needs.


Will the house plans meet my local building codes?

Our house plans are considered to be pre-drawn stock plans. This means they are designed to meet the national building codes in place at the time each home plan was created. However, we do not guarantee the plans will meet all local building codes. Our house plans are sold and built all over the US and Canada and even overseas. The local building codes and requirements you have in your area may be completely different than the local building codes and requirements for someone building the same plan you are considering in another part of the country. It will be up to you/your builder to make any adjustments necessary to meet local building codes and requirements. (For example, a person building a house along the Florida coast will need to make adjustments for hurricane code, while someone building the same house plan in the Rocky Mountains will need to make adjustments to wind and snow loads as well as thicker insulation.) It may be necessary to hire a local design professional to add notes to the blueprints regarding some of your local building codes. We recommend that you discuss your local building codes with your builder and your building department to find out what is required in your city, county, etc. to meet local building codes.


Will the house plans come sealed by an engineer or stamped by an architect?

The house plans offered on our website do not come with an engineer’s or an architect’s seal or stamp. Our house plans are considered pre-drawn, stock plans. This means they are designed to meet the national building codes in place at the time each home plan is created. However, we do not guarantee the house blueprints will meet all local building codes and requirements for a specific area. Because our house plans are sold and built all over the US and Canada, it is impossible for our designers to ensure the blueprints will meet all local building codes for every location, city, county, municipality, etc. Therefore, our plans do not include a seal or stamp, as the seal or stamp is a local requirement. The items required for the seal/stamp in your area are completely different than the requirements for a customer building the same plan you are considering in another part of the US or Canada. Often the building requirements that coincide with a seal/stamp for a particular state, province, city, etc., are influenced by the geography and climate specific to the area where the house will be built making them local requirements. It will be up to you/your builder to hire a local professional to review and seal/stamp the plans. This design professional must be licensed in the state/province where the structure will be built. This person will review the blueprints and make any necessary adjustments and/or add pertinent notes to the plans for the area where the home will be built before sealing or stamping the blueprints. We recommend finding a local design professional who can review the blueprints and provide a seal or stamp for your house plans before you actually purchase them. Additionally, you should discuss which blueprint format is required by the engineer or architect to seal or stamp the house plans. Sometimes the design professional providing the seal/stamp will have a preference as to which plan package he/she works with, and this will influence which plan package you purchase. Most likely he/she will want the CAD file or PDF because it is much easier to work with the electronic format when it comes to adding extra notes and elements to the plan that are necessary to meet local building codes. The only way to be sure about what plan package to purchase is to ask your local design professional before you make a blueprint purchase.


How much does it cost to build a particular house plan?

At TheHousePlanShop, we know the costs for materials and labor can vary greatly from one city to the next and sometimes even within the same city or county. It is impossible for us to know the average rates for labor and materials in all cities, counties, municipalities, etc. Therefore, we do not offer an estimated cost to build or a material estimate for the house plans published on our site. Rather than us guessing and quoting you an estimate that is much too high or much too low for your area, we recommend checking with a few local lumberyards, contractors and/or builders to find out what the average rates are for labor and materials in your area. Most professionals in the building industry will quote a dollar amount per square foot, based on mid-grade materials, but it is best to confirm if they are quoting high-end materials, mid-grade, etc. Additionally, be sure to inquire about what the quote includes. Sometimes ballpark estimates from builders and lumberyards do not include foundation materials, heating and cooling, and a few other things. While this requires a little more research and effort for the future home owner, checking locally will give you a better ballpark estimate than we can provide.


Find the answers to more house plan questions like these by visiting our FAQs.

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May 19 2016

9 Flexible Carriage House Plans that Are Often Overlooked

Carriage house plans are available in a wide range of architectural styles and sizes. They are designed to accommodate a variety of needs and many are flexible enough to accommodate multiple needs. We offer an extensive collection of carriage house plans, but with so many to choose from, some of the best designs are easily overlooked. Below are nine flexible carriage house plans that can satisfy multiple needs, offer functionality, and a comfortable living space. These charming carriage houses are often overlooked, so take some time to learn about them and find out what you might have otherwise missed.


Carriage House Plan 019G-0011019G-0011 This charming carriage house plan offers a Craftsman exterior and extra deep garage bays to accommodate boat storage. With its one bedroom, one bath apartment above, it makes a nice weekend house at the lake giving you a place to eat and sleep when you want to go fishing for a few days. Additionally, it provides a place to store your boat until you return to the lake the following weekend eliminating the hassle of towing your boat to and from the lake every time you want to go fishing. Or, if you prefer, build this carriage house in your backyard where you’ll have extra parking for the growing family fleet and a private living space for your college student who isn’t quite ready to leave home.


Carriage House Plan 006G-0160006G-0160 Take a look at this carriage house plan with RV storage. It is specifically designed for those who spend more time on the road than at home. It offers the opportunity to sell your home and build something smaller that you can call “home base.” While you’re traveling, you’ll rest easy knowing you don’t have a huge house waiting for you at home with lots of maintenance to attend to when you return. Instead, you’ll have a cozy place to stay when you become a weary traveler. It offers an extra deep garage bay that nicely accommodates your RV and your car. The living quarters provide all of the necessities in 681 square feet of living space. However, if you’re looking for a single level garage apartment for an aging relative and you’d just like a little extra parking for yourself, this carriage house plan is the solution.


Carriage House Plan 023G-0003023G-0003 Dress up your backyard and add value to your home with this stunning carriage house plan. You’ll appreciate the 2-car garage which offers extra parking for your teenager’s car and your motor cycle or ATV. The family handyman will appreciate the workshop area where tools can be organized and stored. Additionally, the workshop space offers a place to work on DIY projects. Weekend guests will find all of the comforts of home in the second floor apartment. The living quarters offer one bedroom and a full bath plus an open floor plan with kitchenette and generous living space. But don’t be fooled! This carriage house design can be used in other ways too. The workshop can be finished as a game area for the kids instead of workspace for Dad, and the second floor apartment could be finished as a home office for the work-at-home-parent who needs a little privacy without leaving home.


Carriage House Plan 066G-0009066G-0009 Rustic in design, this carriage house plan looks like it was meant to be a hunting cabin in the woods. The two-car garage offers ample parking while the second floor living quarters offer comfortable accommodations for those who prefer to “rough it” in something more than a tent or camper. The apartment features a full kitchen with eating bar, spacious living area, generous bedroom and a full bath. This carriage house plan also makes a nice alternative to a vacation home or it could easily serve as rental property or lodging at a wooded and rustic resort.


Carriage House Plan 072G-0030072G-0030 Compliment your home with this charming carriage house plan. For those who just need a little extra parking space, but wish to earn extra income, this floor plan is worth a closer look. The simple design blends nicely with a variety of architectural home styles, and its rectangular footprint fits neatly into many backyards. The two-car garage offers ample parking or storage space for the family cars, a golf cart, or even a pair of kayaks. A private entry opens to the stairs leading to the apartment above the garage making it the ideal rental property for a college student or a single starting out on their own. The private entrance ensures your valuables in the garage are safe, and your tenant has privacy as well. With the extra income from your tenant’s rent payments, you’ll be able to pay off your new garage sooner than you might expect. Then, one day, when you no longer have a tenant, you can use the apartment as your guest house. But maybe you don’t plan to rent the living space at all. Maybe you need living quarters for your nanny instead. The apartment gives your nanny a place to call their own when not on duty, while still keeping them nearby in case of emergencies.


Carrriage House Plan 025G-0002025G-0002 This unique carriage house plan has more to offer than you might expect! With its covered porch, full kitchen and full bath, it can easily serve as a pool house for those who enjoy entertaining beside the pool. But look more closely and you’ll see this is more than a pool house. It is just right for a mother-in-law cottage as well. The single story design is well-suited for an aging relative that might be challenged by stairs. A full bedroom delivers a place to rest while the activity room can easily be finished as a living room. This gives your loved one a safe and private living space while keeping them close by in case they need a little assistance. A 2-car garage completes the design.


Carriage House Plan 063G-0002063G-0002 Country styling gives this carriage house plan with 3-car garage plenty of curb appeal. For those with a growing family fleet, there is plenty of parking in the 1400 square foot garage. On the second floor, a one bedroom, one bath apartment with laundry closet works well as a guest suite or for a hired hand on your ranch or farm. However, with a little imagination, this carriage house design could easily be converted for use by a home-based business. The garage could serve as a storage area or workshop for the business and the second floor could be finished as an office area and meeting room to meet with clients.


Carriage House Plan 007G-0013007G-0013 Here’s a practical carriage house plan with RV bay or boat storage and a two-car garage. A 16’ ceiling and an extra tall garage door easily accommodate your RV, motor home, camper or boat in the garage bay on the left, while the double bay on the right offers parking for your everyday vehicles. An office in the rear provides a quite place to work and the efficiency studio apartment above is just right for a guest suite. However, if you are looking to downsize your home for something smaller so you can travel the country in your RV, this plan is the perfect place to call home. It can serve as your home base when you’re not on the road and offers all the basic necessities when you return.


Carriage House Plan 034G-0010034G-0010 This Craftsman-style carriage house plan has eye-catching curb appeal. The main level offers a 3-car garage with plenty or parking or storage space. Or if you prefer, finish one bay of the garage as a workshop instead. On the second floor, a two-bedroom apartment offers plenty of room for weekend guests to kick back and relax. However, this charming design is ideal for a vacation home or weekend getaway at the lake. Use the garage to store your jet skis, canoes, kayaks and bikes and invite friends to spend the weekend with you at the lake. With the second bedroom there is enough room for you and your guests (or your kids) to gather and sleep comfortably.


Accommodating and flexible in design, it is easy to see that these carriage house plans can satisfy a variety of needs. Just use your imagination, and you’ll realize that one of these plans no longer needs to be overlooked, but rather it is just right for you!

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