Tag Archive 'Choosing a House Plan'

Oct 09 2012

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Large or Small? Determining the Size of your House Plans – The House Plan Shop

Two-Story House Plan 007H-0123If you’ve decided to build a new house, you’ve probably already realized there a many things to consider before you begin from buying a lot and choosing a builder to selecting convenient floor plan features and securing a loan. Determining the size of your new house plan is one of the any things you’ll want to think about. Take some time to consider your lifestyle, as well as needs and wants in order to determine the size home you’ll need and the kinds of spaces you’ll want to include in your floor plan. This list will help you consider some of the key factors in many homebuyers’ decisions when it comes to choosing the right-sized home.

 

  1. How many people will live in the home? How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? Do you have an aging parent or another relative living with you? Will the kids share bedrooms or will each child have his or her own? If you are not married or do not have children at the present time, consider the future. Retirees and empty-nesters many consider walk-in showers and handicap accessible features in the master bath and perhaps even in another bath on the main level of the home.
  2. Are you retried and plan on the kids and grandkids coming home for the holidays? How will you accommodate them? Bedrooms? Pull-out couches in the family room and recreation room? Convert the office to a guest room?
  3. Do you plan to entertain regularly? Will you need a formal dining room for holiday meals or can you get by with a casual dining space and a snack bar? Do you prefer formal entertainment spaces or will a spacious family room or great room that opens to the kitchen and breakfast nook satisfy your entertainment needs?
  4. Would you like to have an outdoor entertainment/relaxation space such as a screened porch, deck, covered patio or lanai?
  5. What kind or relaxation spaces do you need? Can you make do with the family room or do you want a recreation room, game room, home theater or finished basement?
  6. Think about hobbies. Do you play the piano? Will you need a separate space for the piano such as a music room or will the piano fit nicely in the living room? Do you need a sewing room? Are you a DIY guy who wants your own workshop or are you a car enthusiast who will need an oversized garage with plenty of storage space for auto parts and tools?
  7. How much storage space will you need? Consider bedroom closets, linen closets and other storage spaces in the mud room, utility room, garage, basement, etc.
  8. What organizational features do you need? Do you want a drop zone with lockers or cubbies in the mud room? Do you need a kitchen island, a built-in hutch or a meal planning desk? Would you like built-in display niches or a built-in entertainment center in the great room? Would window seats with storage in the bedrooms be useful?
  9. Consider specialized spaces. Will you need a private/quiet space such as a home office in order to work from home, meet with clients or pay bills online? Do you need a playroom for the kids?
  10. Consider flexible spaces. What may work well as a nursery when raising a family can one day convert to a home office or even a guest bedroom in the future. Flexible spaces are wonderful assets to any home because they can flex and change as your lifestyle changes. What flexible spaces would benefit you?
  11. Think about future spaces. You may not need extra space for your current lifestyle, but it is worth considering floor plans that offer unfinished basements and future/bonus rooms that can be finished later. These spaces are a great way to add living space to your home should your lifestyle change and demand it in the future.
  12. If you are single, you may not need much space at all. There are many simple floor plans that offer just the basics. Can you live comfortably with the basics? If so, you may not need to consider any of the special spaces and features mentioned above.

 

House plans come in all shapes and sizes. There are plenty of large homes that are suitable for large and growing families including two-story house plans and those with finished basements. There are also plenty of smaller homes for singles and couples. And there is even a vast array of floor plans designed for retirees and empty-nesters looking to downsize. Whatever phase of life you’re in right now, there is sure to be a right-sized home plan to satisfy your needs. Take some time to browse our house plans collections for find the right home design for you!

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Jul 24 2012

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

6 Things to do Before You Build Your New Home – The House Plan Shop

BlueprintsWhen it comes to building a new home, the building process begins long before you break ground and pour the foundation. Discover six things you should do to prepare for your new home before construction begins.

 

  1. Decide on the type of home. People build homes for all types of reasons – family home, stepping up from a starter home, downsizing to an empty-nester, vacation home, rental property, weekend retreat, etc. Determine what type of home you plan to build.
  2. Determine your budget. Think about how much you can afford to spend on your new home and how much your new home will cost. Start checking with lenders to find out what size construction loan and mortgage you’re qualified to obtain. Knowing how much money you’ll be able to borrow and the likely cost of your new home will help you plan your building budget. Once you know what you can spend, you’ll have to determine how much of your budget can be spent on the lot and how much of your budget can be spent on construction, materials, etc.
  3. Hire a team of professionals. Assemble a team of professionals with expertise in the construction business. Your team will include the following professionals as well as others: your builder/general contractor, excavator, building inspector, carpenter(s), electrician, plumber, surveyor and maybe even a residential designer or engineer should you need to make adjustments to your house plans. If you begin by hiring the builder/general contractor, this expert will be able to provide advice about hiring other pros or may even have a crew of pros that he/she works with on a regular basis. Tip: Do not settle for the first builder you meet. It is important to interview more than one general contractor/builder, ask for references, proof of insurance, etc. Additionally, get a good feel for the kind of person each builder is and if this professional is someone you can work with and talk to on a daily basis for the next 6 to 9 months (or maybe even longer.) Finally, ask yourself, “Is this a person you can trust with handling and coordinating all of the details for your future dream home?”
  4. Select a lot. Regardless if you plan to build in a neighborhood, on mountainside or along a country road, it is often best to choose your lot before you select a house plan. You’ll have to consider the parameters of the lot such as the maximum width and depth, the grade of the lot, physical features on the lot, etc. when choosing your floor plan. Knowing the “lay of the land” will help you select a floor plan that best suits your needs and fits the lot. Additionally, you and your team of pros will need to study factors about the lot such as zoning, drainage, soil conditions and building codes specified for the community as well as geographic and climactic requirements.
  5. Choose a house plan. Make a list of needs and wants for your future home such as total finished square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, special rooms such as an office, convenient features like a kitchen island/snack bar, the width and depth of your lot, preferred architectural style and the type of foundation you’ll need. Now search pre-drawn house plan collections like those found at www.TheHousePlanShop.com to narrow your selection. Most websites have a search tool to make it easy to eliminate floor plans that do not offer your specified criteria. Keep in mind pre-draw/stock home plans can often be modified with the help of a modification team, local residential designer or even your builder. If you find a floor plan you like, but it isn’t quite what you need, discuss your minor modifications with your builder or contact the supplier of the house plan to see if they can make modifications for you. At The HousePlanShop, LLC, we offer a modification service by which you can obtain a free quote for your changes before you purchase plans giving you an opportunity to learn how much things will cost before you make your final decision on a floor plan.
  6. Draw up a contract. After you’ve determined your budget, selected a team of professionals, chosen a lot and purchased a house plan, you’ll need to draw up a construction contract. The contract should be written and signed and dated by you and your general contractor/builder. The construction contract will describe the construction of the home in detail and list all parts of the home to be included. If you or your builder make any changes to the project scope, it is necessary that you amend the contract. Keeping a written record of the scope of the construction project will help you as the home owner know what things have been completed, what still needs to be done and if any problems need to be resolved.

 

Following this list steps to complete before you break ground for your new home will help ensure your home building project gets off to a good start.

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Aug 31 2011

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

What Information is Included in House Blueprints – The House Plan Shop

House BlueprintsIf you are considering purchasing a home plan from The House Plan Shop, you may be wondering what is included in the blueprints we offer. Below is a listing of the elements typically included in the pre-drawn house plans we published:

 

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Foundation Plan
  3. Floor Plan(s)
  4. Interior Elevations
  5. Exterior Elevations
  6. Basic Electric
  7. Simple Plumbing
  8. Details
  9. Sections

 

To find out specific information about each one of these elements, please review The House Plan Shop’s FAQs.

 

Note: Not all pre-drawn home plans incorporate every element listed here. Blueprint pages vary by designer.

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Jun 03 2010

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Choosing Contemporary or Modern House Plans

052H-0065 Contemporay House PlanIf you are interested in building with contemporary house plans or modern house plans, it is important to be familiar with what these home plans offer. Modern and contemporary designs divert from the traditional and familiar home plan styles prominent along most of today’s roads and streets. They offer unique and unusual designs greatly contrasting the “cookie cutter” houses in many North American neighborhoods. Before you can choose the right contemporary house plan to suit your needs and tastes, it is important to understand modern house designs. Most of these trendy floor plans include some if not all of the following elements.

 

Modern or contemporary House Plans:

·         Incorporate an extensive use of modern (industrial) materials such as steel, wood, glass, concrete and large windows

·         Based on modern architecture and construction trends

·         Include innovative and unique features and technology

·         Incorporate interesting and unexpected angles and rooflines

·         Offer plenty of natural lighting

·         Feature open and flexible floor plans

·         Display little detailing and ornamentation

·         Have little or no roots in the past

 

Modern and contemporary house plans are widely available through various home plan websites and companies such as The House Plan Shop. At www.thehouseplanshop.com potential modern house plan buyers can shop for the home size and features they need using the advanced search tool. Entering preferred criteria such as foundation type, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, and special features like split bedrooms or a covered porch make it easy to narrow your search for a modern or contemporary house plan that will accommodate your needs and desires. If you are planning to build a modern home, take some time to browse The House Plan Shop’s collection of contemporary house plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 19 2010

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

4 Tips for Choosing a House Plan

Filed under Choosing a House Plan

031H-0131 2-Story Home PlanThe experts at The House Plan Shop understand choosing a house plan can be both exciting and challenging. For many, it is the first time they actually get to plan and decide everything about their home from what it looks like to the rooms and special features inside. However, with so many stock home plans available it may be a bit overwhelming or challenging to narrow down your choices to the right floor plan. The following tips will help you settle on the right home design.

 

Determine your home building budget.

Take some time to determine your budget. Seeking home loan approval before you begin will help you stay within your means throughout the construction process and into the future. Research multiple lenders to find out who can offer the best deal. Determine “how much house” you can afford. Consider what you can afford to pay for your monthly house payment. Even though you may qualify for a loan of a large amount, it doesn’t mean that you can necessarily afford it. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake of getting in over your head with a house payment you can’t afford. Also, consider how much home owner’s insurance costs annually. How much will taxes cost you each year? These points will help you determine your budget and figure out exactly what is realistic in terms of your income. Your budget will influence the size of your home and the elements and features you choose to finish your home. It will also determine your house payment for years to come.

 

Consider what features you NEED and what features you WANT.

 Make a list with your family of the room, spaces, special features and functional elements you’d like to have in your home. List all the things you have always wanted and include necessities too. If you NEED 3 bedrooms and 3 baths, write it on your list. If you need a separate office instead of a computer station in the family room, write it on the list. Next, separate your list into NEEDS and WANTS. This will help you incorporate all the elements necessary for family living. If there is additional money in the budget, then you can select items from your WANT list. Keep an open mind and be flexible. Maybe you WANT a kitchen island and snack bar with seating for five, but you only NEED seating for three. If you are getting tight on your budget, you might have to scale back and settle for what you need (a smaller snack bar) instead of what you WANT. If you have too many items on your lists, you can prioritize them and cut back latter. Be sure to be specific when listing your needs and wants. It will save you time later.

 

Meet with your builder.

Consulting with your builder is a very important step in selecting the right house plan. Often this professional has been in the home building business for years and has valuable insight when it comes to choosing house plans. Discuss your list of NEEDS and WANTS with your building professional. He or she will be able to help you narrow down your choices to the available floor plans that best fit your criteria.

 

Educate yourself about geographic factors.

When looking at various house plans and floor plans, it is important to keep in mind the specific factors of your geographic region. When building along a beach or shoreline, homes must be built on piers to accommodate potential rising tides, so considering a floor plan that is designed with a basement foundation is not going to work for your lot. Likewise, it is important to keep in mind the style of your home. If you are building in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, a Mediterranean style home might not be the best choice. It is important that you consider the style of the region. Should you ever want to sell your house, you need to make sure that it is similar to other homes on the market in your area. Taking time to research geographic factors of your region will help you eliminate house plans that are not suited for your area. 

 

Keeping these tips in mind as you browse through the broad selection of house plan available at The House Plan Shop will help you select a floor plan that is sure to satisfy your needs.

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