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Custom Home Plans Verses Stock House Plans

Many first time home builders and soon to be owners have a preconceived notion that there is only one way to get the perfect house plan - to have the plans for their dream home custom drawn. This is not the case. In most instances, there are two basic house plan choices: custom home plans or stock house plans. With either one you choose, you will most likely end up with the home you want. However, there are pros and cons for either choice you make, but all in all, it seems that stock house plans are the way to go. Review the following comparison of the two types of plans to get a better understanding of each type of plan.

Custom Home Plans


There are some advantages to building with custom drawn home plans. The most obvious advantage is that you will get exactly what you want. By working with the designer, you will have input on the size and style. You can request specific elements and features you wish to have and the designer will include them in the floor plan. This allows you to add personal touches to your new home.

Sometimes, new builders have a house plan custom drawn to suit their lot. They may need to accommodate specific elements or features on the property such as a sloping lot or rocky ground. Occasionally, the only way to accommodate a "tricky lot" is with a custom drawn plan.

Finally, drawing a custom home plan will ensure that your new home will meet all necessary building codes without having to make changes. Drawing from scratch allows the design professional to include all structural elements to meet building codes as the plan is developed.

These advantages will save you from a few construction headaches.


On the other hand, there are several disadvantages to choosing custom drawn home plan. The first challenge is to find a qualified design professional that you communicate and work well with. This person is going to draw your dream home and will be communicating with you on a regular basis. It is important that you understand each other well and can express thoughts and ideas easily to one another. If you are paying the design professional an hourly rate for services, you do not want to rack up an expensive bill due to miscommunications and have to explain things more than once. This wastes time and will cost you more money.

Time is another factor to consider before you choose to build with a custom drawn home plan. If you have a strict timeline or schedule and already have a projected move-in date, think about how much time it will take to design and develop your house plan. Starting from scratch can be a rather lengthy process, not to mention waiting for the design professional to finish any other jobs that may already be in progress. You will have to wait for those jobs to be finished before work on your custom home plan begins. Do you have time to wait?

Another "bump in the road" with a custom home plan may be the frequent meetings you must have with the designer. As you go through the design process, you should allow time to meet with the designer and review the drawings at each stage of development. If you already have a busy schedule, frequent trips to the designer's office can be a huge inconvenience.

Also, consider all of the decisions and choices you will have to make as your home plan is developed. This is very time consuming, and if making decisions is not one of your strong points, you may find it very frustrating. You will have to provide information about the rooms you want in your house and the layout, approximate room sizes, ideas about exterior details and trim, special features, design elements, etc. It often happens that as soon as one decision is made it is time to make another one. Are you up to the challenge?

A custom house plan will require thorough review before building. Remember, the custom house plan has never been built before, so it is important that all builders and contractors working on your home review the plans carefully before construction begins. This is necessary to ensure structural soundness.

Lastly, custom drawn house plans are very costly when compared to stock house plans. Most design professionals will charge an hourly rate or a predetermined amount per square foot plus additional fees for any changes that arise along the way. The larger the home plan and the greater the square footage, the more design time it will take, resulting in an expensive bill for the custom drawn home plan.

While building with a custom house plan can have a positive outcome, it will have many potential difficulties along the way.

Stock House Plans


There are far more advantages to building with a stock house plan as opposed to a custom home plan. Stock plans come in a vast array of sizes and styles providing plenty to choose from. They are designed and marketed by designers and architects all over North America, thus resulting in a wide variety of styles and designs you may not have been exposed to before visiting stock house plan websites such as this one. These stock house plans range from Country, European and Waterfront to Craftsman, Victorian and Garage Apartments with everything in between. Each designer adds personal style and flair providing features unique to his or her own designs.

Due to the variety of designers in the stock house plan business, there are a variety of elements and amenities within each design. Without shopping for stock house plans at online sources such as www.thehouseplanshop.com you may have never noticed some of the design elements you have come to like and now desire in your own home. Stock home plans already include many of today's most popular and sought after features. If you chose to draw a custom house plan, you may have missed out on these features because you never took the opportunity to find them by looking at stock house plans.

Stock house plans offer flexibility. Most often they can be customized. By purchasing CAD files or a reproducible master, you can receive a copyright release allowing you to make simple modifications to the blueprints and add your own personal touches.

Now, consider quality. There is no substitute for the quality provided by stock house plans. These plans have been built several times throughout North America. Think of it as a test drive with your house plan. They have already proven their structural soundness and functionality over and over ensuring quality craftsmanship and design unlike the custom home plan that has never been built.

Building with a stock house plan offers great resale value. Suppose, sometime in the future you find yourself in a situation where you must sell your home. You can take comfort in knowing that because you have built your new home with one of our top-selling stock house plans, it will most likely sell quickly. It is a popular design and became a best seller for a reason. If the home plan was attractive to you and to many other stock home plan builders, it will be attractive to someone else shopping for an existing home.

Choosing a stock house plan will make life simple for you. The plan is already drawn. There are no meetings with the designer to attend, no frustrating decisions to make and no time taken out of your already busy schedule, as it would be with a custom home plan. In addition, stock house plans are easy to purchase. Shopping for a home plan on a website such as this one allows you to do it in the comforts of your own home at a time convenient for you. Typically, you can receive your stock house plans within two weeks or less. There is no development and design time required. You can receive your stock home plans rather quickly waiting just long enough for your plans to be printed and shipped to you. In many cases, the conveniences of shopping for and buying stock house plans cannot be matched.

If none of these perks about stock house plans have caught your attention, consider the cost. Stock house plans are inexpensive and can generally be purchased at a fraction of the cost of a custom home plan. When building a new home, it is important save money when you can and stay within your budget. (See Saving on Your Building Budget.) You can have the same quality and features in a stock house plan that you can find with a custom drawn home plan without the high dollar price tag.

From selection and quality to convenience and cost it truly is advantageous to build with a stock house plan.


In most cases, stock plans have plenty to offer. There are a few minor drawbacks with them, but they can easily be rectified. Because they are stock plans, someone else has already built the same house you have fallen in love with. Chances are you will never find this same home in your area, but there is still a feeling that yours is not unique. This can be overcome by making a few simple modifications to suit your needs wherever you choose. Adding your very own personal touch will make the house plan "yours." If you do decide to make changes, remember they will take considerably less time than to draw an entire house plan as compared to starting from scratch with a custom design.

The second thing to remember is that almost every time a stock plan is built, it will need to be brought up to local building codes. They cannot be drawn to meet all building codes all across the continent, so it may be necessary to make a few modifications. Seeking help from a local building professional will cause a minimal delay and will have you ready to build in almost no time.

Though there are a few disadvantages to using stock house plans, the advantages outweigh them considerably. And, with a little effort, these slight drawbacks can be changed easily to accommodate your needs.

After considering the advantages and disadvantages of custom home plans and stock house plans, it most likely that the stock house plan is the better choice.

Additional information can be found by reading Everything You Need to Know About Stock House Plans and The Value of Building With Our House Plans.

This article brought to you by The HousePlanShop, LLC, the home of the best selling house plans from the best designers!

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