Why Buy Stock House Plans Vs Custom?

When a person begins the process of building a new house, there are many different aspects that need to be addressed including: where to build, what size home to build, what features to include, what items are the most important to have in the home, what costs should be included in the budget, what are the design – build timeframes, who will build the home, and a host of other issues.

After these initial questions have been successfully answered, the next item that must be addressed is that of house plans. There are two basic types of house plans that can be purchased, custom or stock, with each having distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Custom Houseplans

Custom house plans are just as the name implies. The house plans are custom drawn to meet you family’s specific needs. The plans are normally drawn by a licensed building designer or, in some cases, a licensed architect in a geographic location close to where the 1.) owners live, or 2.) home will be built. The process is, normally, much more involved and time-consuming since the owner’s specific requests will need to be integrated into the overall design of the home. Many times these type “special” requests can present significant challenges to the designer of the home, which as a result, may take additional time to resolve.

Since the home is being custom designed, specifically to meet the needs of that one person/family, the costs associated with the development of the house plans tend to be significantly larger than those for a similar set of stock house plans. However, in some cases, the custom house plan may be the only viable option based on the client’s needs, home location, special building considerations, etc.

Advantages:

– Homeowner can get exactly what they want in home design

– Special needs can be addressed in the design (i.e. extra large garage for boat, larger than normal master bath, handicapped access, etc.)

Disadvantages:

– Significantly more costly than stock houseplans

– Longer, more arduous process to develop

– Significantly more time consuming to produce (i.e. many meetings necessary with designer over several month period)

Stock Houseplans Stock house plans are, by contrast, home designs which have been developed to fit the needs of a particular group of the general populace. They are not custom designed for a particular person, but rather, standardized for the needs of a larger group.

Stock homeplans normally include the “most requested” features including square footage, room dimensions, floorplan layout, amenities, and other like features. These house plans provide an excellent value when compared to the corresponding price of a set of fully custom house plans which may exceed several thousand dollars.

When you buy a stock house plan, you’re not paying for the countless hours spent drawing up a plan, re-working the plan, and finalizing drafts. You’re paying a reduced fee for a single re-use of that plan.

Advantages:

– Significantly less expensive

– Minor plan modifications can usually be made by the original designer or a local designer for a minimal charge.

– Very simple and quick purchase process

– Can submit the plans for a building permit the day after receiving

Disadvantages:

-Not as extensively customizable

In conclusion, I would recommend trying to find a stock house plan, first, at a reputable online house plan broker website such as House Plan Central.com. There are thousands of stock house plans available online, and House Plan Central.com offers a huge selection of unique house plans in many different architectural styles.

More likely than not, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for by doing a simple search. With so many plans available to choose from, it’s a safe bet that you won’t see your house plan replicated in your area. And if you find a plan you like, but want to make a few modifications – no problem! Most of the plans available at House Plan Central.com can be modified to your specifications.

Determining whether your particular needs merit custom or stock house plans is, ultimately, a personal choice based on your particular situation. Both types will provide you with the information that you need to successfully build your dream home.

How House Plans Work

The Ins and Outs Of Choosing Online Custom Home Plans!

So you’ve decided to build your own home, congratulations! Now where do you go from here?

If you are a first timer, it is sometimes confusing figuring out how house plans work. House plans, sometimes referred to as home floor plans, are easily deciphered once you understand the basics. Let’s discuss some of them so you know what to look for when looking at custom home plans for your dream house.

House Plans Options

There are many options available when it comes to house plans. Home plans usually come in “sets” which can be broken down as follows:

CAD Set – This is a complete set of house plans that is available in electronic file format. Usually this type of house plan is requested from professionals. A CAD set is useful if you are planning on making a lot of changes to the initial house plan purchased. This isn’t usually something a novice would be interested in, unless they are working very closely with a designer.

Study Set – This type of home plan includes complete exterior views of your home to be plus floor plans of the upper and lower floors (for two story homes). A study set is useful in helping you determine if you can afford the home you are considering building. Usually excluded from a study set are items such as the roof, foundation and details of the home.

Construction Set – Construction house plans are complete and include everything you need to build your home. Exterior views, complete floor plans, roof and foundation plans and details that explain how to build your home are included in a construction set. You want to consider a construction set if you are interested in buying a basic home plan package from which you’ll secure financing and settle all the other details necessary to have your home built.

Reproducible Set – You can buy a reproducible set if you think you may need minor changes made to your home plans. You can make copies from this type of home plan, but you are not allowed to build more than one home from these type of plans without a separate license.

Selecting a Style Home

Once you have figured out what type of plans you’ll need, you next need to decide on the type of house plans you want to look at. Here are some examples of common house plans that can be purchased:

Cottage Plans
Beach House Plans
Log Home Plans
Modular Home Plans
Storage Shed Plans

Let’s examine each of these more closely:

Cottage Plans

Cottage plans are usually crafted with warmth and cozy spacing in mind. Most cottage plans are not designed with the idea that the home will be very large. Cottage plans include characteristics such as cozy living spaces, wood siding and stone based porches among other things. Many also are designed to accommodate one and one half to two story homes with low pitched roofs. The exterior materials often used in cottage plans include brick or stucco.

How To Choose A House Plan – Part 2 of 10

Maybe this should have been lesson #1 – it’s such a common mistake. The oft-neglected rule is this: not every house plans fits – or can easily be made to fit – on every site.

Potential Disaster

You’ve seen the sad, odd result of this mistake before – the one-level house precariously perched on a steeply sloping site. In the Midwestern and Southern United States it’ll be supported on stacks and stacks of concrete block; in the California hills it’s even worse – houses on stilts! But it does make for great video when a mudslide or earthquake takes one into the ravine below.

Most plan book houses are “designed” to be placed on flat lots, and granted, the majority of building lots are relatively flat. But many house plan buyers have more challenging properties and these lots require a design that responds appropriately.

You can buy “sloped lot” designs from some house plan sites, and these are a step in the right direction – if you know what to look for.

The Four “S’s” of Siting a House – Slope, Sun, Soil, and Sewer

Slope The slope of the property can have a big effect on the cost of your project – a house placed on a slope will most definitely cost more to build than on a flat lot. Does your house have to be placed on the slope? Perhaps it can be placed at the top or bottom – taking advantage of the views from the slope but not incurring the costs of building there.

Many owners of sloping lots want to take advantage of that situation by including a “walk-out” basement in the plan. It’s a great way to increase the space in your house for a relatively small cost. The steepness of the slope will partly determine how much excavation and/or fill is necessary to create the walkout.

But a walk-out basement will also require a few special details and some additional structural information to accomplish properly and to get permits from most building departments. Be sure your plan includes such provisions for a walk-out, or have someone make the necessary revisions to the plans for you.

Homes on sloped lots often require more (read: costly) gravel backfill material at the foundation; they might need expensive retaining walls to create a flat area for a driveway or hold back soil at the walk-out; and they usually have a full basement – whether you want it or not.

Looks for plans designed for sloped lots – they’re usually multi-level plans and are usually listed as “sloped lot plans” on house plan websites.

Here’s the bottom line – carefully analyze (with the help of a design professional if necessary) the impact that your sloped lot may have on your choice of house plans. Choose a house plan that’s appropriate for the lot without expensive modifications or construction techniques.

Sun Most homes are designed with the primary family living spaces at the back (kitchen, breakfast room, family room). These are the rooms you want sunlight in; the rooms with all the expensive windows. And you’ll get that sunlight through those windows, too – if the back of the house faces south. That’s where the sun is, remember? If your lot is on the south side of the street, great.

But what if your lot is on the north side? All that living space, all that glass, isn’t going to get any direct sunlight at all. Or worse, your lot faces east, and the afternoon sun pours through that wall of west facing glass like a blast furnace – heating up the house and fading the furniture and carpeting.

Most house plan services will be happy to “flip” your plans for you if that will give the living spaces a better orientation to the sun. If the plan you’ve chosen is drawn on CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) software, then flipping the plan is easy. For hand drawn plans, you’ll have to make “reverse” prints yourself – easily done at your local reprographics (blueprint) shop. In Chapter #9 “Buy The “Right” Set Of Plans”, we’ll talk more about flipping floor plans.

Since we’re talking about sunlight, now’s a good time to bring up the subject of energy consumption. Houses use energy to keep heat in, and to keep heat out. The easiest and least expensive way to keep heat out of the house is with proper orientation of the windows and doors. The easiest way to keep heat in is to reduce the number of windows – so pay close attention to the number and location of windows in your house plan. A properly oriented plan can save you a lot in fuel bills.

Soil It’s amazing, every time a backhoe starts a new house foundation, how different soils can be from one building site to another. From loose sand to solid rock and everything in between, and sometimes on the same site!

Soil type can have a big impact on the cost of construction. Even if you know a lot about the underground conditions on your site, it’s a good idea to keep a little cash in reserve to deal with potential surprises lurking under the turf.

How much do you know about the soils on your home site? It’s relatively easy to learn the basic characteristics from your County Extension Service or local building department. You might also contact builders and excavators with experience in the area and ask them what they’ve encountered on other projects they’ve built near you.

House plan services that design all their own plans (like RTA Plans) often design them to fit the site conditions and building traditions of their local area. Some Southeastern plans, for example, have neither crawl spaces nor basements; they’re designed with foundations on multiple piers because of the low bearing capacity of the sandy soil. In areas with better soils this same system would be overkill.

A few of the plan services in the Great Plains and Texas design their homes on concrete slabs – there’s almost no foundation at all.

Some types of foundation systems that are popular in one region are unheard of in others. Typical practice in many areas is poured concrete walls – a potentially expensive option if your plans call for concrete block. It’s important to know what foundation systems are common where you’re building.

But even a house with the proper type of foundation for your site may need significant re-engineering to accommodate the local soils and the local building department.

Soils drain and retain water differently, and soils have vastly differently capacities to bear structural loads. In most areas, you’ll have to show the building department that your foundation is designed for the local soils conditions.

Don’t skip this step – if the plan you’re considering isn’t suited for the soil conditions on your site, you could spend thousands of dollars to have the plans modified accordingly.

Sewer The Plumber’s Credo – “everything flows downhill” is extremely important to remember when selecting a plan. On a developed lot, the municipal sanitary sewer line is buried near the front (usually) of the lot. The height of this pipe will determine the depth below grade of the basement slab since the effluent from the house must “flow downhill” to the sewer line.

Depending upon the soil conditions and slope of the lot, the sewer line may be too high to allow gravity flow from a basement, especially if you’re planning on having a bathroom in the basement. In such cases a “grinder” or “ejector” pump may be required to lift waste to the sewer height – at a cost of several thousand dollars.

An undeveloped lot is one where the utilities – electricity, water, gas, and public sewer – aren’t brought from the street to the buildable area of the lot. On larger undeveloped properties there may not be any public sanitary sewer to connect to at all. On such a lot, you’ll need some type of private sanitation system.

Several types of private sanitation systems are in use today including the traditional septic tank and leach field, aeration systems, and “mound” systems. They can vary widely in cost, and not all health districts allow all types. The choice of system will also be heavily weighted by the soil type and slope of the lot, and the available area(s) for the system. A typical leach field system will require a large clear area for a primary and second field.

Since a private sanitation system is more expensive than connecting to a public system, the cost isn’t typically considered in the “base” cost of building a house. A private sanitation system is usually an “extra”.

Put ’em all together At this point you’ve probably begun to guess that all of the four critical site selection factors above can affect the same site. You’re right. A heavily-wooded, steeply-sloping property on the north side of the street with loose, sandy soil will require a very particular house plan indeed.

Will you be able to find that house plan on a website? Maybe – but perhaps just as important to you should be the desire to avoid purchasing a plan that won’t work on the property.

Buying House Plans Online

The Benefits of Self Building

Investing in property had always been very popular – and for many very productive and lucrative. However, as the prices on property begin to soar, it is difficult for many to even get their foot on to the property ladder. The alternative is renting, which usually means paying extortionate sums of cash each month to a wealthy landlord – not something that many people particularly want to do, but something that they feel they have to do in order to enjoy their own living space and independence.

However, there is a cost effective alternative for those that really want to get on to the property ladder but feel that they can’t afford it. Self-building with house plans has become an increasingly popular solution for prospective homeowners, enabling them to get the home of their dreams at a fraction of what it would cost to buy a ready built home of the same style and calibre.

How do house plans work?

House plans are designed by top professionals – architects and designers that know exactly what constitutes a high quality, desirable home. These house plans are designed to be as simple to follow as possible, enabling purchasers to see construct their homes with ease and speed.

House plans are available for a vast range of property types, so whether you live alone and want your own private little home, or whether you have a large family and need a home that will provide you with adequate space and facilities, you will find something that will suit your needs exactly, and for far less than you imagine.

Using house plans to construct your new home will also give you the benefit of being able to make it as unique as you dare. The construction of new homes by huge corporations has become a little like a factory production line, with entire estates full of identical houses springing up in the matter of a few weeks. There’s nothing unique or special about these homes; you would simply be spending years living in a property that looks exactly the same as the one next door, and the one opposite, and the one down the road – you get the picture…

By using house plans to create your home, you can put your dreams in to action. Whatever style, size or type of home you want, there will be a top quality house plan that will suit your needs and budget perfectly. So you can get a house that is truly unique and special, and probably pay less than those that have opted for the “production line” houses.

Looking for unique house plans?

There are so many house plans to choose from that you can achieve just the look and style for your new home. You can even get custom house plans, so whatever your idea of the dream home you can still make it a reality.

Perhaps you are looking for a little hideaway near the lake; maybe you want a cottage in the countryside; perhaps a log cabin is your idea of the perfect home or holiday hideaway; or maybe you want to go for a sprawling, family home. Whatever your requirements and desires, these fabulous house plans can be a great help. With so many styles to choose from you can get a really unique home to suit your needs and your pocket, so why settle for less? Some of the excellent house plan choices include:

  • A frame cabin house plans
  • A frame home house plans
  • Country house plans
  • Log house plans
  • Luxury house plans
  • Small cottage house plans
  • Vacation house plans
  • Victorian house plans

Why use house plans?

One of the main reasons why so many people are keen on using house plans rather than buying pre-built properties these days is the cost. The rising costs associated with buying a pre-built home have made people realize that they can save a lot of money by simply opting for a self-build property, giving them the perfect home at a fraction of the price.

There are other things to consider as well. What are the chances of finding the perfect pre-built home – a home that suits every member of the family down to the ground? We all have different ideas when it comes to the perfect house. You may be more interested in a large lounge or bathroom, whereas your partner may want a huge kitchen and bedroom, The kids might be pestering you for a separate playroom, and you may be thinking how useful a large dining area could be.

When you use a house plan to construct your perfect home, you can incorporate everyone’s design ideas in to the plan, thus giving you a home that is ideal for the whole family, and which you can all enjoy for as long as you live there. You can give your home a unique look, plenty of character and you can really stamp your personality on your new home.

Buying house plans online

If you are looking for widest choice and top quality when it comes to buying house plans, then the Internet is by far your best choice. You will find such a vast range of exceptional, stunning house plans online that you can’t fail to find something that will match exactly what you are looking for – and at a price that you can afford.

The Internet will provide you with access to house plan by experience, qualified and very skilled designers and architects, so you can be sure of getting quality and durability as well as an impressive design and some really stunning features. And with such a wide range to choose from, there is something available for every budget.

You can browse online house plans from the comfort of your home or office, enabling you to find the right choice at your own pace and without any outside pressure. You can even sit down with the family, discuss your needs collectively and then look at the selection of house plans together to ensure that you get something that will suit everyone.

By going online to search for the ideal house plan you will enjoy many benefits, such as:

  • Affordability, with some incredible low prices available on house plans
  • Convenience, as you can browse house plans without even having to leave your home
  • Being able to discuss and compare house plans with your family
  • Speed and ease of browsing house plans
  • Unrivalled choice of house plans
  • Top quality house plans

With the convenience, ease and choice on offer when you go online to look for house plans, it makes sense to make things simple by harnessing the power of the Internet to take the first step towards the perfect home for you and your family.