Since building a home will most likely be one of the biggest projects of your lifetime, it is important that you select the right house plan for your needs, lifestyle and budget. Remember that you’re not just purchasing a home plan for today, but for a growing and exciting future.
A key element to finding the right house plan is to look for floor plans that offer lots of flexibility. For example, where a bedroom can easily be converted into a home office, nursery or den. You many not think you need it now, but plans that offer optional bonus spaces and basement floor plans are a great asset down the road when you find yourself needing more space for your growing family.
As you get ready to search for the perfect home plan, you need to evaluate your needs, lifestyle and finances by asking yourself some important questions:
What is your marital status? This will help determine what size home you will need, the amount of flexibility you need from your floor plan and the location of its bedrooms.
Are you an avid cook? Do you enjoy entertaining? If the answer is yes then you’ll want to make sure that you have a large, functional kitchen space. Most new kitchen designs feature designated work zones for preparation, cooking and cleaning. An open floor plan where the kitchen, dining room and great room share the same space makes it easy to socialize, especially if they lead to an outdoor living space.
Will you need extra space for overnight guests? If you have out-of-state family and friends you should consider a house plan with a guest suite or bonus room that can easily be converted in a bedroom.
Do you have a realistic home building budget? Being realistic about the amount of money you actually can afford to invest in building your new home is key to you enjoying your home. Even if you can afford a larger home now, keep in mind all the expenses that go into operating and maintaining a home this size, especially if your financial situation changes down the road. A well-designed house plan will allow for future expansions and include bonus spaces and basement options so you can easily add more space to your home.
It’s definitely a great idea to purchase a cost estimator (you can get a pretty comprehensive cost-to-build report for around $30) before you buy a house plan to make sure you not only can afford to build your home, but all the yearly utilities, taxes and maintenance bills that go along with owning a home.
Will you need a home office? Whether you work at home or not, you’ll appreciate having a dedicated office in your home so you can keep all your personal finances and projects together.
How important is it to have a master suite? Your bedroom should be the place you go to escape and relax after a long day. It should have all the features you need to pamper yourself like large windows, a sitting area, master bath with spa shower and/or hot tub and huge walk-in closets. While looking at house plans decide whether you want the master suite on the first or second floor or left or right wing of your home.
Do you want an outdoor living space? You can easily extend your home’s living space by incorporating an outdoor living space like a patio, porch, deck, outdoor kitchen and/or living room, sunroom and pool area.
It’s not only natural, but expected that when you find the “perfect” house plan, you’ll want to make some changes to truly personalize your home. Most modifications can be made by your builder directly on the blueprint (called redlining) to minimize costs. For more extensive changes, you’ll want to have the designer or architect make the modifications for you. Look for house plan companies that offer free modification quotes to make sure you can afford to build your home. If not, you’ll know what type of house plan you should be looking at that fits your needs and budget.