Make sure that your taste and needs match your budget. This means if you have a budget of $ 200,000 you shouldn’t be looking for a 3500 sqft house plan. That only leaves you with a building budget of $ 57/sqft. In today’s market non-competitive market where trades and builders are in high demand, it’s not uncommon to find homes being built around the $ 200/sqft range, so budget accordingly. Also don’t try to find a four-bedroom house with a family room, living room, dining room, breakfast nook, large kitchen in a 1600 sqft home, I’ll never find it and if you do the room will be so small I’ll feel like you’re living in a mobile home (no offense to anyone living in a mobile home, they have their uses).
Don’t limit your search to a specific house type or a number of bedrooms. The reason I say this is that any floor plan can be designed into any style of home, or a bedroom can be easily added without compromising the style of the home. Remember form follows function. Most home plan designers offering stock plans online also offer plan modifications or even custom design services for not much more than stock plans. Remember it is much wiser to invest a few hundred dollars extra in the planning stages to get a plan that suits your needs.
Look at the big picture. Look at the general flow of the plan, not the specifics. For example are the rooms facing the right direction? Is the master bedroom where you would like it in relation to the other bedrooms? Etc. Like I stated earlier most house plans can easily be modified by the designer. Also, a lot of builders are able to customize the smaller details during construction without the requirement for revised plans. Yes, some so-called pundits will tell you that the plans should be as precise as possible in order to avoid errors during construction. Don’t get me wrong the small thing need to be addressed prior to construction but not necessarily always at the house plan stage. If having designed over three thousand homes in my career as thought me anything is that the final product is never exactly the same as what was originally drawn by the designer.
Furthermore, if you are dealing with a reputable and well-organized builder he will be able to anticipate and coordinate any on-site modifications prior to and during construction. Remember drawings are intended as a general guide to illustrate the overall design of the home and necessarily the specific details like specific window sizes, finishes, cabinetry, etc. If you are looking at having the home designer involved in the full design process before and during construction it’s going to cost you a lot more than a few thousand dollars and there are niche markets for that sort of service.
Don’t fall in love with a picture. This means if you see a picture of a house whether real or rendered don’t expect that your house will end up looking like the picture. ( especially if the picture is not associated with a specific plan or the plan you are selecting) This is particularly true if the picture is a rendering. Most designers add a lot of extras and fancy architectural detailing when preparing their renderings. Most of the time does features are can be very costly because of things like product availability or labor intensity. Remember like all other industries the home plans industry uses effective marketing to sell their plans. After all there not going to sell plans with mediocre pictures.
Also, don’t forget about the exterior of your home. Things you will likely consider are the landscape design as well as the type of driveway you plan on adding. With so many options like concrete, pavers, stone, and asphalt, make sure you look into that and also the company doing the installation. Good companies like Arizona Street Works LLC do a terrific job at explaining things to their customers.