There are several ways to obtain custom home building plans. A quick search on line will help you find numerous ideas. One can hire an architect, find an existing plan to bring to an architect, find a home builder who can customize one of the plans they normally use, or use one of their standard plans, and customize the interior according to your tastes. There are also many options offered by green builders and builders who use specialized green materials. Finding a home plan to meet your needs is relatively simple, and considering the cost, searching for an existing plan makes sense.
Custom Home Building Plans Options: Hiring an Architect
Of course one’s first thought is to draw it out yourself and then take your sketches to a local architect. Designing your own home with an architect can be very rewarding, but it will also be expensive. Expect to pay $15,000 – $50,000 in architectural fees. Some online architectural firms may offer you a better price, if you are interested just do a web search for custom house plans, and you will find many. Some of them promise to produce a home plan for less than 5% of the cost of construction. Depending on where you live, this may be cheaper than using a local architect.
There are literally millions of house plans for sale on line and in architectural magazines. A simple search will turn up house plans of every imaginable type. There are sites which have thousands of house plans to chose from, and other sites which have just a few. Most house plan prices start at around $600 and some options include reproducible master plans and special CAD house plans starting at around $1,500. A usable house plan includes much more than just a floor plan, such as the ones found in magazines for free. Real house plans are very detailed, and include diagrams for studs, plumbing, and wiring. They detail the placement of each stud and rafter, and so the price for these designs is really quite reasonable.
Home builders and contractors routinely adapt floor plans to meet the needs of different families. Sometimes they use an architect, and other times they have special software or a home design specialist who can adapt the plan without an architect. Adapting an existing plan is a good alternative for those on a budget. There is also a benefit to the home builder if you use one of the designs he normally builds. It is easier to build the same house over and over, with only slight variations than it is to have a totally different plan. Sometimes the home builder will build his own designs at a lower cost than he would build a comparable custom home.
Some home builders stick to their stock set of plans, and do not change them significantly. However there are still many opportunities to customize with the interior décor, and small changes in the way cabinetry is arranged and such.
Designing or selecting a custom home plan is largely a matter of searching for just the right design. I usually look for plans with the plumbing near exterior walls and relatively close together to save on plumbing costs. It is also a real space saving idea to look for designs without long hallways. Looking at different home plans helps in deciding what sort of home you want, even though you will only select one set of custom home building plans, you should look at hundreds of designs before deciding.