You’ve spent hours searching the internet, analyzing your friends’ homes, and sketching your dream home on the back of an envelope.
Then you finally find it: the one.
But, upon closer inspection, you want to make a few changes to it.
If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone. Many of our customers like to make modifications to their stock plans because the home plan is missing just that one thing. A little je ne sais quoi, if you will.
Typically, most of these modifications are quite common, so our designers are used to making the changes on a regular basis. To help ease your mind when requesting mods, we’ve put together a list of the most common modifications requested by our customers.
What are modifications?
A modification is any change – big or small – that you make to one of our stock home plans. A big change might be adding lots of extra square footage. A small change might be taking out a non-load-bearing wall for a more open feel. Whatever changes you would like to make, know that they are typically possible.
We have an easy-to-follow process in place for requesting modifications, which you can read all about by clicking here.
Top Questions To Consider Before Requesting Changes
Before you think about making any changes to your house plan, there are a few key things to think about and discuss with anyone partnering with you on the project.
How much are you willing to pay for changes?
Depending on the place you purchase your house plan from and the size and amount of changes you request, the costs associated can vary greatly. Typically, modification fees range from $500 - $1,500 (plus the cost of the 5 Set, PDF file, or CAD file).
Most places will give you a free quote before moving forward with the work. There is typically a time frame of two to three business days for this. So, before paying for modifications, you can run a more advanced search to ensure there isn’t another house plan already available with the modifications you are after. If not, then request a quote and see how it fits into your overall budget for the project.
How long do you want to wait for your new plans?
As mentioned, simple changes can usually be back to you in two to three business days. However, bigger changes, like increasing the square footage by more than 20%, adding multiple new rooms, or changing around load-bearing walls, can take a bit longer. The timeframe can also vary depending on how busy the designer is at the time of the request.
If your construction start date is imminent, consider the potential added costs of delaying breaking ground to adjust things. If you start changing things after you have already started, this only makes the problem worse. You might also have to spend additional money to go back and redo parts of the project that were already completed.
Can you create a fully customized home?
Yes, you can. If you would prefer not to start from one of our thousands of house plans as a base and then make a few tweaks here and there, it is possible to build one completely from scratch instead. To do this, just reach out to us and submit a custom design request.
We work with a large network of very talented designers and architects. We will be more than happy to put you in contact with someone in your local area. However, if you’d like to start with one of the plans, keep reading to find out some of the more popular mod requests.
Top 7 Most Requested Home Modifications
These are some of the most common modification requests we receive here at The Plan Collection.
Extending Ceiling Heights
Taller ceilings can make a room feel larger. It’s just a fact. So, even though plenty of our home plans typically have generous ceiling heights, many of our clients like to make things a little taller. Sometimes, they only do this on the home's first level, especially in the main living and eating areas. Because these are communal spaces, it is more important that they feel larger.
However, other clients prefer to have taller ceilings in all areas of their home, including the second story, as well as more personal areas, like bedrooms and bathrooms, too. We can also raise the overall height of the porches if you would like more space available outside, as well.
This lovely Ranch with Craftsman influences already has nine-foot ceilings, so you may not need to modify it. With three bedrooms, three baths, a 2-car garage, and over 3300 square feet, this home has plenty of space for a growing family. Plan #163-1099
Making the Floor Plan More Accessible
As we age, it is often important that our homes are a bit more accessible to us. This could be small tweaks, like ensuring that the doorways are wide enough for a wheelchair or walker to fit through. It could also be larger tweaks, like installing an elevator or a chair lift on the stairs.
Some homeowners might prefer a shower to a bath for retirement but would like a built-in bench in the shower. Others might like a visual doorbell that has light sensors in certain areas of the house in addition to making auditory cues. Whatever your and your family's needs (current or anticipated), we can accommodate them with modifications to our plans.
This classic two-story country home with wrap around porch has plenty of room to modify it to be handicap accessible. With a main-level master bedroom and an optional first-floor second bedroom or den, you could have one-floor living if desired. At 1,980 square feet and a 2-car garage, you could even add an elevator if needed. Plan #178-1080
Adding More Square Feet
Sometimes you just need a little bit more room. Many of our clients absolutely fall in love with a house plan, but they know that it’s just not quite big enough to fit their needs. This might be adding a bit more room to the main living and entertaining areas because you like to host. Or, it could mean adding one, two, or even three more bedrooms onto a house because you have a large family or intend to use the home as a vacation rental.
Whatever your reasons, if you are in love with a plan but would like certain rooms to be a bit larger or for there to just be more rooms in general, we can work with you on it. Keep in mind that if you are adding too much square footage to a plan, it might make more sense financially to look for a larger home and make adjustments from there.
This adorable small house plan with a spacious front porch has 561 square feet of living space as well as one bedroom and one bath. Perhaps you love this plan but would like an additional bedroom, a garage, or perhaps to expand the outdoor space. Either way, we have you covered. Plan #196-1050
Moving Non-Load-Bearing Walls
If you want to change the overall feel of a space, you can usually achieve this by moving non-load-bearing walls. A non-load-bearing wall is mainly decorative. It is used to define space, not to support the roof of the home. So, if you want to change things up, you can. You can move it, shorten it, or get rid of it completely. It’s all up to you.
We see these requests come through all the time, so don’t be afraid to ask. Moving a load-bearing wall takes a bit more legwork, but it can be done. This is because we need to figure out what is going to support the weight in that part of the house. However, when working with plans, there are typically notations about what type of wall you are looking at, so you’ll know which modification you are asking for.
With 1,580 square feet, this wonderful one-bedroom, one-bath barn-style home is sure to please. This home also includes a huge shop which could be used as a garage as well, a tack room, a great room, and a kitchen. If you need more living space, you could modify the tack room or carve out a portion of the shop. Plan #214-1008
Making Small Adjustments to the Facade
Would you prefer a white brick home instead of a red brick home? No problem – just let your team know in advance. Do you want there to be a light fixture under every window instead of just having a main porch light? Feel free to say so. Small adjustments to the facade of a home are one of the most common plan modifications that we receive.
Do you want there to be two pillars on the side of your porch instead of one? You would prefer Ionic columns instead of Doric? Tell us! Sometimes homeowners might think they are being nit-picky. However, when you are custom building a home, you have a say in every small aspect of the process. It should be exactly as you like it.
We love the look of the two-color façade of this fabulous modern farmhouse plan. However, some homeowners may want to change it or prefer one color. If so, send us a modification request, and we will get back to you with a free quote. The 1,740 square foot home has two bedrooms, 2 baths, and a 2-car garage. Plan #163-1087
Reversing the Entire Floor Plan
You ever look at a floor plan and thought to yourself, “This would be perfect. If it was completely flipped.” If you have, you would not be the first one. Many of our clients come to us and ask if we can reverse a floor plan. This could be for a variety of reasons, like the dimensions of their lot or the local geography. Most of the designers offer right-reading reverse for their plans as an option and for a flat fee that you can add to your cart when checking out, so you do not need to send us a modification request. However, if you have something specific in mind, it’s always good to ask us first.
Adding/Changing a Garage
Many customers fall in love with a house plan that may not have a garage, so they request to have one added. Sometimes, due to their lot size or location or HOA rules, some customers need to change the entry of the garage from a front load to a side load or vice versa. Another popular garage mod is adding or subtracting a bay. For example, change a 2-car garage into a 3-car. You can always do a search on the number of garage bays you would like to have to help narrow your search results to exactly what you are looking for.
This beautiful four-bedroom farmhouse plan comes standard with a 2-car front load garage. However, there are many other options available with this plan, such as a side-load or 3-car garage. This lovely home also has 3.5 baths and a second-floor loft. Plan #165-1186
If you have any questions about our house plans, please don’t hesitate tocontact us. We have thousands of customizable plans available, and our customerservice team can help answer any questionsyou may have.