Your home is your castle, your haven, and your resort from the rest of the world. It should be a reservoir of comfort, safety, and peace of mind. How do we create that get-a-way package for ourselves when we’re so constrained by budgets, codes, and practicality? When I was a kid, I thought my dream car would be a fire truck. I’d drive around all day with my lights on, pulling people out of burning buildings and stranded cats out of trees. My dreams have developed and my personal tastes for automobiles have changed, but how practical was my former wish?
When building a home, we seem to run into the same problem. Our own desires and tastes are custom, but our wallets unfortunately look about the same. How do we preserve our dream home and our bank account at the same time?
Here at The Plan Collection, we offer a wide array of house plans by many award winning designers and architects. They are pre-designed, and are therefore stock plans. We often get inquiries about customizing these plans, and have many great success stories from happy customers. However, there always seems to be a little disappointment along the way. Let me offer some tips on customizing a house plan while avoiding unreasonable costs and expectations.
1.Plan Ahead. Find a location and a lot. This will ultimately determine the restrictions placed on your home. Local codes must be met, or we simply can’t build. Find out what those codes are. Call your city offices or the Inspector and familiarize yourself with the rules.
2.Collaborate. Talk to your spouse and family, or anyone else who will share the same roof. Ask about their wants and needs. Talk to several builders in your area. A friend in the business is always useful. Talk to your future neighbors and ask about their experiences when they built. Lastly, browse your area for houses. Get ideas for the look of your home. Do you want to blend in, or stand out?
3.Begin searching our website with ideas for a floor plan and the look of your home. Start early. With over 13,000 plans (we add a couple hundred a month), you’re sure to find something that matches your ideals. Remember, time is money. The more time you take to find what you need, the more money you’ll save when you want to modify.
4.Keep it simple. The magic of stock home plans is the savings. Custom homes are often $5,000 + in the making, so you’re saving some very shiny pennies when you purchase our home plans. That all starts to slip away when we customize too much. If you don’t change the structure of your house, then a builder can probably modify the house as he/she builds it. Codes often require changes to show up on the plans, so remember to become familiar with the basic rules in your area. The idea is to not have to change it.
5.Call us. We’re always willing to help. We love hearing your ideas, and want to point you in the right direction for a successful build. You may have to spend a bit to get what you want, but if you do it right in the beginning, you’ll save money in the process.
I hope you find these tips useful. It’s all about taking the time to start off right. You’ll spend a lot more money and stress if you have to fix it later.