Links for Plan Ideas?

Old 12-12-04, 07:30 AM
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Links for Plan Ideas?

Does anyone have suggestions for online sources for floor plans and design ideas? We're still way open regarding how we're going to lay it out.


Bayside, NY
Old 12-12-04, 03:01 PM
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It would be adviseable to seek a designer or architect for your new home. It is best to hire someone who is paid a "flat fee" with a "detailed contract" that allows flexibility to a degree that doesn't restrict you in the design phase. I find that this is most critical. You need to have the ability to be presented with at least 2 or more designs all based upon what you have talked about or what you may have shown samples of your taste in style, etc.. You should be allowed to make changes at least twice before finals are to be drawn. Paying for services by the hour is usually very expensive and not always easy to swallow the total invoice amount! Last but not least - Do not let others rush you. This is a big investment, you should be cautious, patient with what you think you want and be happy with the end results.

While plans ordered from a magazine or plan warehouse may be more convenient, they don’t always save you money. It may look good spending $300, $500, $800 for a set of plans, usually not entirely happy with them but isn’t this being too cheap and foolish when we are talking about a large investment? I think spending 5% to 15% of the actual construction cost could save you thousands of dollars. Working with a professional, one on one can avoid major problems before and during construction. Cutting shortcuts here is a nightmare in the making!

There are several factors to consider when looking at stock plans. Since this applies to custom homes, not additions, these are generic in nature and may not provide the detail necessary for personalizing the home to your liking.

Most stock plans were originally prepared for a certain region and don’t always reflect local code requirements or construction techniques. This means they must be redrawn but a professional who knows what is required, keeps your budget in check and does so with your desires in mind. I find that if I know the budget, style of home, needs, wants and maybe a wish or two, I do quite well at accomplishing this.

Finally, most companies charge additional fees if you want to “customize” stock plans. There are additional fees for “reproducible” prints and these can add up fast depending on who you disperse them out to. Bear in mind that these are "copyrighted" and Federal laws do apply here.

All of these factors can add significantly to the final expense of design and building your home. Contact a local designer/or architect for the fees they charge in sitting down with you and preparing to put together a concept to your liking. You need someone who listen, can have a perception of what you desire and can produce it to complete detail so that there are no surprises. When submitting these out for bid, you can lock in quotes. Contractors will not be guessing at what has to be done and up charging based on assumptions. Your budget won’t be blown out of the water due to inaccuracies of the drawings and you will get what you pay for.

Here is my suggestions although not partial to the idea,

Hope this helps!
Old 01-04-05, 08:49 PM
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If you are looking for ideas I would do a search querie for "homeplans" on google or yahoo. You can look at thousands of houses and at least refine your likes and dislikes. You can decide on style, square footage, one story, two story etc...

You can print for free any plan on the net. if you choose to go with a local designer/architect you will save time and money by at least haveing your likes/dislikes refined and some direction to head in.

I also advise going to local subdivisions open houses and take a look at the new trends in housing. The difference between 8' ceilings and 9' ceilings.
Appliances installed with cabinets.

The other place I ove to window shop is the home shows as you can see tile, carpet, roofing, etc...

If you do find a plan you like online most are designed for either the uniform building code, the boca building codes, the california building codes the international building codes. Most changes in code are minor in nature. I do believe that both "stock plans" or "custom plans" will not be without changes it is just that with stock plans you will need to consult a local designer or engineer for sure

hope this helps.

Brian Garrison
General Contractor/Professional Building Designer
Old 01-13-05, 11:41 AM
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Old 01-25-05, 11:47 AM
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i think a better site for house plans would be

they dont have any popups or ads. i was happy with their service and i could build their plans locally without any problems with building permits.

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