Before your home plan purchase, it is assumed that you’ve done all of the necessary preparation to pick a plan. Notice that I said “assumed”. There are several things that must be considered before you decide on buying house plans online. Surprisingly, many people are ill-prepared for this. Below is a small guide of what to do prior to selecting a home to build.
Things to do before your home plan purchase
Select and purchase land to build on
Go ahead and purchase a lot or a piece of land when you have the opportunity. Knowing how to buy land or knowing someone who does, will serve you well. It is important that you know and understand your land restrictions. They include (set backs, maximum size of house plan footprint), soil conditions (land suitable for building on), topography (if suitable for basement or slab foundation), easements, neighborhood (covenants), taxes, cost for site preparations, and other factors that may affect your decision on a home plan purchase.
Choose a builder
Take the time to find a home builder that you feel comfortable with. Get referrals from friends and family, check the builder’s background, and talk with previous customers of the builder. You should talk to the builder about your needs and wants. The home builder should know what the homeowner expects and vice-versa.
Develop a budget
Your primary purpose for preparing a budget is to understand and control costs. In order to create and stick with a budget you must be realistic about what you can afford and what can fit into a particular home plan and square footage. Readjust your budget plans with unexpected changes to remain on financial track. Be willing to trade off on some other aspect of the home construction in order to keep within budget. Bottom line, know how much house you can afford based on what you want the house to be.
Level of design service needed
Develop realistic expectations of what stock house plans cost versus custom design house plans. Then decide on the level of service you are willing to pay for. Stock house plans are finished products and ready for immediate purchase. Consequently, they are inexpensive compared to custom design services. The average stock plan is around $800.00. In some cases, you may require changes which will modify house plans to meet all your design needs. If stock plan modifications do not meet your expectations, then you may consider the services of a professional building designer for a custom home design.
Custom home plans are labor intensive and take longer (several weeks at the least) to develop from concept to construction documents. Prices vary among designers. A compromise of the two is to make a stock home plan purchase that is close to what you are looking for and making minor changes to adapt the design to your site conditions and life style. On average, modifications can be as low $500.00, but can reach into the $1,000’s depending on the amount and complexity of the changes.