Are you ready to start building a new home and are not sure where to start in choosing a floor plan? There are countless resources for purchasing house plans that will fit your budget, lifestyle and style of architecture. From house plan magazines to online home manufacturer websites, the resources are abundant for purchasing a house plan.  Before you go and choose a floor plan for the beautiful room layout, have you: chosen your property, consulted with your local building department or looked into construction costs? Before you buy the house plans, here is what you should consider first.

  • Know where you will build: Before choosing a floor plan, ensure you have a piece of property to build it on first. This may seem obvious, but many home buyers think the floor plan should be considered first and they forget certain plans can only fit on certain sized lots.  If you are buying 10 acres of land, than this factor may not apply to you.  For those with a smaller budget and property size to work with, buy your property first.
  • Know your budget: When shopping for homes with developers, you have the advantage of having the floor plan, and builder chosen and the ‘price tag’ is already predetermined.  When you purchase house plans you are going through a catalog of plans and will need to add up the components on your own.  While a house plan may seem reasonably priced, remember you will still need a contractor to build and their fees must be taken into account, along with the property price. Before purchasing floor plans, know what your overall budget would entail.
  • Research local building codes: Before you purchase plans, seek the advice of a building department official in your local jurisdiction of where your property is located.  They can provide you guidelines on the height, size, and how far away from the street it can sit, etc… These guidelines are important if you plan on building a home in an urban environment and the plan you chose is too large and will not work with the local building codes.  If you need help visit your local building department and they can walk you through the information you need.
  • Ensure the floor plans meet your needs: After you have confirmed the site, your budget, and local building codes look through floor plans that will fit your family’s needs. Size is important, but the way your floor plan flows and whether it’s open or closed can make a huge difference depending on your lifestyle.  Review the Freshome Article – 5 Tips to Choosing the Right Floor Plan when choosing the right layout for you.
  • Consider hiring consultants: Consultants such as an architect or mechanical/electrical/structural/plumbing may be needed for advice on making your floor plan a reality.  Seek advice on how much heating and cooling systems will cost, a civil engineer may be needed if your property site is uneven, and other consultants should be referred to before you buy your floor plans.

Building a home is exciting, and purchasing a floor plan can be hectic and take planning before you choose.  After you have followed the above tips, the process will seem easier and you’ll be less stressed out when your home is being built. Relax; your home will be perfect!

Freshome reader’s do you have experience with purchasing floor plans? What are the pros and cons? We’d love to hear your comments.