Tips and Articles

Where to Start?

If this is your first time building a home, brace yourself! It can be a very overwhelming undertaking; however, it can also be very rewarding when all is said and done.

CHOOSING A LOT

In most cases choosing a lot is the first step in the building process. It is important not to fall "in love" with specific floor plans or blueprints only to find that the plan will not fit into the lot setbacks. Modifying the design is always an option, but "shrinking" or "stretching" a houseplan can undeniably jeopardize the functionality and appeal of the overall floor plan. When choosing a lot, there are many things to keep in mind:

Location
What is important to you and your family? It is necessary to take into consideration the distance to work, schools or even the grocery store. Are you prepared to drive all the way across town to work? Perhaps you are looking for a more rural/acreage or view property. Map out the areas that you are interested in, and start looking!

Budget
Can you afford the area that you would love to build your dream home in? Does the cost of the property out weigh the convenience or location? Is this going to be a profitable investment for you down the road? How long do you plan to live in this new home? These are all great questions to ask your self before jumping into anything!

Style of Home
Is there a planning commission that restricts the style or square footage of the houseplan built on that lot? Does the exterior of the home plan that you have in mind "fit in" with the rest of the neighborhood? If you are building in an area that requires a commission to approve your houseplans, it is of great importance to request a list of requirements from the local developer or authority before beginning your search for blueprints.

CHOOSING A HOUSEPLAN

With thousands of pre-drawn house plans available on-line, your possibilities are endless. Although you may know what you want, it may be hard to find every single characteristic all combined into a single floorplan. You may need to make some compromises in order to get just the right balance. When looking for your dream houseplans, take into consideration the following:

Square Footage
What is the square footage range that is comfortable and affordable for you to build? This is very important! It is pointless to waste time searching through thousands of houseplans that are too small, or too large for your budget.

Building Codes
Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations set out by your county or city. Do you know what your maximum width and depth for building are? Are you restricted on the finished ridge height? Do you need the plans stamped by a state licensed Engineer prior to approval? In order to get your building permit, you may need to have a plan brought up to your local building codes. This has been made simple with the option of purchasing the CAD or Reproducible plans!

Floor Plan Layout
What is really important to you in a floor plan? Make a list of the top five "must haves" and go from there! Many custom items such as built-ins, eating bars, fireplaces, wetbars and cosmetic counters can be added very easily on-site by your home builder!

If you are looking to build multi-family floorplans, cottage house plans, or duplex plans, it is important to keep all of the same things in mind, but please make sure to check with your local building department to ensure that you have the proper zoning.

Good luck, and enjoy your new home!