The Best Budget House Plans

When you embark on the journey to your dream home, it’s very easy to get sucked into a black hole of financial strain. Construction never goes perfectly and unexpected problems always interrupt your time schedule. Before you even start this stressful process, you need to select a house plan. Unfortunately, home plans come in millions of varieties and can cost more than you want to spend. So when you’re weaving through the maze of house plans, start with a few simple steps to save your pennies for those fantastic cabinets that you can’t live without.

1. Dream!
Sit down with a piece of paper and start dreaming. What does your new home look like in your mind? Visualize how the rooms are laid out and what kinds of floors and cabinets you want. Notice the windows. Are they big or small? Is the kitchen small, but efficient or huge and elaborate? Once you start getting some ideas, create a list of your needs and your wants. While your budget might separate your dreams from reality in the next steps, this is the time to outline what you can’t live without to ensure you won’t be disappointed with your new home.

Consider the exterior style, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and foundation type (basement, slab, or crawlspace). Consider the shape of room lay-outs and how much space you will need in your family room or closets. Walk through your current home and notice what you don’t like so you are sure to correct the flaws in your new home.

2. Pick your landscape.
Before you can select the perfect house plan, you need to know where you’re going to build it. It’s important to understand how a home needs to be suited to its environment to get the most for your money. For example, you don’t want to build a quaint little ranch on a flood plain, where your basement will flood. You also need to be aware of homeowner’s associations in the area you are choosing. They often carry restrictions on the homes and you could end up buying two sets of houseplans if your first plan doesn’t meet their codes or standards.

3. Choose your house plan.
Now you’ve done your research and you’re ready to choose your plan. The best money-saving approach to this step begins by shopping prices. Surf the internet and compare companies that draw up blueprints. You probably want to hire a custom designer to draw your dream from scratch, but this is going to be hard on your wallet. The most budget savvy method would be to order a pre-drawn plan from a site like Look for one that has a lay out similar to what you need. Then you can modify it to design your distinct dream home.

Be aware of plans that have money pit elements and avoid these downfalls. Complicated rooflines add visual interest, but they can add a significant increase to your bottom line. Look for consistant ceiling heights as well, to make construction easier and cost-effective. Make sure the plans utilize every square inch of space. Cabinets, closets, and alcoves can fill every small space to get the most bang for your buck. If you are building a two-story, be aware the straight-running stairs will be cheaper to build then curved stairwells. If it’s feasible to your plan’s needs, look for back-to-back bathrooms. This will allow for shared plumbing runs, which will also save you money.

4. Time to customize
Around 75 percent of homeowners modify their house plans in some way, so once your buy those precious plans, start editing. Now is the time to hire that house plan designer to do modifications to your pre-existing plan. This is much cheaper than having a plan drawn from scratch and will take less time as well. Make a list of all the changes you want to make, no matter how small they may seem. Consult with your contractor to determine if the plan needs changes to meet regional building codes. Houses in the north are required to have steeper rooflines than houses in the south because of the heavy snows. Add these changes to your list for the designer. Also consider touches that will make your home personal for your family’s needs. Perhaps you want to adjust the square footage of your master bedroom and add a reading nook with a bay window. Note this on your list with exact measurements for the changes you want. This is the most critical step in your home building process. By customizing your house plans with a designer, you will save money on last minute construction changes. You will also insure that your new home is all that you dreamed it would be.

5. Ready, Set, Build!
Now that your house plans are perfect and you’ve created them in a cost-effective manner, you are ready to start building. Sit down with your contractor and go over the house plans, outlining his timeline for finishing your new home. Get excited as you watch your home rise from that cement foundation to the beautiful home you’ve always dreamed of!

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