Which should you buy, a stock house plan or get a custom house plan designed just for you? There are three things to consider when making that decision. Two of them are centered around your needs and the last around your budget.
Looking for a house plan is not that different than looking for an outfit. There are lots of retailers out there selling house plans. And it seems that there is a house plan for every need or desire. Both are true, but just like shopping for an outfit, you need to be careful.
Not all retailers are the same. Some big shops sell tens of thousands of house plans from hundreds of designers. What you get in quantity you lose in quality. Searching through two thousand home plans can be exhausting, not to mention fruitless at times. And when you do find a plan you like, often times you will have no idea who designed it.
Today there is no excuse for a competent residential home designer to NOT have a website. If a designer is proud of their work and stands by their designs they will be easily found online. Buying directly from a designer gives you direct access to the people that can answer your questions and help you find that perfect house plan. They will also be there to answer questions you might have during construction.
A stock house plan has the benefit of experience. Most plans will have been built at least once by someone. This means any issues with the translation between a paper plan to an actual house have been worked out. A stock house plan will carry with it lots of experience with different build locations and different problems solved.
A stock house plan is not always a static thing. It can evolve over time taking advantage of new building methods and new materials. Most of the time with a stock house plan you are getting a product that has been proven in the field.
Another benefit of a stock plan is the benefit of popularity. People today have a tendency to put down things that are popular. Popular, or best selling house plans, are just that for a reason. Some of the best features and coveted designs can be found in best selling stock house plans.
There is an old saying, why reinvent the wheel. Why bother trying to figure out what the best features of a house plan are when someone has already done that? And the proof is in the pudding, another old saying. If a stock house plan is popular, it must, by definition, be good.
The main reason people buy stock house plans over having a plan designed just for them is, of course, price and time. A custom house plan can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 to create. This might include trips to the location for the designer, research into local codes, and hours of design and revisions. Most people who have a custom home designed are going to want very specific things. Those things take time and energy to design.
A custom house design is a great thing. We think they are an amazing creation and I’ve made a career out of designing them. But they are not for everyone. And that is okay, not everyone needs them. A well crafted stock house plan can rival any custom made house plan. All our stock house plans are created with the care and skill of a full custom design.
Remember, when you look at the price of a house plan, it will be one of the least expensive items when building a new home. Drywall, windows, doors, tile, grout - any one of those things will cost you far more than a typical stock house plan. Without a great house plan, all those other things will go to waste. With all things considered, a stock house plan is your best bet for a stunning new home. But, if your budget allows for it, we say “Shoot The Moon” and get yourself a custom home plan!