What you should know before buying house plans!
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Architectural Floor Plans
Steps to Buying a New Plan
Choosing The Right House Plan
Architectural Floor Plan Styles
Understanding Your House Plans
Finding Your Dream House Plans
Quality House Plans
There are several major house plan styles that are standard within the industry.
Colonial Style Floor Plans
The traditional Colonial or Early American styles floor plans are normally rectangular in shape with two floors with exteriors of wood lap siding and often have columns and shutters. The inside floor plans of traditional Colonial style floor plans generally consist of a center hallways with large square rooms on each side and two additional rooms in the back.
Colonial homes often have chimneys on both ends of the house and commonly have gambrel or a barn roofs. The upper floors generally have 4 large rooms which follow a similar layout as the main level floor plan. Federal or Georgian style floor plans are often characterized by brick exteriors without front porches and often feature gables and decorative dentils. While Southern Colonial floor plans, often include heavy columns in the front of the home often with an upper balcony supported by a large covered front porch.
Farmhouse floor plans have a similar boxy style as other traditional colonials with distinctive pitched roofs and modest simple styling with large covered wrap around porches which extend from the front and wrap around the side of the house, while Country Colonial styles generally have more modest covered front porches that only extend across the front of the house and large "country" kitchens often situated near a family room.
In addition to the traditional colonials there are romantic Victorian styled home plans which typically have decorative "fish-scale" shingles, bay windows, "gingerbread" adornments on gabled roofs and large wrap around porches.
Also included in this group are Cape Cod styles which are generally smaller then their sister colonials with only two bedrooms on the upper floor and are characterized by sloped ceilings and roofs which normally have dormers built into to add additional space and no porches or columns.
Conventional Ranch Style Floor Plans
Typical Ranch floor plans are generally one story high with an "L" shaped floor plan with all the bedrooms grouped in one wing or one side of the home. Commonly, the master bedroom is somewhat separated from the other bedrooms on the main floor. Since Ranch styles are only one story high there are limited possibilities for expansion unless there is an attic.
Traditional Floor Plans
Traditional floor plans are one of the most popular floor plan styles in America . The roofs are generally steep with front facing gables and the exteriors are often brick, stucco or clapboard. The interior also often offer lofts or high interior ceilings providing a very spacious interior. These homes strive for a grand appearance.
Contemporary Modern Floor Plans
Contemporary styled floor plans are very popular through the U.S. Contemporary floor plans generally have plain exteriors but also often have wood or stonework facades. Plans can include large over hangs and often include split levels and very open floor layouts. Contemporary styled floor plans can have either single pitched or flat roof styles
Modern Contemporary styled floor plans generally have very asymmetrical design with bold shapes and more angles than traditional styled homes. Contemporary floor plans distinctively make use of a variety of glass from walls, windows, skylights and clerestories which provide a great deal of sun light and combined with very open spacious floor plan layouts with interesting angled walls, ceilings and roofs.
Florida Contemporary floor plans are generally only one story which often have stucco exteriors with Spanish/Mediterranean touches and archways with less angles than other modern contemporary homes giving them softer looks than their more modern sisters. Also in this group are "Transitional Modern" floor plans which often merge several styles together and incorporate elements from several styles both inside and out.
European Style Floor Plans
European floor plans encompass several different and distinct styles which have been influenced by the architectural styles from England, France and Spain.
Spanish/Mediterranean styled floor plans offer low red tiled roofs, pastel stucco exteriors and spacious interiors with clean lines and soft arches and columns which provide airy space and spanish floor plans that flow easily from room to room.
English Tudors acknowledge the design elements from Medieval England with warm stucco, stone or wood exteriors which are highlighted by dark angled wooden beams and planking for accents as well as steep roofs and gables. The inside floor plans of Tudors have visible divisions of rooms, arched interior and exterior doorways, and tall narrow windows and often have immense decorative chimneys.
French styles incorporate formal styling with exteriors of brick or stucco with accent quoins of distinctive interlocking stones which often form unusual designs with the use of alternating contrasting large and small stones on the exterior corners, multi-paned windows often acceded with decorative shutters. The interiors offer distinct formal living and dining rooms and charming floor plans.
For More Information
With so many styles to choose from how do you pick the style and design that is right for you? See our information on How to choose the Right House Plan.
We also have a great deal of information on How to Read and Understand Blue Prints