Building a new home will probably be one of the biggest and most exciting projects of your lifetime and it all starts with finding the perfect house plans. Shopping for a house plan can be an overwhelming process if you don’t know what to look for, which is why The House Designers has created a user-friendly website to ensure your search is easy and enjoyable. You’ll want to look for a floor plan that is functional, comfortable and meets the needs and lifestyle of your growing family.

This award-winning green house plan features a gorgeous, open kitchen floor plan with island seating and food prep area. View the additional features of this 1,768 square foot cottage house plan.

Before starting your house plan search you should make a list of all essential features you want like how many walk-in closets, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, kitchen layout, number of garages and how much bonus space you’ll need. While it is easy to get carried away by aesthetics especially when you’re looking at thousands of beautiful homes and photographs, make sure that your floor plan is practical and affordable.

Equally helpful is writing a list of the things you DON’T want so you’ll be able to eliminate homes from your house plan search. If you know exactly what you want in your new home it is best to go right to the advanced search section, which will make finding your house plan easier.

If you already have the lot for your new home then you will need to find a house plan that will fit the lot. If your lot is on a slope you should consider a house plan with a walkout basement. If you have a narrow lot, the size of your house plan will be limited to a certain width so consider a two-story home for extra living space. The House Designers offers a wide selection of two-story house plans, narrow lot plans and sloping lots in a variety of sizes, shapes and architectural styles.

Of course, if you don’t have any lot limitations you can enjoy browsing a wide variety of house plan styles and specialty collections offered at thehousedesigners.com.

Here are some great tips to help you understand the many features and details available when looking at floor plans:

1 – Total Square Footage The total square footage of the home refers to the finished portion of your house plan. Areas like garages, porches, bonus spaces and attics are considered unfinished and are not calculated in the total square footage of the home plan. Be sure that when you purchase your house plan you have calculated the additional square footage into your budget if you plan on finishing them.

2 – Foundation Options You will need to select a foundation option based on your geographical area and needs. Options include basement, slab, crawl space or post and pier foundation. If you can have a basement this is a great way to increase your living space (it’s typically the same size as the main floor) and add value to your home. You may not be able to afford to complete your basement at the time of construction but down the road you’ll be glad to have the extra space.

3  – Kitchen Layout The kitchen is the key ingredient to any good home design so be sure that the kitchen layout is one that fits your needs and lifestyle. There are five common kitchen layouts depending on the size and style of the home: G (also known as the peninsula), L, U, single-wall and galley, which can easily be customized by adding the right cabinetry, appliances and accents. Check out this great article for selecting the right kitchen layout by clicking here.

4 – Bonus Spaces As you begin your search for a house plan you may want to look for a design that includes a bonus room or optional living space. A bonus room is an extra space in a home that has not been given a specific designation and can be built out at a later time. It offers homeowners the flexibility to create a unique space that fits their particular needs and lifestyle.

5 – Customizing Your Home All of the house plans on The House Designers website can easily be modified to create a custom home without the high costs associated with hiring a designer to draw your plans from scratch. Their home plan specialists are available to determine if your changes are simply redlining changes or structural changes that require plan modifications. The House Designers offers free modification quotes on all their house plans. Simply call 866-214-2242 or email admin@thehousedesigners.com for help finding the right house plans.

From now until midnight Monday November 26, 2012 save 15% off all House Plans from The House Designers