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Planning Your New Build from Home

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

If you feel like the coronavirus has put a halt to your normal life and your future plans, you aren’t alone. You’d be hard-pressed to find anybody who hasn’t been affected in one way or another. While we know it can be difficult to think about any big projects right now, you could actually make good use of your time if you still want to build a house in the next couple of years. Here are some ways you can prepare now to build later.

Home Building Documentaries

Want to see the building process from start to finish? We have a variety of home building documentaries on YouTube, so you can see how other customers built their dream homes.

Peruse Lots

No matter when or where, it’s always a good idea to find a lot before you commit to, or even start your search for, the perfect house plan. Most real estate and brokerage companies are still open for business these days, albeit a bit differently. Many have taken extra photos of their properties and/or made virtual tours available. Depending on the area, you might still be able to meet with an agent to view a lot in person (social distancing rules still apply) or through a video conferencing service. Reach out to see how the professionals are making it work where you’d like to build.

When it comes to finding potential lots, the internet has been and still is a great place to start the search. All the popular real estate sites list land for sale. For instance, on and, you can find lots and land by inputting your desired zip code and selecting that choice under Property Type and Home Type, respectively. If you’re in the market for acreage, sites like and are great places to look. You never know where your dream lot could be posted.


We’re regularly adding to our New House Plan Collection to keep up with demand. House Plan 1978 is one of the very newest—we think customers will love this corner-lot-friendly design of 2,386 square feet.

Consider Home Designs

Do you know what you’re looking for yet, or do you need to explore the options to see what catches your eye? Check out our architectural collections and specialty collections that group homes of similar type/with similar features to get started. If you already have a list of parameters, try our Advanced Search to narrow the options quickly and efficiently. A word of caution, though: don’t get so particular that you end up with extremely limited results. Home plan advisors can always help you modify a design to perfection, and they’re still working (from home) to assist our customers in every way possible.

Gather Finishing Ideas

People often get the most overwhelmed when they have to select products to finish their homes. Everything from flooring, to cabinets, to paint, to appliances, to fixtures, to doorknobs and drawer pulls, etc.—every single feature has to be specified and purchased. If you don’t know where to start, you can find plenty of information in our Product Ideas section, and we also provide helpful worksheets in our Home Building Organizer (free with every plan purchase) and in the completely free, downloadable form here.

We recommend using this time to decide what you want, shop around online, and ensure you make the right choices for your budget. It’ll save you from having to agonize over decisions at the last minute.

The House Designers Builders

Did you know that we can recommend a number of professional contractors in most states? Start your search for a builder with our builder listings.

Interview Builders

Some people decide to hire a builder first—to help them choose a lot, house plan, product finishes, etc.—and others wait until they have all the pieces and are ready to build to start interviewing. There are merits to both, of course, so ask yourself: would you feel better having a professional guide you throughout the process, or would you rather wait to choose an expert who can deliver exactly what you already know you want? Just as with any other occupation, builders specialize in certain things (like affordable vs. luxury homes and in particular architectural styles), so you want to make sure you’re a good match before committing, in any case.

Hiring the right builder should be one of your very top concerns, so spend the time to research and interview some contenders. Ask for photos of their previous work and for references. Make sure they are fully insured so you aren’t liable for any injuries or material losses on the site. Pick somebody you feel comfortable with so you're confident everything will go smoothly during the build. Once you’ve settled on the right person, you can work together to get all your ducks in a row and get a head start.

We hope you’re staying safe and sane during this difficult time. If you're moving forward with your build now or in the future, please know that we’re here to help. Our home plan advisors are available by phone, email, and live chat, so don’t be afraid to contact us with any questions or if you need assistance finding the perfect blueprints.