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Buy House Plans Early to Plan & Save

Building a new home is an exciting endeavor, and for many, it's the ultimate dream. There are a lot of steps in the process that can be easily managed if you start off your project well-prepared. One of the best things you can do to plan for this big but rewarding undertaking is to purchase your house plans well in advance of when you want to break ground, which will give you plenty of time to get organized and even save on materials!

There are many different stages of building a home, and you'll find them easier to navigate if you understand the entire process before you begin. Check out our Step-By-Step Home Building Guide to learn about each stage. Also consider that, before you even get that far, you might need modifications to make the house meet your needs and budget, and that county and state regulations may require your construction documents to go through another layer of approval. Give yourself sufficient time to find a good builder and look for promotions and discounts on the products needed to complete the home. If you wait until the last minute, these items could delay your building project, and delays can cost you money. By shopping and purchasing your house plans early, you can reap the benefits of having plenty of time to organize and save.

Modifications to House Plans

All of our house plans can be modified, and if you’re on a time crunch, the sooner you start the process, the better. Simple modifications could take a week or two, but more complex modifications could take double or triple that time. After you decide on your house plan, you can work with one of our house plan specialists or a local designer/drafter to modify your plans. Having finalized plans to show builders gives them accurate construction documents to consider for pricing and setting a building timeline.

Additionally, every lot is different, and that’s something to consider when buying your plans because your location dictates what'll work. When you look at house plans early, there's time for a designer to make changes to ensure it fits the land. If you wait, those changes can set back the whole process and draw out your building timeline.

The same goes for modifications required by local codes. It depends on location, but your plans might have to go through additional engineering to meet special standards in areas that experience high winds, earthquakes, heavy snow, etc. Check out When You Might Need to Engineer House Plans to learn more. The sooner you can get plans to a professional to tweak and approve, the better. The local building department won't sign off on your project until that's done.

Finding the Perfect Builder

You also don’t want to rush to find a builder, because they can only commit to a limited number of projects at a time. Read our tips on How to Choose the Right Builder to get started. Also don't be afraid to ask for referrals from friends, family, and neighbors, because you can actually tour their homes in person. We encourage you to research and contact as many builders as possible so you can feel confident in your choice. Don't forget to ensure that they're licensed to build in your area!

Many builders are happy to personally assist when it comes to selecting a lot and/or house plan, so you may even want to bring them into the conversation when you shop! It's a great way to benefit from professional insight that's relevant to your exact situation.

Most often, though, people purchase plans before signing on with a builder, since it allows them to find the right professional for their goals. There's a lot less room for misunderstandings and you're more likely to find a good match when you have blueprints in hand. By purchasing home plans early, you can get bids and conduct interviews before building season kicks off. Use this time wisely—you want somebody with a good portfolio of work who's straightforward with their bids. Get your project into their hands as soon as possible, so you have plenty of time to discuss the details.

Be Ready for Anything

It’s always nice to have wiggle room for unexpected issues. Whether it’s trouble with a permit or inspection, or an unforeseen delay due to weather or supply chain problems, practically every build experiences a hiccup or two. One of the best things you can do to be flexible is create some buffer in your timeline, which begins by buying your home plans early. Any holdups will extend the process; avoid playing catch up from the beginning by getting blueprints in hand well before your ideal build date.

There’s nothing worse than having the stress of a tight deadline, and then something else happens. You want your home to be a labor of love, not a rushed process. Get your plans early instead of waiting until the last minute and you'll be off to a great start already!