How to Search for Online Stock House Plans

When you’re searching for house plans, it’s easy to get distracted by the beautiful photographs available online. So, before you begin to find your dream home design, create a checklist of all the features you and your family need. Look at how you live now and what spaces are most important to you, and then think about how you could improve their size and functionality. 

We’ve created this guide to help you find the right house plan and to ensure that you love your new home for many years to come.

Sierra Vista (House Plan 9769) is a luxury rustic mountain home plan featuring 3,165 square feet in a one-level layout. This exclusive new house plan offers exceptional outdoor living areas.

Advanced House Plan Search

Companies like The House Designers offer free custom house plan searches, if you’d like the assistance of a seasoned team of home plan advisors. They’re experts at searching for house plans and can help no matter what you’re looking for.

Selecting a house plan company that is accessible via live chat, phone, and email will ensure you get the support you need to find and customize your dream home!

Customize Your Dream Home Plan

Many sites offer the option to modify their stock house plans. Make sure to work with a company that provides free estimates to find out the cost for your changes prior to purchasing house plans. You don’t want to be on the hook for something before knowing the price!  

Working from a stock house plan to design your dream home is usually more affordable than hiring a local architect. If you feel like your list of changes is pretty extensive, contact a home plan advisor to help you find a plan that is closer to your needs to avoid high modification fees.

These two contemporary house plans are perfect for narrow lots. Each of these designs features 4 bedrooms and an open floor plan. House Plan 9865 is shown on the left and House Plan 9866 is on the right

Confirm a Home Building Budget

Search for homes in your desired square footage range. You should have a budget in place and know your lot dimensions before searching for house plans. This will help determine the size home you can afford to build, as well as ensure it will fit on your lot.

Get prequalified for a construction loan to establish a realistic budget. Include the cost to purchase land and other fees associated with obtaining your permits into your budget. 

Local builders can also provide a ballpark cost to build per square foot, so interview some professionals and see what they say. Additionally, most websites offer a cost estimating tool that you can purchase to price out different plans before buying the home plan that’s best for you.

Shadowcrest (House Plan 9483) is an affordable one-story farmhouse that features split bedrooms in 1,600 square feet.

Stay Focused on Key Elements

Searching for the correct number of stories is a key factor when shopping for a house plan. If you need a one-story home, stay away from two-story homes. It may seem like an easy modification, but it’s not. The same is true for changing a two-story to a one-story. 

If you need extra space, but want a one-story design, look for homes that have a bonus above the garage. Take a look at 1.5 story homes as well, which place all main areas on one level but have other rooms upstairs.

Keep in mind that most of today’s newer plans include some kind of flex room or another bonus space. This makes it easy to add a home office or an extra bedroom without having to expand the floor plan.

Research what kinds of architectural styles you like. Is modern/contemporary your vibe? Are you looking for a modern farmhouse? With dozens of styles and specialty collections available, narrowing your wants and needs down to a few key features will make it easier to navigate your house plan search.

Stay practical! Today’s house plans are designed for the modern family and include functional, high-end amenities in smaller footprints to remain conscious of budget. So, don’t think you need to go big to get your dream home!

Christine Cooney
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Christine has over a decade of experience as a house plan and floor plan expert. Outside of providing her expertise to customers to help them find and build their dream homes, her passion and knowledge of the home building industry allows Christine to guide families and builders through all of the important steps from finding plans to building custom homes that meet the expectations of today’s new home owner. Christine’s years of knowledge of the diverse trends and needs of the modern homeowner has made her into an authoritative and trusted voice in the online house plan community.

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