Long before we bought our lot, we began searching for a floor plan design. Believe it or not, we enjoy looking at houses and floor plan designs simply for entertainment. So, when it came time to choose a floor plan design for building a house, we were all in!
There were so many beautiful homes, it was hard to choose. Because we are building a house on a budget, we decided it was best to find a floor plan already configured, rather than custom designing an entire plan on our own.
There were many late nights of searching pinterest and watching house plan videos on youtube. After looking at dozens upon dozens, there was one that kept catching my eye. It was just what I wanted; so I thought. I will explain more about our change of heart down below.
Tips for Choosing a Floor Plan Design
Before you make impulsive decisions (speaking from personal experience), there are several factors to consider when selecting a house design.
- What is your budget?
- Do you want a ranch or multi-level home?
- What style of house do you love? (craftsman, farmhouse, bungalow, colonial, etc.)
- How many bedrooms do you need?
- Do you want a space for guests?
- Will there be a designated area for kids to play?
- Do you need space for a home office?
- Will there be a designated area for homework stations?
- Do you want a mudroom?
- Will your laundry room be on the main floor, or upstairs?
- How many full bathrooms do you want?
- Do you want a formal dining room in addition to your kitchen space?
- How much storage space do you need?
- Will your master suite be close to other bedrooms, or do you want the privacy of having your own wing of the house?
- What kind of foundation do you want? (slab, walkout basement, basement)
- Will the garage be attached or detached?
Where to Find a Floor Plan Design
There are several ways you can locate floor designs when planning your dream house. For example, you can contact a local builder, search on Pinterest, meet with a floor plan designer, purchase your own floor plan design software, visit popular websites, such as homeplans.com and houseplans.net, or meet with an architect to turn your ideas into a professional blueprint.
Purchasing my Blueprints
Once we made the decision on the floor design plan for our house, it was time to purchase our blueprints. Although my husband works for a local architect, we decided to purchase the blueprints online. This decision was made primarily because we are on a tight time frame. Purchasing my blueprints online was the faster option.
We purchased our blueprints for $800. When comparing floor plan designs for the other houses we liked, this plan was fairly cheap – perfect for building a house on a budget.
When buying house plans online, make sure the plans are in compliance with your local building code. Also, you will want to inquire about a site and septic plan. I will write an entire blog post about our experience with that process.
Making Changes to House Plans
For years, I had been telling my husband I wanted a modern farmhouse with black and white exterior. As I mentioned above, there was a period when I had my heart set on a particular house design. (see below)
Based on the exterior picture of the house, it was just what I wanted. We even liked the flow of the interior house plans. It was a modern farmhouse just around 2,300 sq ft (with bonus room).
But late one night, after putting an offer in on a lot for sale, we came home and started searching for floor plan designs again. That is when Travis found our final choice.
To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the house based on the exterior finishes. However, I loved the flow of the interior design, and knew we can modify the exterior finishes to our liking.
Once we were under contract with our lot, we purchased our house plans online. The original plans call for a walk-out basement. After reconsidering our budget, and the risks of digging a basement here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we decided on a slab foundation.
The architect firm Travis works for was kind enough to help make those changes to our house plans. In addition to modifying the foundation plans, we also added on an addition attached garage. Needless to say, the final prints will be completed by Travis’ boss’ company.
Coming up on next week’s post, I will explain our process we went through to get site and septic approvals before closing on our lot.
Thanks for reading about our journey. Follow us on instagram to see more pictures and house inspiration photos.