When it comes to floor plans for your new home, you have several options, depending on the degree of customization that you want and can afford. Many home builders and architects have pre-designed home plans, and if one of these suits your needs, you can choose to use it for a much lower price than having custom plans made. If you have certain areas or aspects of your home that you want designed around your life, however, you can use a ready-made plan as a starting point and request changes. These bespoke plans are a great hybrid between standard plans and complete customization, which allows you to modify your home as far as your budget will stretch.
Ready Made Floor Plans
You best bargain for designing your new home are ready made floor plans. Based on the most popular styles and features, these plans feature designs that clients commonly ask for their homes.
Do your homework before you buy ready made plans: some companies will sell only the floor plans and you will have to hire outside help for any alterations you wish to make to them. Other companies include regular contact with builders and architects who can work with you to make alterations to suit your taste.
Bespoke Home Floor Plans
For a budget conscious homeowner, bespoke floor plans are a perfect compromise between saving money and the expense of having a uniquely designed home. With a bespoke plan, you have access to a level of customization that fits your wishes as well as your budget.
If you only want to customize the kitchen, you can work with companies that sell bespoke plans to determine furnishings, cabinet height or the arrangement of where appliances will go in your new kitchen. The rest of the home can follow the structure set by the pre-made plans, saving you a fortune on the cost of building your home.
Changing or Customizing Floor Plans
No matter how much money you have in your budget, you want your home to reflect your needs. Plans that feel like cookie cutters can put off owners (and even future buyers when it comes to resell the home) as being uninviting and unimaginative.
Sometimes as the homeowner, you have to customize a plan for practical reasons, if the extensive balconies look dangerous for your toddlers or you know that your elderly parents will need a bath tub instead of a stand up shower. In other cases, you want the luxury of getting your home "just right" with a double sink in the bathroom instead of a single one.
Some companies that sell ready-made floor plans will include extensive customer service that allows you to consult with the builder or the architect who designed the home to make changes. This is a great compromise between the cost savings of buying ready-made plans and having a home that is entirely custom designed by a professional architect.
Working with Professionals
When creating customized or altered floor plans you will need to work with a licensed architect. While a draftsperson can make drawings of a home, only an architect is legally allowed to create plans for a structure. While it may be tempting to try and design your home yourself, local building codes forbid anyone without the proper education or licensing to create the design for a proposed structure.
If you are working with a company that offers pre-made or bespoke plans, you will work with the builder or architect who is familiar with the design from its conception and they can advise you if any other clients have successfully made the alterations that you want. If you bought your plans from a company that only sell floor plans and does not offer alterations, you should do your homework and select an architect who is licensed with the state and has happy clients.
As the project progresses, the architect will work with other professionals including structural engineers, building inspectors or city planners to ensure that your proposed home meets all building codes. Many local governments have minute requirements for new structures that a professional will be familiar with and he or she can advise you on meeting the codes or propose alternatives.
Home floor plans run the gamut of customization, and according to your budget you can usually make alterations that will directly reflect your lifestyle. Before you decide to make alterations, do your homework to ensure that the builder or architect who will be constructing your new home understand your taste and any local building codes.