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|Adam West • 2/10/17|
The Short Version: Often dissatisfied with what they find on the housing market, many couples decide to start the journey of designing and building their own home. Although the process tends to draw couples closer together, the many decisions it involves can also be overwhelming. HousePlans.com guides couples through the process of designing the house of their dreams with an easily searchable database of more than 40,000 plans created by acclaimed architects. The site also offers couples the option to customize their home with the help of in-house experts and provides a host of articles that offer practical advice for building and creating a special place to call home.
After touring yet another house that didn’t quite meet your expectations, you and your significant other may have realized, just as many other couples have, the only way you’ll find the home of your dreams is to build it yourselves.
Creating the home you’ve always wanted can be a romantic experience that improves your communication and solidifies your identity as a couple as you work through differences, make compromises, and arrive at decisions you both agree on. But, before you can bond over the experience of building together, there’s an important first step: taking the home you’ve envisioned in your mind and turning it into a plan.
Designing a home can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. Faced with a long list of important decisions about the size, style, and specifications of your home before you ever break ground, it’s easy to feel stressed and abandon the cause altogether if you can’t come up with a plan.
Mike and Laura Fowls, who completed their own dream home (a modern farmhouse in Issaquah, Washington) had a general idea of the style they liked and the features that would meet their lifestyle. But they didn’t know what it should look like on paper. HousePlans.com helped them take these ideas and turn them into reality.
Browsing through the more than 40,000 floorplans, the couple found a plan that embodied their ideas (479-4, created by Peter Brachvogel and Stella Carosso) and used the site’s resources to customize it to their needs and desires. Now, as Laura say, “it feels like coming on vacation every time we come home.”
Like the Fowls, other couples may find House Plans to be a useful resource for starting the process of planning their own home.
Containing over 40,000 plans, the database at House Plans could easily become another obstacle for young couples trying to determine what kind of house they want. Thankfully, House Plans’ menu is searchable and easy to navigate.
Its blueprints are organized based on construction style, collections of the most popular or award-winning home plans, and signature designers. If you’re most concerned about choosing a plan that fits your budget, there’s even a sale category that’s regularly updated with discounted blueprints.
To keep track of favorites you’d like to come back to while you browse, there’s also a save feature. Clicking the heart icon in the upper-right corner of the listing sends it to your favorites folder for future reference, allows you to add comments, and lets you share it with your spouse or friends to get their feedback.
The following are a few different ways you can search for plans:
Maybe the only things you’re sure about right now are the basics, or you’re looking for a specific feature.
Under the basic search menu, you can direct your search utilizing as few or as many details as you have to work with, filtering results by the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garages, stories, and square footage. An additional menu below these options allows you to narrow down other specifics such as outdoor space or additional room features.
Perhaps you and your partner have a strong preference for a style of construction that fits your personalities and lifestyle. Choosing the styles menu opens a list of 19 alphabetized categories, ranging from beach houses to bungalows to Tudor and Victorian-style homes.
A side menu allows you to further narrow each category by price, square footage, type of foundation, and other features. Under each listing, you’ll find extensive details about what the plan includes.
If you still need some inspiration, you can browse by collection. House Plans features nine collections of homes that include the best designs for builders, the most energy-efficient styles, experts’ favorite picks, winners of the Howie Awards (an annual contest with various categories judged by House Plans staff and select design professionals), favorites by region, specific room plans for renovators, and favorite plans on social media.
Signature house plans include what House Plans staff consider the best of the best from over 300 world-renowned designers featured on the site.
The page also offers the option to search for plans created by a specific architect or designer in the directory.
Let’s say you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few plans, but none of them include all the features you want. House Plans offers a customization service that allows you to either modify an existing plan or mix and match more than one plan.
Click “modify this plan” under the floor plan selection, fill out a form describing the changes you’d like to make, and House Plans design experts will guide you through the customization process.
Purchasing a house plan is just the beginning of turning your perfect home into a reality. Knowing you’ll still have plenty of unanswered questions about the process, House Plans’ Time to Build blog offers advice and tips from experienced home builders, designers, and industry experts.
For instance, maybe you’d like to learn how to plan an effective dining room layout, install a shower, or design your home to be easily accessible. The blog also features stories that share the struggles and triumphs of other first-time builders like yourself, a welcome reminder that you’re not alone.
HousePlans.com makes it easier for couples to tackle the sometimes daunting decisions that come with designing a house and transfers their ideas and preferences into a visual image, printed blueprint, and completed home.
Whether you and your partner are looking for a home plan with a specific number of rooms, within a certain budget, or based off a popular style design, House Plans turns searching for the ideal floorplan a fun experience.
If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, customizing a design with the guidance of House Plans experts offers the opportunity to create a unique plan. And anytime you need a little inspiration along the way, its blog posts can steer you in the right direction.
Utilizing the resources available at House Plans has helped thousands of couples get one step closer to the goal of building their own home and, through the process, one step closer together.
If all you know for sure is that, like the Fowls family, you want to build a special place to come home to every day, House Plans provides the inspiration, direction, and guidance you need to make it a reality.