Streets and topography may be the main determinates of a house's orientation, but it's also a good idea to consider sun exposures when possible. A homeowner might reorganize a floor plan to take advantage of morning and afternoon light. Martin says that covered porches that face a southern exposure can help block out heat and sunlight.
There are dozens of other house plan style categories, such as A-Frames, Mission, Contemporary, Southwest, and Tudor to name just a few. A web search for house plans yields a mind blowing number of searchable sites. Most of these allow you to search for house plans, by style, number of bedrooms, baths, with or without a garage, or by sq. ft. of living space.
Why do this, since even stock plans cost you at least a couple of hundred dollars each? Because the right stock plans can save you tons of time and money if you have a talented architect. Most plans are at least partly modular these days, and often you can even order prefabricated sections pegged to a specific house plan.
Craftsman style homes are characterized by the use of natural materials like wood or stone for exterior walls, and rock foundations that slope out towards the ground. They may also include dormers, exposed beams, and overhanging eaves. A two bedroom one bath house in the craftsman style will cost between $52,000.00 and $62,000.00 to build a two bedroom, two bath, home with a 2 car garage will run about $96.000.00.