Square one : The real estate agent's mantra "location, location, location" rings true even when you're building from scratch. From privacy to orientation, your lot is likely to influence which plan you choose. "Theoretically, it's best to start by finding a lot because then you'll have a clear idea of what square footage will and will not fit on the property," says Robert Martin, Architecture Editor at Southern Living. "It's a dangerous proposition to try to gooseneck a house into a lot that's really not ideal for that plan."
When you decide on a house plan, you're also choosing a way of life. Do you host dinner parties often, or do you only step inside the dining room on holidays? Today, many families forego a dedicated formal dining room. Instead, a casual eating nook connected to the kitchen accommodates week-night meals, Little League pizza parties and all their entertaining needs. If you work from home or have school-aged children, an office or study may be a necessity. Think about the rooms and how you and your family will use them.
Some small homes have two floors and come with or without a basement. Some more common small homes have crawlspaces for extra storage. Traditionally they have a room off the kitchen which you can place a washer and dryer. These house are frequently Cottage or Bungalow style.
Where to find small house plans : If you are interested in small house plans you should always look for the best deals on blueprints. Blueprints or plans are available from a variety of sources and at many different prices. Two of my favorites are coolhouseplans.com and dongardner.com. Plans from coolhouseplans have prices ranging from $585 for five sets of blueprints up to $1,175 for CAD files. If you are not familiar with CAD files, these are Computer Aided Drawing files, meaning that they provide all the information needed to build the house on CD-ROM and have blueprints that can be printed and as often as needed and in any quantity.
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