Pre-drawn house plans are those that are drawn by architects or home designers and then offered for sale, unlike those that are drawn for an individual, with input from the customer. While this method may be a great idea, there are definite benefits to purchasing pre-drawn house plans. Architects and home designers that do custom home designing also do a lot of their own designs, and it is these plans that are offered for sale, They are adept at making plans that utilize available space to the best possible advantage, and at laying out a floor plan to optimize curb appeal.
One item to look for when evaluating a house plans' quality level is the number of structural sections which are shown on the plan. Highly detailed sets of plans will always cut lots of sectional views through the house to show every different roof framing situation. This might mean that 10 or 12 (or even more) sections need to be drawn for a large house plan. And even a small house plan should include 3 or 4 sections minimum. However, many home plans available today (especially plans purchased through inexpensive plan directories) cut corners in this department and only show one or two house section views. This means that the builder will have to guess at the rest of the house framing.
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.
Taking the plan from blueprint to dream house : A builder may provide a ballpark estimate of construction costs from a study plan, but he or she should consult the working drawings to give a more accurate figure. Many variables can affect the bottom line, including the choice and availability of materials, labor costs, choice of finishes and degree of detail. Ask several contractors for competing bids. If you've got the vision but not the bankroll (at least at this time), it may be wise to choose a plan with bonus space that can be built out as finances allow. Be sure to allot a portion of your budget to landscaping and finish details. Architects and interior designers recommend that you don't skimp on the seemingly small stuff. Higher-quality trim and building materials may trump extra square footage. "Good, insulated windows may be costly initially," Martin says, "but over the long run, they're going to save you money on your power bill." Crown moulding and custom cabinetry can make a stock plan feel like it was designed specifically for your family. After all, it's the personal touches that make a house feel like a home.
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