Remember that plans are not necessarily "as is." Builders can use a reverse set of plans (sometimes called a mirror image) to better site a house. It's also possible to hire an architect or modification service to personalize a plan. Ask if reproducible prints or electronic CADD files are available for the selected plan. Either will make the alteration process quicker and easier.
Beach House Plans : Beach house plans usually result in homes that have a very distinct look. The architectural style that is the foundation for most beach house plans varies from Spanish to Mediterranean to Traditional styles. Beach house plans therefore, can reflect a wide range of interests. Some reflect the area where the house may be built. For example, many coastal home plans created for homes on the southern East coast (think Florida) are crafted with the idea that the home will be on stilts as a measure to help guard against hurricanes and other tropical storms. Stucco exterior styles or Mediterranean styles are not uncommon of coastal home plans fashioned for customers living on the West Coast. Many beach house plans also include special features such as large bay windows and outdoor living spaces.
Having been in the business for more than 30 years, we have seen a large number of house plans which looked good at first glance. However, upon closer examination, many of these plans were found to be lacking large amounts of needed information. If a house plan is not easy to navigate or is not thoroughly detailed, then the builder is left to guess at the designer's intentions. This often means that he will "pad" his bid to make sure that he covers any unknown construction costs that may arise.
Cottage Plans : Cottage plans are usually crafted with warmth and cozy spacing in mind. Most cottage plans are not designed with the idea that the home will be very large. Cottage plans include characteristics such as cozy living spaces, wood siding and stone based porches among other things. Many also are designed to accommodate one and one half to two story homes with low pitched roofs. The exterior materials often used in cottage plans include brick or stucco.