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.
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.
The property owner can seek a variance to exceed the "building envelope," the allowable area that a home can occupy on a lot. However, the process is often lengthy and there's no guarantee that permission will be granted. Local zoning boards and community organizations often require a house be set back a certain distance from the street. Before purchasing a corner lot, find out if front-yard setback regulations apply to the lot's front and side-street boundaries. This could substantially reduce the area available for a home's footprint. Easements as well as natural features, like rock outcroppings and mature trees, may also influence where the house can be located.