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.
Another item which is often missing or lacking in a set of house plans is comprehensive and accurate dimensions. We have always strived to provide more than the minimum amount of house dimensions so that it is easy for the owner and builder to layout a home on its building site. We will even calculate point to point dimensions (using trigonometry) for homes which have lots of odd angles to them (as opposed to a simple rectangle layout). Not all architects or designers will go this "extra mile," so it pays to check these things out beforehand.
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.
If you find a house plan that you love, but want to make minor changes, most companies can have their designers do that for you, at an additional fee. It is also possible to have your plans reversed, for instance, if your breakfast nook faces west but the view from the north side of your lot is more attractive, you can reverse it. Many of the sites selling house plans will allow you to see a reversed view, of houses you might want to build.