Picking Out Your Home Plan

Confused Or Worried About Making the Right Choice for Your New Home Plan?

When searching for the perfect home, some people enjoy collecting plan books and poring over home designs. Others are overwhelmed by the many choices, and welcome help.

Start Out by Identifying your Needs:

An architect identifies clients needs. They help clients develop a program. When you develop your own program, write down your needs.  Be open and truthful asking yourself what you expect from your new home.

Considerations in this area include space requirements. Note: The amount of space and the type of space --taking into account anticipated changes in your family's size.

Will you need to accommodate aging parents or a growing family? Will you need a home office to fit your future job plans? Do you plan to live in your new home after retirement? Will a child return home after college? Do you have the space to accommodate an elderly, ill or disabled person?

If you are less concerned with the perceptions of others your instincts may be the guide. You may need to search to strike a balance between personal needs and making a statement.

Your program must also address
your budget. Remember to leave dollars for landscaping and furnishings. An under-furnished new home with little landscaping can be a real disappointment. Adding 10 percent to the total cost is a good percentage to add to cover unforeseen changes, additions and upgrades that inevitably occur.

Home Sizing

The program that you develop may be somewhat of a wish list and reality may force modifications. This realization will probably occur when you determine an affordable square footage for your new home.

The size of the home you build is the most important factor.

You can determine the average cost per square foot for new homes in your area by calling the local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders. Multiply the square footage of the home that you wish to build by the average cost per square foot to determine a general cost.

If you find yourself staring at a grand total that is far beyond your budget, you'll have to scale down the design or choose a new one. If it's close to your budget, you can adjust the options, extras and finish materials to stay within budget. Developing a budget and calculating costs will take time and research, but it is an action that needs to happen.

Home Exterior Style
Decide the exterior style of your new home. Many people know what they want, but if you are unsure, this is simply what appeals to you. Home designs are very regional and this should be kept in mind. Choose appropriate house designs for your region. If you choose to be unique, this could affect your resale value.

Unsure of your  home plan preferences?

Certain characteristics of each plan style may help.

Country Home Style
This is the most popular style Nationwide. Country Style Characteristics include a large front porch or a wraparound porch, and a steeply pitched, gabled roof line that runs lengthwise.

The farmhouse style is often lumped in with country-style designs. This house is typically a rectangular or L-shaped home, often two-story, and is derived from homes built in agricultural communities around the turn of the 20th century.



Traditional Home Style
This term describes classic designs with regional characteristics. Cape Cod, Ranch, and saltbox designs are all regional (and historical) styles.

Simplicity is a common characteristic of traditional designs. They display little ornamentation, simple roof lines and small-paned windows that are often spaced equally (ranch styles may be an exception).




Victorian Home Style

This traditional-style home has strong historical origins; roof lines are intricate and include towers, bays and eyebrow windows; ornamentation and decoration are in the Victorian, and ornate porches are a prevalent feature. Materials  usually include shingles or narrow-lap wood siding. This style is more appropriate for two-story homes, although one-story designs with Victorian features are also becoming very popular.



This broad category embodies many styles and shapes of homes. The common factors are an absence of ornamentation and decoration, and in general, little reference to older styles. Contemporary homes display bold geometric shapes, lots of glass, and windows with out shutters or decorative trim. Roof lines often range from flat to very steep.




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