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Buying House Plans To Build Your Dream Home

December 7, 2008
If youre ready to turn your dream home into reality, chances are you wont find exactly what youre looking for in a subdivision. Within many master planned communities, what youll find are cookie-cutter houses that look exactly like every other address on any given street. This just wont do when it comes to turning real wishes into bricks and mortar!

So, how can you get what you want without breaking the bank in the process? If you have your own property to build on or can buy some, youre half way there. The next step involves getting the plans you need to illustrate exactly what that dream house should look like.

Getting blueprints in hand for your dream house is one of the most essential steps in the process. Without the right plans in place, you cannot have the house youve been swooning over in your mind built before your eyes.

If youre operating on a budget or would like to, there are ways to get plans without needing to take out a loan in the process. Youll find there are two main ways to make this happen. You can choose to deal directly with an architect, or you can purchase ready-made plans. Both cases do present you with plenty of opportunities for cost savings if you are a savvy consumer.

Why Plans Matter

If its your desire to save money and still get a spectacular house, the plans will be one of the most important tools youll have at your disposal for making this happen. Not only will your blueprints put your dreams on paper, they will give you the leverage you need to:

Get building permits Whether you hire a general contractor to do this or you plan to go it alone to save money, you will need blueprints to get construction permits from your local building office.

Hire contractors General contractors and subcontractors alike will not be able to quote you proper prices without first knowing the plans for a house. Theres no point shopping around to save money on the pros you need to line up for construction without the plans in place.

Order or price out materials From your blueprints, you will be able to determine exactly what materials are needed to construct your home. You cant begin pricing out materials for potential cost savings without them.

Saving money on your blueprints is possible if you take the right approach to making this happen. Remember, we are talking about your dream home here, so dont try to sacrifice quality or accuracy to save a few bucks. This can end up costing your more in the end.

Working With An Architect

If you have reasonably well-developed ideas in mind for what your house should look like and how its floor plan should be laid out, or if your property happens to have unique features you want to preserve, working directly with an architect you can sit down and discuss matters with is a smart idea. Architectural services can cost you a pretty penny, but they can be worth every bit if you get the blueprints you want.

To get the best possible services at the lowest prices, try following these tips for hiring an architectural firm or professional:

Shop around based on backgrounds Before you even make an attempt to collect quotes, its a good idea to narrow down firms or professionals based on their backgrounds, experience, licensing and reputations. While you might not be able to afford someone on Frank Lloyd Wrights level and stay within budget, you should not acquiesce to hire a pro that just cant get the job done right to save some money on this phase of the project. (Dont worry; you can save money later on actual construction and finishing if you have to!)

Look at portfolios Once you narrow down a few professionals, take the time to check into their portfolios before getting quotes. You want to find an architect whose previous work resonates with your style if at all possible.

Now, shop for those quotes Dont just settle for the first firm you come across. Take the time to obtain proper quotes and make sure you know what the prices include. The best firms will be willing to work with your ideas to create a rendition you love. Some even offer 3-dimensional modeling so you can see your home before you finalize your plans.

Working with an architect to craft your house plans from scratch is perhaps the best way to buy blueprints that are truly yours. This is not the only or even the most affordable way to get great results.

Ready-Made Plans Can Save Money Without Cutting Out Quality

If you only have a fuzzy idea of what you want in a dream home or you just want to save a lot of money, going with ready-made plans can be an excellent choice. There are builders and architectural firms both that offer pre-made plans for a variety of home styles for sale at a fraction of the cost an architect will charge for a custom design.

The Internet is perhaps the best place to turn for ready-made plans. When you visit firms Web sites, you can peruse what they have to offer and even begin a cursory vetting process to make sure a company is worth doing business with.

To get the biggest bang for your money out of this avenue, take the time to:

Make sure a company is reputable Dont buy plans, even if they are visual epitome of your dream home, if you havent vetted a companys background. Your plans arent meant to just look pretty and right, they are first and foremost the blueprint by which your entire home will be built. Accuracy does matter. Check into a companys background by making sure licensing is in place. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau, ask for recommendations and look and see if any complaints have been filed with state regulators where a firm operates.

See if a firm will work on alterations Many times companies that sell ready-made plans are willing to make minor alterations (and even major ones) to give a homeowner the plans of their dreams. This is a great way to get the home you want with blueprint pricing that is affordable. Do expect to pay more here.

Do shop around Even if you find the ideal home plans all ready to go from one company, take the time to check others out before settling in for a buy. It could be the very next company will have similar blueprints for a much lower price.

If its your intent to build your dream house from the ground up, the plans are almost as important as the land for getting started. When you have these in hand, you open the door on making your dreams come true. You can save some money on this step of the process if you take the time to explore your options thoroughly.