Identify your outer style – what homes styles are you drawn too? French Country, Traditional, Spanish, Cape Cod, Colonial or Craftsman. When searching for the right house plan it is important to choose one that not only meets your individual needs but also keeps in mind the style of home that is most appealing to you.
Identify how your family lives -will you need formal spaces, recreational spaces, informal spaces, indoor-outdoor spaces, Determine if you prefer a one story or a two store home. Also determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you will need. This will help narrow your search for the right house plans. Keep in mind the lot characteristics including dimensions, natural landscaping and future marketability of the home. Your lifestyle is a key consideration in selecting a house plan. Do you entertain frequently? Consider a formal dinning room and traditional living room for large formal entertaining. Are you near retirement? Consider a one story to limit stair climbing. Are you starting a family? Be sure to include enough bedrooms to allow for your expanding family. Do you love to cook? Be sure you have ample room and amenities in the kitchen to accommodate.
Walkthroughs – Walk through houses under construction in your area to see what things you like and do not like about each plan. During these walkthroughs take careful notes about what you like and do not like about the features in each home. Request floor plan samples from the various builders. Attach your notes to each floor plan so you can quickly recall the features of each house plan that you liked. Check with your local homebuilders association for the location of new home builders in your area. Visit each builder, walk their models and review their available house plans.
Careful note taking – Make a folder of ideas and pictures from magazines that you like. This will help you identify your style and keep a record of the features that you might want to incorporate into your home plan. As you perform your walkthroughs, take a camera so you can take pictures of the various homes you visit and key features of each home that you want to remember.
Search through stock home plans – Research styles and plans on the Internet. You can also purchase house plans on the web or in books at your local new or used bookstore. You should be able to get hundreds of home plans through these sources for little or no money. These house plans can be modified to meet your needs. Also visit new home builders in your area to get great house plan ideas.
Can not find that perfect home floor plan? – Find a reputable architect who can custom design the perfect house plan for you. Make sure to research the architects in your area and visit their work if at all possible. Using the notes, magazine clippings and photograph you've collected the architect should be able to design a home that is a perfect fit.
Building Codes -Be sure that any house plan you select complies with national and local building codes. The house plans should include necessary drawings, specifications and arrangements for bidding, permits, and construction.
Once you have your dream house plan, find a reputable builder or contractor in your area. Your local Homebuilders Association should be able to help with this search.