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10 factors when selecting a plan for your new home

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27 July

10 factors when selecting a plan for your new home

TAGS : New Home Floor Plans

If you have come to this blog, it means that you are interested in building a new home. Building a new home is an exciting process, many decisions will be made throughout the process. The most important decision is choosing the actual overall design of the home.  Let’s go through the basic process of determining what type of home best suits you and the key areas to look for in a home plan.  Looking at the size and shape of the home, to room adjacencies, and layout on the site, these factors plus many others help define your home planning experience.

Below are 10 critical factors when determining the best home for you.

1. The size of home that best suits your budget.

Size of the home depends on several factors, cost of construction, rooms desired in a home and how many floors are desired. Prior to selecting a home, understand the general costs of building a home in your area. Speak with some home builders to determine an approximate cost of construction for a typical home in your area with the level of quality that would meet your expectations.  This will help create a budget to work from. Once you have the budget, hone in on a square footage area that can be accommodated within this budget. Determine which rooms are desirable and which rooms are critical. Assess your living needs, bedroom needs and other key rooms. You can search on many websites using several factors, so you can create searches that narrow your potential selections down.

2. Choose a floor plan based on your lifestyle. 

Every family is different and there is no one style that will satisfy all home buyers. Understanding your preferred style allows you to further refine your search for just the right home. Sites such as Houzz and Pinterest allow you to create boards of images that reflect your style. Gather images that are desirable to you and then search for homes that include the types and quality of space that you have found enjoyable.

3. Decide the type of home that will complement the site.

Are you interested in a single or multi-story home?  There are benefits to both. Depending on the site, a particular number of stories may be best. Are there views as you go higher?  Is there a small building footprint that you need to stay within? Do you want to have indoor spaces extend to the outdoors? Do you want to have your private areas isolated from the public areas? These and many other questions will then allow you to continue to refine your search for the perfect home plan.

4. There is no perfect floor plan.

When looking through plans, understand that these plans were developed either as model homes or custom for other people.  Your preferences will vary to some extent from what you find online. There are always changes that can be done to allow a home plan to better suite your needs.  Find a plan that generally starts to fit your needs and save it. As you discover more plans that are desirable, compare each of the plans to one another. Find the one that most fits your lifestyle, budget and site. Remember, there is always the opportunity to modify and change the plan to make it yours!

5. Find a plan that reflects your unique wants and desires.

Find a plan that reflects your personality and way of living. Do you enjoy large open spaces that flow into one another, or do you desire a home that is more compartmentalized?  Do you enjoy waking up in the morning to the sunrise or basking in the afternoon sun on the veranda? Do you want a formal arrangement of rooms or do you envision a less formal layout with rooms blending into each other? As you look at plans envision yourself living in the home. Walk through the home in your mind and spend time envisioning the lifestyle that you would enjoy in the home.

6. Ask for help from the Designer.

You may be on a website and find some plans that are close to fitting your needs.  Don’t be afraid to speak with the designer of the home to ask them questions. They may have other plans that could be a better fit or they may be able to make modifications to the plan you are reviewing to better ensure it meets your needs. Once you have a plan in mind discuss the plan with your builder or if you are self-building, study the plan to see what changes may be desired and then contact the design to discuss their ability to modify the plan.

7.  Don’t ask other people their opinion. Go with your instincts.

Everyone has an opinion! Everyone has their own desires, needs and wants when it comes to the type of home, they envision themselves living in. Certainly, ask for advice from professionals, but have the decision on the best plan for you, with only the stakeholders providing input.  Otherwise, you will hear other people’s needs and wants and you will get confused on which plan best meets YOUR needs. Go with your instincts in the end.

8.  Will you be bringing key furniture pieces with you?

Do you have a grand piano that needs to be accommodate in the home? What about a large fish tank? Do an inventory of the furnishings that you will be bringing with you and ensure that these pieces can be accommodated by the plan. Don’t get hung up on if a particular piece does not fit. You can always customize the plan to allow for unique furnishings to be accommodated.

9. Understand your local building process.

Typically, when you purchase a home plan online, modifications and updates are required to ensure that the design complies with the local building codes. Typically, when you purchase a plan, there are options on how to receive the plan. You may be able to get a PDF file, a DWG file or other format. Speak with your local building department and builder to determine what additional information will be needed to obtain a building permit.

10. Be ready to spend time on the design and building process.

Designing and building a home is a lengthy process. Design time can vary from a few weeks to many months. The permitting process can also vary and may be as long as 6 months, if special site requirements need to be met. Speak with your local building department to find out if there are any special requirements for your site. Once the permits have been obtained, expect construction of the home to take anywhere from 5 months to 18 months. Depending on the size and complexity of the home, the build time can vary greatly. Be prepared to document the build process throughout and remember the end goal in mind while your team works through the construction.