When designing your own home, a successful build begins with the selection of a floor plan.  The floor plan is the “bones” of the project, upon which every other customization and decision is made.  That’s a big responsibility for a blueprint!  Unfortunately, this is also the first place many homeowners decide to cut costs, and the results are, well, sadly predictable.

Customers often gravitate toward a stock floor plan because they have been “lived on” by others, and in that way, they can feel tried-and-true.  Stock floor plans are definitely efficient and livable.  They solve common problems for consumers, such as energy efficiency.  For a busy person, having stock options to select can seem like a great time saver.  Stock floor plans can also introduce a potential home-buyer to a world of designs they may be unfamiliar with.  From Victorian to Craftsman and everything in between, stock plans offer simple, clear guidelines.

While it is true that stock floor plans are typically cheaper, the savings upfront often do not translate to long-term benefits later.  Stock plans are available much faster, but they are also not necessarily zoned for your area, a shocking fact that homeowners sometimes discover in the middle of breaking ground. Customized floor plans offer a world of options unavailable to the average consumer.  Stock plans do not lend themselves to significant modifications, which can happen all too often in the middle of a build once certain discoveries are made. It is possible to tweak a stock plan – but it is often very costly.  Homeowners find out mid-build that they have essentially paid the same or more for a tweaked stock plan where they could have just customized a plan in the first place with an experienced builder.  This is especially true if the build is happening on a tricky site.

Some homeowners swear by stock floor plans because they believe it adds to the home’s resale ability.  Indeed, the mass appeal does bring in a broader number of buyers, and some may not appreciate your unique space needs.  However, it is essential to remember that people are often shopping for a new home for a reason – and dissatisfaction with their current floor plan, which is usually a stock plan, is very high on those list of reasons.

Customized floor plans allow you to plan for your life at every stage.  As families grow, space needs to change, and a stock plan cannot often account for that development.  Little children turn into teenagers who have very different space needs.  Often, room sizes on stock plans are wholly inadequate anyway, and the placement of closets, hallways, and other spaces may not entirely be functional to your needs.

The obvious and straightforward advantage of a custom home plan is that you get exactly what you want.  Your personal touches will be well represented in the home.  Yes, a customized plan may require a few additional clearances in your area, but an experienced builder can easily understand and work within these parameters.  Stock plans are designed for mass appeal with a simple, workable plan.  For most people, though, a customized stock plan blends both their home dreams and the reality of the build on the ground.

In the end, home plans are dependent on budget, available space, home builder experience, and other factors.  But with the right building team, a customized floor plan provides a unique design that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

What to Expect When Building a Custom Home


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