How to Build Your Own Home – Lesson 3 – Your Plans – House Styles and Finding House Plans

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While you're searching for a lot you should be thinking about your house plans. Look in magazines and start a file of those things you like in a home. However, I recommend that you wait until your lot is under contract before making a final decision on your house plans.

1. House Styles

What someone in Atlanta, Georgia would call a "cape cod," someone in Connecticut would probably laugh at. To avoid any miscommunication between you and your architect / house plan designer you may want to purchase one of the many books available which will properly categorize the various styles of homes.

Some types are more popular in some areas than in others. As the baby boomers age, the ranch is gaining in popularity. In areas where split foyers and split-levels are common, a builder of a new split foyer or split-level may find it hard to sell. You'll know if you've ever lived in one, that you're always half a flight of steps away from where you always want to be.

2. Finding House Plans and Design Information

You will find popular house plans from all over the country in magazines like Building Ideas published by Better Homes & Garden. Of course you can find these magazines at any magazine stand, but you can also find a large variety of "home building" plans via the Internet.

The government book store has publications on affordable housing, housing for the elderly, housing for the handicapped, energy efficient homes, developing land, etc.

In most major cities you will find a number of companies that draw house plans. These firms will have catalogs showing different sizes and styles. You can find them listed in the Yellow Pages under Home Planning Services. Call these companies and they will send you their catalogs. If you can find something in a catalog you are happy with, this is the cheapest way to go. If you can not find plans in a magazine or catalog that you like, the next cheapest route is to hire a good qualified draftsman / designer.