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Customizing Your New Home PLAN

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Leslie Patterson  by Leslie Patterson

You made the choice to build your new dream home and started began seeking the perfect stock plan.

Ranch House Plan

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However, after countless hours of searching you have yet to fall in love with any certain plan. You cannot afford to invest in entirely custom drawn home plans and you are just about to give up hope that this dream home could possibly exist. Don't quit yet! The solution is right in front of you and it won't break your budget.


Craftsman Home Plan

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Somewhere in those hours of reviewing stock plans, you probably came across a plan or two that was almost exactly what you were looking for. Perhaps you want a slightly different exterior or you need that one room to be slightly larger. Maybe you wish the garage entry was placed differently or the master bath had a larger shower and smaller linen closet. All of these changes are options when it comes to customizing stock plans to fit your particular needs. Many home design firms and architects that develop stock home plans have modifications available for their home plans. Taking advantage of these options allows you to turn an "almost-perfect" plan into the dream home you absolutely love – and at a much more affordable cost than entirely customizing your dream home!

Modifications to stock plans typically change some structure of the plan – from moving an interior wall, altering the exterior facade, or swapping out one foundation for another. To take advantage of these customizations, you need to be aware of your dream home's needs and limitations:

  • Know your lot - Before setting your heart on a specific stock plan with modifications, be familiar with your lot. Is there a hill that will be built into or leveled out? What is the water table like? Is a finished basement practical or should you look for a plan with an upper level bonus room?

Traditional Home Plan

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  • Look ahead - Right now your family of three is perfectly comfortable in a two-bedroom house. However, what about a year or even five years from now? New additions to the family will need their own space, from children's nurseries to elderly parents who may move in with you. You cannot always perfectly anticipate your family's needs, but preparing now by finding a plan with an extra bathroom or a multifunctional bonus room is an excellent idea. In addition to space, look for plans that will allow easy incorporation of technological advances as well as good future resale value.

Modern Home Plan


  • Know your weather - The weather not only affects the way you dress but also the way you outfit your home. New England homes have peaked roofs so heavy snow will fall off the roof rather than cave it in. Coastal homes that face tornado and hurricane assaults have flat roofs that help avoid detrimental wind damage. Be aware of what your dream home will need to avoid unnecessary work and repair in the future.

Country Home Plan

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  • "Almost" does not cut it - The most important thing is to love the plan you choose and the modifications you incorporate. If something still does not seem right, do not ignore that feeling. Take the time to look the plan over carefully. Look at a few more stock plans and see if modifying a different plan would be better. Remember that customizations are being done to get exactly what you want, not just as-close-as possible.

Luxury Home Plan

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Once you have determined the modifications you desire, it's time to get them done! Depending on your stock plan, the process may differ. Be prepared to submit a modification request form that should include detailed explanations of the modifications desired, referring to the rooms as they are on the stock plan. A quote will be returned to you within days. Accepting this quote will lead to approving drafts, and sooner rather than later you will be ready to start building.

Greek Revival Home Plan

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At times the process to get the dream home you imagine may seem challenging and overwhelming. However, with a little patience and attention to detail, it is not impossible. Remember that designers and architects also benefit from your modification requests. By hearing directly from the customer what does and does not work for them, entirely new plans are often designed. And in the end, these enhanced plans turn your dream home into reality.

Vacation Home Plan

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