When building our home, we felt the advantages  of custom house plans outweighed the disadvantages.  We wanted a house plan that would fit our family lifestyle.  If you do not want to go that route, you might consider purchasing plans from one of the major house plan websites such as eplans.

Advantages to stock plans:

  • Cost will be considerable lower.  A Custom house plan by an Architect can be several thousands of dollars.   You can purchase a full set of stock plans for around $1000.
  • Once purchased, stock plans are readily available.  Our custom house plans took  over a month to design and that was with us  being very diligent in providing the home designer detailed information.
  • For someone who is nervous about not being able to see a finished product, stock plans might be the way to go.   If you purchase stock plans, you can ask the architect  if the floor plan you like, has been built.   You can also visit forums such as the homebuilding forum on gardenweb.  You might find someone who is building the same house plan that you are considering.

Disadvantages to Stock Plans:

  • Stock plans are based upon satisfying the masses and not individual taste.  In most neighborhoods today, that there is only about three to five house designs used.   Sometimes, the outside elevation is changed but the inside is the same.
  • Usually, only minor modifications can be made and  modifications can be very expensive.   You can expect to pay $50 – $100 for minor modifications.    If you have  dozens of modifications, it might be cheaper to use a home designer.
  • If a family member is handicapped, it might be difficult to find a stock plan that will work.
  • You will want to make sure the company that you purchase house plans from, screens the home designers.
  • House Plans purchased via the internet might not meet local codes.

Before purchasing stock or custom house plans, spend some time studying your lifestyle.  Just because every new house you see,  has a two story living room, does not mean it will be right for you.  Your family might need the extra bedroom.    By studying your lifestyle, you will be better equipped in designing a house or purchasing a stock plan that fit’s your individual needs.