If you already have an idea in your head of what you what your new dream home to look like, the best decision can be to hire an architect to create your custom home plan, rather than sifting through ready-made plans trying to find one that matches. Having an architect make a custom home plan may sound like an expensive proposition, but it's more comparable than you probably think. Sketches of your new home may help the architect realize what you're shooting for, but a house plan includes a site plan, floor plan, exterior elevations, electrical plan, wall sections, door and window plan, roof plan, and foundation plan, along with other auxiliary documents. Needless to say, architects do a lot more than take a few measurements and draw a pretty picture.
Making Custom House Plans Work for You
Too often, a custom house plan is reflective of the architect and not the homeowner. Some of your ideas may simply be implausible or outside of your budget, but a custom house plan should still reflect your personality and taste, not the taste of the architect. This issue has as much to do with the position of the homeowner as the architect. Don't get aggressive or bossy, but architects may design a house plan from their preferences simply because they lack sufficient input from you. Architects are good at what they do, but they're not mind readers. Taking a proactive approach toward the designing process will give the architect the guidance he or she needs to satisfy your ultimate desires.
Tweaking Plans, Inventing Plans
A custom home plan can mean taking a pre-made floor plan and customizing the dimensions, adding bedrooms, switching room locations, or adding a building extension such as a garage. Other times, it means starting from scratch and designing a truly unique home. This latter option frequently involves an eccentric design element. If you're looking for a 2,000 square foot country cottage, numerous such plans are already available. For this reason, contemporary house plans with their non-traditional architectural features and newer building materials are the most common house style to have customized.
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Custom House Plan Consultations
You can hire an architect to design your custom house plans from scratch or you can hire one for consultation services. Even spending an hour or two talking to an architect can greatly enhance your feel for where you want to take your custom house plan. Maybe you have a ready-made house plan, but there are one or two alterations you want to make. An architect will be able to look at that plan and tell you how plausible your ideas are and possibly offer alternative suggestions. When you hire an architect to create a full custom house plan, many will charge by the square footage of the plan. Consultation services usually get billed per hour.