Affordable House Plans: 8 Tips For How to Find Them

The current economic climate is causing many consumers to look for savings opportunities. This article explains how you can obtain affordable home plans by limiting construction and maintenance costs. Even if your design budget is small, house plans are available to fit your needs.

1. Limit your Square Footage.

Sky-high construction and energy costs, combined with a movement toward simplicity and eco-friendliness, have increased the popularity of small house plans. Choosing a cozy home over a McMansion makes it less expensive to build and maintain your custom home. Eco-bonus: less square footage equates to a smaller carbon footprint.

2. Rank the Most Important Features in Your Home.

Create a list of features that your new home must have, and another list of characteristics that you'd like, but that aren't mandatory. For instance, if you're constructing a new home to make space for a family, having a minimum of three bedrooms would probably land on your "must have" list. However, if you luxuriate in the tub only once or twice a year, a built-in bathtub might be listed under "Nice to Have, But Not Necessary." Prioritizing your needs in this way will help limit the costs of your home plans. Insisting on luxury features such as fireplaces and pools will make it harder to achieve affordable house plans.

3. Include Built-Ins to Give the Impression of Larger Square Footage.

Even if you're building with a set of small house plans, your home can feel spacious. Smart design techniques, such as open floor plans and built-in storage, can help you maximize the utility and comfort of your new space. Natural light also has a big influence on how we perceive area, so include plenty of windows in your home plans to fully capitalize on your square footage.

4. Create Attractive Outdoor Space by adding a Deck/Patio.

Many climates allow homeowners to use covered patios for the majority of the year. In places like Portland, light rain rules during the winter months, but it's never too cold to preclude outdoor lounging. If you enjoy relaxing outside, consider adding a covered outdoor space to extend the livable area in your small house plans. A covered patio can also make an excellent setting for parties.

5. Limit the Number of Plumbing Cores.

While browsing affordable house plans, you may notice that plumbing fixtures are often aligned over the same vertical space. For instance, you might see that the upstairs bathroom is located directly above the downstairs kitchen sink. Consolidating plumbing cores helps limit costs by decreasing the number of pipes, water heaters, and other plumbing parts that must be purchased.

6. Look for Simple Rooflines.

Roof ornaments such as dorm windows are charming, but costly. Simple rooflines are typically included in more affordable house plans.

7. Select Stock Plans.

You don't need to hire an architect to build a beautiful, comfortable home. By choosing a stock house plan instead of paying for custom design services, you can save a good deal of money and still achieve the home plans of your dreams. Stock home plans are available in a plethora of configurations and styles.

8. Build up, not out.

Adding a story to increase space in your small house plans will generally incur fewer costs than adding more ground-level space.