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Building a Home

Custom vs. Stock Floor Plan: 5 Important Considerations

Published on:

1/24/18

written by:

Carrie Barker

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So you’ve decided to build a home, and you’ve found the perfect lot. How exciting! The most important thing you need to do now is to develop your floor plan. The big dilemma … custom vs. stock floor plan. What is the best option for your family?

I know you are busy, and the time consuming task of creating a plan from scratch can be overwhelming and daunting. You want a custom home that meets your family’s exact needs, but you wonder if it would be easier to purchase a stock house plan from an online company to decrease the time and energy required to develop a floor plan.

It is partially true that purchasing a stock plan would be easier but that is not the whole truth! Below are five important things you need to be aware of before purchasing a stock plan from an online company. Keep reading … I just might have the perfect solution for you!

custom vs. stock floor plan

  1. STOCK PLANS ARE GENERIC DESIGNS CREATED FOR MASS APPEAL

Floor plan companies are in the business of selling floor plans … as many plans as possible! For this reason, the plans are designed to offer the widest appeal to a large population of potential buyers.

These plans are designed for general use and do not have a particular person in mind. While stock plans provide a good baseline, it requires extra work to create a truly customized home using these plans.

  1. ROOM SIZES MAY BE COMPLETELY INADEQUATE

I remember standing in a bookstore years ago. I was flipping through floor plan books and a man came up to me and introduced himself as a home builder. He warned me to be careful if I use a stock plan because many have never before been built and the room sizes may be completely unrealistic.

Not only might the room sizes be too small, but the hallways, closets, and garages might also not be functional sizes. If you choose to purchase a stock plan, be sure to look at all dimensions and measure your existing furniture to ensure it will fit into the space.

  1. STOCK PLANS DO NOT ANTICIPATE YOUR NEEDS AT VARIOUS LIFE STAGES

A thoughtfully designed custom floor plan anticipates a family’s needs over the course of time. You can make minor changes to a stock plan but they are not extensively customizable to what you specifically need.

When creating my custom floor plan, I thought about my family’s needs at this point in our life as well as into the future. One example is my daughters’ bedrooms were placed on the second level so the girls will have their own area of our home when they are teenagers. Also, their bedrooms are a good size, have huge closets, and each girl has her own bathroom; this will be invaluable when my children are adults and bring their own families home for the holidays!

I understand I am really looking into the future BUT I wanted to create a plan that can grow with my family. You can learn more about my custom floor plan here.

  1. IT CAN BE VERY COSTLY TO MAKE TWEAKS TO STOCK PLANS

By definition, stock plans are generic. The house plan company can make minor tweaks to a plan, but if you want to make large changes such as moving walls, you can expect to pay far more than the cost of the original plan!

The stock plan company determines the plan’s price based on the fact that they will sell MANY of the same plan. This significantly reduces the cost of each plan. If you want to make major changes, however, you are basically asking the company to create a custom plan for you and you will pay a premium!

  1. SOME ONLINE COMPANIES SELL UNSAFE HOUSE PLANS

As with any industry, there are some less-than-honest companies out there. The vast majority of stock plan companies are reputable, but it is important to really do your research before purchasing a plan online. I suggest reading as many reviews of the company and the floor plans as possible.

Note: With ANY purchased floor plan, a local architect or builder should review the structural components to ensure the plan meets YOUR local building codes.

caroline on design gray craftsman home exterior

MY CUSTOM HOME

While stock plans are readily available and easy to purchase, there can be many hidden costs both financially and in functionality. Creating a custom plan is more expensive and time consuming because of the process … developing your vision, drawing up the plan, re-working the plan (MANY times!), and finalizing drafts. However you can get exactly what YOU want for YOUR family!

Whether the best fit for your family is a stock plan or a custom creation, you can successfully build your dream home. It is simply a matter of personal preference how unique and custom you want your home to be. If you want the best of both worlds (i.e. completely custom creation without the time and energy required), my floor plan is available to purchase. You can learn more about it here.

I hope you found this post about the dilemma of custom vs. stock floor plan helpful! You may also enjoy “5 Considerations for Creating a Custom Floor Plan”.

  1. […] You might enjoy reading Custom vs. Stock Floor Plan: 5 Important Considerations. […]

  2. […] I do offer my two-story, 3600 sq ft, Craftsman style (semi-custom to you) floor plan for purchase! You can learn more HERE! You might also enjoy Custom vs. Stock Floor Plan: 5 Important Considerations.  […]

  3. […] to consult with your builder to find the right one, since most mass floor plan sellers online have options that are untested or unsafe and might not match the code requirements for your specific […]

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