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Building a Home

Floor Plan Types: Stock vs. Semi-Custom vs. Custom

Published on:

12/05/18

written by:

Carrie Barker

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There are a million decisions when building a home! First up … What type of floor plan should I use? 

I am breaking down (in detail) the floor plan types: stock vs. semi-custom vs. custom … as well as the pros and cons of each! I hope this info helps YOU to understand the differences in order to decide what is the best option for YOUR budget and needs!

custom vs. stock floor plan

MY CUSTOM HOME THAT IS AVAILABLE AS A ‘SEMI-CUSTOM’ FLOOR PLAN FOR YOU! LEARN MORE!

In this post, I am solely focused on choosing a FLOOR PLAN online (or creating your own plan). That is, this post is NOT about choosing a builder’s plans that he or she sells in bulk to customers in planned communities. Does that make sense?!

WHAT IS A STOCK FLOOR PLAN?

Purchasing a stock floor plan is the FASTEST way to build your next home! You simply find a plan you love (easier said than done!), purchase it, modify if needed, and start digging your foundation! 

Many stock plans are simply created with the intention to SELL … meaning no one has actually built the house so there is a chance the room sizes and other layout aspects might not make sense for real life.

Stock plans are the least expensive option. They are priced (low-ish) with the expectation that the company will sell many of the same plan. Essentially, you pay a reduced fee because you are purchasing a single-use of a highly sold plan to the masses. The consumer avoids the high cost of creating and tweaking (many times) a custom floor plan.

Stock plans rarely meet local building codes (because every municipality has their own codes), and it is ESSENTIAL that a plan meets local codes (and HOA rules). There is a strong chance that you will need to modify the plan to meet these requirements.

Modifying a stock plan can be VERY expensive if you need to make significant changes. As a matter of fact, you can end up paying nearly as much as you would pay for a custom creation if you have to make a lot of changes! Yikes!

PROS OF STOCK FLOOR PLANS

  • Inexpensive to purchase
  • Low time commitment
  • Thousands of plans to choose from
  • Avoid stress of creating a plan from scratch

CONS OF STOCK FLOOR PLANS

  • Layouts and room sizes don’t always make sense in real life
  • Most likely doesn’t meet local building codes or HOA rules (must modify to meet these requirements)
  • Can be very expensive and time consuming if make significant changes
stock vs. custom floor plan

EXAMPLE OF A STOCK FLOOR PLAN FROM DON GARDNER 

WHAT IS A CUSTOM FLOOR PLAN?

A custom floor plan is the cream of the crop! It is custom created to YOUR specifications, so you can get EXACTLY what you want! The choices and designs are absolutely endless … you are only limited by your budget!

A custom floor plan is built FOR you and WITH you! YOU choose EVERYTHING with a custom floor plan … square footage, finishes, front elevation, layout, number of stories, number of bedrooms, wall placement, etc. This allows you to create a unique home that is truly one of a kind!

If this sounds exciting to you, then you are a great candidate for a custom plan! If this sounds incredibly overwhelming to you, then you might want to consider a stock or semi-custom floor plan!

Creating a custom floor plan can be very time-consuming! I took about a year to create my plan with all of the tweaking and modifications along the way. The good news is that your plan will definitely meet local building codes and HOA rules!

PROS OF CUSTOM FLOOR PLANS

  • The opportunities are endless, so you can get exactly what you want
  • You get to make ALL the decisions on layout and function
  • Created to meet local building codes and HOA rules

CONS OF CUSTOM FLOOR PLANS

  • Time consuming to draw up a plan and tweak numerous times until it is just right
  • Expensive to pay an architect to create a plan
  • Can be overwhelming amount of decisions
caroline on design home exterior

MY CUSTOM HOME THAT IS AVAILABLE AS A ‘SEMI-CUSTOM’ FLOOR PLAN FOR YOU! LEARN MORE!

WHAT IS A SEMI-CUSTOM FLOOR PLAN?

In all honesty, I’m not positive ‘semi-custom floor plan’ is even a term … but this is how I refer to my own floor plan that is available for purchase!

A semi-custom floor plan is the best of both worlds … you get to purchase a custom floor plan (at a stock price) that someone else put in the time and effort to create! Yes, please!  Just like a stock floor plan, you can start building your dream home VERY QUICKLY (as compared to a fully custom creation)!

The basic design already exists, but unlike a stock plan, a semi-custom plan is actually a custom plan that has been built and proven to be functional for real living. You can choose a floor plan that is very close to what you want and then modify to make it your own. You can truly customize your home with the interior and exterior finishes you choose!

A semi-custom floor plan is a great choice if you find a home you love on Pinterest or Instagram and you want to recreate it (if the homeowner sells the plan – which is rare) … or if you are limited by time and want to avoid the overwhelming process of starting a home from scratch.

Just like the stock plan, you MUST modify the plan to ensure it meets your local building codes!

PROS OF SEMI-CUSTOM FLOOR PLANS

  • You get a custom floor plan without the overwhelming task of creating a plan from scratch!
  • Floor plan has (actually) been built so you can rest assured the layout makes sense for real living
  • Low time commitment
  • Inexpensive to purchase

CONS OF SEMI-CUSTOM FLOOR PLANS

  • Most likely doesn’t meet local building codes or HOA rules (must modify to meet these requirements)
  • Rare to find a homeowner that sells their custom floor plan

CONCLUSION

In this post, we covered the floor plan types: stock vs. semi-custom vs. custom, as well as the pros and cons of each!

In a nutshell … creating a custom floor plan is the most time consuming and expensive option, BUT you get EXACTLY what you want! Purchasing a stock or semi-custom plan is typically inexpensive and requires minimal time and effort before you can start building your dream home! However, stock plans can be quite costly if you want to modify significantly.

Any floor plan type is a great option … it all boils down to how many decisions you want to make, how quickly you want to start building, and what your budget allows!

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. stock vs. custom floor plan

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I’m Carrie Barker.

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