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Home Build prep guide



Should I Buy Land or Create Floor Plan First?

Published on:


written by:

Carrie Barker


Are you dreaming about building a custom home in the near future, but you have no clue if you should buy your land OR create your floor plan first?

You aren’t alone … this is a common question.

My (very) short answer is to choose your land before you create your floor plan. Keep reading to find out WHY I recommend this.


Welcome back to the Before You Build Podcast! I’m your host, Carrie Barker (a.k.a. Caroline on Design), and today in episode 6, we’re going to talk about whether you should choose your land first or create your floor plan first.

This is going to be a very short and sweet episode because there isn’t a ton to say about this topic. I’ll answer the question, give my reasons WHY, and I’ll share a free resource you might find *very* helpful in this preparation phase of building a home.


If you’re building a custom home, your land options are virtually endless (well, your options are limited to what’s available in your area and what fits into your budget, but otherwise they are endless)

Unlike building a home that is ‘neighborhood-specific’, you are free to build a custom home wherever you can find a plot of land (and you can even tear down an existing home to ‘create’ land).

I recommend finding a piece of land in your desired location with your desired views BEFORE you start creating (or choosing) your floor plan.

This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s much easier to design a floor plan around a piece of land (and around the views) as opposed to designing your land around your floor plan (that’s impossible!).


The land is a fixed variable. You can’t modify your lot’s location, size, or views. You can, however, design your floor plan to fit your lot.

Plus, you can design your floor plan to maximize the views and take full advantage of sun exposure (i.e. orient your floor plan to allow ample sun to flow into your home).

Buy Land vs Create Floor Plan: Which Comes First?


Another reason I recommend purchasing your land first is that your land cost will (of course) affect your budget.

The price of your land will be one of the largest items in your home building budget.

Once you purchase land, you will know how much of your budget is left to construct your home.

Do keep in mind that land costs will also include any tree clearing, excavating, or special requirement costs as well … and all of these costs will affect your budget.

Other unexpected costs when building a house.


I said this would be a short episode and it was. I hope you now feel like you have a plan to move forward. Again, I recommend that you choose your land BEFORE you create (or choose) your floor plan. 

But don’t feel discouraged if you did this the opposite way … your home will still turn out GREAT! You’ll just have to plan your home around your land.

If you’re looking for more in-depth advice on how to prepare for a successful home build, grab my FREE ‘Custom Home Build Prep Guide’ that will give you the 5 crucial preparation steps to build a home with less stress, more confidence, and without going over budget.

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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