I wanted to share a little bit about what you need to know when choosing a floor plan for your home. This is for sure the scariest and biggest unknown we had. I mean, I could easily pull up my “Dream Home” board on Pinterest and pull a plan from there, but I had literally no idea how to even start with figuring out how much house I could afford.
We were fortunate in the fact that we had friends that had built before with our same builder and we knew we were wanting a home that was very similar to their budget. Using zillow.com is also super helpful when trying to figure out how many bedrooms/baths and square footage your budget will allow. You can search for newer construction homes in your budget and make note of the specs of the home.
Next, I found several plans that I liked and sent them to a local drafting business. If you are looking for someone to draw up plans, I HIGHLY recommend Debbie Barnhouse. She was so quick, super patient, and made every possible change I wanted. She sent over several plans for me to look at and we narrowed it down to one we liked.
After we had our plans tentatively finished, we met with our builder and he began our cost to build estimate. I will go into more detail later on that, but it was extremely helpful that he knew Debbie (who drew up our plans) because they were able to coordinate back and forth to make changes based on budget, and just ideas that our builder had for us to change! We also talked to our builder about what kind of finishes we wanted, so this is important to have in mind before you talk to them. You don’t have to have exact, but things like:
- Painted vs. stained cabinets
- Types of flooring (Hardwood flooring, Tile, Laminate, Vinyl, Etc.
- Types of Countertops (Granite, quartz, marble, etc.)
- Types of trim/moulding/wood work you want
- Exterior (Vinyl siding, wood siding, brick, stone, etc.)
- Ceiling Height (8, 9, 10 ft, etc. or vaulted ceilings)
- Shower/bathtubs (fiberglass, tile, etc.)
- Outdoor space (patio and porches… concrete is expensive)
I’m sure there is more, but those are the main things that have a big impact on the budget when picking out which type. If you let your builder know an idea of what you are wanting, the more accurate the cost to build estimation will be!
I think it’s so important to use someone to draw up your plans that has worked with your builder before. As soon as we sat down with our builder, he was very upfront and honest about how changing simple roof lines could save us tons of money. He was able to re-work our entire roofline and send it over to Debbie for her to change it on the plans. In the end, I liked the way the changes looked, and how much money they saved us!