From the Drafting Table

Tips on choosing the right House design for you

• What size & style house is suitable for your neighborhood? If you have chosen a lot, choose a plan well suited with the other houses in the area.
• If choosing a stock plan, do you like the outside elevations of the house? It may be best to start with a floor plan you like, because a good designer would be able to adjust the exterior elevations to suit you.

• Will your house fit on your lot? Have a plot plan with your house laid out on it if there is doubt as to whether or not the house would fit and/or how you would like the house to sit.

• Concrete slab foundations are cheaper than crawl spaces, however, slab houses are harder to heat, and may be a security and/or privacy problem.

• From which direction will you be entering the lot? Front entrance driveways are the least expensive. Side or rear entry driveways are more expensive.

• What is the garage capacity? How many vehicles will need to be housed?

• Consider the pitch of the roof. Roof pitches of 9:12 or greater are more expensive.

• When considering square footage, remember that “Living” or “Heated” space is measured to the outside of the brick.

• Room sizes may be figured to the outside of a wall, the center of the wall, or both.

• Which roof is right for the elevations of your house? Hip roofs are usually cheaper than gable roofs.

• Although you want your house to look attractive on the outside, it may be wiser to spend your money on the inside where you will actually use it. More space vs. high pitched roofs, for instance.

• Do you want one or more stories to your house? Two or more stories involve a staircase(s). Consider if you would want a staircase in the future, i.e. later in life?

• Is a basement to your advantage? Is your lot appropriate for the kind of basement that you might want?

• Are there enough windows? Consider the size and shape of different windows to find one that suits you.

• What type kitchen do you want? Are there enough cabinets? Do you want a pantry?

• Are there enough bedrooms? Will your family grow or reduce? Is there a chance that in-laws may move in, you may have more children, or someone may be leaving?

• Should the master bedroom be upstairs, downstairs, with the other bedrooms, or on the opposite side of the house?

• Are there enough bathrooms?

• Are there enough closets? Consider the storage space you may need for seasonal clothing and decorations.

• Are the room sizes large enough for your furniture?

• Do rooms allow for privacy?

• Are bathrooms, utility room, etc., conveniently located where they will not cause disturbance to other areas of the house?


  Deciding on Remodel or Build

There are many things to consider when deciding on whether to build or remodel. The following list will help in your decision.

  • A new home may allow you to use better and/or later technology products that will aid in saving maintenance and/or energy costs.
  • A remodel project may transform the appearance of the entire house or just one room.
  • Make sure the addition or renovation will have positive returns on the money you invest. Ensure that the renovation or addition will not make your house too large or expensive for your current neighborhood.
  • How much inconvenience will a renovation project cause you? And for how long?
  • Do you have the land necessary to add an addition onto your house?
  • Check your neighborhood restrictions before making exterior renovations.


Why have house plans drawn?

Plans developed from Active Standard Design & Drafting, LLC will help you and the contractors visualize what is expected. It is common practice for a contractor to charge for any and all changes made to your house. It is cheaper to make changes in the plans than during construction. Good, accurate plans minimize a lot of frustration on all parties!

Changes made during construction will usually cause additional costs. Any changes made after you agreed upon the plans and signed the contract should be made in writing. This is called a change order. Another good practice would be for you to mark the changes on a set of plans (usually in red), and both you and the contractor sign or initial. A written amount of the additional cost or saving should be recorded and dated as well.

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