Where to start?

We started our house search in the fall of 2011 and after looking at quite a few houses with our realtor, we realized that we could probably build a brand new home in the town of our choice for the same price as purchasing a house that was maybe a little bigger but didn’t have the features that we wanted.

We started searching for house plans and let me tell you, this step was not easy.  After looking at anything and everything out there, I decided that we needed to narrow our search because there are thousands of plans online.

We started with a list of our wants:

  • 1800 to 2200 sq ft
  • 3+ bedrooms
  • Master bedroom with walk-in closet and master bath
  • 2 car garage
  • Optional bonus room 
  • Open floor plan
  • At least one room downstairs that was not part of the open kitchen/living room
  • 2 story foyer
  • front porch
  • walk-out basement
  • upstairs laundry

My favorite sites were dongardner.com, eplans.com, thehousedesigners.com, and thehouseplanshop.com.

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We loved this design by Frank Betz because of the curved staircase and the front porch.  We also liked the master suite and huge optional bonus room.

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After sending it to our architect friend, though, we realized that the complicated design may be too expensive for us to build and bedroom 3 seemed a little small (not tiny by any means, but not huge). 

 

Our other favorite was this one from thehouseplanshop.com

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Being in New England, we felt that this Colonial house plan (found here) would look really nice in the neighborhood.  It was the right square footage and had most of the things we wanted.

  • 1800 to 2200 sq ft
  • 3+ bedrooms
  • Master bedroom with walk-in closet and master bath
  • 2 car garage
  • Optional bonus room 
  • Open floor plan
  • At least one room downstairs that was not part of the open kitchen/living room
  • 2 story foyer
  • front porch
  • walk-out basement
  • upstairs laundry

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We decided that this plan was going to be our shell, but that there were enough things that we wanted to change that we should meet with an architect. 

Choosing a house plan can be difficult, but setting good expectations for yourself at the beginning is key.  We knew we couldn’t afford a house with tons of peaks and a huge back deck plus a farmer’s porch and lots of stone work on the front but were able to find great plans by narrowing down what we really wanted.

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