top of page
  • Writer's picture ashley evans | design consultant

Before You Buy House Plans Off the Internet...

We could write a short novel on why you may want to take a hard pass on buying a one-size-fits-all house plan off the internet. Having a custom home drawn to your specifications may cost a bit more upfront, but chances are you'll make it up in cost savings later. And it's hard to put a price on optimizing your home's overall function and style.

Budget Control

It's a major gut punch to discover you just paid good money for an internet house plan you can't realistically afford to build. And here's the kicker: it's totally avoidable.

Do your homework and find out how much reputable builders in your area are charging per square foot to build homes very similar to the one you hope to build. Be crystal clear on what your expectations are regarding the exterior style and interior finishes. You'll be surprised to find out the price per SF will range wildly (even in less expensive markets), so details matter.

From the builder side, there's a lot that goes into your quote: site preparation, utility set up, exterior building materials, roofline complexity, floor system preferences... the list goes on. Then there are the interior big-ticket line items, and that's where your personal preferences come into play. Are you OK with budget-friendly LVP flooring? Will you be happy with fiberglass tubs and shower inserts, or is a walk-in mosaic marble shower with dual rain heads and body sprays your must-have? The more info you can give the builder, the better!

We see clients quoted $90-100/SF for their dream home when the actual house they envision will cost far more to build than that. It's no fun to be the bearer of that bad news. Unfortunately, some builders throw out a low-ball number you want to hear without really listening to your needs or factoring in your specifications. And to be fair, builders are often pressed for a quick "ballpark" figure. Without crucial information (and time invested in quoting the project), that number is a best guess. Knowledge is power, and it's a win-win for both parties when you come to the table with your detailed wish list! Once you determine a realistic price per SF to build your home, you can set some limits on your heated/cooled square footage.

For example, suppose you have upscale tastes ($150/SF taste for easy math) and a $300K budget. You'll want to sit down with your builder, draftsman, or architect to map out a 2000 SF or smaller home tailored to your needs. When you're working with experienced professionals, you'll be pleasantly surprised at all you can achieve, even with a modest amount of square footage.

A little research goes a long way when it comes to planning your custom home. Get this first step right, and you'll be off to a great start AND avoid stressful financial surprises down the road.

We'd be happy to talk more with you about our cost-saving design/build process and help you modify plans you already own. Please give us a call at 334-403-5632 or drop us an email at! We'd love to hear about your project and help make your dream home a reality!

166 views0 comments


bottom of page