Designing Home Plans

A Thorough Home Plan Design Increases the likelihood of a successful Home Construction Project

By Mark J. Donovan

Designing home plans is important for multiple reasons. Home plan designs are necessary for defining your home construction project, obtaining home construction bids, pulling permits, and for viewing 2 and 3 dimensional perspectives of the floor plans.

Whether you’re designing home plans with a home design software package, or simply using graph paper and pencil, it is important to be as specific and thorough as possible.

By including as much detail as possible in your home design plans you can better visualize the new home or home addition.

In addition, you’ll be able to better assess floor plans and the building material used in the home construction project.

It is important to note that designing home plans involves much more than just sketching some rough images of the new home, or home addition. At a minimum you will need to include interior and exterior elevations, cross-sectional construction views of load bearing walls, dimensional information, and planned structural building materials just to pull permits.

However, successfully pulling a new home construction permit is a far cry from getting the new home or home addition of your dreams.

A complete home plan design should include details down to where the bathroom towel rack, for example, will be located. Without this level of detail, you will ultimately find yourself making last minute changes to the home plans, and having disputes with your contractor for implementing and paying for the newly generated home design change orders.

Designing Home Plans

Do not assume anything when it comes to a home construction project. Assumptions are the tickets to cost overruns and schedule delays.

When designing home plans, generate multiple elevation views of the interior so that you can better visualize the floor plans. Frequently, after the rough framing is complete, homeowners wind up asking the framing contractor to change wall locations or the size of a room because they “didn’t realize how small the room was going to be”. Also include the specific details such as the locations for wall outlets and switches, light fixtures, central vacuum receptacles, toilet and bathroom towel racks, dryer vents, etc.

In addition, specify in your home design plans the exact lighting fixtures, toilet and bathroom towel racks, central vacuum system, etc., that you desire in your new home. Again, every imaginable detail should be included when designing house plans.

Home Addition Bid Sheets

If your home construction project includes a new kitchen, meet with a kitchen designer to develop the exact specifications for the kitchen cabinets, down to the cabinet material, cabinet hardware, and dimensions for each cabinet. The kitchen design specifications can then be integrated into the top level home plan design.

By designing home plans that are thorough in the definition of your new home, or home addition, you can prevent incidents such as the delay in building materials arriving days, or even weeks, late to the job site. Delays in the delivery of building materials of just a few days can sometimes set you back weeks, or even months, if the contractor walks of the job and starts another project. By having a complete set of home plans you help mitigate this type of risk and increase the likelihood of a successful home construction project.

For more help on building a new custom home, see’s New Home Construction Bid Sheet. The New Home Construction Bid Sheet provides you with the knowledge on how to plan a custom home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors for your new home construction. It also includes a detailed cost breakdown table and spreadsheet for estimating your own new home construction building costs.

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