If the American dream 60 years ago was to own a house, today’s American dream includes being able to design and build the house. There’s nothing quite like being able to look through house plans and pick one, watch the construction process, and be able to live in a home that is brand new and one that you had a hand in designing.

At Houston Plans and Permits, we can make this dream a reality. Since 2001, we have been providing Houston residents with beautiful, affordable house plans and all of the permits that go along with it. However, choosing a house plan isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. While it is fun to look at the plans and imagine walking through the house, it can be challenging to actually nail down a plan that works for your family, the property, and one that you can imagine yourself in decades into the future.

Top 6 Considerations When Selecting a House Design

Your Lifestyle

The first thing you’ll want to consider is how your lifestyle will fit the house. You don’t want to end up building a house and then have to adjust your lifestyle to the layout. If you have kids, consider where you want the kids’ rooms in relation to your master bedroom. If you entertain, do you want an open concept floor plan? If you have a family who frequently visits, do you want a dedicated bedroom for them to stay in? Do you want a single or multi-level home? Answering these questions will go a long way in helping you narrow down your house plan search.

The Rooms

Another very important consideration is the number of rooms in the house as well as the square footage. Do you want everyone in your family to have their own bedroom? How many bathrooms do you want? Do you want a bonus room, office, laundry room? You’ll also want to pay attention to the square footage of a house plan. A house can have the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you want, but a small square footage, meaning that the rooms may be on the smaller side. A house might have a big great room, but smaller bedrooms. If you find a house plan with the right numbers and is the right size, it will increase the cost of the house. In addition, keep in mind that the more bathrooms you have, the bigger your septic tank will be.

Costs

Speaking of costs, it’s essential that you have a clear budget in mind before you start looking at house plans. You will need to pay for the house plan itself as well as the cost of constructing it, which can include permit costs, labor, fees, fixture upgrades, the price of the land if it’s not owned already, prices for materials can increase depending on the market, furnishing the house, landscaping, and more. Typically, a house plan won’t include anything other than the house itself. If you want a deck or porch, it could be an additional cost. Landscaping can also be a significant expense that isn’t included in the cost of the home’s construction. Essentially, you’ll want to think about the miscellaneous expenses that go into making a house a home.

Think About the Future

Most people don’t plan on building a house just to sell it a few years later, or even 20 or 30 years later, so it’s important to think about how your family will evolve during your lifetime. If you’re building a five-bedroom, two-story house because the kids all want their own room and you want an office, consider what you will do with the extra space after the kids leave and you retire. If you’re planning on this being a forever home, you’ll want to think about accessibility into your old age. If there are stairs, will you need to climb them to get to your room, the master, or the laundry? Are the door frames wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair? Will you be able to install a wheelchair ramp in the future for the outside of the home?

What Are the Pros and Cons?

Even though we’d like to believe that we have a 100% perfect floor plan for all of our clients, there will be some compromises that have to be made. For example, if you want a large living room with nearly floor-to-ceiling windows, this will create an impressive room and view, however, it will increase heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. Another example is if you want an office that is located near the living room. During the summer when the kids are home watching TV in the living room, and you have to work in your office, consider how you will manage those distractions. When you work with Houston Plans and Permits, we will do our best to make sure that you have a home that you truly love, but it can be challenging to find a home without any negative elements.

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The Kitchen

Possibly the one room in the house that you do want to make sure is just right. The layout of the kitchen and how it flows with the rest of the house is incredibly important. Which direction does the sink face? If there is an island, how does that flow or hinder flow from the living room or dining room? If you love to cook, where will the bulk of the countertops be located in relation to the fridge and the sink? You may know that you want an open concept home, but look closely at the details of the kitchen and really try to imagine how you and your family will move and interact in that space.

Finding a house plan is definitely an exciting prospect, but it takes a lot of consideration before you start building. If you want advice from a professional team who has been in the industry for nearly 20 years, work with Houston Plans and Permits. We’ll create a floor plan that you love and feel comfortable in. Get in touch with our team today to get started!