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Custom House Plans 101: FAQ

Working with a designer to get the home you want is a rewarding process. Take a look at some of the common questions about custom home plans.

What are you actually getting when you buy custom house plans?

Even though it can vary slightly depending on what company you buy from, there are generally things you can expect to get when you buy custom house plans, such as: 

  • An explanatory cover page that explains graphics used within the plan 
  • Professionally drawn floor plans for each floor of the home 
  • Electrical plans for each part of the house portraying how the electrical system should be laid out 
  • A detailed map of plumbing systems and line implementation guides 

Overall, the full set of house plans is a cumulative collection of everything a builder will need to proceed with the build. 

What does it mean if you order a concept plan?

Homebuilding regulations and zoning restrictions can vary from place to place, and these laws can affect certain attributes of the home and how it is built. A concept custom house plan is created in a way that certain attributes can be adjusted to coincide with local regulations. You are basically getting a home concept that is not totally finalized, which can make it much easier for any builder to proceed with the plan and make any necessary changes. 

What kind of options can you pick from where the structure of the house is concerned?

Of course, when you work with a custom house plan designer, you get to pick all the details about layout and style. However, some of the more important attributes to pick can revolve around structural elements. Some of the options you may get the opportunity to pick before the plans are created include: 

  • whether you want traditional 2x4 wall studs or 2x6s 
  • whether you want a solid-slab foundation or a block foundation to allow for a crawlspace 
  • whether you want closer-set floor joists or wider-set floor joists 

Will you get a materials list with your order?

Most custom house plan services will give you the option of buying a materials list along with your actual plans. However, some companies will automatically include the list with your purchase. The materials list can be invaluable if you intend to do the work on your own, but even if you hire a contractor, having this list can mean a lower cost because it makes their job easier as well.