How to Build Your Custom Home Without Hiring an Architect

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Building a custom house without a house plan is nearly impossible. Appraisers will need drawings to help evaluate a home’s value, lenders will need plans when approving a construction loan, architectural or city review committees will need them to ensure a home meets environmental standards and codes, and most importantly, builders will need them. detailed plans to guide construction. If you want to save up-front costs on your project, you may consider two other options for your house plans.

Consider Using a Draftsman

A draftsman can translate designs into technical drawings and blueprints for builders to follow, but usually does not have the design and engineering training that an architect does. So hiring an experienced draftsman is usually cheaper than hiring an architect and the savings can be significant. But don’t think that a draftsman’s finished product will be less detailed than what an architect would provide. If you’re considering hiring draftsmen, ask about experience in the area you plan to build on.

Buy Stock Packages

If you are looking for cost savings and a proven design, stock plans are a potential option for your house plans. Most plans have been built at least once by someone. This means any issues between the paper to actual home plans have been resolved. Stock house plans will bring with it a great deal of experience with different construction sites and various problems being solved. In addition to getting pre-made plans, and even modified and improved from time to time, stock plans can save you time and money. The main reasons people buy stock house plans instead of having a plan designed just for them is price and time.

However, if the idea of building a house that will look like someone else’s doesn’t appeal to you, keep in mind that stock plans can be modified to make the design uniquely yours. A stock plan will not answer all of a homeowner’s wants and needs. There needs to be some adjustments to the stock plan, and a draftsman can also help. That can include making sure the plan meets local building codes and any special building codes your home may be subject to, such as wind codes in hurricane-prone areas.

House plans will be one of the least expensive parts of your project. So take your time to get the right plan that meets your lifestyle needs and choose a plan source you trust to deliver quality designs within your budget and time frame. Talk to references, you can also ask local building officials for feedback on the designer and be realistic about how much time you are personally willing to invest in the design process.

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