"Make Choosing the Right House Plan a Satisfying Experience"

A fun challenge
Getting right down to it - choosing the right house plan does not have to be overly difficult or complicated. Even if it might be the biggest, most fun, challenge that you will ever have in your life next to actually building your house. And that's why I'm here. I have had clients that knew exactly what they wanted, and I have had some that had no clue at all. They just wanted to build a house.

Choosing the right plan fell on my lap, and times like that are when this job gets really interesting.

The importance of wise elimination
This is not an exact science. Although some architects and designers would have you think that way. What it is, is starting off with your basic ideas and adding a few extras, then you go through a simple process of elimination. In my experience, people usually have their eyes on the bigger floor plans. When they realize that it is beyond the limits of their budget they start eliminating things. The funny thing is, no one wants to eliminate their own desires. When I work with couples for some reason they always want to eliminate each other's desires!

Better communication for a better plan
Choosing the right house plan is not so much a matter of what we can fit in it, how grand we can make it, how beautiful our kitchen will be, or will it leave a great first impression when people come up to the front door? I feel the most important thing in choosing the right house plan is excellent communication. What do I mean by that? I could tell you story after story, but I do not think you want to be reading all night! I will get to my meaning in a minute.

  1. Communicate with the builders. The best thing you can do in your general location is to talk with several different contractors or builders. Ask them for the basic middle-of-the-road price per square foot for the houses they are building. Chances are, you already have your building lot. If you do not, you will need to calculate the price of a lot above and beyond the cost per square foot of a new home. You can calculate everything together in one price if the builder is the one selling the piece of land.

  2. Make communication a deliberate focus with your significant other(s) involved. Okay, now that you both know the price of the land and the price per square foot of building a new house, give or take a couple of bucks, you can actually start to focus on choosing the right house plan. This is where communication starts to take effect. Up until this point the information was coming from an outside source. Now you are ready to start going over the details of your new home.

  3. Communicate clearly the differences between needs and desires. All the advice you have been hearing up to this point of making your wants and needs list will start to come into play. Many times your needs turn out to be wants, or something that you can live without but have always dreamed of having. Everyone knows you will need a kitchen, several bedrooms, and perhaps a garage if your building lot allows that. Of course, I'm sure you will also want a living room or family room as some call it. All of that goes without saying.

    Where the communication comes in is how large or small those rooms are going to be. How elaborate or how simple is the kitchen going to be? How much money will you put into the front side of your house? Better yet, study your living habits. If one spouse has to get up early to go to work and the other one wants to sleep in, will the bathroom be positioned in such a way that the noise will be at an acceptable level?

Keep the questions flowing
I cannot possibly cover all the aspects that are involved in choosing the right house plan by writing them here. There are too many variables involved that could be affected by simple questions like, what are your township building restrictions? Or what version of the building codes is in effect in your area?

Don't sweat the small stuff. Make choosing the right house plan educational and a lot of fun. You get the idea.

Remember: The more you question, the better the end result will be.

A little give and take is what you need to make the whole process go as smooth as possible.

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A Few Comments:

"Thank you! Received the plans yesterday. They look great. We will definitely recommend you. I'm so excited now to have a visual. We'll have you out when it's all done.

Take care and God bless."

- Tommy & Christine
Mohnton, PA 

"In my line of work I build both log and conventional homes. It can be difficult to find someone who can draw prints for both styles. I received a flyer in advertising Larry's Home Design. I was planning to build a house for myself and decided to try Larry's that way I could guage whether I would use him for my clients. I was very impressed and since then Larry's Home Design draws prints for all our customers."

- Marvin Fisher
Denlinger-Fisher Builders
New Holland PA

You might find this helpful if you are looking for even more personalized design strategies before finalizing your own plans…

"…very easy to work with and quickly understood what we wanted. Larry, I truly enjoyed working with you on the design. You were always there to talk to me… It was wonderful for me getting to help the guys build the house and see it come to life. It was a lot of work, but now we can enjoy the fruits of our labor. Please stop in and see us whenever you can. You are always welcome."

- Keith Johnson
Bainbridge, OH

"Believe me, Larry & his ability to design structures, is a 'jewel in the rough.' I was referred to him as an experienced log home designer & I had either a log (or log slab) home in mind. I contacted Larry, & in no time, had plans & the specifications. This was to the last nail & piece of siding.

Larry's work is reasonably priced & excellent quality. He knows builders & suppliers who can have you in 'front of the fireplace' in no time."

- James E. Vaughan
Groveport, OH


... Thanks again for your help with these. You have been by far the best designer we have dealt with, both communication wise and product quality wise. Everything I have looked at had been excellent. Keep up the good work.

- Thanks Gary
Crockett Log Homes