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How to Find House Design Plans

It can be a bit overwhelming when you start the process of how to find house design plans. Do you start with an architect? Do you start with a builder?

Where do you start?

Absolutely critical to getting started is knowing what you’re allowed to build before you get your heart set on (and pay for) a specific house plan. Do this by contacting your county’s Planning and Zoning or Building Permit department. Or if your property is in a city and/or subdivision, you also need to contact their Building or Architecture teams. Each governing body typically has some sort of restrictions on the type of structures allowed. This might simply be how tall or wide it can be, minimum or maximum square footage, how close it can be built to the property lines, etc. Restrictions can also include the type of garage allowed, certain architectural features, paint color, and more. Make a list of the restrictions and use those to guide your searches.

  • If you bought land from us, look for the Due Diligence document we sent you. It includes the websites, phone numbers, and contact information you need!

Now that you know the restrictions you can start to explore actual plans.

Here are several ways to find a house design plan:
  1. Online resources: This is listed first, because we think it’s the best place to start. There are many websites that offer house design plans for purchase and a few for free. This provides a fast way of figuring out the designs you like and don’t like. Some popular home design websites include, Houzz, and Architectural Designs. We prefer Architectural Designs and We’re not affiliated with either them, but we’ve been really happy with both the variety of plans and ability to contact the designers to customize plans. You can filter searches by style, size, and more.
  2. Architectural firms: You can hire an architect or architectural firm to create a custom house design plan for you. This option will likely be more expensive but will allow for more customization.
  3. Homebuilders: Many homebuilders offer pre-designed house plans that you can choose from. This option may be more limited in terms of customization, but the plans are often very affordable and the builder is efficient building them (because they’ve built it before).
  4. If your land is in a Property Owner’s Association (POA) or Home Owner’s Association (HOA), check the association’s website for any referrals or contact them directly. Some Associations won’t give referrals per se. In that case, simply ask them which builders have recently built within the community.
  5. Books and magazines: There are many books and magazines available that feature house design plans. You can find these at your local bookstore or library.

When searching for a house design plan, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. Think about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, the size of your lot, your budget, and any specific features or styles you prefer. You should also consult with a professional to ensure that the plan meets local building codes and zoning regulations.

Be sure to check out our Blog for more helpful tips!

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