Author Topic: House Plans  (Read 2735 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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House Plans
« on: March 26, 2014, 05:04:50 PM »
One of my bucket list items is to design & build a small house. A one floor only house (no basement, no upper level), one bedroom only, one full bathroom only... but maybe a garage. Anyone knows a good website to find house plans? This would help in designing the place. Also, has anyone even done an ICF diy project? If so, feedback on the experience would be great. Thanks


  • Stubble
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Re: House Plans
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 04:12:18 AM »
Check out this website for small house plans.
Very nice designs and reasonably priced.  ICF - insulated concrete forms?  You don't want a basement?  Or is this another project? No personal experience but check for archived articles.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: House Plans
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 06:17:44 AM »
This is one of my life goals as well. 

You might want to try -- don't be misled by the fact that it leads with "garden".  Check the thread on Home Building.  I've been reading it regularly (along with quite a few books on homebuilding and aging in place design), and I've learned so much about building and putting together a house that works. 

You may find the details of the site irritating at times.  Most of the people on the site are building 3000-5000 houses with complicated footprints, impossible roofs, and loads of bells and whistles.  LOTS of people are discussing floorplans that you can tell they'll never be able to build.  In a nutshell, lots of people are designing $2,000,000 houses and then asking how to build them on a $250,000 budget -- so then you have the threads about "what to cut without changing the plan".  However, you can still learn something from these discussions . . . and use that information on a smaller scale. 

My own goal is to build a 1.5 story house that we'll live in for the rest of our lives.  We have the land already, and we have a general idea of what we want.  Our main reason for building is that we want something that people consider "starter house" size, but we want it to be more functional (i.e., huge pantry, laundry adjacent to the master bedroom closet), and we want some luxury finishes that don't typically come in small houses. 

More to the point of your question, you can find LOTS of websites with good house plans, and then you can adapt them to suit your own needs.  Do keep in mind, though, that if you start with a plan purchased from the internet, your total cost will not be the relatively low $500-1000 that you'll pay for the plans.  You'll also have to have a local architect or designer take the plans are adapt them to your site. 

Also, keep in mind that land comes first . . . then house plans.  You need to know how wide your house can be -- no purpose in choosing a house, then realizing it can't fit on your lot.  And you need to know how the land is oriented; for example, if you want big windows and French doors/sliding glass doors to the back of the house, you don't want to choose a lot that'll mean the back of the house will face the hot, western sun -- or, if you do, you'll want to cover the back with a porch.  Really, though, land first, house plans second. 


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: House Plans
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 06:54:19 AM »
very cool!!!

no tips on house plans, but has built some houses. you might find some pearls of wisdom or just tips on getting started there.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: House Plans
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 07:07:05 AM »
This link should provide you with just about anything you can think of.