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Tips for Customizing Your New Home Plans

Tips for Customizing Your House Plan

We all want to go online and look at hundreds of plans to find the one we like the most and customize it. Unfortunately, this doesn't work most of the time. If you've done step two first, then you're on the right track. The lot will give you the dimensions you have to work with so all you'll need to do is understand the relationship between design and cost! Your builder and/or architect can help you greatly with this but we'll discuss the following tips to get you started. Outside walls, roof pitch and colors.

Outside Walls

The outside walls are important for several reasons. First, there is the layout of the house. The cheapest design is four straight walls going from point a to point b with no twists or turns, but in a straight shot is the shortest distance. Each jog to the right or left adds to the length of the distance. Each foot in each jog costs more money in slab beam, studs, exterior sheathing, insulation, drywall and paint! Trust me, it adds up! By no means am I saying build a box or anything of the sort, but just to be mindful. Another thing to keep in mind is ceiling height. Everyone wants 10' ceilings everywhere or even 12' to 16' but the reality is, it's not necessary to do the outside walls that way. This can be achieved by vaulting up to the desired height from a lower outside wall. Most builders will do a lower outside wall to avoid the extra cost. Every bit counts when building. You'll be surprised at how the pennies, nickels and dimes turn into thousands of dollars!

Roof Pitch

Roof pitch is generally a marking point that most framers use to determine how much more they can charge to do the job. The real factor is, how complicated the cuts will have to be, signifying the level of knowledge and expertise. Another thing to keep in mind is the higher the roof pitch the more surface area you will have to pay for, i.e. taller braces, longer rafters, more decking, black paper, shingles and labor. The question is, "Where do you want to spend your money?". Although a steep roof pitch looks great, it's been proven to be difficult for the average person to tell the difference between a 10:12 to 12:12 or an 8:12 to 10:12 pitch. Having a lower roof pitch is a good start when designing your new home.


When it comes to colors, the interior finishes make the difference. It's easy to go all out with your flooring, cabinets, counter tops, fixtures and wall tile! It's not until looking at the final cost and budget that you feel your insides getting heavy. Sure granite, marble, stone, wood and travertine are great choices and will be used for the most part, but being budget conscious and putting your focus on great color combinations will allow your money to spread a lot further. Great colors are what get your attention. Types of material are great choices, however, they add to the bottom line significantly. For example: the cost of levels one, two and three granite. The only difference between them is the seller likes the color or pattern of level three more. The same goes for brick and stone. If the seller really likes the colors, then the price goes up. Though most of the preferred colors will be higher in cost, there are always a few great colors that will be available. Spend the time and you'll be fine.

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