These days, a home’s total square feet area is declining while home prices are up. The cost to build a home in 2019 averages about half a million dollars, but the square footage is now the lowest since 2001, at around 2,500 square feet. 

This tells us that homeowners are trying to do more with less. From a multi-family plan to home plans with extensions as you grow, the most popular house plans this year are functional and economical, without sacrificing those luxurious creature comforts. 

Take your cues from these home plans and adapt them to your family.  

Ranking 2022’s Most Popular House Plans

Before looking at the most popular house plans right now, consider many factors that influence whether a home design is right for you. 

Some people, for example, want to know the cheapest or most economical house to build. Others want to keep things simple and are looking for quick and easy-to-build floor plans.

Quite a few architectural styles can fulfill your needs, so we’ve included these floor plans if you have a specific requirement in mind. 

Easiest to Build

An easy-to-build house plan should be simple in its parts, planning, and “assembly.” This doesn’t mean you don’t need technical or specialized help, such as expert plumbing and electrical installations. 

However, with the help of a small crew, you could just easily build it yourself. Easy-to-build house plans are not fussy because they don’t include complex excavations for basements. They also rarely include more than one floor — unless you want these features for some extra sq ft area. 


The A-frame is an incredibly easy design to build because, in its most essential form, the layout has no other levels. All you need are the beams that sit against the two roof sides — which are also the walls in this house plan.

Log Cabins 

A log cabin is another house plan design that is easy to build. Again, like the A-frame, you can get more sophisticated with your sq ft use, such as adding things like a second floor, a bonus room, or a large deck for outdoor living. 

But its simplest form is low on sq ft and has no frills. 

Cheapest to Build

The smaller a dwelling, the cheaper it is to build. However, sq ft area is not the only indicator of cost. For example, you could opt for a compact home design, but amp up your bottom line if you go for high-priced interior decor and upgrades. 

Small Home

The “small home” is a layout where all your sq ft area rests on the main floor. Even a cottage-style home can be a small home if it has a compact design. Even if you have a larger lot, you can opt for a small home and your costs will be lean.

However, the “small” designation depends on the designs. For example, if you get a custom floor plan from architects, you could very easily keep a low sq ft area and still include up to 2 bedrooms, with a master suite, and 2 full bathrooms.

Two Bedroom Homes

Speaking of two-bedroom homes, opting for a two-bedroom home can keep your costs low but still serve as a multi-family dwelling. 
Again, it depends on what the designers do with the space they’re given. For example, if they use an open floor concept, you can enjoy a more spacious living arrangement but stay low on costs.

Most Classic Design

Classical designs are never going to go away. They’re well-loved and stand as a hallmark in everyone’s mind of a new and ideal starter home for families. Perhaps one reason these plans still stand today is that they were around during early settler history across the country. 
Of course, today’s designs are updated or “revived” and adapted to meet modern-day needs and creature comforts.   


The classic colonial floor plan has iconic features such as dormer windows, double chimneys, and a symmetrical design. In fact, even home builders and architectural firms selling house plans will adapt the classic colonial style for their newest lot releases.


The Hampton home is a unique house plan that is made for lots with large width and depth. Outdoor living is often part of the novelty of these plans and the sq ft can vary. Hampton designs are perfect for entertaining, often featuring a guest area or bonus room. 
However, they’re also very sturdy against East coast storms and prevailing winds — which is where you can usually find these home plans.

Most Modern Exteriors

Quite a few house plan designs are updated to include features like a home office, guest quarters, open floor layout, dens, bonus rooms, and more. But the exteriors are really where you, as a homeowner, can make an impact.  


The Contemporary style plan features smooth, clean, and elegant lines in the exterior design. They can feature flat or sloping roofs, but usually include a mixture of building elements like:

  • Vinyl siding
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Wrought iron
  • Stone


The “Modern” plan is a new way to blend several styles together for a unique look. Many classic styles, such as the Craftsman or the Farmhouse, can be updated to reflect these modern sensibilities.

How to Pick the Best House Layout For Your Family

The most popular styles for a new home should also reflect your family’s living style. When considering the best layout for a house, you should be looking at four key aspects beyond just the sq ft size. 

1) Bedrooms, Bathrooms, and Location

Think of it this way: if you don’t have enough bedrooms and bathrooms, and they’re not strategically located in the house’s plan, every morning could be a potential for conflict. 
If you have a small family now but you plan to grow by three, where will your kids sleep, and who will share what? 
If you know you need two full baths, will your guests get to use a powder room — or will they use one of your full bathrooms? And are these located on the upper levels? If so, they will have to enter a more intimate part of your home. So, at least one of them should be located on the main floor.
These questions will determine whether a layout is your first choice — or a non-contender. 

2) Open Concept is Best

Whether you stick to a two-level house plan, a split bedroom layout plan, or a modern ranch style plan, make sure that you have an open concept design. 
Open plan designs don’t have any doors between rooms on the main level. Instead, the design features a natural flow — of light and air circulation — throughout the house. 
One can go from the living room to the kitchen to the family room seamlessly. It also makes your space seem larger and taller, which is great if you want to keep to a tight sq ft area. 

3) Walk-out Basement, In-Ground, or Neither?

Some people want a plan with a basement while others don’t want the added pressure of finishing that added sq ft area. 
However, there are a few more options at your disposal. If your lot is on a slope or a hill, you may have the perfect spot for a walk-out basement plan. On the other hand, an in-ground basement can be a great storage place and can give your house an added spot for recreation.

4) Don’t Forget Those “Add-On” Rooms

When you search on a site selling house plans, look for a design that includes add-on rooms.  These are optional spaces like mudrooms or butler’s passages. Add-on spaces give a new house the functionality a family needs. You should consider what your family’s practices are on a consistent basis. 
For example, suppose all your laundry sits upstairs in everyone’s bedrooms. In that case, it might be smart to keep the laundry room upstairs, beside the bedrooms rather than downstairs by the garage area.

10 Popular House Plans in 2022

The next 10 houses are the most popular house plans this year. These are a collection of different styles of houses, and each architectural plan varies in sq ft area and features. 

1) Colonial Styles

Colonial-style homes will continue to prevail among the most coveted type of plans in the country. If two or three fireplaces, brick or wood facades, and two stories feature prominently in your family’s new home aspirations, you’re not alone.

2) Cape Cod Homes

Cape Cod homes were first built in the 1600s. If their cozy and compact exteriors look familiar, you’re right. Cape Cod homes are found on the Atlantic coast, and they have their origins in old British cottages on the southern coast.

These homes have steep roofs and large chimneys. Some designs might also feature dormer windows, which are common for colonial homes. 

3) Waterfront with a Modern Twist

Waterfront homes may seem like a very “niche” house plan. However, an increasing number of people are taking advantage of the “vacation”-style architecture for their main property.

One of the main characteristics of a waterfront plan is its walk-out basement. It also features a combination of wood and vinyl siding, plenty of decks, and wrap-around porches. If you live on land with elevation, this could be the perfect design for your family. 

4) Modern Farmhouse

The “modern” farmhouse has inflections of Victorian and Colonial architecture, but this design prefers function to flourish. 
There’s an emphasis on the “agrarian” lifestyle, which makes use of every feature. For example, porches could be considered extra sq ft area because they act as a transition between the indoors and outdoors.

The modern farmhouse mixes the original farmhouse design’s classic features with current elements like large glass windows, a “shabby chic” wooden exterior, glossy accents, a contrast between dark and light elements, and clean lines. 

5) 2 Bedroom Starter Homes

Two-bedroom “starter” homes are not just for singles or newlyweds. There are quite a few empty nesters or families who want to downsize their current lifestyle and choose the two-bedroom house.

There’s no one architectural style, so you can design and decorate based on your sensibilities. Suppose you want to go for a modern, cottage blend. In that case, you might consider keeping the plan to one level, with some additional space for extensions and add-ons (such as a sunroom) in the future.

6) The L-Shape with a Contemporary Design

The L-shaped house is a fantastic example of clean and innovative design. Every part of the house is connected and accessible. At the same time, the backyard area is kept private and secluded by the smaller “arm” of the “L” shape.
You can go for any kind of architectural style, but the contemporary home is perfect for this adaptable layout design. It naturally features sloping roofs, clean lines, and mixed exterior building elements that enhance the natural “L” shape.

7) The Luxury A-Frame

It’s not just millennials who love the A-frame design. The chic, almost Scandinavian look of A-frames is making them increasingly attractive to families who want to live a more affordable, sustainable, adventurous lifestyle. 
However, the A-frame’s sloping walls make storage and room separation a challenge. That’s why many families look for a more accommodating A-frame layout to adapt to everyday living. This increases the sq ft area but also allows you to create bedrooms and bathrooms.

8) Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern architecture was alive and thriving from the 1940s to the 1980s. The style focuses on using large glass windows, clean, smooth, and rectangular lines, flat planes, and the integration of nature.

9) Maximalism with Prairie-Style Homes

The Midwest-inspired prairie-style home is all about practicality and exudes a down-to-earth modesty. However, it’s the details where designers and architects, like the originator, Frank Lloyd Wright, can make their mark. 
Even though the minimalist design has been in vogue, maximalism is making a comeback. So you can opt for the long, flat roofs, rows of windows, horizontal lines, and an emphasis on an organic, “Zen”-like a garden, while emphasizing luxury in exterior design materials.

10) Modern Ranch

Ranch-style homes are popping up all over the country — with a modern twist. The style began in the 1930s, originating in the Southwest and rural areas of the Western states. These plans have generous, open concept interiors, attached garages, split-level floors, and easy connections to the outdoors. 
The modern “twist,” on this rather practical layout is the decadent and clean design elements.


Right now, the demand for homes is quickly outstripping the pace at which a builder can provide new homes. That’s why so many families are deciding to skip the waitlists and new releases to build their own homes from scratch. So why not take a page from their book and pick any of these best-selling designs for yourself?
When you’re ready to design your dream dwelling, head to Monster House Plans. Our insane inventory of designs and layouts features almost every architectural style you can imagine. Speak to our architects to customize any layout that captures your imagination.

L-shaped homes are all about connection. Style is always important when you’re considering home plans, and that’s where most homeowners stop. But finding the right house plan for your family is about so much more than just one style over another. Instead, you need to consider whether the overall design, which includes a home’s functionality, works with your family’s lifestyle.

That’s why L-shaped homes are the hidden secret of the house plan world. The unique design helps create an exterior and interior layout of balance, harmony, connection, and privacy. When you can infuse your home with these principles through a house plan design, you’ll never want to leave the oasis you’ve chosen and built from scratch. 

The History of the L-Shaped House

Looking at the letter “L,” you can see that two lines are joined together, but one section is longer than the other. The L-shaped home began as an asymmetrical offshoot of the ranch-style home

But the highly functional design was so useful, that it quickly adapted to almost every other kind of contemporary home style possible.

The design of these kinds of layouts is so functional that many “tiny home” enthusiasts are repurposing the shipping containers into homes that feature the L-shape design.

An L-shape house plan is so flexible because it’s about solving a design problem, rather than capturing a distinct style or design aesthetic.

That’s why these home designs work with any architectural style. And you can’t trace the L-shape home plan to a specific architect because it’s so widely used.

For example, a Mediterranean architectural style of house plan could easily be customized into an L-shape home design.

Five Benefits of L-Shaped House Plans

View the L-shape home designs used in two different and distinct architectural styles. You can see the benefits of the features this kind of layout offers.

Take a look at the L-shape design of a modern farmhouse and that of a plantation house plan.

These two house plans are quite unique in exterior and interior features. However, the layouts of the main floor are similar:

The house plans of the main floor area show how the garage enjoys direct access and connection to the rest of the house, without taking up extra space in the home’s design.

Since the plantation style home has more sq ft to play with, architects can also include other functional rooms like a summer kitchen, a mudroom, a laundry room, several built-ins, a pantry, or even a storage closet. 

Upstairs, the added garage area means you can build additional bedrooms to accommodate an extended family. And these are just some of the reasons why L-shape house plans are so popular. 

1) Privacy

Notice how the L-shape layout of these house plans frame the front yard nicely. Meanwhile, the orientation protects the backyard from sight. 

In fact, many homes that use the L-shape design on the main floor will do so because they also want a pool or a private, outdoor space intended for entertaining. Depending on your lot’s orientation and sq ft, you can gain privacy with these layout plans.

2) A Balance of Elements

The perimeter formed by the connection between the two lines frames the front yard and protects the back courtyard area. When you look at how the two sides of the “L” arms extend outward, it feels like an embrace. Meanwhile, the front and back yard spaces remain separate from each other, so you can design and landscape these areas as you’d like. 

Inside the home, the intersection point allows you to create a real balance in the sq ft you’re using. L-shape plans can feature a garage, certainly, but you can also use the two arms to create a separation between “wings” on the main floor. 

If you’re building a 1-story house, for example, one wing might be for the living area, while the other is a sign you’ve entered into the bedroom- and bathroom area.  

3) Adaptable to Any Kind of Architectural Style

L-shape home plans are adaptable to almost any kind of architectural style. You can even adapt it to something like a cottage style home, widening the width and depth to account for how many stories you have or bedrooms you want. 

Essentially, your options around square footage are entirely up to you. You can even add details like skylights, or rely on a mixture of shingle clad domestic forms, brick, wood, and modern glass to get an entirely new and unique exterior to your home.

4) Almost Everything is Linked and Accessible

Of course, there are variations to the “L” design that could add on more sq ft to your home’s total area. For example, you could add an extra wing extending out, perpendicular to the shorter arm of the “L.” You could use this area as yet another wing for guest bedrooms and bathrooms secluded from street view.

This is more like a “T” design and you can expect the additional sq ft to increase the price as well. But you now have additional exterior free space, almost like an extra front yard space.  

5) Shelter Against Prevailing Winds

The layout of the L-shape design provides more than protection from unwanted prying eyes. The corners and arms that extend out create a buffer against wind, rain, and snow. 

Anatomy of an L-Shaped Floor Plan

The L-shape floor plan’s inherent flexibility means you can do almost anything with the exterior and interior features. There are no two homes that necessarily need to look alike when you use this design. 

However, the common features make this home unmistakable.

Exterior Features

You’ll see garages featured prominently in the design of these homes. However, it’s not a hard and fast rule. Exterior elements commonly include:

  • Front and back porches
  • Multiple dormers
  • Front hip roofs and gables
  • Multiple car garages
  • Uninterrupted access from the garage to the interiors
  • Strong, clean lines

Interior Features

Upon entry into L-shaped homes, you’ll naturally experience a more open-concept type layout. Many families opt to use organic or makeshift room separators, also doubling as modern decor, for an almost “loft”-like look. 

Interiors can include:

  • Open concept living and dining areas
  • Extended bedrooms over the garage or second arm of the house
  • Mudrooms and extra storage space
  • Asymmetrical distribution of sq ft throughout the house
  • Nooks, pantries, and dens 
  • A separation between both “wings” of the house

Choose L-Shaped Design On a Floor Plan That’s Right For You

If you’re looking for true customizability, both inside and out, then the L-shaped home design is for you. When you’re ready to view this layout on a diverse array of floor plan styles, visit Monster House Plans. 

Our powerful advanced search should be your first go-to, as you select the specific interior and exterior features you want. Looking for guest bedrooms or a floor plan with a basement and a butler’s pantry? Our search will pull it up for you. Monster House Plans is your trusted hub for all things home design.

It’s time to stand out. It’s time to be unique. It’s time to build a barn house. 

A barn home features a style in existence for hundreds of years. Many people used barn house plans for necessity, using simple and sturdy building materials. Barn style design plans are now an ideal home construction project full of personality, craftsmanship, and flair. 

Homeowners looking for function, beauty, and family-friendly features will love barndominium floor plans. If you’re one of these homeowners, you’ll be happy to learn that this house design, its architecture, and interior and exterior features are very accessible when you’re building from scratch. 

Once you construct the basic frame of a barn style project, the rest is up to your imagination. The construction process is uncomplicated and highly flexible, allowing you to create additions like a loft or a basement with ease.

In this article, you’ll find a beginner’s guide to designing and building the barn house of your dreams, along with barn house floor plans for that spark of inspiration.

The History and Design of Barn Homes

A barn home is a rustic design known for its spacious interior, offering tons of storage space, classic timber exterior, and open concept design. However, today’s barn homes were not originally meant to house people. The history of the barn style design dates back to the 1600s as a residence for animals, their feed, and manure.

Today’s designs, however, boast creature comforts like:

  • A loft
  • Storage space
  • Beautiful double garage doors
  • Tall exposed ceilings
  • Sliding farm doors
  • Timber beams 

These details make this dream structure the ideal home for you, your family, and your friends.

This design is a daylight AND walk-out basement.

Barn homes offer excellent square footage, and their charm and flexibility allow you to maximize your site as well as your interior living spaces. 

The design and style of a barn home are highly adaptable. If you like the structure’s hallmark design, you can begin construction of a barn home project on any property size.

Pulling inspiration from the “rustic” look and feel of the traditional frame construction, barn house plans adapt the original style to provide ample space and simplicity in the home. 

Most barn homes keep the kitchen, dining room, and living room area connected through an open concept design. Instead, it features the bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry room, and any other room to the side. 

That’s why barn homes are ideal for families who want a lot of space indoors for themselves and guests.

What Goes Into Building Barn Homes?

Undertaking a building project like a barn home is both a rewarding and stressful experience. From finding the right build location to budgeting for your home construction and choosing from barn house plans that will suit your family’s needs, there is a lot of information to consider. 

Here are five steps to building and starting construction on the barn style design:

  1. Research and calculate barn house costs
  2. Decide on the best barndominium floor plans
  3. Choose a style that fits your needs
  4. Properly manage your land and space efficiently
  5. Find the right designer

Even though it is exciting and fun to watch your dream house come to life, there are always unforeseen issues that come up. Following these steps will allow you to control and order the process, which will make your barn home building experience significantly smoother.

Step #1: Research and Calculate the Cost of a Barn House

One of the first pieces of information and research to begin with on your project is about costs. The cost of construction, materials, and labor can be very affordable as long as you know what you’re getting into.

Once you purchase your building site, you’ll need to know the average cost to break ground, lay a foundation, and begin frame construction. The simplicity of these structures can cause many homeowners to wonder: Are barn homes cheaper to build?

The answer to that really depends on your living space’s square footage, the barn style’s floor plan, and the cost of materials you choose for the exterior. 

In other words, a barn home can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. If you’re using everyday materials like siding, most barn homes can be highly affordable structures, especially when compared with traditional projects.

Let’s take a look at the costs for a simple pole barn layout. The chart below details information available for planning pole barn homes, each with its features and costs. As you can see, the price for a post and beam design is the significant amount of space available for a low cost. For example, a 6,000 sq. ft. pole barn home costs about $50,000!

Of course, these pole barns are great for hobbies, machinery, and animals. Still, they are not as conducive to people’s original structure to live in and raise a family. 

Even though the post-beam method of construction is intended mainly for farming needs, these values should give you ideas for your costs. It also shows you that, with suitable finishes, layout, and attention to detail, your home can be an investment with high resale value.

So, with some slight adjustments, a pole barn can easily turn into a residence full of warmth and charm. To break down how much it costs to build a barn home, let’s take a look at some average costs in America for each aspect of these structures.

The tight housing market in America right now means that competition between buyers can make it tough to secure your dream home. That’s why many families chose to build their homes from scratch, instead of overpaying for a residence that may not serve their family’s total needs.

While the costs listed here will change for each build (once again, consider material and design factors), a pole barn house is a significantly cheaper option for everyone.

And even though an increasing number of families choose barn houses for their charm, style, and open concept design, affordability is one of its primary benefits.

Step #2: Decide on a Floor Plan That Suits Your Needs

There is an infinite number of options available when designing a barn home. Figuring out which floor plan style is right for you and your family can be a difficult decision. There are thousands of options available, so you need to decide what is most important for your barn home. 

To do this efficiently, begin by compiling a list of ideas that are needs versus wants. Needs are things that your future home must have for you to be happy. Wants are things you would like in your home. 

Having a clear, objective list will make this step in the process easy for both you and your designer. 

So, ask yourself:

  • Do you want ample kitchen space that opens to the dining room and living room area?
  • Do you want a smaller indoor space with a large overhang for outdoor space and activities?
  • Do you want a traditional barn house or a barndominium?

The decisions can be overwhelming. However, when building your barn home, you have the flexibility to build it as you want. So whatever you can dream up, your designer should be able to put it into a plan.

For example, you may decide you want a dedicated media room, plenty of ground floor living room, and you need the location of your stairs to be right at the foyer. 

You may decide that you don’t need a basement but large, open windows with lots of light and a porch would be a fantastic addition for that lazy, relaxing lifestyle.

Sorting through the must-haves, nice-to-have, and comfort features first will put you in a great position to review ready-made floor plans then.

Custom floor plans can give you ideas about your dream home’s final result before the frame construction begins. Reviewing the layout, finding out how to customize the interiors and living space, and then proceeding to build ensures that you’ll land on a frame that truly works for your family.

Consider the interior living area of this basic floor plan:

Based on this sample floor plan, it’s clear that your priority is having an open space for entertaining guests and having company over in the kitchen, living room, and large deck. Meanwhile, rooms like the den, master bedroom, and bathrooms are off to the side. These take up significantly less space.

This method is perfect for finding a floor plan that closely matches your needs and then customizing the interiors through an addition here and there.

Step #3: Which Barn Home Style Would You Prefer?

Even in the simplicity of a barn home, the barn house has multiple stylistic options available. You can choose between a traditional barn house, a pole barn house, and a barndominium. Each of these styles have great things about them and some things to consider.

A traditional barn house is a permanent structure and very sturdy. It is typically larger than the other two options. So it’s understandable that this style costs a bit more.

A traditional barn house provides a lot of flexibility in design and can last for generations. These homes are quintessential for those looking to have gatherings for family and friends year after year.

A pole barn house is built differently than traditional barn homes. Instead of a typical foundation, a pole barn house uses poles in the ground to hold it in place. This style choice is quicker and simpler to build, but it does lack the longevity of a traditional barn house simply because it does not have the same foundation. 

A pole barn house is a great option for a family or individual on a budget. These houses can provide the same great amenities and luxury at a fraction of the cost. Most houses have concrete foundations like the traditional barn house. With planted poles replacing the concrete foundation, a pole barn house will save a lot of money.

Barndominiums are a great choice for someone looking to build a uniquely styled home. Barndominiums are approximately the same size as a traditional barn house, but they use metal in the framing and design, whereas a barn house utilizes more wood and stone. These homes are typically cheaper than traditional barn houses and take significantly less time to build. 

Originally, barn homes helped ranchers in Texas stay closer to their livestock and horses during storms and bad weather. This style of home made it easier to check in on the animals because the livestock’s living quarters were connected to the main house.

The connected live spaces translate really well to modern-day families looking to settle down. While you may not want livestock near your home, you can design your barndominium to accommodate coverage and protection for your vehicles!

Within these three styles, there are several variations and options available to you. Don’t be overwhelmed by the options. Look at this as an opportunity for you to get exactly what you want when building your home.

Step #4: Manage Your Land and Space Strategically

If you want to build a barn house, you are going to need land. You won’t necessarily need more land than if you were building another style of home. 

For some homeowners, building a barn house means the chance to build their dream home out in the country, cultivate at least a few acres, and get started with that country life.

The good news is that you can position your barn home to capture sunsets or picturesque views.

However, other homeowners want to enjoy a barn house’s flexibility and curb appeal in smaller spaces like urban or suburban areas. 

In other words, the amount of land you are building on will affect your chosen floor plan. This is something to consider when building a barn house. 

The amount of living space you’ll need for the interior, compared to how much land remains unoccupied for the exterior, will make a difference when you plan out the maximum square footage.

Step #5: Find the Right Designer for YOU!

One of the most challenging aspects of building a home is finding a contractor or designer you can trust. Finding the right designer can help you translate your imagination and vision into an affordable reality.

When finding a designer for your barn house, you need to find someone who has experience with this style of home. 

While a barn house may be relatively simple in style and approach, there are several options available, so a knowledgeable designer will help you narrow down the details such as:

  • Windows
  • Ceilings 
  • Materials
  • The roof
  • Whether you need a basement or not
  • Options for entertaining 
  • The length and size of a porch
  • How many stories you need
  • Where your bathroom is best placed, and more

If you do choose to work with a designer, opting for Monster House Plans® can bring your imagination to life in a more effective way. 
With Monster House Plans, you can also use the “Ask the Architectfunction to ask detailed questions about the plan. This features truly lets the homeowners build their dream house within their budget.


People love flexibility and options when designing and building their homes. Barn homes and barndominiums provide space, quality, and most of all a unique design. What’s even better is that building a barn frame and style doesn’t have to break the bank.  No matter the size of your site or budget, barn homes are inherently adaptable!

Monster House Plans® will provide you with thousands of options and help you narrow down your search. Their advanced search feature helps you hone in on floor plans specially catered to your wants and needs. So the next time you are looking to buy or build a house, contact Monster House Plans® to get started and get one step closer to your dream home!

Getting the most house for your money is not as impossible as it sounds.

A limited construction budget is a design constraint that can truly enhance the result and, in many cases, can make for a more enjoyable and creative process. Instead of looking at a tight budget as a sacrifice, see it as a fundamental condition of building. You get to choose your priorities and discard the elements that don’t make the cut.

Data from the National Association of Home Builders tells us that the average price of constructing a single-family residence is roughly $289,415 — or $103 per square foot. However, the “average” figure doesn’t tell us much because home building and affordability vary vastly across the United States. This is why building a house as cheaply as possible requires a lot of research, ingenuity, planning, and careful project management throughout all phases.

Can you do it? Absolutely. Will you have fun? Most definitely. But does it call for a serious commitment of time, money, and resources? Without a doubt.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House Right Now?

When you’re trying to understand the difference between buying a pre-built new home and a custom home, you should know that there’s a range that the “average” figure simply doesn’t reflect.

Factors like location (both state and city/town), lot size, materials used, land and zoning permits, waterfront construction, proximity from schools, amenities, and cultural centers will also affect your total cost to build a new home. Think of new home custom construction costs as lying on a spectrum of low, average, and high.

In some states, the range between these three discrete points can vary vastly. In California, for example, the cheapest average cost of a custom home starts at $152,000, but it can go all the way to about $1.5 million. In Pennsylvania, however, the variance between the two ends is much more stable, starting at $345,000 and going up to approximately $450,000.

Major Home Construction Costs Before You Begin

The idea goes that building a custom home from scratch is usually more expensive — but that doesn’t always have to be the case. There are plenty of factors or “levers” you can modify without compromising quality, safety, or livability. However, a few fundamentals are non-negotiable.

1) Plot or Parcel of Land

The plot or parcel of land you buy to build your home on will vary in cost based on location and permits involved. Despite the variation, the average cost of a plot of land is $3,040 per acre. The lot itself might need some work before its construction-worthy, so you may have to factor this cost in as well.

2) Excavation and Foundation Work

Excavating and digging the foundation presents a significant cost, and it’s doubly complicated if you buy a sloped lot, a hillside property, or an in-fill property. It involves excavating, pouring, and backfilling your foundation. However, these types of properties are also priced to sell quickly.

If you’re ready to get a bargain, there’s an easy workaround. Choose a floor plan designed for a sloping lot and then work with an architect to modify the plan based on the land you’re working with. Keep in mind that you may need retaining walls and additional landscaping for flood prevention. Prepare to shell out anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000.

3) Mechanical and Plumbing

Another area of home construction you simply cannot skimp on is major systems installations. These include wiring and electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. If you know you want to improve on sustainability and energy efficiency, this might also involve learning how to set up and install solar panels. A good electrical and plumbing team will run you $30,000 to $50,000 for an entire home build project.

Five Ways to Build a House As Cheaply As Possible

Now that you know the rough numbers around the “must-haves” are, you can shave valuable dollars off your budget using the following seven tips to build a house as cheaply as possible.

1) Be Your Own Contractor

If you know you want to build a house from a custom floor plan, you’ll need to commit to the upfront research required to be your own contractor. The good news is that there’s no dearth of information or resources available out there. Take your time and learn in phases, based on where you are in the building process. For example, during the starting phases your own general contractor, consider the following:

  • Getting permits
  • Installing insulation
  • General site clean-up
  • Sourcing and purchasing all materials
  • Scheduling inspections
  • Shingling the roof

You can then offload any tasks you’re not too fond of or well-versed with to local subcontractors. These should be specialists like carpenters, foundation specialists, concrete specialists, plumbers, and electricians.

2) Choose Floor Plans Strategically

If you kept costs low by purchasing a smaller lot, now is your chance to choose a floor plan strategically. Smaller lots are cheaper, so they’re a great way to save some money. However, if you know you want a large front and backyard, choose a home with multiple stories rather than a bungalow or a one-leveled floor plan.

You can also save money by centralizing your plumbing. For this, find a floor plan that has the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms in close proximity to each other. These are the rooms that usually take the most wiring and plumbing installations.

3) Phase the Finishes

You don’t need to finish everything at once. Instead, plan to finish your basement two to three years after you officially move in. You can also roll your upgraders and interiors out in phases, based on a rolling budget.

4) Allocate 10 Percent of your Budget to the Pros

Consult with an architect and landscape architect because they’ll be able to guide you and help avoid costly (and dangerous) building errors. You may also need to allocate to architects, designers, or builders and land surveyors. If you opt to include these experts, each of their going rates will factor into the cost of your home. Fees for each professional will depend on the rate within your area. A few example rates are as follows:

  • Architects: $60 – $125/hour
  • Engineers: $100 – $150/hour
  • Surveyors: $300 – $700/hour
  • Designers: Five to 15 percent of your construction costs

5) Get Smart About Your Materials
There is a lot to be said about starting at salvage yards and recycled lumber yards. Not only are the costs for materials lower, but you can also find related high-quality construction materials with your salvaged wood. You can also find home kits at many reclaimed lumber yards. These kits come with useful pieces like wood flooring, brick, and more that you can use to get your project started.

As you carve out your budget for a custom home, the first place to start is with a plan. Using Monster House Plans’ wide database of floor plans, you can narrow down your search based on features of a home, home style, additional inclusions, foundation type, and so much more. As part of your pre-building research, you can use Monster House Plans to gain detailed insight into cost and materials.

Opt for our signature 3D Intelligent House Plan and work with expert architects and designers to create custom additions for your home. You can design your dream home on a lot that works for you using floor plans from Monster House Plans. Browse our extensive selection today!

A typical American home’s “average” square footage isn’t all that average.

Across the country, homeowners have traded up in both home size and expectations. Size does matter in this case, and that’s because it’s all relative.

The average square footage of a 1,000 square foot home is not the same thing to a family of four as it is to a single individual. However, if you end up buying a house that’s too big for your family, you’ll also have a higher mortgage and a significantly larger out-of-pocket cost when it comes to home furnishings.

How much square footage is right for you is entirely a personal choice. However, with the right design choices and a smart, customized floor plan, even a 1,000 square feet can feel like a mansion.

What is the Average Square Footage of a Home in the U.S.?

Today, the average square footage area of a home in the U.S. is up almost 1,000 sq. ft., compared to just 67 years ago. Living space per person has nearly doubled since 1973. Most new home builds come in at a generous 2,300 to 2,700.

This begs the question of whether our families are actually bigger (they’re not), or our needs have actually increased (they haven’t).

Indeed, living is a lot more expensive now, but the categories are the same: food, running, cleaning water for drinking, transportation, health insurance, child care, and housing.

As it turns out, we just have a lot more stuff. So we may just need extra space for all that extra stuff. Rises in movements like minimalism or the Konmari Method show that we could all do with a good purge — or four.

There’s also another interesting aspect of the picture here: Our homes are much more energy-efficient than they once were. We can actually afford to come with bigger, better, and more spacious bathrooms, closets, garages, well-equipped home appliances. What in the 1970s was a feature of creature comfort — central air conditioning — 93% of new homes now include this as a baseline.

The improvements in factors like increased number of “luxury” features seen as standard, or the increase in average square footage comes with a cost — quite literally.

Besides contributing to unnecessary urban sprawl, the bid to continuously trade up in square footage leads to larger and often unmanageable debt loads. The cost of new home construction is also skyrocketing, telling us at these costs are trickling down.

How Much Square Footage is Right for Your Family?

Many families plan on downsizing by purchasing or building a tiny home floor plan. However, the key is not necessarily to scale down — it’s to scale right.

When considering how much square footage is right for your family — or yourself — you should be asking a few guiding questions. Make your decisions about square footage based on factors like:

  • The bedroom-to-living room space ratio: The builder’s or designer’s rule of thumb is that for every bedroom the house floor plan includes, you will need commensurate square footage for two people in a living or dining room. The number of bedrooms in a floor plan is actually the primary driver of the total square footage, as well as the spatial way it’s arranged. Knowing these facts, you might look for a floorplan that has fewer bedrooms and more diverse space (such as a den and an office, along with all the regular rooms) on the main floor.
  • How much you want to splurge on creature comforts: Often, homeowners will go for homes with more area because these are also the floor plans that include master ensuites, expansive, country kitchens, or walk-in closets. But you can still have all those creature comforts with a more compact floor plan. It will all depend on how much you want to spend on these specific creature comforts, how much overall space you have to play with, and what you’re willing to forgo. It will also depend on functional furniture and creative uses of space.
  • The current orientation of your home’s floor plan: Sometimes, space is just poorly planned. There are unnecessary divisions in a floorplan, nooks that no one is going to use, or connections between the rooms that don’t make sense. Look for a floor plan that maximizes every inch of your allocated square footage, and you can make 1,200 square feet feel double that.
  • How much time you plan to spend in each room: Just because a floor plan includes a mudroom, doesn’t mean you need to use it as such. Similarly, an office or den may not be useful to a family that doesn’t work from home. So you may turn it into a space for exercise, a movie room, or a guest bedroom. Map out your functional needs and determine how much time you plan to spend using that room. If it’s negligible, reappropriate the room’s use or look for a house floor plan that features the living spaces you actually need.

How to Make the Most of Your Home’s Square Footage

To make the most of your home’s square footage, you want to include popular features, but also inclusions that align with your use of space.

Unlike many other creative uses of space recommendations, this is not about making your home feel or look bigger or more spacious. Instead, it’s about enjoying every space for what it is and making additions based on the preferences for the use you’re going to have within that space.

1) Hardworking Storage Space

It’s not just about the novelty of having your bed frame double as a chest of drawers. Having these kinds of storage solutions are smart and resourceful.

However, becoming more strategic with your storage space will encourage you to cut down on physical belongings, making you more intentional with your purchases. You may opt for items that have a long shelf life, are high-quality, and which you know are going to last.

Storage space such as shelving also frees up clutter on the floor because, suddenly, you may not need those wicker baskets or that bookcase.

2) Open-Concept Floor Plans

Opting for an open-concept floor plan is one of the best ways to spatially “free up” light in your home. It provides excellent cross-ventilation, and it makes your living, dining, and kitchen spaces feel more expansive, even on a tighter square footage budget.

3) Decide On What You Want From the Room

There may be a room that has no obvious function to you — until you think about the activities that are a priority in your life.

So, forget about cluttering rooms up with furniture. Instead, decide on the function of the space — how do you intend it to be used?

It may be a meditation room. It could be your kids’ designated crafts room. If you have aging parents, it may be their reading-and-rest sanctuary.

4) Work the Corners

People often stick plants or random, decorative sculptures in corners. They’re nice to look at, but, beyond modest decorative purposes, have no actual use.

It’s true that not every addition or design choice needs to have obvious utility, but corners shouldn’t be wasted. If you add a comfortable mattress and a few plush cushions, for example, an odd corner could become a post-dinner relaxation spot or your personal book nook.

5) Go for the Gold

Speaking of decorative, if you are into design elements for their own sake, opt for pieces that have gold accents or metallic tipping on them. These decorative inclusions give a space an instantly luxurious feel, so your 1,500 square-foot home is still a space of opulence to visitors. They just won’t know that it’s also easier for you to clean and maintain.

6) Extend the Kitchen Cabinets

Here’s a good rule-of-thumb if you’re ever stuck with a floor plan that includes all your dream features, but has a kitchen that could use some work: Extend the cabinets past the kitchen, and use the walls adjoining the kitchen (as long as it’s not a support beam). This will open up the kitchen.

However, don’t make the mistake of placing cabinets to the ceiling. This is a faux-pas that many homeowners commit, and it simply leads to making the space feel cramped and squashed. Instead, opt for open shelving on the upper parts of your kitchen walls.

7) Create Movable Walls

The latest trend in farmhouse DIY renovations, Scandinavian-style movable walls are one of the most innovative ways to add more functional divisions between otherwise open-concept spaces. Movable walls run on an installed track so that you can gain some instant privacy in a room made for two people or even two adults, two kids, and a cat.

8) Create a Space for a Foyer – Even in a Modest Space

Creating a foyer division subconsciously signals to the individual entering that each area in this space has an obvious and purposeful function. Using racks, decorative pieces, and even smart seating that double as storage, you can easily create the sense of a welcome area, and this will instantly open up the perception of your space.

9) Use Skylights to Improve Headroom (Especially On Staircases)

If you have an open-concept floor plan, you don’t need a skylight in the living room. This doesn’t add anything to a space that is already airy and lit. Instead, consider adding a skylight to what would otherwise be a cramped or darker space — corridors and staircases, especially at the mid-landing point, opens up a smaller square footage interior.

10) Opt for Dual (or Multi!) Purpose Rooms

If someone has convinced you that, to live sanely, you need a separate craft room, mudroom, library, and laundry room, they’re wrong. Of course, you can have all these things be separate spaces. However, if you’d like to go for more economical square footage, then you can just as easily combine the functions of a room. For example, there’s no reason why you can’t use shelving, cabinets, roll-away storage, and hooks to design a laundry room that also acts as a mudroom.


Even today’s average home of 2,700 square feet can feel like a home closer to 3,500 if you know how to use the space in a way that actually aligns and suits your lifestyle.

And, the opposite is true as well. If you know you’d like to downsize to a 1,200 or a 1,500 square foot home, for example, you can use these ideas and functional tips to maintain your “larger” living standards in a spatially-compact way.

At Monster House Plans, we believe that no homeowner considering their dream home should be constrained by the features of a fixed floor plan. When you browse our vast selection of multi-styled homes, you can look for floor plans that suit your specific needs, searching by the most granular details and inclusions.

Many of our over thousands of home floor plans come with multiple elevations, and you can speak directly to the architect and designer for modifications.

Start with Monster House Plans today, and let’s make your dream home a reality!

Did you know that 33% of potential buyers are less likely to enquire about a property when it doesn’t have an available floor plan? Although photos are helpful, actually seeing the space from a bird’s eye view is easier to understand.

Drawing a floor plan for your own home is also beneficial. This way, you can see elements of your design before anything becomes permanent—and all professionals will require one before construction begins anyway.

So, whether you’re renovating a part of your home or building from the ground up, you’ll need a floor plan to get the ball rolling.

What Is a Floor Plan?

A floor plan is a two-dimensional birdseye drawing of a room or floor of a building. They can be done by hand with engineering paper, or online with planning software.

Floor plans are different from blueprints, which are more technical and intended for engineering teams. Floor plans usually only show the interior spaces and include examples of where furniture would be placed.

Benefits of a Floor Plan

“Floor plans are more of a neutral backdrop for them to see what’s in the apartment and how the rooms relate to one another,” says realty marketing director Gerald Makowski.

Drawing out a floor plan before planning the space is not only helpful to you, but also to the architect and designer. A floor plan helps your professional team maximize the use of the land, plumbing, electricity, and overall design with a single sketch of the floor. Some other major benefits include:

  • Help your professional team layout your ideas
  • Allows for adjustments
  • Displays measurements for features and furniture
  • Creates a better relationship between buyer and seller

Unfortunately, floor plans don’t magically appear—so if you’d like to take a hand at drawing your own, here are some of the most important tips to draw your own floor plan.

Tips to Draw Your Own Floor Plan

Sketching is the easy part, but doing it right is a whole other process. By considering essential tips like measuring correctly, window directions, adding architectural details, and furniture placement, you’re more likely to have an accurate draft.

Tip #1: Essential Measuring Tips

First, begin by gathering measurements of each room in the floor plan. Measure side to side across the base of the wall and then floor to ceiling. When you take the numbers to the drawing board, use each box to represent one foot and round your measurements to the closest ¼ inch.

When mapping out your furniture ideas, keep in mind that the walkway between a piece of furniture and a wall should be 30 to 36 inches in residential spaces and 36 to 42 inches in commercial areas, which can help you determine the size of rooms, furniture, and hallways.

Tip #2: Always Map Out the Windows

Window arrangement might not be high on your priority list, but it should be! Where your windows sit will determine furniture placement, heating and cooling costs, and the types of window treatments you might opt to do.

North-facing windows receive the most sunlight year-round while east and west receive the most during summer. South-facing windows receive little at all, so unless you live in a hot climate, you might want to avoid putting important rooms on this side.

Furniture Placement

It’s always best to place furniture that faces the windows. You’ll also want to point screens away from them to prevent an unwanted glare. So, for example, your living room TV might sit on the same wall as the window while the couch is parallel.

Cooling and Heating Costs

Where your windows are can help determine your home’s cooling and heating costs. Up to 30% of heat gets lost through inefficient windows, so choosing a window treatment for your climate can help reduce high prices in extreme temperatures.

Tip #3: Don’t Forget Architectural Features

One of the worst things to do when you’re in the final stages of your floor plan is realizing you forgot to include architectural features.

Architectural features are parts of the space that won’t be removable, like built-in shelves, staircases, fireplaces, doorways, windows, and sometimes plumbing and electrical details.

Tip #4: Furniture Placement Is Essential

After you’ve added the essential parts of your floor plan, you can add sketches of what furniture pieces could fit. Keep in mind that furniture usually sits between two and three inches from the wall.

If you’re adding furniture that you already own, then take careful measurements of each item. If you plan on buying new pieces, then you have some creative freedom on what kinds of pieces to add to your plan.

Characteristics of a Well-Flowed Room

“When you do one room, you have to think about everything that touches it, all of the spaces that connect,” says designer Stephanie Henley on the importance of room flow.

A room’s flow refers to the natural route and relationship between doors, windows, and furniture. Think of it this way: when you walk into a room, the last thing you want is to bump into a desk or couch.

Some examples of a well-flowed room might refer to feng shui, which is the harmonization of elements. The rules of feng shui translate well to traditional Western design, including:

  • Avoiding clutter
  • Keeping a clear path to the entry door
  • Maximizing natural light
  • Using furniture that fits the space

By utilizing the room’s natural flow, you’ll be able to maximize your furniture and space.

Tip #5: Functioning in Small Spaces
If you’re designing a small or cramped space, then consider the essential aspects of your design. There are several things you can incorporate into your floor plan and design to make use of every inch of space, like:

  • Mirrors
  • Pocket doors
  • Recessed shelving
  • Allowing maximum sunlight by drawing that face north, east, or west
  • Integrating appliances into cabinet space
  • Glass doors in bathrooms

When possible, doubling these pieces’ functions works best. “If you ensure that every piece of furniture in a room has a purpose, it becomes the most used room in the house,” says designer Cari Giannoulias.

When it comes to designing a floor plan, there are several factors you have to take into account, like design, functionality, and practicality. But most importantly, you have convey these critical elements into your floor plan.

So if you plan on drawing your own floor plan, always be sure to:

  • Measure everything
  • Map out the windows
  • Add architectural features
  • Consider furniture placement
  • Maximize small spaces

After you’ve finished, you might wonder what’s next. The good news is that the team at Monster House Plans has architects and designers whose expertise is finalizing floor plans. By consulting with one of our building and designing professionals, you’re one step closer to bringing your floor plan to life.

Contact Monster House Plans today to get started!

Do you feel as though you don’t have enough room for all your belongings? Maybe your home has grown cramped and feels small? Luckily, you don’t have to move or perform significant home renovation to solve these issues. Rethinking the space you already have is a great way to give yourself more storage while creating an inviting and open feel within your home. If you’re unsure where to begin, here are a few ways to maximize the square footage your home has to offer.

Change the Perception

There are a handful of ways to create the illusion that a room is bigger, brighter, and more open. Through color and layout design, you can transform any space in your home to not only utilize the most space possible but also give it the specific feel you’re looking for.

Utilize Color

If your room feels small, there are plenty of ways to open it up. You can try using paint as a means to make a space feel bigger. Soft tones of white, blues and greens, can not only enlarge a room but also give it a more inviting feel.

As an additional tip, ensure your wall trim and moldings are a lighter color than your walls as it will give the illusion that the walls are farther back, making the room feel big and open. If you’re not looking to paint, you can also change up your flooring to give your room a new feel. Wide planks or large tile flooring with a darker tone can also enlarge a space.

Revamp the Design

The layout of your furniture can also make a difference in your living space. If you have large, clunky pieces that close off walkways and the view of the room, it will seem cramped and small. Opt for multi-functional pieces that you can tuck away when you’re not using them.

Corners can be awkward spaces that can sometimes be difficult to fill. You can find desks, cabinets, bookcases, and accent tables that can all tuck away into the empty corner of your room. These are viable options for a home office space, as well as a means to increase your storage capacity. If you’re looking for something more simple, consider an accent piece such as a chair or lamp for you to enjoy.

Rethink the Kitchen

If you have a large room that feels lackluster and not fulfilling its true potential, consider a minor remodel. For a room such as the kitchen, the options are endless. In most cases, you may feel as though you don’t have enough cabinet and counter space, or maybe your kitchen as a whole feels tight and cramped.

An easy solution for these issues is to replace your cabinets. The cost to install new cabinets is, on average, $100 and $500 per cabinet. By installing new cabinets, you’re able to reconfigure the layout of your kitchen, performing a major remodel—such as moving appliances and running new plumbing. Compared to other remodeling costs, replacing your cabinets is a budget-friendly project to help you maximize the space of your kitchen.

You can also choose between options such as rolling islands and kitchen carts. These can provide you with additional workspace, as well as storage for when you need it the most.

Consider Storage Options

Your home can be full of hidden gems that you transform into additional storage space. This is an excellent option if you’re looking for ways to maximize your space without buying new furnishings for your home. A few ways to add storage in your home are:

Implement Storage Benches

Whether you decide to commit to construction and install a built-in or you buy a freestanding bench, this can help you fill empty walls beneath windows and awkward corners. It’s also a versatile piece that combines both style and function. Additionally, you can utilize benches in many rooms of your home as a means for storage, organization, and extra seating.

Check Under the Stairs

Based on the space beneath your stairs, you may find the perfect opportunity to utilize the extra space it has to offer. Based on the location of your stairs, you could use this space as a pantry, a laundry room, and—for any pet lovers out there—a den for your furry friend to relax.

This is a unique space that you can transform into anything you see fit for you and your family. You could also implement cabinets, drawers, and pullouts to create extra storage to hide in plain sight.


Ultimately, maximizing the space you have in your home is all about being creative and working with what you have. By implementing unique storage, design elements, and redesigning your space, you’ll be able to have a more functional and open home.

The face of suburban living is changing. The days of residential developments from new home builders are slowly, but steadily, replaced by custom home builds.

Part of the reason for this shift is a change in the buyer profile – millennials are now at prime buying age, and they’re quickly becoming the face of new homeowners across the country.

The other aspect of the shift is their changing priorities: More individuals than ever before are prioritizing convenience and quality over size and status. New home buyers are looking for sturdy and high-quality upgrades that will last for decades.

These priorities are not limited to a millennial’s ideal home preferences. If any of these show up on your personal preferences for a home, then a custom home could be an affordable and highly creative pathway to home ownership. However, like any worthy undertaking, there is a process behind the project.

Here are 9 questions you need to have answered when building a house:

  1. Can You Afford The Construction and the Contingencies?
  2. What Type Of Custom Home Will Have the Best Resale Value?
  3. What Are Your Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves?
  4. Do You Need An Architect And A Contractor/Builder?
  5. Do You Need a Kitchen?
  6. What Do You Know About Your Chosen Lot?
  7. Is Your Current Lifestyle Stable?
  8. What Is and Isn’t Included In the Costs?
  9. Is There a Process For Communicating Through the Building Phase?

Money Questions
Building a custom home is a significant investment of both time and money. The National Association of Home Builders says that the average completion time of a custom build is around seven months, but if your home is larger it may take closer to two years. You have to count the months ahead of the process when the actual decision-making and applications for permits occur.

It’s hard to price out a custom home build because all the major decisions are in your hand. The quality of builder you will use, the number of crewmen and project managers, the designers, the materials for exterior construction, and upgrades for the interiors are all examples of factors that could change the final price tag. A custom build may work out to between $100 to $400 per square foot.

Every decision you make on a custom build affects this bottom line. There are so many small and large choices you’ll need to make, so don’t overwhelm yourself at this stage. Ask yourself two basic, foundational questions.

1) Can You Afford The Construction and the Contingencies?

The construction of your home includes several considerations including the cost of labor, the cost of materials, your contractor’s fees, installation, the crew, your floorplan, municipal zoning, and building permits.

Keep in mind the contingencies. These are special and often unexpected circumstances that may crop up and delay your build schedule. Sometimes, if a build gets delayed, this could increase the overall costs. Be prepared to respond to these situations as they come up.

Many homeowners will look at the price tag of all the materials and resources that a custom home will cost and consider this part of the “money question.” However, the total cost for all construction, materials, and labor, call for something even more important: a steady cash flow.

If you don’t pay your contractor and their team, your work could stall and only pick up again once you’re back in the green. Worse yet, your contractor team may not be available when you’re ready to resume. Cashflow is the most important thing to consider when you first plan out your custom home build. If you can sustain the project through allocated finances week to week, your home will finish on schedule and at cost.

2) What Type Of Custom Home Will Have the Best Resale Value?

While some homeowners are looking to design their “forever” home, others will choose a custom home that has a good resale value. Resale value depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The location
  • The upgrades included in the home
  • The decorative elements
  • The exterior’s materials and design
  • The home’s floor plan

For example, some areas are far more popular for their choice in colonial-style homes than ranch-style homes. If you build a home that reflects this preference, it’s far likelier to sell quickly.

If you know that you may consider moving or selling your home in about a decade after its construction, then you may want to stay away from more unconventional floor plans such as an A-Frame.

Design Questions
The design of your home is closely related to the materials and cost of your home. Once you know what your budget is, you’ll be able to pinpoint which features you’re looking for and which rooms your dream home must have.

Keep in mind that design is not just aesthetic or decorative. The design of a home has a lot to do with how long its materials will last. Smart design choices can also help increase energy efficiency and keep your home well-insulated or ventilated. The design of a custom home is not just how things look but how those elements work for you.

3) What Are Your Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves?

Every homeowner embarking on a custom home project should create two lists of priorities. These are negotiables and non-negotiables. To decide on your design priorities, ask yourself a set of guiding questions such as:

  • Do we entertain a lot?
  • Does our home need to accommodate multi-generations?/Aging-in-home options?
  • Exterior and interior style choices? (farmhouse, A-frame, cottage-style, etc.)
  • Sustainability and energy efficiency?
  • Do we want low-maintenance exteriors?
  • Is space the most important factor for our family?

The answers to these questions can help you make general and granular decisions. For example, if you know you need extra square footage, you’ll need to choose a larger floor plan. If you decide that your parents will move in and age in-home, then you may choose lighting, staircase fixtures, bathroom additions, and even raised countertops with their safety and accessibility in mind.

4) Do You Need An Architect And A Contractor/Builder?

Questions about design can get confusing and very specific. You may also come across particulars about a lot’s elevation that may require more specialized knowledge. Any changes, alterations, or additions you may want to make to a chosen floor plan call for an architect/designer, or even a structural and/or civil engineer. These specialists can help ensure that your structure is sound and built to last.

While the skeleton structure of your home may require an architect, the interior may call for an interior designer. If you have the room in your budget for an interior designer, you can hire this individual right at the outset of your custom home build, or toward the end. If you’re hiring them later in the build process, they will have to work with the room configurations you already have.

5) Do You Need a Kitchen?

As a home’s most social and lived-in area, the kitchen is a significant space that sets the tone for several other rooms. The dining room, living room, and great room may all be physically separated, for example. However, their use and configuration can depend on the choices you make in your kitchen.

Custom kitchens are becoming increasingly popular because the skill levels and priorities of families are changing. Some homeowners love cooking and need to have a country kitchen, complete with the latest appliances. Others want a minimalistic aesthetic and prefer that their countertops double as a cutting board.

These preferences affect your home’s floor plan and design. You’ll need to decide how long you plan to spend in your kitchen and what you want to be doing when you’re there. You also need to make sure to choose a floor plan that is spacious enough to incorporate everything you want in your dream kitchen.

Lifestyle Questions
These are the “big picture” considerations that you should be asking yourself before your project ever gets off the ground. The answers to these questions will reveal to you just how committed you are – and need to be – to see your custom home to the finish line.

6) What Do You Know About Your Chosen Lot?

Specific details about your chosen land will tell you what kind of foundation you can lay, what kind of beams the soil can support, and whether you can have a basement area or cellar in your floor plan.

If your home sits on a slope or a hill, your architect or certified contractor can help you plan your construction. A home built on a slope, for example, could be prone to soil erosion, flooding, and disruption to its exterior structures like decks and driveways.

7) Is Your Current Lifestyle Stable?

It’s not the most obvious question but it’s one of the most important considerations. You’re building a custom home, and a large part of your decision should be about your happiness. To make sure that a custom home is the right choice for you, consider the following questions:

  • Will we be moving a lot, or can we see ourselves living here for more than a year after the build?
  • Can we commit to the timelines (which will likely go over) for construction?
  • Are our relationships strong enough to bear the pressures of a longer-term construction period and process? Do we have a solid foundation of trust between us and a method to communicate when conflict arises?

There are so many unexpected issues that come up during a custom build that you will need patience, persistence, and commitment to make it through successfully. If you can’t see yourself living here long-term, for example, then you may have to question whether all the work is worth it.

Construction Questions
Even if you choose your own floor plan, it’s important to vet your builder or contractor thoroughly. Judge their quality based on details like past client testimonials, previous custom build projects, warranties provided, and project management best practices. You may even want to ask for proof of certification and licensing.

8) What Is and Isn’t Included In the Costs?

Cost inclusions affect your cash flow. If you can’t forecast items that are going to be included (and excluded) in the build process, you can’t budget for them. When unexpected additional costs come up, you need to know how to respond and how to allocate money for these purposes.

Your contractor should be able to give you a very detailed timeline, list of materials and resources, and built-in check-ins or meetings to communicate progress. This shows that your contract also has a project manager on the team or is skilled enough to understand the management aspect to a custom build.

9) Is There a Process For Communicating Through the Building Phase?

You could liaise with a construction project coordinator, a project manager, or be in direct communication with your contractor or builder. Regardless of whom you’re working with, custom builds are complicated processes that need to have a consistent communication process. Find out who your point of contact will be, what the contact methods are for regular and emergency issues, and how frequently you can expect updates on the build.

You should also be very clear on what your role is, what your contractor or builder expects from you, and by when.

None of these questions should deter you from your dream home. Instead, they should help you get clear on the commitment, time, and financial resources you will need to make your dream home a reality. Custom home builds are a wonderfully creative process, and the end result can feel very rewarding.

The key to making a custom build both affordable and seamless is to plan, prepare, and then plan some more. Start by keeping your costs low and allocating your money towards your list of non-negotiables.

When you begin with a house plan from Monster House Plans, you’ll have access to thousands of house plans. From here, you can narrow your search using our Advanced Search feature and choose a plan that meets your design requirements and cost budget. Make your custom dream home happen this year with a plan that starts you off on the right foot. Browse Monster House Plans today!

In the past year alone, “how to build a house” was the second-most popular home improvement-related search on Google. It’s safe to say that more than ever, Americans are hooked on the idea of designing their own homes.

There’s just something so satisfying about having a place to truly call your own. After all, you get to have a say on all of the critical parts. You can choose the perfect location, the right floor plan, customized design elements, and enjoy the home for years to come.

If you’re one of the many Americans looking to design from scratch, then you’re not alone. But before you get started, there are a few things you have to consider before you attempt to build your own home.

1. Find the Perfect House Plan

When you picture your perfect home, what do you see?

According to most homebuyers, open concept living is at the top of the list, closely followed by timeless designs like hardwood flooring and plenty of storage. Whatever it is you envision, there’s a floor plan out there with your name on it.

With thousands of floor plans available online, it’s easy to find the one that is just right for you. Best of all, you can customize your search by important features like bedrooms, bathrooms, basements, or even wine cellars! Most companies also offer custom floor planning, where an architect will speak with you about some of your must-have features.

2. It’s All About Location, Location, Location

You might have heard the saying “location, location, location” a few times before. Coined by real estate tycoon Lord Harold Samuel in 1926, the famous expression holds true that homes can be higher in value solely based on its location — a staggering 91 percent of people said location is the most important factor when buying a home!

The right location often includes important features like safe neighborhoods, friendly neighbors, and good schools. Beyond that, though, are some of the other most-wanted factors in an ideal neighborhood:

  1. Low home value to income ratio
  2. Good public school ratings
  3. Fair median monthly housing cost
  4. Reasonable cost of living grade
  5. Residents with a college education

And sometimes if you’re lucky, you’ll find the right piece of land in the perfect neighborhood. At this point, you should consult with a professional who can survey the land. They will be able to tell you whether it is accessible to the city, if it is leveled, the right size for your floor plan and if it’s without any zoning restrictions.

3. The Direction Your Home Will Face

The property you choose will also impact the direction of your home.

The direction a house faces might not be the first thing that comes to anybody’s mind — but it should be high on your list. The direction in which your home faces will directly impact how much sunlight you get, and therefore your heating and cooling costs. Homes that were oriented to face the sun had a 10 to 20 percent increase in savings on heating costs.

But the question is: which way is best? If you’re unsure which direction to face the home, then it might help to know more about where you can expect the sun and shade. The United States is in the Northern Hemisphere, which means that the sun offers the most light in the south, and is shadier in the north.

Since the sun shines year-round on the south, many builders recommend orienting the home this way so that the main rooms can get enough natural light. The south side of the house is also where patios and pools should be constructed. Bedrooms are generally on the northern or western end of a home where there is more shade.

4. Choose a Simple and Timeless Design

Remember that at one point, your grandmother’s ivy wallpaper and popcorn ceiling was popular! But as styles evolve, it’s crucial to pick the right elements without getting dated too quickly.

Even those with an eye for interior design might feel overwhelmed when choosing how to style their home. After all, there are so many trends and ideas to try out — and they’re everchanging. But the key to the right design is to choose something timeless or easy to update as the years go on.

“Interior design is like a three-dimensional game of chess: You have to think about space both vertically and horizontally,” says interior designer John Saladino. “You have to break down these rooms and create spaces with a human scale.”

With that said, it’s important to take advantage of each inch of space in your new home. Be sure to optimize space by adding plenty of closets, built-in cabinetry, and a basement or garage.

5. Always Consider the Cost

The million-dollar question is: How much does it cost to build your own home? Unfortunately, there is no set number on how much it costs to develop and design your own home.

But there are general estimations that offer a good starting point. For example, the average house size is about 2,400 square feet. With the average price per square foot at $100, you can expect to pay $240,000 including labor and material costs. This does not include builder profit and overhead if you are planning to hire a professional builder.

To get a true estimation, you’ll have to do some homework by researching local contractors. The good news is with Monster House Plan’s cost-to-build tool, you can easily get an estimate of how much your favorite floor plan will cost to build in your specific area within +/- 10%.

However, be sure to put aside enough money in case something unexpected happens. So, try to avoid spending every last penny on your dream home and set aside at least 10 percent of your budget as an emergency contingency.


When it comes to building and designing your own home, you’re sure to run into some trial and error scenarios. But as long as you carefully consider the five important rules before you build your home, you’ll be on the right path.

But for most, the fun part is finding the perfect floor plan — and with thousands of floor plans available, it’s never been easier to find your perfect home. Monster House Plans has a plethora of exterior and interior floor plans in dozens of design styles, ranging from contemporary to cottage, and everything in between.

What are you waiting for? Find your perfect house plan today!

The average cost of building a house on your own from scratch can range between $100,000 to more than $350,000.

When you picture your dream home, what do you see? Maybe it’s a pool in the backyard or perhaps it’s an in-home movie theater. Whatever your favorite characteristics are, there are eleven key features that the majority of homeowners want in their perfect home:

  • Central air conditioning
  • New kitchen appliances
  • Walk-in closets in the master bedroom
  • Granite countertops
  • Hardwood floors
  • Ensuite master bath
  • Kitchen island
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • A house that is less than five years old
  • Eat-in kitchen
  • One or more fireplaces

However, it’s nearly impossible to check everything on lists like this when it comes to searching for your perfect home. That’s why thousands of people each year decide to build their own home.

3 Reasons Why People Build Their Own Homes

Building your own home might sound intimidating. After all, there are extra costs and a lot of work that goes into the construction of a new home. But nearly 51,000 Americans decide to build their own homes every year based on three main reasons.

Reason #1: It’s Cheaper (In The Long Run)

Upfront, a new home can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. But with a newly-built house, you can expect to pay less for many things, like utility bills by opting for energy-efficient options.

Reason #2: It’s Exactly What You Want

Buying prebuilt is definitely an easier option, but that means you’re compromising on upgrades and necessities you might want. Many people prefer things like big kitchens, tons of storage space, and heating and cooling at the touch of a button. These features weren’t standard a few years ago, which means they’re hard to find in homes today.

When you build your own home, you can add anything you want to a blueprint, like bonus rooms, garages, or even an elevator!

Reason #3: It’s Personal

Lastly, many Americans build their own home because it’s got that personal touch. A home customized to you will reflect all the time and effort that was put into building it, serving as a place where you raise your family for generations to come.

How Much Does It Cost To Build a House?

The most important thing to know before building your own home is that the cost ultimately depends on the size of the house and what you want to do with it.

Although these numbers can vary greatly, here’s a general breakdown of how much you can expect to split the budget between the necessities:

  • 25% for material
  • 25% for labor
  • 25% for land cost
  • 25% for builder profit and overhead

To put it in perspective, a typical single-family home is about 2,500 square feet. With the national average at $150 per square foot, you can expect to pay somewhere in the ballpark of $150,000 to $400,000 for just the square footage.

  • Small (around or less than 1,000 square feet): $150,000 to $180,000
  • Medium (around 2,500 square feet): $250,000 to $380,000
  • Large (over 3,000 square feet with accessories like windows, porches, and several roofs): $415,000 or more

These estimations don’t include labor, construction, or design costs. That’s why it’s essential to become familiar with what to expect when building your own home.

Before You Build

Creating a budget is one of the first things you have to do before the building begins.

But since the market changes all the time, it’s wise to double-check your area so you can get an idea of how much it might cost to build your home. You can use our Cost to Build reports to get an estimate of the costs you can expect, broken down by labor and material, eliminating guesswork.

After you’ve created a budget, you’re free to move onto the next vital steps in the process:

  1. Purchase the property, which averages $3,020 per acre
  2. Develop house plans and designs
  3. Obtain a building permit, which averages $1,043 nationally
  4. Get construction insurance
  5. Begin building!

Quick tip: When construction begins, you will want to set aside about $4,000 for contingency. This stash is for when anything unforeseen, like delayed construction, issues with the building, or an unexpected cost of materials.

Here are where the high costs come in: you’ll spend the majority of your budget on the foundation, framing, installation, labor costs, and interior design.

Foundation: $4,000 to $12,000

Although it would be great to begin building as soon as you purchase the land, it’s likely that the land needs to be prepared for construction. This might include excavating or flattening out the area.

If the land is ready for construction, then it will have to begin with the foundation process, where the workers will pour concrete to serve as your home’s base. Depending on the size and whether or not there is a basement, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $12,000.

Framing: $1,500 to $6,500

The bare bones of the house completely depend on the sizes and locations of each room in your home. Larger homes with more rooms will err on the more expensive side, whereas smaller single-family homes will only cost a couple of thousand dollars to frame.

Major Systems Installation: $30,000 to $40,000

Major systems include electrical, plumbing, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling).

Let’s break it down:

  • Septic tank: $5,500
  • Ductwork: $10,000 to $14,000
  • Plumbing: $11,000
  • Electricity: $10,000

These are essential to the functionality of your house, which means that a good chunk of your budget will go towards it.

Interior Finishes: $65,000 to $85,000

It’s finally time for the fun part! Once the major systems, insulation, and the framing are all complete, you will begin to see the final touches of your home come together.

Here’s a breakdown of the interior costs:

  • Cabinets and Countertops: $12,000
  • Doors, Trims and Mirrors: $11,000
  • Flooring: $10,000
  • Painting: $7,000
  • Appliances: $4,000
  • Plumbing Fixtures: $3,000
  • Lighting: $3,000

Since kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms in a home, it’s easy to spend a little extra. However, it’s important to keep your interior designs to about 30 percent of the entire budget. To be sure, you should discuss and enforce your budget with your designer to avoid going overboard.

Final Touches: $15,000 to $20,000

Although the home looks complete on the inside, the outside is far from finished. It will be time to clean up the construction mess and tend to the landscaping design. At this point, driveways and decks will be added if part of the plan.

  • Landscaping: $6,000
  • Driveway installation: $5,000
  • Porches or balconies: $3,000
  • Final cleanup: $2,500


Building a home is no easy task, but it’s become desirable to many people around the world. The idea of customization, saving money, and having something to call your own is plenty of incentive to build from the ground-up.

However, the idea seems daunting since many people aren’t sure whether or not they can afford it. It’s important to understand that depending on the size of the home and quality of materials, you can expect to spend between $200,000 and $500,000 on labor costs, permits, major systems, construction, interior finishes, and final touches.

If you’re considering joining the growing trend, there’s only one place to start: pick out some of your favorite floor plans to envision what your dream home could be!