Category Archives: Floor Plans

Too often the dream of building a custom home is catered to those with a growing family. Spaces for children and/or aging parents and in-laws dominate ads and idea boards, and the vision of home owners is guided to a bigger-is-better mentality.

But the dream of building a custom home is suited for everyone, no matter the size of your family, the lot you purchase, or the location you choose. Smaller homes make sense in areas with dense populations and high property taxes. For the working professional, or the retiring couple, or the investor interested in long term returns, building a small house can be approachable, efficient, and lucrative.

Modern small houses are marvels of clever creativity. There are a million ways, it seems, to maximize space and visually expand it so you can have the best of both worlds: a collection of rooms magnified for airiness and light, yet without the burden of superfluous space. Function drives the vehicle of decision-making but not at the expense of aesthetics. For many, then, sometimes the preferred solution is to limit available space to only that which is required. This forces a thoughtful discretion when purchasing items for the home, and urges a careful vision when designing the space.

By considering building your dream home in subtle proportions, possibilities are opened up that are difficult to manifest with larger homes, like the option of building on lots in urban spaces, already perked, and zoned for residential construction A larger home requires a larger lot and, with today’s exponentially growing populations, this will often relegate your property purchasing options to the periphery of a large city. And while the suburbs are wonderful areas for families, there are many who would build their dream home much closer to the epicenter of activity.

As you sift through house plans and imagine the home you will someday build, try to remember that there is room in this process for every vision. Whether you seek to build a large home or a smaller one, you will find unique floor plans and advice from architects for dream homes of every size.

Save the Day with Built-In’s

Regardless of the overall size of the house plan you choose to work with, storage is an issue for most American families these days.  And no one wants to take up valuable square footage with closets and storage areas that can seem unsightly or bulky. Built-Ins come in all shapes and sized, and are utilized with efficiency and cleverness to create storage in otherwise wasted space. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions for you to consider:

Bookcases: If your family is anything like ours, book accumulation is often an issue. And while we enjoy having a growing library, we don’t always want to take up all the available wall space with standalone bookcases. Built-in bookcases can go just about anywhere: over doorways and down each side in thin columns; under stairs leading to the second floor of your home; a bookcase can even be built in to a hinged door connecting two rooms!

Cupboards: Whether it’s intended for storing fine china, seasonal dishes, or large serving ware, having ample cupboard space is essential for many families who like to gather over a meal. As you look to build a custom home, consider a pass through area with a built in set of cupboards under a long counter for serving, or adding a butler’s pantry to serve as both a storage room and a preparation space.

Window Seats: Anywhere there is a bay window or a recess in the wall a window bench can be built. These are excellent no-brainer storage options, and they make lovely use of a space that can be otherwise difficult to furnish and utilize.

Home Offices/ Study Spaces: Not every family has the need for an entire room to be devoted to office space. Closets that seem to be in unusual places can easily be converted into a work station by removing hinged doors and building in shelves and electronics features.

As you search through our catalog of house plans, keep your eyes out for these kinds of features already inserted into many of the floor plans. And if you don’t see something you’d like to include, remember that all of our plans are customizable based on your needs. Storage options and clever solutions to your family’s needs are just a click away!

Imagining Your Dream Home

There are so many practical decisions to make when buying a house plan and planning the home building project, so many variables that need to be considered and worked through. But one of the most important things to make space for in the planning process is for some creative-level open-minded envisioning of your future in your dream home. In between the details, find some time to day dream about how you will spend your time within the walls you’ve had custom built, and ask yourself some specific, open-ended questions:

Where do you tend to spend the most time when you’re at home: Family room? Kitchen? Back yard?

What do you wish you could do in your home now that space doesn’t allow for: Home office, perhaps?

How does your family move through your home, and where do you all tend to come together: During mealtimes? On weekend mornings? Around a kitchen island while cooking meals?

If it were possible, what unusual features would you want in your dream home: A spiral staircase? A tower room?

What are some small features that would make a huge impact on your daily home life: Bay window seats? Lots and lots of storage hidden in clever ways?

How do you imagine your life changing in the next decade: Is your family growing? Getting smaller? Will you consider working from home and/or beginning your own company?

Are animals a part of your life now or in the future? What kinds of needs will they have: built-in dog runs? A cat yard? Outside structures for chickens or goats?

To build a dream home is to make manifest the imaginings of your collective family. And while it takes focus and practicality to pull it all together, the early stages should be joyous and the ideas free-flowing. Especially when you are working with designers who offer customized house plans. Many of the seemingly “crazy ideas” are, in fact, quite possible and easy to accomplish when you work with your designer on implementing your vision. Having foresight when building your dream home is equal parts rationality and creativity; for best results, use both sides of the brain for this project.

Here at Monster House Plans, we offer many house plans, but the Country style has been one of our most popular house plans for several years. This is a home that is designed to support lots of activity, changes in family structure over time, and offers an expansive living space beyond what just the inside can offer. With its large wrap around porch and features that rank utility over tradition, this country house plan is a perennial favorite for families of varied arrangements.

The wrap around porch greets family members and visitors alike with an expansive, welcoming feeling, while the screened in portion in the back makes for a very versatile space year-round. The inside design prioritizes function over appearance, as can be seen with the large open floor plan, kitchen with eating bar and island, and walk-in pantry. The master bedroom is located on the main floor and good for temperature control year round as well as serving as an option for aging parents or those who have trouble navigating stairs. Upstairs are two additional bedrooms with the option of a gaming room or family media room that many people are choosing to include these days. Alternatively, that space can be used as a home office or third upstairs bedroom.

This country house plan is the very example of modern efficiency in balance with a traditional, intimate exterior. This is a house plan designed to be welcoming and functional, and the inherent versatility makes it clear why it remains one of our top sellers. It is also available for our exclusive Intelligent House Plan service, which delivers a 3-D digital model, including 12 unique house plan views and a materials list, to your inbox immediately after purchase. This is the single most valuable tool available as you prepare to build your dream home, allowing designers and builders to come together for custom alterations and design improvements unique to the needs of your family.

In a world full of conformity and sameness, there are many opportunities to show your unique vision through your dream home project. Creative solutions to common problems are the specialties of many architects, and these types of issues that require them to accomplish something typical in a new and fresh way is often the bread-and-butter of a design assignment. Here at Monster House Plans, we make it easier than ever to create a custom house plan you can get excited about.

Some of these creative decisions do not require expert guidance, however. Consider that the street view is the first impression your home makes to your family and your guests alike. Curb appeal is a big deal at every stage of your dream home project: it is important in everything from the way you feel as you walk up the front steps and insert your key into the door to the potential increase in overall home value to potential buyers by drawing them in.

Your front door says a lot about your family. For many home builders and home owners, a front door is the single most effective way to make a strong aesthetic statement. It is the perfect bend of beauty and function, as the front door is your welcome statement and also serves some very important purposes. In addition to serving as the entrance space for your home, your front door is also a security feature. When considering an artistic flair for your door, make sure that the basic functionality remains intact. While fancy plate-glass windows might appeal to your decorative sense, you do sacrifice some privacy aspects that a door can provide, and that might not be the best idea in high traffic areas. Dutch doors are quirky and wonderful, but are often preferred in the back of the house as they offer a more intimate entry into your home space.

As you choose your front door to perfectly accent the façade of your dream home, look for ways to balance beauty and function. Often the most aesthetically pleasing choices are embodiments of these two elements in harmony.

Home design has always centered around the family unit. In this way, the legacy of domestic architecture can almost be read as a social history as much as it is an industrial one. Over the decades and centuries family structures have evolved as the world has changed. Some of the classic American house plan designs reflect this changing social reality. The Craftsman, for example, was a very popular home in the early industrial stages of American suburban life and the layout reflects the changing roles for mothers working inside the home. No longer were homes owned solely by the wealthy, and the lady of the house often did not have servants to manage the previously extensive housework. The kitchen and pantry areas were restructured to be navigated by a single person, and the big open windows overlooking yard spaces also denote the multitasking that was required of these new arrangements.

House plan design almost always centers on the movements of a family through the house. As we see design evolve, it is almost always the result of changes in life movements. For the last many years the priority has been on flexible space as family structures change and roles of parents evolve. Home offices and in-law accommodations are on the rise as families adapt to new challenges and find creative solutions to their needs.

This is one of the best parts of my job: designing homes that successfully meet the needs of today’s families, and to recognize the hard work that goes into making that house plan into a home. In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to say thank you to all the moms out there: whether you’re a mommy or a nana; whether your family is biology-based or blended; if you have more than two generations under one roof; if you work both inside and outside the home…. thank you for filling these many structures with love and support for all the growth we all continue to do.

Families are a dynamic organization. Whether your family is growing in number or becoming smaller; whether your kids are getting older or your parents are looking to age in place; toddlers tuning into teenagers, in-laws and parents aging, family pets, job changes…. nearly any change in life can alter the demands we place on our home spaces. As the years go by we are often in a position to rethink and retool the way we move through our house, adapting to the changing needs of a life affected by many elements.

When looking for a house plan to suit the needs of a family, many people are prioritizing flexible spaces as a way to ensure that the house they choose will continue to be functional for many years. And it’s not just extra bedrooms we’re talking about here, although that is one of the easiest ways to evolve your needs: a guest room easily converts into a nursery; the home office adapts into a craft/work space with ample storage. In addition to convertible rooms, these days there are often flexible spaces built right into the house plan. This gives the buyer the ability to imagine how that space could best be utilized by their unique family.

The country-style house plan is growing in popularity- in large part because of its ability to offer such flexibility. These house plan styles stand with one foot in each of two worlds: a modern interior with loads of flexible space housed behind a classic country-style façade. This style is often denoted by its ability to prioritize functionality over traditional needs, as seen by the lacking of a formal dining room in favor of a large eating space right off the kitchen much better suited to today’s modern, multitasking family. And yet the great room echoes the traditional dramatic space perfect for celebrating holidays and get-togethers. These rooms often boast vaulted ceilings and classically functional features like built-in book shelves flanking an impressive mantle.

No matter which phase of life your family is currently in, it is important to find a house plan that can suit everyone’s needs as they grow and change. This is, in fact, why most people would choose to build their dream house over buying something already standing: who better to predict the future needs of your dynamic family but you?

Building your own dream house can be a daunting task. There are many details to see to and countless decisions to make and the whole thing can become overwhelming quickly without a good plan to guide you through the process. And when it comes to staying within your budget here are a few tips to keep your plan on track:

  1. Choose your builder carefully. This may be the most important decision you make after you purchase your house plan. This relationship will be very important through the building process and a good builder will be able to advise you on many elements of the project.
  2. Work with your architect to ensure efficient building proportions. Plywood and drywall come in sheets 4 ’ x 8’, and structural lumber often comes in 2’ increments. Consider this and other standard material measurements when fine-tuning the design of your house plan. Odd shapes and lengths have the potential to create a considerable amount of scrap- and thus wasted- materials.
  3. Utilize any discounts you can. Be savvy when it comes to purchasing supplies. See if you can use your builder’s discount. Look into remnants and left over supplies for things like flooring and countertops; a previous construction project might have created loads of left-over materials that could be perfect for your space and design.
  4. Keep the roof pitch to a maximum of the standard 8/12. The more dramatic the pitch of the roof, the higher the labor cost a construction team will be able to charge. Or, if a steeper roof is desirable, consider using more than one pitch to minimize the amount of time and materials used on these more decorative elements.
  5. Design your home for low maintenance. Consider that skimping on some materials now will cost you more in the future. Things like windows, doors, roofing materials, and foundations are places where it is advisable to choose quality over low-cost. The process of repairing or replacing these elements in the future can be prohibitively expensive; better to build your structure with quality from the start.
  6. Use fancy materials where it counts. A stonework façade is a stunning improvement to the curb appeal of any home, but can be quite costly to create. Consider that perhaps the back and sides of the house are not in quite as much need for the dressy stonework as the front. Utilize high-quality materials where they will be appreciated.

The key to a successful home building project is to stay organized and keep your visions in mind as you move forward. Taking things one step at a time and utilizing all of your resources can keep you well within your budget and minimize unexpected set-backs.

 

 

Back when architects were designing house plans by hand at large tilted drafting tables, a 3-D model was a luxury items usually relegated to large industrial or commercial projects. The benefit of those models, however, was paramount: having a replication of your dream project as it stands in actual space is a vital part of the process.

With countless improvements in technology, those architectural models are now available without the balsa wood and gluing processes of previous years. And this accessibility makes for a better home in the long run: from designer to builder to purchaser, having a model to work from allows everyone involved to be on the same page.

After nearly 40 years of designing homes, I am thrilled to be empowered to harness this technology. I have found that the improved clarity and transparency makes all the difference to families working on building their dream homes. This tool is of paramount importance when it comes to bridging the gap between designer and builder, and makes custom alterations a simple process.

At MonsterHousePlans.com, we offer thousands of house plans. And once you’ve searched through them and narrowed down your favorites, this 3-D Intelligent Design option allows your dream floor plan to come to life. This is an invaluable tool when it comes time to begin work with your builder: the 3-D model allows us to include the architect’s specific designs and characteristics, while giving the builder real-space awareness of how all these pieces come together. And as terms of customizing your floor plan, this is the tool that allows you to see the impact of individual choices as it translated to the house as a whole.

This industry has changed so much over the years. And while relics like the electric eraser have gone by the wayside, I am so thankful that modeling has followed us into these new methods of designing homes. There is nothing like taking an idea from your mind onto the page, and then again translating it into 3-D. It remains one of my most favorite examples of how the technological age has benefited the architectural industry: bringing real life examples of your dream home into the tangible process of everyone who buys a house plan.

– Brian Piling, architect

There are many different styles and types of houses on the market, but there is not usually one home that meets all the wants and needs of a person or family. When you have decided it’s time to buy a new home for your family, the choices can also be overwhelming. There are many considerations that need to be made, from the location, schools, landscaping, layouts, and floor plans. The problem is that many pre-built homes have floor plans that you wish you could change, adapt, or shift around.

When investing in a new home, the plan is typically to live there for many years, so you want everything to be just right. Choosing to have your new home built is the best way to get exactly what you need and want out of your purchase, but even choosing the right floor plans can be tough.

The great thing about floor plans that you are looking at is you can often have them customized, so you can make the small changes your family needs. When you are looking through the many different layouts, you should be sure to keep in mind how convenient daily chores will be in the setup, because what you may think you want might not be the most practical once you are moved in.

One thing you really want to consider is closed floor plans versus open plans. If you are someone who loves to entertain family and friends, then open floor plans are going to be your best choice. Open plans sacrifice levels of privacy with no walls between primary common rooms, such as the kitchen, living room, and dining room. When entertaining, the open floor plan prevents people from being separated by walls.

While it may seem obvious to verify that your lot is big enough to accommodate the size of the floor plans, not all people check this beforehand. There are many restrictions or possible building codes that you must know about your property before you begin selecting the home plans. Not knowing what these are can only cause many problems and delays in construction.

floor plans for your home interiorsIt’s also a good idea to think about what is going to matter the most to your family. If you decide in the future to add a hot tub or a swimming pool, will your property accommodate the build? Think about this before picking the floor plans for your build. If your home is really large then you are taking up some of your yard area. Special rooms in the house, such as kid’s play rooms, offices, hobby rooms, and even extras like home theaters and gyms can be added in later if the house is accommodating, so keep that in mind as well. If your family is into fitness and has gym equipment, then you want to consider the possibility for a workout room when choosing floor plans.

You want to be sure that your home is not only built to suit the present day, but also the future. Your kids are probably not going to need a toy room in a few years, and there will be other changes, so thinking about all of these possibilities will really help you to customize your floor plans to meet the needs for you and your family both now and in the future. Whatever your floor plan needs, click here to browse our wide selection ofhouse plans.