stock house plans with calculator and pencilWhen preparing to create your dream home plans, you should be aware of the options available to you. Obviously, a custom home design will be tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle; however, its possible to find a stock plan that comes close to what you desire. A stock house plan can be used “as-is” with no modifications or it can be modified to suit your tastes. Below are the pros and cons for each type of plan design to help you in your quest to build your home.

The Stock House Plan

A stock house plan is a pre-designed house plan.  It may have originally been designed as a custom home plan for someone else, or it may have been designed specifically to appeal to the masses.  A stock house plan is usually the least expensive and quickest way to license a house plan for use.  It is offered for licensing “as is”.  This may mean that it was designed and drawn many years ago for an area very different from where you plan to build.  The building codes may have changed since it was drawn, and construction conditions and practices may be different in the area in which you plan to build.  Once you obtain and pay for the license to build the plan on your property, you can not resell or transfer that license, so be sure that you know as much about the plan as possible before entering into the transaction, or be sure you obtain the correct license that will allow for local modification to the plan.  This license will allow you to legally take the stock house plan to a local design professional to make any changes necessary to the plan to make sure it meets all current local conditions (this plan would then become a modified stock house plan, or semi-custom house plan).  If a stock house plan was created by a design professional in your area, and if the plan was recently created, it may meet all current code and building conditions in your area.

The Modified Stock House Plan

A modified stock house plan, or semi-custom house plan, would be a stock house plan that is modified to meet a homeowner’s needs.  This may be only changes to meet current and local code and construction conditions, or it may mean changes to the actual layout of the home design to better accommodate the homeowner’s lifestyle.  Making modifications to a stock house plan requires the permission of the original designer and fulfillment of their licensing requirements.  If these procedures are not fulfilled, you may be in violation of copyright law.  If you wish to license a stock house plan for your use, and want us to make modifications to it, please consult with us before you acquire the license for the stock plan.  Depending on licensing requirements and the modifications needed, a modified or semi-custom house plan may be slightly more costly and time-consuming than a stock house plan, or it may end up being more costly and time-consuming than a custom home plan.

The Custom Home Plan

A custom home plan is a house plan designed from scratch to fit your needs and distinctive lifestyle.  It will likely be the most costly and time-consuming of the three types of house plans, but will become priceless to you as you enjoy the end result – living in a home that fits your lifestyle like a glove. Take a look at the article, “Custom Home Design“, to learn more about the custom home design process.

Stock House Plan vs Modified Stock Plan vs Custom Home Plan