I’m in the market for a new home, but I really want something with character. I know plans can be customized but I wonder how many tweaks I can make without outpricing my budget. Besides, I’m not entirely sure what can be added to a plan. Is it realistic to think a builder will work with me to give me the real house of my dreams without breaking the bank?
There is no limit as to what can be done to customize a “stock” house plan into your personalized one-of-a-kind home.
Start by identifying what it is about the plan you want modified or improved. Do you want the kid’s bedrooms larger, a larger kitchen or an in-law suite added on? In almost all cases a home plan is modified to gain additional square footage while keeping the integrity of the home plan that caught your eye in the first place.
When you sit face-to-face with your builder, he or she can create the changes in front of you as the meeting progresses. Your builder should be able to give you pricing for these changes at the same time for they are usually just square foot enlargements. In almost all cases, the larger you make the home by adding square footage, the price for the additional square footage is less than the original base home price on a square foot basis. This happens simply due to gaining economy of scale.
Remember all plans can be customized. Don’t let the phrase “we can’t move a wall because it is a bearing wall” interfere with your dreams. It is easy to establish new load bearing points in the design without any real cost other than the additional square footage you desire.
Take your time to identify what changes you would like and how that affects your overall budget and leave the rest up to your builder. Enjoy your new home!