30 Jan Five ways custom home design is better than stock plans
When creating the look for your house, you have a choice between stock plans and custom home design. Stock plans are general and pulled from a bank of options, while a custom home design is created for you by an expert builder or developer.
Before discussing the reasons for getting a custom home design over using stock plans, there is one other thing we need to go over.
You cannot submit stock plans to your City Building Department without having a home designer go through and update those plans to match your lot. The reason for this is that every lot is different. Your lot will have a size, a zoning specific to your city, and a different set of contours known as grading.
Also, the stock plans you are considering may not have been designed to your local Building Code. These factors mean that any stock set of plans will have to be adjusted, as your zoning will have specific limits placed on what you can build on your lot and your Building Code will have set restrictions on how it can be built. The Building Code will include clauses for cases such as seismic, fire ratings and insulation codes and types.
Stock plans were originally either for people building in smaller communities with no formal restrictions on construction or for people who wanted a certain look and updated the stock plans to match their lot. Now that BC Housing has instituted the HPO you cannot build a house in BC without passing a test. Due to this, the plans for a house need to meet BC Building Code. Most builders who have passed that test will not build off of stock plans as they will not be designed for the lot in question and the builder is responsible for any deficiencies in the house built.
So, unless you live in a community that that does not have a building department and have a perfectly flat lot, it is best to find out whether or not the stock plans you are considering will be updated by the company producing them to match your lot & zoning. If not, then you will have additional costs to make those plans work for your lot.
Now all of this being said here are a few of the other top reasons to use a custom home design.
Five reasons to choose custom home design over stock plans
1. Access to expert advice
Stock plans were not created with you in mind and do not come with an expert attached to them. When you get a custom home design, however, you get to work in tandem with a professional builder or developer, who ensures you get the look and functionality you are seeking in your space. In addition, if any issues do arise, an expert who can help solve them is just a phone call away.
2. The ability to make your home reflect you
Stock plans often require you to compromise as they were not created specifically for you or your space. With custom home design, however, you do not get a generic look but a space that is as unique as you. In addition to having more say, you have expert advice to help ensure the style you are seeking is fully realized in your home design.
3. Creating a natural flow
You are the expert in your life and the flow of movement in your home. With stock plans, the flow of your space can be unnatural to you, giving you the sense of being out of place in your own home. When you choose a custom home design, the builder or developer will make sure the flow of your space fits with you naturally, allowing you to feel comfortable and relaxed.
4. Reflecting your lifestyle
Stock plans generally just provide you with a basic design. With a custom home design, you are able to reflect your lifestyle in your space. For example, a developer would create a very different look for you if you have a family of five who gathers around the table every night for a home cooked family dinner, then if you are a bachelor with a love of movies and partying.
5. Greater energy efficiency
A custom home design can have energy efficient choices built in, ultimately lowering your yearly costs and your environmental footprint.
With all these benefits, why is everyone not using custom home design?
The biggest reason people pass up custom home design is because they believe it is out of their price range. In actuality, custom home design is about equal to using stock plans. In some cases, custom home design can even be less expensive as it gives you greater control over your costs. If you are considering getting a custom home design, make sure to familiarize yourself with what to expect from it.