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buidling my own home

I am thinking about building my own home provided I can find a buildable lot in a nice area up here in Massachusetts. I had a question for anyone that has done this before. Where can I get house plans? I know there are a lot of websites where you can buy a plan that you like and then modify it but which ones are most reputable? I have heard of a few people buying plans and then having the GC tell them they are no good.

Re: buidling my own home

in most situations that ive run into where generic cheap drawings are purchased they are useless. the builder spends more time scratching their head trying to figure things out because not enough information is provided, the drawing doesnt work do to mechanical or these plans are so understructured it makes it hard to make any modifications during the build without having to get an engineer to come in several times to look things over and come up with a plan for things to work.

ive built many homes, most of which are higher end. the low end homes were always more painful stress wise as there is in most cases no one to contact in the event of a questin comes up referrig to one

Re: buidling my own home

I am not a builder or a contractor but we have had an addition built onto our house and the help of an architect came in quite handy. Many times or so I have heard anyway an architect will already have plans drawn up for basic houses that can be modified. My cousin in Southern Maryland did just that as the entry way wasn't quite right and the plan he saw didn't have a basement originally planned for it. I happened to talk him into the basement and he loved it. That house was stick built and took a while to build.
Recently within the past few years I have seen a great deal of factory built homes being trucked into our old neighborhood and I must say the houses are every bit as good and maybe better than my cousins old house that was stick built. There are as many house manufacturers as there are architects and maybe more. Best advice I would give you is to stick with local people in about the area where you think you might want to build. One caveat though to watch out for are building moratoriums as some jurisdictions especially in historic districts are cracking down on new construction and puting a stop to it. So be forewarned and good luck to you and happy new year!:)

Re: buidling my own home

Building your own home first thing i do.I Concern the architect for designing the house.If finances, are not a problem and you have a plan for the house then you will have to find a plot that fits your plot.

Re: buidling my own home

I have built many homes, from 1200 footers to mansions, and in most cases the architect knew less than me about what works, what doesn't, and why something shouldn't be done in a given way even though it looks good on paper. Still, in most places you are required by law to have a registered architect draw the plans, ostensibly for safety purposes. You need to choose and consult with your contractor before choosing your architect- a good contractor will know who is good, who is not, and who has decent prices for decent designs. For the average simpler home an architect is a waste of money though on a high end home I'd never want to start without one of the better ones.

One builder I used to work for had us building homes from the pictures and outline floor plan drawings found in many Sunday newspapers. We knew what to do from there and once we settled on the details we had the plumber, electrician, and HVAC guys meet with us all at once where the final 'road map' was drawn out and agreed on. The buyer got a strong home with no beams (and often no joists) cut for access, making the other guys work easier and cheaper to boot. Had an architect drawn these homes they would have not paid attention to these details, instead going with standard layout and 'allowed' cuts that are in their design software leaving the buyer with less home than we did. You can't beat hands-on experience and no architect has much, if any, of that. They do make nice pictures though!


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