6 things to know about stock plans
When planning to build your next home, the first thing you need is a plan. But how do you pick the right plan? How do you evaluate which plan is the right one for your needs? There are many options out there…
The most common source is stock plans. Stock plans are plans for new homes that are designed to appeal to a mass audience. They try to include the features and amenities that consumers are looking for. This can be typical room sizes or overall square footage. They can also have special trending features like jack & jill bathrooms, or hidden butler’s pantries. Another benefit is the vast number of online stock plan libraries with thousands of choices that are nearly ready to build.
Stock plans are also fast. Other than a review by a local engineer, most are ready to submit for permit and begin construction. They are also useful when starting to gather bids from contractors since bids on an actual plan are more accurate than a generic per square foot price.
Although stock plans offer a quick and convenient solution, they are far from perfect. Sometimes you can search these libraries with thousands of options, and still not find one you like. Due to the sheer volume, it can sometimes feel like most stock plans are created in a room full of monkeys on typewriters… eventually they’ll recreate Shakespeare, but the rest can be a lot of gobbledygook.
Many stock plans are missing basic requirements like a utility room or features necessary in colder climates. Colder climates often require attached garages, mud rooms, and enclosed entryways to shield our living room from the wind every time the front door opens.
Additionally, if you really start to dig, you’ll find that in stock plans future furniture layout is often not even considered. Yes, a great room that is 16’ x 24’ sounds great, but depending on the placement of doorways, windows, fireplaces, and traffic patterns, the space may not be as functional as you need. You might end up with a small sofa facing the fireplace and a large “dead space” in the middle of the room. Or you might find your sofa backing up to a kitchen peninsula, and the primary traffic pattern through the room cuts between the sofa and tv. These are important considerations in how the room will actually be lived in and used daily.
Lastly, many of the stock plan providers are faceless warehouses. If you need to make changes to the plan it may be very costly, or not even possible. You most likely won’t be able to communicate with the original designer to ask questions.
So does that mean that all stock plans are bad? No. It just means that you need to carefully select your stock plan based on your needs. If you are considering going this route then keep in mind the negatives listed above and be careful in your selection that you get as close to what you want as possible. Always consider your climate and how you will use the space. If at all possible I recommend seeking an option that allows for some customization of your chosen plan, such as RCHD’s Boutique of ready to build plans.
For more information on RCHD Boutique ready-to-build plans, click here.