Recognizing The Limits of Stock House Plan Modifications

Potential homeowners who are actively searching for a viable home design, usually find a good solution in a stock house plan. This is not to say that the plan is perfect; rather, it will likely meet the needs by which the homeowner can live with. If changes are needed, making modest modifications to the blueprints can solve some of these issues. If the changes are simple like changing a door location or window size, your builder can easily mark these changes directly on the plans without any problem during the construction process. Even moving a non load-bearing wall a foot or two isn’t such a big issue. It is the more complex design changes that will require the help of your building designer.

Modifications are wonderful, but not always the best choice for homeowners who want to change the scope of a home’s design. There comes a point where some changes can become counter-productive. As mentioned above with the door and window modification, these are easy cosmetic changes. Requiring structural changes is where you begin to consider the limits of what can be done to the home plan design. There are two factors that always determine whether or not a design can or should be altered, the level of modifications, and the cost of modifications.

The Level of ModificationsNot all ideas are worthy of consideration when it comes to redesigning a stock plan. Although computers make it much easier to do plan modifications, making changes to a completed work is still a delicate task. If you have ever seen a set of plans, you know that it is packed full of information on every sheet including the floor plans, elevations and building detail drawings. This is also why you will notice a warning or disclaimer about making alterations to the design. A sample statement may say, “Any design changes should be performed by a qualified building designer, architect, or engineer, as even minor changes in one area of the design can lead to major problems in another part of the design”. This more or less advises you that forward and critical thinking is needed to avoid the pitfalls of making in-depth structural changes to the design.

Keeping the level of modification low is best, but knowing the extent by which a design can be modified determines if it is even a good idea to do so. A wish list to shift or move exterior & load-bearing walls, redesign the roof, move a room to a different location, and change a few other essential design components is a pretty extreme on level. First, making these changes together will completely redo the original design in many cases. Second, the effort put into it will require many hours of work in order to peel back the layers of the design to make sure all connecting parts and details are updated accordingly. In comparing this to a custom design, you are subject to spend just as much time in redesigning and updating the stock plan. So if you spend an absorbent amount of time in extensive modifications, guess what else you are going to spend a lot of, money.

The Cost of ModificationsIf the cost to modify a stock plan begin to rival the cost of a custom design, then you have two choices, either go custom or continue searching for a stock plan that require little to no change. On average, typical plan modification charges can range from several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars. This is in addition to the cost of the original plan itself and the work can usual be completed in as little as a day, or in the span of a few days. This also take into account that the modifications are moderate, lacking any serious design alterations involving major structural changes. By all accounts, these dollar figures and time frame are reasonable when we talk about modifying a stock home plan to meet your needs. On the other hand, if you feel that you have to make more design changes, then you may want to consider searching for another plan. You can be sure that your wallet will make you do so even if your heart ignore these limitations.

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