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What is a custom home?
A custom home is one that is designed and built exclusively for you. This is not necessarily expensive and could be less expensive than a plan book design. In a custom home all the features are specified by the owners rather than the builder. You can keep costs down by eliminating wasted space and unwanted features. A fully custom home is designed for your lifestyle, desires, and budget and blends with your dream.
What is the difference between a plan book design and custom?
The big difference is that the planbook is generic. The cost of the plans is less because the architect or designer has sold them multiple times to cover the costs of development. You will quickly save the additional cost of custom plans by eliminating a few features that you didn't really want in there to start with. You can then add features that you do want and design the house you want for the land and view you have by using a designer to do a custom plan.
I usually suggest that clients begin by looking through plan books to get an idea of what they are looking for. Usually you find pieces of various homes that you like but the one with the nice kitchen/family room has an awful bedroom layout. Identifying these likes and dislikes is a great place to spring into the design process.
Where do I start?
Pictures are worth a thousand words. Look at home magazines and plan books. Cut out pictures of things you like. Take snapshots of houses you like around town. Collect these ideas together and write down lists of things you like and dislike about your house now. You can also contact me for a questionnaire which may get your ideas flowing.