Drawing your own floor plans

The house floor plan is just the basic outline of the outside and inside walls of a home. While the biggest factor in building an economical home is doing all your own labor, the second biggest factor is the style of the house floor plan.

First of all, I think you should make plans to build the exact type of home you really want to live in, that’s most important. You’ll enjoy the building project a lot more if you’re building a home that you love.

Now, having said that, I will tell you that homes with a second story are much cheaper to build than single story homes with the same square footage. If you don’t have a problem with stairs, then definitely go up not out.

My house has one of the most economical floor plans I have ever seen, but a lot of people don’t like the look of a barn house. I don’t blame them. I’m a farm boy, so I like it just fine.

inexpensive floorplan

Contractors, Realtors, Bankers, and Investors all know that the square footage of a home is the main determining factor in that homes value. The “comparative approach” is the most accurate way to determine value. This means that a home’s value is determined by what other homes have recently sold for in or near that neighborhood that are similar in square footage and style.

You see, the tricky thing about homes is that the same exact house can vary in value depending on where it is located. My focus here is not on the value of land, but rather on the potential of any building site. In other words, take what you have and make it beautiful, then the value will go up.

It’s our goal to find an economical floor plan that suits our needs and tickles our fancy. We probably also need to stay within a budget. This will determine how big our house will be.

If you’re like most people, you will probably want to step off(measure) and mark your building site which is just fine, but understand this one thing. The dimensions will seem ridiculously small outside and you might get discouraged thinking your plans are inadequate.

Even after the foundation is poured you will probably think you’ve started too small. Once the walls are up it will seem much bigger and it will definitely seem much bigger once the sheetrock is in place. I mention this because some people will get so discouraged after marking the building site, that they decide to wait until they can afford to build a bigger house, but that day usually never comes.

home foundation

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of making a good plan. Don’t worry about all the blueprint stuff at this point.

If you don’t have a clue about what type of house is right for you, then take a look at some of these styles and also look around your neighborhood to see what type of styles there are.

one story

modern home


farm house

ranch house

You can go to local stores and get measurements on appliances, beds, and other fixtures so your dimensions are accurate.

Once you have a floorplan then you can decide what type of house you want to build. I chose to build a Gambrel(barn)type house because they are strong in ice and snow, easy to heat, and cheap to build. My wife actually made the floorplan at first, but then I made a few corrections that made it pleasing to inspectors. That kind of matters.

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I just wanted to say that I love your website. My husband and I followed your instructions on building our own home. Most of the work we did ourselves, but not all. We saved $90,000 in labor costs and now have a beautiful home that we own.

--Sue and Les Carrigan, Draper, Utah

I built my own home doing all my own labor. My house costs me around $70,000 for materials. It took me 8 months to build and is about 2,000 square feet. I didn't think I could do it, but your house web site encouraged me. I used all the info you had.

Thank you,

Benny Luis Lopez,

Gainsville, Florida

I can't thank you enough for your free information web site about home building. I was looking for Electrical wiring diagrams when I found your site. It was very helpful.

Steve Lundquist,

Little Rock, Arkansas

My wife and I lost our home to foreclosure but we kept a plot of land to start over. We are halfway through the construction of our house. Your website gave us hope to start over and build a house with low payments. We are in our late 60's but we find it rewarding to put so much effort into a project that will reward us for years to come.

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