Designing a new house plan

When you’re designing a new house plan you will want to consider your economical situation to determine the style of your home, but you should also consider the climate where you will build.

The design of a Gambrel roof was the most economic because of the living space under the roof on the second floor as shown below.

We went with that style even though it wasn’t really that attractive. If a person will put dormers on the side of the roof in a Gambrel (barn-shaped) house, it will make a world of difference in aesthetics.


Also, it’s nice having the windows to see out of. In the master bedroom, there is a window facing toward the East so we have a great view of the Grand Tetons. The sunrises in the East are spectacular. On the West and North windows we have a beautiful view of the Snake River.

Typically, a house like this would not be a big seller because it looks like a barn, but our climate is quite cold and snowy, so people around here know that this type of house is easy and inexpensive to heat as well as strong under heavy snow loads. You definitely want to consider the climate when you are planning a new house.

There’s just three more points to touch on before we get into the nitty-gritty of house building. Let’s say you have your new-house-plan already done and you want to step off the measurements on your building site.

One thing that I have seen many times in my years of experience is when a homebuilder measures and marks the property it always seems smaller than it actually is. I mention this because this very thing has deceived a few aspiring builders. Here’s what happens. The plans for a modest-sized home (say around 1500 sq. ft.), will seem depressingly small and some people will say to themselves,” forget it, this is too small.

Let’s just wait until we can afford to build a bigger house.” This happens quite often and the dreams go unrealized. Look, I know it seems small, but once the walls are up, the house seems bigger. Once you get to the point where the walls are covered with sheetrock, you will get giddy and nothing will stop your progress after that.

The second point is that if you don’t want to design your own house, you can buy ready made plans. This can help out in a few ways. Plans can be bought for around $50, and everything is professionally designed. They can be found in abundance on the Internet or in several kinds of house designer magazines. We’re all different and some people might be looking for some ideas and inspiration. Either way, If you do the building yourself, you’re my hero.

The third point is that if you overspend on land, you may never be able to build your house. I know a couple that did this very thing. Some riverfront property became available to them, but it was out of their price range. It was beautiful land so they bought it hoping to be able to build a house on it.

The mortgage payments came each month and there just wasn’t any money leftover to create a plan to actually build a new home. After a few years, their dream of building a home on that beautiful lot had to be let go. The property was sold and they pursued other options. It’s a well-known fact that location has a lot to do with property value, but consider the goal we’re trying to reach.

We want to have a nice home with low monthly payments. If we were building mansions, then it would be different. We are however, only building homes that we as modest income earners can afford. A small or average-sized house is easy to resell if it comes to that. The buyer will probably be someone much like ourselves in circumstance so our plan to build a new house needs to be practical.

home mortgage

A small house on an expensive piece of land won’t sell very well. Maybe a rich person would buy it just for the land and destroy the house, but that is rare. It is far better to buy an affordable chunk of land and give it some tender loving care over the years. That will raise its value.

I built my house on a lot of ground we was using for part of a hayfield. Farmers grow hay when nothing else will grow. It has a lot of rocks, but we have done some great things with our land. The land was worth about $1,500 per acre as hayfield. Now it’s worth close to $8,000 per acre as property surrounding a residential dwelling.

Remember, buy it cheap and give it the TLC it needs. Your sweat equity will always reward you.

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