After searching house plans and garage plans on The House Plan Company website, you’ve fallen in love with a design and while the plan you’ve chosen has all of the key elements, there are some features you’d like to consider to better meet your family’s needs. Perhaps you want the Great Room to have some defined separation of space. Or maybe you want to change the mud room so your kids can store their athletic gear. Regardless of the desired features or floor plan changes, meeting with a professional designer is the next important step in the planning process.
“On the surface, a house plan or accessory structure may meet most of a homeowner’s expectations, but more often than not a few modifications to the design may need to be made,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs whose designs are featured on The House Plan Company. “A design professional is best suited to make any adjustments to a home plan, and it’s important to find the right one who can translate what a homeowner wants into the plan.”
The first criterion in selecting a design professional to customize your house plan is experience. A professional with experience in home design, as well as expertise in the particular style of home you want to build, is a good indicator of a successful outcome.
“In addition to experience, personality plays a key role in selecting the right design professional,” said McAlexander. “The designer is a critical partner in helping to realize your dream home and therefore compatibility is an important aspect of the relationship for communicating exactly what you want in your home or garage design.”
A professional designer should be your partner, collaborator, sounding board and idea generator. They need to be able to understand who you are and what you want and translate it into the design of your new home, which ultimately is a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. The right design professional should offer ideas and suggestions and solve problems, rather than simply follow your instructions. The entire process should be collaborative in nature in order to arrive at the perfect design.
During the design process, changes will be made until the design meets your exact specifications. A design professional who is familiar with the area where you’re looking to build, and the local ordinances and regulations, will help to ensure that the design will meet building code.
“It’s beneficial to select a professional designer who is familiar with the local building ordinances, perhaps one who lives or works near the area where you’re planning to build,” said McAlexander.
McAlexander also points out that you may not want to discount the original designer of the house plan that you selected online. As the creator of the plan, they know the design inside and out regardless of where they live or work. They are still the best one to make any modifications to the original plan. Be sure to ask for the plan’s original designer if you want to customize a house plan you purchased online.
“Don’t settle for whomever assists you with purchasing a plan online – continue to search for the right designer with experience and a compatible personality,” said McAlexander. “With the right designer collaborating with you through each step of the planning and design process, you’ll be that much closer to making your dream home a reality.”
In the end, a professional designer with experience and the right personality can help you build the home of your dreams and make it a fun, easy and inspiring journey.