Contemporary-Modern House Plans
Contemporary/Modern house plans feature clean lines, large expanses of glass, and interesting rooflines, creating a design aesthetic that speaks of 21st century technology. Modern/Contemporary home plans use a variety of innovative building materials such as fiber cement siding, with steel, concrete, and glass construction. Contemporary or modern floor plans are particularly important to the sustainable design movement. A contemporary house plan's lack of traditional conventions means that the home can be designed around environmental and energy-conservation considerations, with unusual rooflines to accommodate solar panels and windows placed exactly where they need to be to play into passive heating and cooling strategies. Conducive to non-traditional building materials, contemporary and modern home plans may take advantage of the latest technology in recycled and sustainable materials. Contemporary/Modern house floor plans almost always feature an open layout to draw nature inside. Outdoor living space may be the most important feature of a contemporary/modern house plan, as it will be visible through an abundance of windows and should feel like a continuation of the home. Within this collection of Modern/Contemporary house plans, you'll also find sleek A-Frame cabins, modest shed-style homes, and Prairie homes inspired by the timeless designs of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Cottage House Plans
Affordable to build and full of charm, cottage homes are prized by many as the perfect vacation home or the quintessential style for building on a small lot. Usually one story, and with quaint details such as decorative woodwork, interesting windows, and a varied roofline, cottage house plans present a welcoming façade and a cozy interior. They are well-suited for the coastline, narrow urban lots, or in a suburban neighborhood of smaller traditional homes. Many cottage floor plans have a country look and feel, with front porches and dormers. Other cottage plans reference classic English cottage style, complete with large chimneys and charming shutters. Some modest cottage designs work beautifully for building in a rustic area, like Canada’s cottage country. Cottage home plans often have varied exterior materials, with a mixture of stone, wood siding, or shingles to break up wall surfaces. A small front porch may welcome visitors with a turned balustrade, thin columns, and a front gable roof. Casement windows offer cottage charm, or add decorative detail with leaded glass panes or stained glass windows. The roofline may be hipped, pyramidal, or gabled and often is broken up by attic dormers. These dormers provide additional space to expand upstairs later. While cottage house plans are usually one story, some may have a second floor or a bedroom tucked into the attic. The living space in is relaxed, often with a fireplace as the focal point and nooks provided for an eating area, reading room, or window seat. Expect quaint details to continue to the interior, such as a beamed ceiling, stonework on the fireplace, and transom windows above doorways. Maximize cottage charm with a patio at the rear, extending to gardens beyond with a picket fence as the exterior focal point.
Editors' Picks House Plans
Our editors pore over thousands of house plans regularly, from modern farmhouses to charming Craftsman designs and cool modern layouts. Of those, these are their very favorites. What makes the cut? Open layouts, thoughtful storage solutions, and exceptional details. They’re also big kitchen fanatics, so don’t miss the roomy islands in these great designs. Exteriors display the kinds of touches that will set your home apart, like wide porches and outdoor entertaining zones. For more favorites, check out our exclusive designs and the newest floor plans.
English Cottage House Plans
English Cottages were prominent in New England and the South, where settlers drew on the traditions of their homeland to build quaint homes surrounded by lush gardens. Common features of today's English Cottage style home plans include casement windows, shingle siding, charming shutters, and prominent stone-covered chimneys. This style would provide the perfect vacation cottage, or site it on a small urban lot and plant prolific gardens in the English tradition. Like the Tudor style, some cottages may display half timbering on the exterior.
Exclusive House Plans
In this special collection of more than 2,500 plans (including award winners), you’ll find exclusive designs from Frank Betz Associates, Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc., Dan Sater, and Visbeen Architects. These outstanding designers are creating some of today’s most exciting house plans, from sleek modern luxury estates to charming farmhouses – and everything in between. Many of these homes have been photographed inside and out so that you can enjoy a visual tour. You’ll find open concept designs, layouts with master suites on the main floor, in-law suites, and big kitchens with islands. For classic styles with family-friendly layouts, the Frank Betz Associates collection features many two-story homes with three and four bedrooms. Love details like ceiling treatments, screened porches, and flexible rooms? The Donald A. Gardner Architects collection will dazzle you. Designer Dan Sater excels at Mediterranean and Craftsman luxury homes, as well as upscale empty nests and versatile family homes. Meanwhile, Visbeen Architects operates out of Michigan (so you’ll find a wide variety of unique homes for lakefront living) but also designs a variety of splendid Southern-inspired farmhouses.
Extra Savings on House Plans
The very best deals and offers on house plans are right here. These home plans are priced to make your project more affordable.
Green House Plans
Green building is currently the hottest trend in the building industry, and it is sure to stick around as non-renewable energy resources are depleted and we become more aware of our environment. Choose a house plan that will be efficient. All house plans can be constructed using energy efficient techniques such as extra insulation and, where appropriate, solar panels. Many of the homes in this collection feature smaller square footage and simple footprints, the better to save materials and energy for heating and cooling. Window walls can allow for passive solar heating if the home is oriented correctly. Choose 2 x 6 framing or Insulated Concrete Forms for greater insulation, especially in a cold climate. Want to make tweaks like these to your plan for greater efficiency? Our modification service can help. Some of the home plans in this category have been specifically designed to earn certification such as LEED for Homes, a robust program addressing every aspect of a building's envelope, systems and finishes. Whether or not you choose to seek certification, programs such as LEED provide excellent guidelines for building a sustainable home. Requirements vary according to climate zone and even your home's orientation on the lot, so if you are serious about building a green home, consult a building science engineer or green professional for advice on how to build the most eco-friendly home on your lot.
Luxury House Plans
If you desire a luxury home, you don't necessarily have to build big. While our collection of luxury house plans includes plenty of estate-sized homes with two or more levels of living space and plenty of room for guests, you'll also find luxury home plans that come in smaller designs. The devil is in the details, as they say, and a luxury home will offer plenty of exquisite architectural details. The exterior of a luxury floor plan, for example, will be beautiful and faithful to the home’s style. Inside a luxury house plan, the design will be unique, organized and include thoughtfully planned focal points, views to the outside, and decorative ceilings.
Narrow Lot House Plans
Urban areas tend to have smaller, narrow lots because land is in short supply. Homes may be built quite close together, but sometimes have surprisingly deep rear yards with plenty of room to roam. Square footage can be maximized by building three stories high or more. For those with a tight budget, start small with future plans for expansion either at the rear or with additional stories. You can build any style of home, whether a quaint Victorian, cozy Bungalow or traditional Cape Cod on a narrow lot. Let exterior details define the style and play up the vertical orientation with thin columns, narrow windows or a steeply pitched roof. A small front porch might add curb appeal to a narrow lot house plan, as will a variety of building materials. Side porches add extra outdoor living space. Narrow lot house plans (or house plans for narrow lots) have the possibility of being more affordable due to the smaller lot, but this could be offset in a pricey in-town neighborhood. The square footage of a narrow lot house plan can vary depending on the number of stories. A small cottage or bungalow may be only one story in 1,000 square feet or less, while a rowhouse (sometimes written row house) could be 3 stories or more with 4,000 square feet to boot. Many narrow house plans are designed with rear-loading garages for a lot with an alley in back. The interior space of a narrow house plan must be planned well for the most efficient layout. An open plan is still possible, especially with several stories where vaulted ceilings and numerous tall windows can be employed to open the space. Because the home is narrower and may only be two rooms wide, sunlight is maximized for better energy efficiency and light can penetrate throughout the house. Employ tall narrow windows from floor to ceiling and site them on the southern side of the house to warm the home in winter and provide natural light in summer.
Newest House Plans
Here are the newest house plans with all the latest and best design trends. Open floor plans, big multi-functional kitchen islands, and smart storage spaces for every important need in -- or adjacent to -- every major room, living and dining porches, split bedroom layouts, Jack-and Jill bathrooms, walk-in pantries, media rooms, home offices, mud rooms, laundries: these are just some of the outstanding up-to-date details that you’ll love. From charming cottages to plans that offer sleek luxury. We’re constantly updating this category, so check back frequently to stay on top of the trends.
Sloped Lot House Plans
House plans for sloped lots (also called sloping lot house plans or hillside house plans) are family friendly and deceptively large. These homes appear to have only one or two stories from the front façade but are significantly larger from the rear. As the lot slopes away from the house, space is provided for a lower level that leads directly into the backyard. A deck is often overhead, where the first floor outdoor living space resides. The lower level usually only has windows on the rear wall, as the remainder of the space is built into the sloping lot. However, some hillside home plans in this collection are designed for lots that slope to the front, with a garage and storage on the lower level. Elevators make it easier to age in place and are found in some of these hillside designs, or can be added in with modifications. Any style of home can be built into a sloping lot. Because these layouts are often built in hilly or mountainous regions (like Colorado), you’ll find many rugged styles with natural materials, like Craftsman designs. Sleek modern and contemporary styles also fit well on a hillside lot because they typically feature large windows that nicely capture a view. A home built on a sloped lot and featuring a finished, walkout basement is the perfect solution for expanding families, or for families just needing the extra space. A hillside house plan is very flexible, as the basement can accommodate a separate apartment, in-law suite, bonus room, storage, and more. Grandparents or college-age children would feel right at home in a basement suite with a private bathroom and kitchen. Or, imagine entertaining on the lower level with a home theater, wet bar, billiards, or wine cellar and stepping out to a lower patio with an exceptional outdoor kitchen.
Starter House Plans
All first-time home buyers have a unique experience that can never be repeated, but building your first home from the ground up is a challenging and rewarding experience in its own right. You will be fully engaged in the design process, even when building from house plans, as finishes, fixtures, and building materials must be chosen to make the house your home. Every design decision will affect your budget and portray your own personal style, so choose wisely but go on instinct to create a home that is all you. Starter floor plans tend to be smaller, with 1,500 square feet or less and usually 2 to 3 bedrooms. One-story homes are actually gaining in popularity, as they are a more convenient option for young families that need to keep children close at hand. Forget about running up and down stairs with laundry and a child on your arm. Choose a one-story plan with an open layout for easier living. One story open floor plans, or any number of beautiful yet simple house floor plans with an open layout will let you keep an eye on kids or simply interact more with friends and family. Choosing a flexible home plan, such as one with bonus space upstairs or an office with an adjacent bathroom (to serve as another bedroom), will ensure that your house will be livable for many years to come, even as your needs change.
Vacation House Plans
Most people have a preferred vacation destination, whether it is the coast, mountains or city. Few of us can have it all, so choose your favorite spot to relax and there will be a house plan waiting to fulfill your dream of a vacation. Coastal homes will often feature abundant outdoor living space and numerous windows to maximize views and take advantage of the mild weather. You may want a charming cottage at the end of a rocky bluff, or a sprawling Mediterranean style home with beachfront access. There will surely be guests no matter what the style, so choose a floor plan that can accommodate a crowd and makes entertaining easy. The kitchen should be close to the rear patio and open to a great room for effortless access to the bar-b-q and pool. A home in the mountains will be quite different, possibly more rustic and built with materials found in nature. Choose a log cabin plan and build with locally harvested wood for a more sustainable site. A-Frame homes are a contemporary, folk style of home reminiscent of a Swiss chalet that would be perfect in a mountain setting or by the sea. The shape is that of a triangle, hence the A-Frame, with a steeply pitched roofline sloping almost to ground level. Draw nature in further by using local exterior materials such as stone and wood. Vacation house plans should maximize efficiency so time away will be spent relaxing. Choose a kitchen that is spacious and has all of the necessary appliances, but keep it simple so cleaning does not become a priority. Make clever use of seemingly dead space by creating nooks and crannies for private retreats. You may have unused attic space that could become a loft, or simply tuck a window seat within a bay for the perfect vacation reading spot.