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A-Frame House Plans
A-Frame homes fit beautifully in any scenic location. With its steeply pitched roof that forms the “A” of the name (sometimes reaching all the way to the ground), these rustic vacation homes usually hold a large window wall that can perfectly frame a lakeside or mountain view. Decks, patios, and porches give plenty of room for outdoor living. Sometimes this style features elements of a Swiss chalet, or the timber of a log cabin. Generally, an A-Frame floor plan features one large open space with living areas on the main level and a loft above for sleeping quarters. The ceiling can be left open to the rafters, further accentuating the A-Frame’s stylistic details, or closed-in for a more traditional look. An island kitchen adds contemporary appeal. Whether you decide to build by the coast or on a mountain top, your new home will be inviting, modern and economical.
Cape Cod House Plans
Cape Cod homes are the epitome of post-war American housing and were built prolifically throughout suburban neighborhoods to accommodate growing families. Beginning in the 1940s and continuing to today, modest Cape Cod homes have been built with simplicity and function in mind to evoke Colonial style. These homes are usually one story with a side-gable roof and little embellishment. Sometimes a small front stoop with a gable roof extends from the home to welcome guests and provide shelter from the elements. Although modern Cape Cods are very popular today, this style of home took shape in the early 18th century to suit the long New England winters. Their association with the New England coast also makes them perfect as vacation cottages, sitting nicely on a lakefront lot or by the sea. The floor plans are flexible, as the simple rectangular shape can accommodate a number of interior configurations, both traditional and more modern open layouts.
Chalet House Plans
Chalets originated in the Alps and are distinguished by exposed structural members called half-timbering that are both functional and serve as decoration. Chalet designs gained popularity in the mid-19th century throughout the United States, borrowing from a romantic ideal of contemporary Swiss architecture. The roof of a chalet is low-pitched with wide, overhanging eaves. This architectural element influenced Craftsman and Prairie house styles later in the early 20th century. There is almost always a front gable featuring highly decorative woodwork at the fascia board. The upper floor of a chalet usually projects beyond the story below, with a balcony at the front of the house for leisure and entertaining. The balcony often has a balustrade that is constructed of a flat, cut-out panel, adding to the gingerbread charm. This style of house was traditionally painted on the exterior with murals or faux architectural elements representing quoins, shutters, or ornamental design around windows and doors. Further interest may be added with vertical board-and-batten siding. The Chalet style would make the perfect mountain home for its use of natural materials and allure of the grand Alps. The floor plan of Chalet style houses tends to have less square footage, as they are typically used for vacation homes. That being said, two or more stories are possible with bedrooms on the upper floors that open to the balcony and maximize fairy tale views. The first floor could have an open plan with a central fireplace warming the interior and a spacious kitchen for entertaining guests. Provide 360 degree views with a spacious rear deck to complement the second floor balconies. For styles with similar rustic appeal, check out our collection of log homes, cabin house plans, and A-Frame designs.
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.
French Country House Plans
The French Country style of home draws from both the smaller country cottages and large rural estates of France. Imagine quaint details and natural materials paired with masterful gardens for a truly beautiful Old World home. The style is characterized by a steep hipped roof, sometimes with flared eaves, that may be covered with wood shingles or slate. Turrets, finials, and shaped chimneys add interest to the roofline, while bays and decorative windows lend character to the facade. The exterior often features stucco walls and prominent window shutters, with stone sometimes adding rugged curb appeal. This style lends itself to both rural and neighborhood settings – anywhere where you’d like some elegant European style. The floor plan of your French Country home may be formal or informal, depending on your lifestyle. Open up the plan with a large great room and fireplace that connects to the kitchen. Most French Country house plans are two stories and may even have flex space available in the attic due to the steeply pitched roof.
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.
Low Country House Plans
Low Country homes speak of relaxation and warmth. This vernacular style arose in the coastal Carolinas, displaying unique features adapted for the hot, humid climate. Wide porches that shade the interior from the sun and other features that enhance natural ventilation make it an eco-friendly choice for Southern regions. Low Country, or Tidewater house plans as they are sometimes called, are always built over a crawlspace or even a pier foundation to protect the home from coastal flooding. Low Country house plans share many features with Country and Farmhouse style plans, such as expansive porches and patios. Exterior details of Low Country homes are simple and restrained. Plain columns support the porch, shutters may shield the windows, and dormers may indicate a half-story under the roof or just a way to ventilate the main level. Exterior cladding is most often clapboard siding. A hipped or side-gable roof may be constructed from standing-seam metal for a traditional, rustic look. Often built as vacation homes, Low Country floor plans are casual and open, offering plenty of bedrooms and spaces to gather as well as retreat. Within this category you will also find Plantation house plans. Plantation floor plans are typically two stories and feature grand elements like tall windows and full-width porches at both the front and rear, supported by two story columns. Plantation home plans, like Low Country or Tidewater house plans, have a unique bond to the land, as they too are usually built in low-lying coastal regions and are surrounded by open land.
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.
Mid Century Modern House Plans
When you think mid century modern house plans, think one level living paired with chic indoor/outdoor flow.
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.
Neoclassical House Plans
In the early 1900's, classical styles were revived in response to the eclectic Victorian styles that had dominated architecture in the late 19th century. Many monuments and public buildings were constructed in this style, as it has an air of dignity, grace, and permanence. This style translated well to large urban estates, where a luxurious home with two-story columns and a stately symmetrical façade became the style of choice. Elements of both colonial and classical architecture were incorporated into these modern home floor plans and are still used widely in modern construction. Today, you can build a grand winged estate or plan for a smaller home that encompasses the architectural details of this classic style. The roofline of a Neoclassical home is often flat or side-gabled with a very low pitch and usually features a heavy cornice. A center front gable is almost always present and supports a two-story columned portico with classical columns of the Ionic or Corinthian order. These columns tend to be thinner than those found in the Greek Revival style, but are no less stately. The door will be surrounded by an elaborate frame and flanked by sidelights and a transom above. Windows are usually double-hung sash with decorative trim that may feature pilasters, a pediment, or a lintel. Symmetrical projecting wings are common in these Neoclassical and modern home floor plans and make expansion easy for growing families. A Neoclassical floor plan is usually symmetrical and square. In the future you may wish to build an extension at the rear, which adds space while maintaining the classic, columned façade, or increase living space by constructing side wings for a luxurious master suite on one side and spacious kitchen on the other. A traditional interior floor plan with rooms flanking a center hall would work well with this style, allowing for a separate living room, dining room, den, and kitchen. Alternatively, the first-floor rooms could be included in a large open plan, with the second floor housing bedrooms off the hall.
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.
Shed House Plans
Shed style emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s as a discrete variant of contemporary home design. Its distinguishing feature is its roof; instead of a traditional gable form (a symmetrical peak), the roof is composed of one or more planes, often set at different angles. Asymmetry is a given, as the volumes below take the form of several geometric shapes grouped together. Windows are expansive, with a variety of shapes and sizes, while exterior materials range from wood siding to brick, stone, and stucco. Shed home floor plans are generally open in reflection of the unusual spaces and volumes of the home and to draw nature in through the many windows. Shed house plans are gaining in popularity once again as modern homes tackle the challenge of eco-friendly design. The many-planed roofs can support solar panels; windows can be placed exactly where needed and eave width can vary to play into a passive heating and cooling strategy.
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.
Split Level House Plans
Split level floor plans, sometimes known as raised ranch, emerged in the 1950s. A split level home is basically a ranch raised a half-story above grade, with finished space below. The entry may be on the landing of the stairs that connects the two levels (referred to as a split foyer), or the entry may be on a grade-level wing holding the main living areas, with sleeping quarters a half-story up and a family room and/or garage below. Split level plans display most characteristics of Ranch style, such as a low pitched roof and overhanging eaves. Exterior details are usually minimal, presenting a more contemporary façade, but there is often a chimney and small front stoop leading to the entryway. Windows have a horizontal orientation. This type of house plan maximizes smaller lots, as the home has a more vertical emphasis and the garage is attached to the home. Split level designs are convenient for growing families that value both privacy and family time.
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.
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