Custom vs. Stock Floor Plan: 5 Essential Considerations

When it comes to building your dream home, there is no shortage of essential considerations. One of the most significant decisions you can make is the layout of your new home.

That is because your family has unique needs. No family operates in the same way. You need a stock or custom house plan to help you operate daily as efficiently as possible.

What are Stock House Plans?

Stock home plans are pre-designed house plans that have the most requested features by typical homebuyers looking for in a new house. These features usually include sought-after room dimensions and square footage, practical layouts, and other popular amenities, like a pantry, dining rooms, or a half bath.

A pre-drawn house plan will include home designs that meet local building codes. Stock home plans do not consist of a new plan drawn by house designers to meet the specific needs of a single family. They are more generalized based on what the average homeowner likes.

If you find a stock home plan that you like but want to make minor changes to the layout, you can hire a local building designer to help you. Just be aware that it can be pricey depending on what company you hire.

What is a Custom Home Plan?

Custom home plans are unique house plans designed to meet the homeowner’s specific needs. When designing your dream home, you can be a significant part of the design process or get the help of a local draftsman to make your vision a reality.

Custom plans are floor plans designed by the homeowner, home designer, or a custom home builder. It might also be a combination of all three! Many companies offer a custom design service to help you get started with your designs. They can help you design a custom floor plan that meets local codes and provide insight into things you might not think about!

While many custom home plans will often include the same features, such as a laundry room, they reflect how a family truly lives. Do you have kids in sports that tear off dirty uniforms as soon as they enter the house from the garage? If so, you would likely want your laundry room on the ground floor near the garage.

But what if you are designing a two-story house with all the bedrooms upstairs? You might opt instead to place that laundry room upstairs so that you are not lugging laundry baskets up and down stairs.

Custom designs can offer homeowners the “best fit” design for their lifestyle. Many people also find it a fun part of the custom home-building process. You can also contact your local custom builder to help you with this process.

Custom vs. Stock Floor Plan: 5 Essential Considerations


1. Room Size

Whether looking into stick home plans or helping to design your own, be mindful of room sizes. Not all stock plans have room sizes that will adequately meet your family’s needs.

One easy way to decide if they work for you is to measure your current home’s room sizes. Are they larger or smaller? Do the new plans account for the size differences needed at the new house? Will your furniture fit in the space?

Another consideration is the size of the closets, garage, and hallways. You want your new home to have enough storage for your family and feel open and airy.

2. Changing Needs

One thing that stock home plans might not address is your family’s changing needs. If you have children, your needs will likely change as they age.

For example, you might consider having bedrooms on both levels of a two-story home. As you age, you might not be able to go up and down stairs easily. It might make sense to include the primary bedroom on the home’s main level.

You might also want to consider the placement of children’s bedrooms at this stage. While it might make sense when children are young to have rooms close to yours, you may want to consider where the best location of their rooms will be when they become teenagers. Some parents prefer to place their children’s rooms upstairs to have a little more independence as they age.

It is essential to have a functional home at all stages of life. You want to be mindful of how your needs may change over time so that you can address that in the custom home plan.

3. Be Aware of Online House Plans

When searching for stock home plans, you might be tempted to purchase less expensive plans online. However, not all online companies are created equal. Some companies may offer unsafe home plans or do not meet local building requirements.

You will want to do a little research about the company before purchasing. One great place to start is by doing an online search. You can read client reviews and view the floor plans before spending money.

4. Stock Plans Are Created for Typical Home Owners

Stock house plans are great for many people. That is because they include features and layouts that suit many people’s needs.

However, they might not fit your needs. When looking at stock house plans, you will want to be sure that they fit your family’s unique lifestyle. You might find that they are an excellent starting point, but you want to amend a few areas. If they don’t, your best bet is to draw up custom plans that will suit your personal style better.

5. Cost

While stock home plans are usually more affordable than custom design plans, that might not always be the case. For instance, if you find stock home plans that you like but need to have adjusted, it might cost you a pretty penny. If you think you want to redesign the entire house or dimensions, then you are probably better off designing the layout of your home from the start.

Are You Building a Custom Home?

Whether you want to use a stock plan that you already have or get help with designing a custom-built home, we at Tropic Coast Homes can help! We help Southwest Florida homeowners buy, sell and create beautiful homes. Contact Us to learn how we can help you.