Month: April 2022

6 Tips for Choosing the Right House Plan

One of the most exciting times in your life can be deciding to build a new home. Here at Frank Betz Associates, we know that choosing the right house plan depends on how you use your home and how it fits with your lifestyle. From the size and shape, to where the rooms are located in relation to each other, every part of the home can affect your experience, so knowing what you really want is crucial. We have six tips for choosing the right plan for your new home.


1) Figure out what size home will best suit your needs. 


Choosing a house plan should start with how you envision living in your new home, what type of layout works best, and how you would use each space. Square footage is a great place to start. How many square feet do you live in now? Is that suitable or too little/too much? Having a general understanding of home size will help you begin to narrow down plans. 


2) Determine what style of home you prefer and fits your budget.


Are you ready for the ease and convenience of single-level living? Or would you prefer the room count and privacy options of a 2-story home? Perhaps a split level home might fit your lifestyle best. Again, think about the way you live today and what style of home might improve it. If budget is the driving factor in your decision, keep in mind that it’s usually more cost effective to build up (2-story) than it is to build out (ranch). For example, if you prefer single-level living, but still need enough room for family or guests, having an owner’s suite on the main level and all secondary bedrooms on the second level might be a cost effective option.


3) What is the minimum number of rooms you’ll need?


How many sleeping spaces do you need? Could a guest room double as an office or home gym if it won’t be used often? How many bathrooms would make home life easier? Do you need a certain amount of storage space? A private home office? Always start with the minimum requirements because it’s easier to add on to a home design later than it is to remove main rooms from an existing plan. Think about the space you need to be comfortable in based on your daily activities.


4) Consult with officials to determine the correct building envelope.


A home’s “building envelope” is the entire exterior building of your home — its footprint. The land that you build on will likely have requirements or conditions that impact home plan choice, particularly if you are building on a more compact or urban lot. Be sure to consult with building or zoning officials to determine the building envelope that is right for your land.


5) Be honest about your needs and lifestyle.


Preferred features in a home differ depending on what stage of life you are in. Before choosing a home design, ask yourself: 


Is your family situation changing — either growing or shrinking?

Will you need guest rooms for overnight visitors? 

What about additional living space for visiting parents or grandchildren? 

Are you approaching retirement? Should you choose a plan that’s great for aging in place? 

How do you entertain? Do you need a space to prep food and hide the mess? Do you want formal spaces or more relaxed gathering rooms? 


6) Don’t get caught up in the details.


Focus first on identifying the size of home, style, and number of rooms that suit your lifestyle. Once you’ve found a house plan that you love, then you can perfect it. It’s easy to add smaller features, like butler’s pantries, wine storage, wet bars, built-in shelving, and other unique finishes once the size and style of home have been decided.


Remember, starting with a pre-designed house plan is a smart choice because so much of the work is already complete, saving you time and money. Plan license fees start around $1,295 and go up from there. The average cost of modifications to a plan are around $2,000. The total cost to purchase a house plan ranges from about $3,000 to $6,000. This is normal within the industry and a very good investment! A quality design and set of construction documents will more than pay for themselves with savings from fewer construction mistakes and material issues. 


Choosing the right house plan is a critical part of the building process. In the end, the investment in developing your plan is a small line item in the overall cost to build a new home, and will give you peace of mind knowing that you are building the right home for you. 


For more information on choosing the right house plan, or for help narrowing it down, please contact us

Top House Plans for Empty Nesters

At Frank Betz Associates, we believe that for empty nesters, “right-sizing” doesn’t always mean going smaller. As your lifestyle changes, sometimes you just need your space configured in a different way. 


As your extended family grows, and you excitedly welcome your children’s significant others, in-laws, and grandchildren (along with their family and friends), you may need a larger, more open living area to host them all. (Just imagine how much fun holidays will be!) You may also need a few extra bedrooms, and a second den or playroom will come in handy. Above all else, you’ll need to prioritize your comfort, which may mean having the majority of living on one, easy-to-navigate level. 


In some cases, we understand that “right-sizing” may actually mean sizing up! We’re happy to offer house plans to accommodate any need in your next, exciting phase of life. Here are a few options:


Lake Pointe

4 BEDROOMS | 4.5 BATHS | 3,033 SQ FT


In this spacious yet charming home, there are so many opportunities for your entire family to gather! Whether you’re hosting one or ten, there is ample space for guests to sleep comfortably, then come together for meals and memories in the common areas. You’ll also love that most of the living happens on the first floor, with all the features and open-concept layout that you expect in a new construction home.



Taunton Place

4 BEDROOMS | 4.5 BATHS | 3,072 SQ FT


With all your essential living spaces on the first floor, this house plan is perfect for empty nesters, or anyone who enjoys the ease of single-level living. Enjoy a wide-open kitchen that overlooks the vaulted family room and flows right into the sunlit dining room. The owner’s suite occupies a private wing of the home, so no matter how many visitors you have, you’ll always enjoy peace and quiet. 



Briarcliff Cottage

4 BEDROOMS | 4 BATHS | 3,649 SQ FT


You may be an empty nester now, but in this home, your nest will always be full! The lower level features a full, secondary kitchen with a large game room and cozy fireplace. There are also two additional bedrooms on this level with full, attached baths. You can host an entire family (or two!) and everyone will feel comfortable and completely at home.



Hickory Grove

3 BEDROOMS | 2.5 BATHS | 2,917 SQ FT


In this house plan, your home can be as cozy or as grand as you need — it’s your choice! In addition to the first floor and lower level, there is an option to add a second floor complete with a fourth bedroom, full bathroom, and linen closet. On the main level, the keeping room next to the kitchen is a nice touch for enjoying casual family moments together.


If “right-sizing” means having a new space to accommodate everyone you love, contact us for more options, or feel free to browse our home designs

Tour These Popular House Plans Virtually

Our 3D Walkthroughs are interactive videos that allow you to “walk” through our house plans virtually. You control the tour and can visit every room, view every angle, even peer into bathrooms and out of windows. Zoom in and out to see rooms from the exact view you’d like, and quickly jump from room to room. You can even take measurements to determine if your furniture will fit in the space. If you have access to a VR headset, you can even see these homes in virtual reality.


We know how much time it takes to shop for a house plan and find one that you love, but we understand that life is incredibly busy. These 3D walkthroughs go a step beyond normal renderings or 2D illustrations and allow you to see every aspect of a home completely on your terms. They are the next best thing to a physical walk-through. 


Here are three of our most popular house plans that you view virtually, right now!


Blantons Trace

4 BEDROOMS | 3.5 BATHS | 2,073 SQ FT


2-Car Garage

Vaulted Porch + Outdoor Dining Area

2nd Floor Bonus Room with Built-Ins



Chelsea Walk

5 BEDROOMS | 4 BATHS | 3,008 SQ FT


Wide, covered front porch

Optional 2nd floor bonus room

Formal dining room

Vaulted covered back porch

Covered outdoor dining area



Embry Hills

4 BEDROOMS | 3.5 BATHS | 2,601 SQ FT


1st Floor Guest Suite

Vaulted Screened Back Porch

Optional 2nd Floor Bonus Room

Walk-in Closets in All Upstairs Bedrooms


If you’re interested in seeing more virtual 3D Walkthroughs like these, or you’re interested in learning about customization options for any of the homes you’ve seen, please contact us and we’d be happy to send you more information!