Are you searching for affordable small house plans? The plethora of websites out there that are selling house plans is staggering. And the average cost for just one set of plans is $400 to $600. Over $1000 isn’t uncommon. Then add about $75 to $100 for each additional set of plans. Yikes!
But, if you consider that house plans have to have an architect’s “stamp of approval” in order to be ok’d by the building inspector, then the price seems more reasonable (building plan approval varies widely throughout the US; check locally first). The years of training and apprenticeship required to be a certified architect (at least in the US) is expensive. This says nothing of the liability insurance they have to carry, either.
Sure, you can come up with your own affordable small house plan… and hope that it passes approval by the local building inspector. Or you can start with a plan that’s been created by someone with a LOT more experience in designing safe buildings.
If you’re actually going to be doing the framing of your house yourself (assuming you’re going to go with the standard stud frame construction), then having an architect-generated plan that indicates best framing practices is your best bet. If you’re going to subcontract the framing then you have a bit of luxury in relying on the framing contractor’s experience in safe framing practices. In that case it may not be so critical to go with the intricately detailed architect’s drawing.
Some Vendors of Small House Plans
Sheldon Designs offers about 15 cabin designs, all the way from 12’x16′ to 24’x36′. They’re all very classic cabin style plans with a porch (or 2), a stone chimney, and basic gable roof lines. These plans are very straightforward and clear to follow. They even have a sale for awhile yet on their mini cabin — plans for only $27!
Here’s my favorite website so far for affordable small house plans is CountryPlans.com run by John Raabe. Here’s an example of his designs, a 600 square foot Eco Cottage. Very basic, yet very livable.
If you’re really feeling up for a house plan under 1000 square feet then check out Town and County Plans. This is where I originally bought my house plans. But, I don’t currently see the plan I used (maybe they discontinued it).
Ross Chapin Architects has some of the cutest and most innovative designs, without going over the top, I’ve seen so far. Their plans range from 307sf Blue Sky Cabin to the 2729sf Swede Hill House. If you’re going with stick built construction give these some serious consideration. You might not consider these plans in the “affordable” category, but it offers an example of what many firms charge for their plans.
Other Affordable Small House Plans?
If you have some other sources for affordable (cheap?) house plans, please let us know. I’d be happy to take a look and possibly add a new site here.