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Why would you need a house plan with two master bedrooms?

      When you read “two master bedrooms”, do you immediately think WHY? Or YES! If you’re part of the WHY group, keep reading to learn the pros surrounding this unique layout. Two master suites may sound bizarre but having two large bedrooms with private bathrooms has more positives than negatives.

Northwest House Plan 699-00057 
      One of the reasons this unique trend is growing is households are changing and starting to include more than just parents and children. Homes are now being designed to fit expanding households that may include grandparents, friends, and even a second family. Having room for extra guests or housemates is a top reason for building a house plan with two masters. Guests would also love to have their own master bedroom with a convenient bathroom and all the privacy they need. Just imagine staying at a family member’s house and finding out that you get an entire master bedroom all to yourself.

Mountain Rustic House Plan 5829-00026 

Contemporary House Plan 5829-00015 
       Another reason some families choose to have dual master suites is for the flexibility this layout offers. More and more couples are sleeping apart for two specific reasons: different schedules and sleep issues. Everyone has different sleep preferences whether that means you prefer it to be dark and quiet when you sleep or if you need to have the TV on. In order for everyone to have their ideal sleep preferences, some couples choose to sleep in separate bedrooms. If your spouse is a snorer, you might find your sleep interrupted frequently and a separate bedroom could solve that problem. Some couples also have different schedules. If one of you works evenings, sleeping separately might make sense. If one of you is a night owl and the other is an early riser, this can disrupt the other person’s sleep. Having two master bedrooms keeps everyone comfortable and in their preferred setting.

Coastal House Plan 028-00118 
      Whether the extra master is for guests or for the comfort of the homeowners, there’s been a significant increase in the number of double master suite house plans sold in recent years. With over 15,000 house plans, we have every style, size, and shape imaginable and that includes 156 house plans with two masters! Explore our house plans to find the perfect home with two master suites.

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Porches – What are your options?

There are so many options and choices to be made when it comes to designing your dream house plan. We’ve talked about the many garage choices and we’ve helped you determine how many bedrooms you need. But today, we’re talking about porches and the many options that come with these lovely additions to any home.


When you explore our website, you’ll find 5 different options for porches:

  • Front
  • Rear
  • Screened
  • Stacked
  • Wrap Around

FrontThe curb appeal of your home can be enhanced by a well designed front porch. Not only does a front porch add style to your home but it also gives you an outdoor area to relax on a rocking chair, enjoy a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day, or feature unique home decor that welcomes visitors to your home.

Northwest House Plan 699-00121


RearWith less visibility, a rear porch can be used in any way you desire. With this flexible option, a back porch can link to your kitchen, keeping room, or even a living room, creating an indoor-outdoor living space. A rear porch tends to be larger than front porches and gives you the ability to relax outdoors, enjoy nature, and keep an eye on children and pets playing in the backyard. A rear porch is truly an outdoor extension of the home.

Cape Cod House Plan 2559-00785
Screened-In-These unique porches are essentially rear porches that are encased with screens, creating a more weather-friendly area that eliminates most bugs from invading you. A screened in porch gives you the ability to enjoy the outdoors while fully indoors. These areas can be enjoyed for at least 3 seasons depending on what part of the country you live in. Add a fireplace and you can enjoy a screened in porch year round!  

Cottage House Plan 3323-00339
Stacked-This option makes quite a statement by providing two porches -one for the 1st floor and one for the 2nd. These two porches can be in the front of a home or in the back, giving you even more options with this choice. If located in the front of the home, the stacked porch option creates amazing curb appeal with its dynamic presence and in the back, you can enjoy the expansive yard to its fullest, getting amazing views from the top porch.  

Craftsman House Plan 699-00118

Southern House Plan 7922-00007


Wrap around- The option that everyone desires! Perfect for a country location, a wrap around porch extends your living area and creates a covered porch that can be accessed and enjoyed around the outside of the home. Sometimes these porches wrap around the entire home and other times, they wrap around one or two corners but either way, these porches offer more space than the other options. With a wrap around porch, you can thoroughly enjoy your yard. Grab a rocking chair, a small table, or even a chaise lounge and enjoy!

Vacation House Plan 4177-00009


As you search for your future home, explore all your porch options and see which one speaks to you and fits your family’s needs. Are you building on a large lot? Perhaps a wrap around porch would be best or an expansive back porch. Is your lot more narrow thus requiring you build up instead of out? Look into the stacked porch option to give you the views and outdoor space you desire. The possibilities are endless! Explore our website to find the perfect house plan for you and message our team with any questions.

Posted in Architectural Elements, Featured House Plans, Featured Styles, Outdoor Space, Porches, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips for Designing Your New Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of the home. Families gather for dinner, entertaining, conversing, and enjoying each other’s company and just like house plans, kitchens come in all sizes, layouts, and styles. The number of design options is endless and as you start to plan your dream home, the layout, style, and details of the kitchen are essential to help determine the overall look of the home.
Layout: Open concept or closed off – When designing your kitchen, determine whether you prefer an open floor plan that has the kitchen exposed to the living room/ family room and dining room. Or would you prefer to have the kitchen closed off as to avoid spreading food smells throughout the house?

Mountain Plan 699-00006


Islands – Most homes now include an island in the kitchen. These incredibly handy additions give extra counter space, organization, and style to the kitchen. Not every kitchen needs or can fit an island, so if these square foot stealers aren’t your style, go without the island.

Craftsman Plan 4195-00015


Style:  Modern Sophisticated, kitchens inspired by the contemporary and modern styles may feature straight lines, neutral colors, bold accents, and a clean, crisp feel. In some modern kitchens, you’ll find the use of industrial materials like metal, chrome, concrete and geometrical shapes. Modern kitchens are usually open concepts with simple forms and highly functioning spaces.

Contemporary 8504-00124


CountryThe Country feel is defined by open shelving, simple Shaker-style cabinets and rustic hardware. Polished oak floors and two-toned cabinets give the kitchen a timeless charm. Cottage kitchens are a favorite choice because they are comfortable and bright. Vintage-inspired features are hallmarks of the style, including salvaged hardwood flooring, painted cabinets, and playfully patterned fabrics.

Traditional Plan 041-00150


Details: Cabinets or Open Shelves>The look of your kitchen is very much determined by your cabinets. Wood cabinets may be considered more traditional than modern but they share many common characteristics such as clean lines and subtle design elements making them a good fit for any style. Another option is open shelving that eliminates upper cabinets and keeps the kitchen airy and free from large cabinets.

Modern Plan 5829-00001


Countertop materials – A mainstay of the kitchen’s style and personality, countertops continue to define the kitchen. Granite, natural stone, and quartz countertops remain popular as an ideal surface topping solid surfaces, tile, and laminates. Wood countertops are increasingly popular due to their warmth and stunning grain as well as being easily maintained and sustainable.

Traditional Plan 2559-00539
FlooringHardwoods remain the top choice in floor design because they add warmth and tons of character. Ceramic tile floors are easy to maintain and come in a wide variety of styles and colors while providing superior durability, resisting almost all dents, dings and scratches. Laminate has come a long way and comes in many beautiful styles, durability and affordable price points.

Craftsman Plan 6082-00006


Building a home can be stressful but it’s also a ton of fun! Having the ability to choose each and every design detail allows you to create your dream home full of your favorite colors, textures, materials, and spaces. Use this guide to help you as you decide how best to design your kitchen.


Posted in Architectural Elements, Cabinets, Countertops, Featured Styles, Kitchen, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Power of Real Photos

On our website, you will find photos of our over 15,000 house plans. Every home is represented by a rendered image created by the designer of that house plan. Renderings depict a digital representation of what the home will look like once built. These images give you a thorough idea of the exterior of the house and help you visualize your future home.

Craftsman Plan 5445-00067


Some of our house plans also include real photos of the finished home. These unique images are provided by our lovely customers. Taking the time to snap photos of your completed home doesn’t just help us as a company but it also helps our customers imagine living in that very home. Having the ability to see real-life photos makes a huge difference for our customers and we are thankful to every person that has sent in photos of their completed homes.

Mountain Plan 699-00065


Because each house plan can be modified, some of the real photos may have been altered to fit the customer’s needs. Always review the floor plan and renderings to see the original layout. You can explore our over 3550 house plans with photos on our website.


If you have recently built one of America’s Best House Plans and would like to send your photos to us, we would love to have them. Email us at

Craftsman Plan 041-00156


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Our Advanced Search Features

As you begin the process of finding the perfect house plan for your family, you might feel overwhelmed with the numerous choices in today’s homes.

    • Should you go with a 2 story over a 1 story?
    • Farmhouse or Modern?
    • Three or four bedrooms?
    • Courtyard garage or side entry?
    • Vaulted ceilings?
    • Open floor plan?

The number of decisions can be mind-blowing!


We took those concerns and created advanced search features, which make searching our website easier, more efficient, and less stressful for everyone. Whether you know exactly what you want or you’re wide open to suggestions, our advanced search features allow you to fully design your dream home.

Using the top search navigation bar, you’ll find spots to dictate the square footage you desire, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and so much more. Next to the Search button is a More drop-down menu. This list of options gives you every possibility imaginable from the width and depth of the home to the number of stories, from the garage, porch, and foundation types to home features and architectural styles; we have it all. You can add or deselect features to broaden your search criteria! To revisit these options, just save the search and come back any time to continue looking.

Finding the right home for your family just got a whole lot easier with our advanced search features. We also make it simple and affordable to modify any of our house plans to better fit your needs. Does that perfect house plan need an extra bedroom or a different garage layout? Just follow these easy modification steps and that perfect house plan will be yours before you know it.


To learn even more about our advanced search features, check out this handy video:

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Why choose a house plan with a loft?

When you think of lofts, you might imagine a hipster living in a big city, painting in their large, one room loft. There are still many people that live in exactly those kinds of homes but there is also another way to look at these unique areas.


In a single family home, a loft is usually an open concept area on the second floor that overlooks the downstairs living areas. Instead of a closed bedroom, the space is wide open. Lofts are essentially viewed as flex space and can be used for a variety of purposes.

Mountain Plan 341-00168

By building your own home, you are able to customize the space according to your needs and wants. Some house plans come with a loft space and if you choose to keep that area open, there are countless ways you can use that space.

  • An office
  • A play area
  • Crafting space
  • Music room
  • Library
  • Lounge
  • TV space
  • Homework station
  • Gaming room
  • Sitting area

Loft areas also increase the open concept feeling of a home, giving you an airy space instead of yet another closed off room. These spaces also allow homeowners to truly express their personality by creating an area that shows their style as well as emphasizes the unique uses of that space. For example, if you or your children happen to be artistic, your loft area could become a big art studio that not only shows off your creativity but also develops a one-of-a-kind space and feel in your home. Lofts also create a more open look from the first floor. Instead of seeing a door, you’ll see the open space and that’s very appealing to today’s homeowners.  

Craftsman Plan 8504-00079

While in the past, more bedrooms meant more opportunity for resale, the demands of modern families have changed and the need for a more general area that can be an office or a TV room has grown in popularity. As always, it’s important to set the loft up to fit your long-term needs so it can remain useful for years to come.

We have over 1,900 house plans with lofts so start searching today for your perfect home!

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The Open Concept House Plan

It’s rare in today’s world to find families NOT searching for an open floor plan. Whether it’s a generational preference or more for convenience, open floor plans are highly popular with today’s homeowners and those families searching for the perfect house plan.

European Plan 2559-00144


Having large, expansive areas connected without the use of dividing walls is the essence of the open concept. It’s essentially joining the kitchen, dining room, and living room by eliminating walls, thus creating multiple areas in one large space.


Before the 1990s, the open concept was only popular with the more wealthy, who frequently entertained large groups and could afford to upgrade their homes to eliminate walls. As the years progressed and needs changed, the open floor plan became increasingly appealing for a variety of reasons, with the most obvious being the aesthetic love of the wide open spaces that make rooms look grander and much bigger than the actual square footage.

Traditional Plan 2559-00137

Other popular reasons to choose an open floor plan include:

  • Increased usable living space by having fewer walls
  • More socializing and better entertainment by having one big area
  • Safer for children because they can be seen from anywhere in the large space
  • More natural light creating an airy feeling
  • Can add resale value
  • Creates a modern, flowing layout
  • If your home is a small square footage, an open floor plan can make the space seem much bigger


Traditional Plan 098-00201


There are, of course, some negatives to creating these open concepts. Not having more of a segmented concept eliminates a great deal of privacy and the protection from traveling sound that comes with more walls and doors. Large, open spaces require more engineering than a standard home because of the use of heavy duty beams used to carry the weight of the floors above. Despite these negatives, open floor plans create a look and feel that many families prefer. As these formats increase in popularity, more house plans become available with this lovely layout. You can search our over 4,300 house plans with open floor plans to find the right plan for your family.


So which do you prefer – the traditional closed, sectional layout or the more connected concept of the open floor plan?

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The Pros and Cons of Garage Styles

As you search for your favorite house plan, you might notice the multitude of options for garages. From front entry to detached, there are many different ways to customize your house plan and while the size and layout of your lot influence your garage options, thankfully, all of our house plans can be modified to fit your specific needs and wants.
Like house plans, garages come in all shapes, sizes, and locations. Most options are determined by the location of the entrance to the garage. The majority of house plans include a front entry garage, which is a cheaper option that requires less driveway and a smaller lot. To some people, front entry garages create a less appealing exterior but a more convenient garage set up.

Craftsman 041-00161

The next most popular option – the side entry – moves the garage to the side of the house and thus opens up the exterior to include more windows and eliminates the sometimes unsightly garage doors. Side entry garages do require longer driveways and are more difficult to maneuver with larger vehicles but they also give a bit more privacy.

Mountain 048-00226
The next option for garages is a courtyard entry which creates a wider, larger driveway and allows for a more open concrete area in front of the garage. This does eliminate part of the grassy lawn and may require a larger lot but courtyard entry garages create a unique exterior that many homeowners love.

Modern Farmhouse 963-00152


Drive under garages are an interesting option that usually open to the basement or a large den area. These garages allow homeowners to renovate later in life and turn those garages into useful bedrooms or offices. Drive under garages do make it more difficult to bring things from the garage to the main parts of the house, i.e. groceries because of the need to go upstairs.

Northwest 341-00237


Detached garages can be attached horizontally creating a wider home or they can be built in the back of the house for a more narrow lot. These separate areas can also include space above the garage like a patio, deck or even a separate room. Unfortunately, when the weather is bad, these kinds of garages make it more difficult to get from your home to your car.

Ranch 5633-00213
Some homes, usually those with narrow lots, have a rear entry garage. This option gives the most privacy but also requires the longest driveway and eliminates a good amount of your backyard.

Narrow Lot 7922–00063


Having a carport garage is a completely different way to view a garage. You eliminate the cost of building a garage and give yourself more living space inside the home. However, a carport garage doesn’t fully protect your cars from weather and doesn’t give you a protected space for storage or a workshop.

Country 034-00991


Ultimately, the size and shape of your lot determines your garage options but no matter which choice you pick – front entry, side entry, courtyard, drive under, rear entry or detached – a garage is a necessary and highly useful area of any home, even if you don’t park your cars in them.


To explore house plans with various garage options, click the MORE button next to the SEARCH feature on our website and you can filter your results using the garage types.

Posted in Architectural Elements, Building Codes, Featured Styles, Outdoor Space, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What is the difference between a Farmhouse and a Modern Farmhouse home?

Farmhouse style homes have been around for decades and thanks to the growing desire to get back to the basics of life, the farmhouse style is now considered one of the most popular styles of houses and decor. There is also an emerging popular style that combines the unique design details and conveniences of contemporary homes with the familiarity and simplicity of a vintage farmhouse. The Modern Farmhouse style is a fairly new house design that is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Bringing a touch of class and uniqueness, this style is a lovely combination of striking and comforting. These two styles of homes have many similarities and unique differences.
Farmhouse Homes
Known for their simplicity, practicality, and functionality, Farmhouse homes are very similar to the country house style. Built to last, these homes indulge our sense of comradery by offering large gathering rooms and plenty of outdoor space for the ultimate in family get-togethers and entertaining friends.

Farmhouse House Plan 286-00011
Common characteristics of Farmhouse and Modern Farmhouse homes include:


  • Simple, rectangular or square floor plans with one or two stories
  • Rural or suburban locations
  • Light colored exteriors
  • Large or wrap around porches
  • Overhead dormers
  • Exterior chimneys
  • Formal front rooms with common rooms and a large kitchen at the rear of the home
  • Large kitchens
  • Neutral colors 
  • Natural textures and materials


Farmhouse House Plan 4848-00183
Modern Farmhouses
A delicate combination of comfort and style, Modern Farmhouses intertwine luxurious conveniences along with the familiarity and natural elements of the farmhouse style. One of the biggest differences between a Farmhouse home and a Modern Farmhouse is location. Modern Farmhouses can be found anywhere from the country to the city while Farmhouse homes are usually found in rural or suburban areas.

Modern Farmhouse House Plan 963-00153
Common characteristics of Modern Farmhouses include:


    • Light colored exterior, usually white
    • Black trim on exterior
    • Sleek lines
    • Open floor plans
    • Rectangular in shape
    • Large windows
    • More 2 stories than 1
    • Large square footage
    • Porches and/or decks
    • Pitched gable roof, often with dormers
    • Bold, clean design details like metal lights


Modern Farmhouse House Plan 041-00169 
While Farmhouse and Modern Farmhouse homes have lots of similarities, these two styles create a very different look and feel, giving comfort and simplicity to some and a bolder, more unique feel for others. If these styles speak to you, explore our Farmhouse homes and Modern Farmhouse house plans on our website to find the perfect home for you.

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How to Customize a Ranch Style Home

A one-story home may seem limiting but in reality, a ranch-style house has countless possibilities for customization. The benefits and conveniences of a 1-story home are numerous. To learn the pros and cons of a ranch house, read our previous blog post where we discuss these popular style homes in more detail.


If you’ve settled on a one-story home and you’re looking to make the space better for your specific needs, there are many ways you can customize this limited style to create a more cohesive home for your family.


If extra space is what you seek, there are multiple ways to add more room to your ranch style house plan.


  • Add a bonus area above the garage: It could be an extra bedroom, playroom, even a loft area.


Plan 699-00050 


  • Add an in-law suite: If there’s a possibility of elderly and/or handicapped relatives living with you, an in-law suite is a helpful and private area specifically for them. Learn more about house plans with in-law suites here.


  • Create an outdoor area: Build a large patio, screened in porch, or even a lanai to give your family an outdoor oasis.


  • Add a basement: If possible, add a basement, which can include another bedroom and bathroom or just a large usable space for your family to use however they wish.


Plan 4195-00019


    • Build in your favorite style: A ranch style home can be any style you want from Farmhouse to Contemporary.


    • Create personality with unique landscape: Because ranch style homes are usually linear and straight, create curves and other shapes using landscape.


Plan 5633-00172


  • Go with a raised ranch: Creating steps leading up to the front door creates the illusion of a taller home.


  • Open the indoors to the outdoors: Add french doors or a sliding glass door to create a more open feel between the indoors and outdoors.

Plan 9401-00096

Searching for the perfect ranch home can be a daunting task but personalizing your 1 story home shouldn’t be. We have over 2,600 different ranch style house plans for you to choose from and by using the More button next to Search, you can filter the results to find the exact home you want. And remember, you can always modify your house plan to make it uniquely yours.

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