America's Best House Plans

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Unique features, varied designs and an authentic connection with their natural environment, Northwest house plans have enduring popularity across the country. Originally suited and designed for the particular weather patterns and style preferences of the Northwest portion of the United States, these homes now populate every segment of the United States. Fundamentally adherent to the landscape and climate of the Pacific Northwest, these homes are a spiritual union of form and function. A few key design characteristics of these lovely homes are as follows:

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  • Natural, organic materials are used on both the exterior and interior – wood, shakes and stone are some of the most common.
  • Exposed structural components
  • Deep overhangs and cantilevered structures
  • Large open floor plans
  • Floor-to-ceiling window views/large sliders to the outdoor space
  • Expansive covered and open porches/deck and verandas
  • Muted color schemes

Northwest House plans make exceptional use of exterior design materials created to enhance “Mother Nature” and it’s response to sharing space with organic architecture. This harmonious union between nature and man was brought to life by marrying the outdoors and man’s vision of a natural living space. The primary use of stone and wood introduce organic materials while the addition of generous amounts of glass help bring the outdoors in. This indoor/outdoor marriage of living space is further captured with open floor plan interiors, floor-to-ceiling window views and large sliders that open to the outdoor space. Expansive decks, covered porches and massive outdoor space create an environment in which the soul and spirit of this particular area is granted a license to breathe and instinctively live without competing with its natural surroundings.

Designed and built for an area of the country that receives excessive rain, goes long periods of time without natural sunlight and can be dark and dreary, Northwest house plans are designed to maximize natural light and provide shelter from the outdoor elements. Expansive window views, deep overhangs and organic design materials capture sunlight, provide protection from all types of precipitation and the often included, muted earth tones are a welcome contrast to the moody skies.

Design Styles

These house plans take advantage of the varied landscape of the Northwest coast line that include Washington State, Oregon and other regions of the Pacific Northwest. Lush foliage, steep and rocky hillsides, serene valleys and fierce shorelines all compete in this natural environment making it a challenge at times to introduce living, breathing home structures into this regional habitat.

Some design styles initially seem more suited to the Northwest, Craftsman, Contemporary and Bungalows, immediately come to mind with their more rugged, organic design materials; however, other design styles like Victorian, Ranch and A-frame homes are becoming a popular choice as well. Sustainable design materials and principles continue to influence the region with its specific weather, natural landscape and affinity for living with, not against, it’s neighboring environment. The rustic terrain featured in this part of the United States also lends itself to Cabin and Lodge homes. These home styles reflect the rugged outdoors with their use of stone fireplaces, large beams in warm woods and natural home furnishings. This powerful mixture of design elements work because each is unpretentious, homey and genuine.

Outdoor Living

Outdoor living space is definitely a hallmark of Northwest house plans and an answer to the consistent mantra of getting “back to nature.” An innate passion for the outdoors is an integral component of family and social life in the Northwest and clever design technology has enabled homeowners to co-exist with its harsh terrain, melancholy weather and unparalleled beauty. In an effort to create seamless indoor/outdoor transition spaces, these homes feature multiple sliders that open onto the outdoor space, massive; oftentimes, floor-to-ceiling window views and they carry the ceiling/house roofline over the outdoor entertaining space for protection. A varied blend of open and covered outdoor space provides an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, because of, or in spite of, the weather conditions. Large open decks, protected verandas and covered or wraparound porches provide year-round outdoor entertaining and family living space in a highly desired spot for gathering, relaxing and making lifetime memories. Oftentimes, courtyards are included in the exterior landscape design of the home due to the passion for outdoor space and the natural beauty of the region as a way to incorporate additional outdoor space to the home’s environment.

Square Footage Range

While a large majority of Northwest house designs are simple construction and free of ostentatious ornamentation, these homes can easily fall into the heading of small, large and/or luxury homes. Different category styles and square footage range make the homes desirable to a large segment of the population and our extensive collection of Northwest house plans range from the humble – 960 square feet to the magnificent – 10,275 square feet with a medium range of 2,800 square feet.


Working within their varied and natural environment, Northwest house plans are appealing, attractive and innovative. These distinct homes express a love of the outdoors and a desire to wrap themselves in abundant native landscape, rugged materials and organic design principles. Extensive use of glass, steel and beam building blocks and a cultural love of natural beauty, these homes graciously blend non-invasive architecture into the region’s history and love of its geographical characteristics and weather.