Stock plans for the beach

We had a crazy busy week last week, including a client that came to meet with us the first time after having spent hours and days searching online for house plans. Her story was similar to many of our clients. There are tons of house plans available to you these days, but how do you make a decision and what is the difference between a stock plan from Archiscapes and one you can find online? Her wish list including lots of outdoor living space, a coastal cottage look, cool architectural details to give it curb appeal inside and out, overall dimensions that fit her narrow lot, and an open floor plan to avoid wasted space and to make the home feel bigger.

We sat down and went through our database to give her a few options. Plus, I had a few extra questions for her to help narrow down the list.

  1. Where are your views? Many people assume their living area will face the street. But here in Florida where we have neighborhoods with ally access to garages in the back of the home or houses that front parks, wetlands, and water views, it’s important to first consider what you really want to be looking at when you hang out in your living room – do you really want to see cars or the amazing sunset over the water?
  2. Master bedroom on the first or second floor? Down here in Florida where the lots can be tight, putting a master bedroom on the first floor means taking space away from the kitchen and living/dining areas. Because of this, we often put the master bedroom on the first floor, but sometimes a master on the first is a priority and that’s important to know.
  3. Garage, carport, or nothing? Again, it’s a matter of space. But it’s also a matter of bedroom counts. Because Walton County and local neighborhoods have a bedroom/parking ratio requirement, you can’t simply fill up your lot with a house with ten bedrooms and leave nowhere for cars to park. Likewise, you can’t leave room for just one or two cars and put three master bedrooms in a house (FYI: a master is defined by having two sinks in the en-suite bathroom).  So it’s important to have a plan that meets this bedroom/parking ratio and accommodates your needs for a garage, carport or nothing.
  4. Front and rear porches? Outdoor living wishes like a pool, fire pit or hot tub? These are important to know as many neighborhoods have a minimum front porch requirement. There also are considerations for pools and hot tubs including fencing and pool equipment areas that need to be considered.
  5. Bunkroom? Yes, this is a staple down here at the beach and we normally include them in our stock plans, but it is pretty easy to delete or modify them if you want. Still, if sleeping a lot of guests is important to you, then let us know so we can pull up plans with more bedrooms or larger bunkrooms.

So what’s the difference between an online plan and an Archiscapes plan?

In short: Us.

You get not only a detailed set of construction documents (usually 40+ pages as opposed to 5-10 pages if you buy online), but you get a home that meets your local neighborhood and county codes and requirements, is designed for our hurricane wind codes, meets the local parking requirements for the bedrooms inside, and comes with plenty of porches and fun bunkroom and other features to make it a truly unique home.

Here are two new plans the guys just unveiled. The team created two different interior floor plan options with roughly the same exterior to accommodate lots with views in the front or views in the rear.


DSC_4518 Version A – views towards the back of the house.

sandcastle lot 6

Version B – views towards the front of the house.

sandcastle floor plans