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    Building A Custom Home, Part VIII: House Plans

    Building A Custom Home, Part VIII: House Plans

    The process of building a custom home comes with a lot of steps! So far we’ve covered the following:

    Now that you have your site engineer working on the grading plan, it’s time to finalize your house plans. You will need a complete set of building plans prepared by a licensed architect in order to submit for your building permit. This approved set will be used to construct your home. At NDI, the plans and specifications are the building bibles. We don’t deviate from these. Ever.

    Each builder will have their own process but generally speaking you will need to include all of the structural details on your building plans. Do you want to add a morning room off the kitchen? Add more windows to your great room? Finish the basement? All of these things are considered to be structural and must be included on the building plans.

    For some of our clients, finalizing their building plans is a simple process. They know exactly what they want and can therefore make decisions and approvals quickly. Others need to take a little more time working through the changes they want to make.

    Most people have a hard time looking at a one dimensional drawing and visualizing what it will look like once it is built. If you can walk through the model you like, that is an advantage. We have projects going on all over Northern Virginia so we can usually get you in to see one of our models under construction.

    In addition to that, one of the architects we work with can do digital renderings of the plans. This is an awesome tool our clients can use to help them visualize a space. It takes a plan like this…

    GreatFallsFinals_Page_1 GreatFallsFinals_Page_2 GreatFallsFinals_Page_3 GreatFallsFinals_Page_4 GreatFallsFinals_Page_5 GreatFallsFinals_Page_6

    And transforms it into full digital images like these…


    Kitchen-Rendering Master-Bath-Rendering




    It has been an invaluable tool for our clients to get a feel for the space when they can’t actually walk through “their” chosen model before it’s built. It is especially useful when a client makes a significant change to one of our base designs.

    Whatever builder you choose (I hope it is NDI), you should have plenty of input about your building plans. It will take at least of couple of passes with the architect to make sure everything is just right. All of the architects we work with do a great job transforming our clients’ dreams into a working house plan. When deciding on what changes you would like to make, take your time and try to think about how you and your family will use the space.

    How can you be sure you’re making the right decisions? My short answer is you can’t. I’ve built two homes for my family and with each house I thought, OK I’ve got this house EXACTLY like I want it. But shortly after moving in, there were things I wish I had done differently. In my current home, I spent a lot of time making sure my kitchen was my DREAM kitchen. And in many aspects, it is.

    Except for one…

    Stay tuned for my next blog post and I’ll tell you all about it.

    Dream Big. Build Smart.


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