Drawing an architectural set of plans isn’t a simple matter when you consider all the elements that make up a set of house plans. What you need to do is first research all the needs of the family, understand the local codes, know what style of house you’re wanting, know what sort of foundation is needed, etc…
There are several automated drawing programs on the market that say they will take your data and turn it into a plan. But to be quite honest, the technology hasn’t quite been perfected yet to read your mind and put all the elements into place. There has to be an amount of human planning and an algorithm just can’t handle that right now.
So what are your options?
1. Hire a Drafter or Designer. This would be the least expensive method short of drawing them yourself. Main reason is they normally give you a flat square foot price.
2. Hire an Architect. If you have the money, spend it. Most of us don’t. No, I’m not down on architects. It just seems that most want to tell you what you want instead of being concerned about what you are wanting. If you find an architect who is really wanting to give you your dream instead of his or hers, you’ve got a winner.
3. Buy a stock plan and have them alter it to suit your needs. Sure, this will work but you can nickel and dime yourself to death in revision costs. Not to mention note and dimension errors that can be overlooked in the changes.
4. Take an online drafting design course and learn to do it yourself. Hey, there are several architectural drafting and design courses on the net that are affordable. Some that would actually only take up a few weeks of your time and give you the solid education you need to draw your house.
Tim Davis is a veteran Architectural Designer who also teaches architecture and drafting over the internet at http://houseplandrafting.us. His custom home design site is at http://residentialdrafting.net