Tailoring an Off-the-Rack Plan

By Bud Dietrich

Make a ready made plan your own by modifying it.

Tailoring an Off-the-Rack Plan

Say you’ve scoured houseplans.com for the perfect plan but can’t find exactly what it is you want and need.  Maybe you’ve found a plan that’s 90% of what you’re looking for but just not 100%.  Maybe there’s no soaking tub in the master bathroom and you really want a soaking tub.  Or the plan would work for your site if the land were across the street, where north would be along the back of the house in lieu of the front.  Or maybe there are other issues that make you throw up your hands and move on.
Well, there’s no need to walk away from a plan that’s 90% of what you want and a little creative tailoring will get the plan to 100%. Here’s a look at just how easy some straight forward tailoring can be.

Let’s start with one of the plans available on Houseplans.com. This is a simple, one story house with a split floor plan that’s seen throughout Florida. While the Houseplans.com client liked the plan and overall look and feel of the house, some tailoring was needed to get the plan just right.


Because of the client’s property characteristics, the client wanted the floor plan flipped so the garage would be on the left, or west side of the property.  The client also wanted a fireplace in the large Florida Room and a soaking tub in the master bathroom.  All three of these were easy to achieve as the plan lent itself to some adaptation.

The next step was to consult with the client to find out if there were other plan items that needed some adjustment.  During the consultation, we learned that the client had a large SUV and a midsized sedan so wanted some extra garage space to accommodate these vehicles.  We also learned the client wanted a separate laundry room that would have plenty of storage.  Again, the plan was easily modified to incorporate these items.  The garage was made larger, and side loaded in lieu of front loaded, and a large laundry room was added.

So there it is.  An off the rack plan has been tailored to fit a particular family’s needs.  And at a fraction of the cost of a custom plan.  It’s the architectural equivalent of going to Men’s Wearhouse to buy a suit because, let’s face it, not all of us have the resources to buy our clothes from a Savile Row tailor. 

January 3, 2014