From Our Design Team: How to Read a Set of Plans

Saddle-Creek-Plan-1-1There are several moving parts and pieces to developing a floor plan, so being able to read a set of plans can take some practice. However, it is an important skill to learn in order to avoid surprises when your home is built to the plan. Here we will list out the most common nomenclature in floorplans.

The design and build journey officially "breaks ground" when a client signs up for us to draw up their floor plan. The Kurk Homes design team works hand in hand with clients to design distinctive custom homes, and we have some tools to assist in creating the plan based on your vision. Once the design process starts, there are quite a few details noted, even on the first rendition, that is helpful to recognize. 

Getting Started

In order to make the process as efficient, and as pleasant, as possible, we've developed a list of basics that we'd like to have available at the initial meeting. They include: 

  • Boundary Survey: In order to talk about what kind of house you envision, it's important to know about your property — the shape and size, the location, access, views, existing structures or impediments to building, and physical constraints, including fences and easements. The boundary survey, as differentiated from a community plat, will answer many of our questions; it's a vital bit of documentation that will speed the process of designing the perfect home. If needed, we can also recommend a trusted surveyor.
  • Existing Improvements? If there's an existing home to be renovated or demolished, a final property survey will be necessary. That's the survey pulled at the completion of the original build.
  • An Elevation Certificate, if the property is located in a flood plain.To learn more, follow this link to FEMA's guide to homeowners.
  • Topographic Survey: The "Topo" gives us a more detailed picture of the lot, its slopes and drainage patterns, sometimes including existing trees and potential concerns that might affect construction. Some municipalities require a separate tree survey in order to secure a construction permit. The surveyor who did your boundary survey may be able to provide or topographic or a tree survey, or recommend someone who can. 
  • HOA Guidelines: These include CC&Rs, deed restrictions, neighborhood requirements or historic design policies. The Kurk Homes team wants to be thoroughly familiar with your community and your lot from the outset. Your real estate agent, POA/HOA representatives, or the community management company can help you find the needed documents if you don't already have them.
  • Utility Specifics: Kurk Homes designers need to know about existing utility lines and meters, easements, access and tap locations, if applicable. We also need to know who your utility providers will be.
  • Aerial View: A Google satellite view (link) is usually sufficient, for a city lot or for raw land.  
  • Completed Pre-Design Questionnaire: Please take the time to answer all pertinent questions. It's part of our "Getting to Know You" exercise, and really helps us share in your vision! 
  • Pre-Design QuestionnaireSpecific Ideas: If you've been collecting pictures of what you like, bring your notebook! Share with us your Houzz Idea Books, Instagram photos, Pinterest Boards or Southern Living magazine clippings. If your home is to reflect your personality and style, we need to see what you like.
  • Budget Constraints: We realize that this is a preliminary meeting, but you most likely have a budget in mind for your home build. It's best to be aware of this from the start so we can do our best to honor your dollar limits and meet your expectations.

Finally … About Those Expectations: 

Working with a custom home builder is a bit different from working with a real-estate agent and purchasing an already built home. Kurk Homes is an established company, with three decades of experience with building custom homes. We are honored to be included as one of a select group of builders in the national Southern Living Custom Builder Program. We also are the only builder in the group to offer a 20-year structural warranty. 

We believe we're unique — you can choose one of our existing plans, bring your own plans or work with our designers to develop a totally custom floor plan and elevations. The exciting process begins with the first meeting.

Your new home won't take shape overnight, but once you have collected the "building blocks," we all have an outline to rely upon, and a path to follow. All the succeeding steps will be built upon this outline.