Looking to award a MH to anybody at
- Builder stock plans
- Plan book/Internet order
- Realtor/just see answers
so I can retire the question with a Most Helpful award...
Most Helpful Guy
I used to work in the home building industry. I was also a draftsman. As a sideline I've drawn and modified plans, but never designed a house from scratch.
With the number of plans out there, I don't see a good reason to design one from scratch unless you have very specific tastes or don't want the bother of going through hundreds of plans finding the one you want.
I think it's best to look at existing homes and find something close to what you like. Then see if you can get the plans, take pictures to give to a draftsman, modify them, etc. I say this because seeing a house fully built can be very different than how it looks on the plans.
Even a professional can't easily do that unless the house resembles something they are familiar with. It's especially difficult to get a good feel for space and size. For example a 2000 sq ft house can "feel" bigger than a 3000 sq ft house.
Another option is to buy an existing house, then remodel or add additions.
As far as appearance, you can completely change the appearance and apparent size of a house by changing the roof lines, adding a cover over porches, or adding things like dormers. Inside, you can change it to an open beam ceiling, add coffers, combine rooms to make a great room, or split a large room to add more rooms.