Deciding which house plans to buy can be much easier if there are photos to view of the exterior and interior of the home

Pictures can be incredibly helpful when trying to select the perfect plans for your new home. It’s the rare individual who can imagine what a house will look and feel like from a computer-generated image and floor plans – particularly when it comes to the interior spaces. But we tend to lock onto the photos we see as though that’s the only way that house can look.

This is patently incorrect, as both the exterior and interior of a home can be changed – subtly or dramatically – to suit your aesthetic and other needs. If you want to build a brick house, but can’t find one that suits your needs, expand your search to homes with other exterior materials. When you find the perfect plans, just tell your builder you want a brick exterior! Interiors can be changed as well, based on your choices of materials and finishes.

But good interior photos are needed to help people imagine how a house looks and “feels” from the inside, and what kind of views one can enjoy. In a perfect world, we would have the option of touring the built house, but this is next to impossible to arrange.

Interior photos also reveal – when considering one-of-a-kind designs by architects for their clients – all the thought and experience put into the design. It involves so much more than deciding where walls will be placed. The architect considers so many factors during the design process. Ceiling heights (and variances in heights) are an important consideration. As are window sizes and locations, the orientation of the house to the sun, anticipated furniture placement, etc. etc.

If you have spent much time on “stock” plan sites, you know that real photos are available for only a tiny percentage of their homes. The reason for this is that the vast majority of the designs were created with no client or piece of property involved, so there is no original house to take a picture of. All you typically see are computer-generated images of what the house might look like on the outside (along with a couple of elevation drawings), and nothing but floor plans to imagine what the interior would look like.

Even though pictures can sometimes disqualify a perfect home – again, because we assume that is the only way the house can look – this does not deter us in our own efforts to display as many pictures as we can get our hands on. However, even though nearly all of our homes have been constructed, the architects who designed them did not always make an effort to document the finished house. Until some crazy person from California (me!) contacted them about selling copies of their one-of-a-kind home plans, they never even considered doing something like that. So they didn’t even think to gather marketing materials when the house was completed.

And there are also times when the architect actually has photos of the house they’ve designed that they don’t want anyone else to see! This happens when the homeowner, realizing he or she can’t afford to build the house exactly as it was designed, chooses to use much less expensive materials, or make other cost-cutting changes. What would have been a gorgeous house becomes one the architect is not proud of. And of course truly bad photos taken by the homeowner – which we’ve seen — can be worse than no photos at all.

We are incredibly proud of the fact that we are able to display photos of more than 80% of our homes. And going forward we’ll only add homes for which photos are available.

But remember, while photos can be incredibly helpful, it is important to keep an open mind when looking at them.

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We highly recommend that you click on two boxes – the number of bedrooms you know you need, and one less bedroom. For example, if you need 4 bedrooms, click on the boxes next to 4 and next to 3. Otherwise you will not see homes where existing rooms on the lower, main, or upper levels might work perfectly well as a bedroom instead of as an office, study, etc.