In today’s post, I’ll address a common question: should I buy my home plans online or is it better to hire an architect or architectural designer?
Without question, you are better off never buying online home plans with the goal of using those plans as-is. While there can be a legitimate place for online home plans (more on that shortly) there are several excellent reasons to go the architect or architectural designer route, especially if you are building in Metro Vancouver.
The Metro Vancouver Building Code is Complex
If you plan to build a home in Metro Vancouver, the name of the game is approval.
Before any new home construction can take place, the plans must be reviewed at the local level. If they are not in compliance with national, provincial, and municipal building codes, the plans will be rejected until any deficiencies have been corrected.
It is nearly impossible for plans purchased online to meet the stringent requirements each municipality has for new construction projects.
Online Home Plans Don’t Factor in Local Requirements
Before clicking the “buy” button on online home plans, keep in mind that the patchwork of national, provincial, and local building code requirements address how a new home can be built, as well as what specific kinds of homes can be built. There is yet another set of rules governing how a specific piece of land can be used – Zoning Bylaws.
Fail any step in this process with cheap online home plans and your plan approval process will go back to the beginning. Honestly, those cheap online home plans can get expensive quickly when you think about the cost of starting the approval process all over again.
This is the reason I contend it is always better to hire an architect or an architectural designer.
The Secret to Success: Proper Management
While it is important to hire a qualified architect or architectural designer, it is vital that you have proper management in place to oversee all of the moving parts in the construction process.
When Larch Construction builds a home, we manage all aspects of the build, including coordinating between your architect or architectural designer and all the other professionals involved in the process of getting a home built:
- Structural engineers
- Energy advisors
- Municipal plan checkers
- Others as needed
The reason is simple: it takes a lot of work to go through the planning and construction process of a new Vancouver home.
You have better things to do than deal with the daily construction headaches in the hopes that you will get your dream home built.
A Perfectly valid Use of Online Home Plans
I don’t want to lead you to believe there is absolutely no place for online home plans. There absolutely is – just not in the way you might think.
If you’re looking for inspiration or ideas, online home plans can be a tremendous weapon in your planning arsenal. Not sure exactly what you like? Are you having trouble explaining to your architect or architectural designer the kinds of homes that excite you?
This is where an online home plan can prove to be a worthy aid in helping you to convey to your architect what you like (or don’t like).
Based on your guidance, your architect or architectural designer can then create something similar. Here’s the important part: you will be presented with options by your local Vancouver architect or architectural designer which will comply with provincial and local building codes.
Not only will you have a cutting-edge design for your home, but it will also survive the regulatory scrutiny that is always a part of the home building process in Metro Vancouver.
This is your ultimate goal: to get your new home built so you can move in and begin life in your new home!
A Final Thought
The thoughts above are just a few of the details that go into planning custom Vancouver homes that are built to last. There are many pieces of the custom home building puzzle – budgeting, design, planning, building, and many others – that can help you make your Vancouver custom home a reality for you and your family.
When you’re ready to begin a conversation about how Larch Custom Home Construction can be a valuable resource in building your custom Vancouver home, you can reach out to us to get started.