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What is the Difference between Stock Plans and Conceptual Designs?

While you are browsing magazines or websites, you are likely to find timber frame plans that almost match your vision. Some plans you see are stock plans while others are conceptual designs. So, what is the difference between these types of floor plans? How can choosing one over the other affect your timber frame home project?

Stock Timber Frame Home Floor Plans

Stock plans, in general, are pre-drawn floor plans. They are meant to be taken off the shelf and built ‘as-is’. Some timber frame home companies offer stock plans so they can quickly manufacture a preconceived ‘kit’ for you. There is no ‘design phase’ when using a stock plan. Since the manufacturing process can begin as soon as you make your selection, you can break ground at almost the same time.

Many homeowners want to modify a stock plan to turn it into the perfect timber frame home. However, the ability to make minor modifications to a stock plan depends on each company. If you are looking at a stock plan and are envisioning changes, ask the company what kind of customization is actually possible. Companies with only draftsmen may be limited to non-structural changes such as moving a non-load bearing wall or changing the size of a window opening.

In addition, many stock plans are not adequate for building sites that need complex grading or foundation work. In these cases, you may need to hire a third-party to alter the plans for your site. This adds additional costs to your project.

Timber Frame Home Conceptual Designs

A few timber frame companies anticipate that you will want to customize their floor plans to create your ideal timber frame home. Plans they show in their advertising and on their websites are conceptual designs. These designs are meant to inspire you and serve as a starting point for your home’s design. The conceptual designs are customized to meet your needs.

So, what changes can you make to a conceptual timber frame home design?

First, you will need to check with the company to learn about their design capabilities and qualifications. For example, Riverbend’s in-house design firm employs degreed architects who specialize in, and understand the complexities of, timber frame structures. Their education and experience allow them to make extensive customization to the timber frame itself. In addition, they understand how every change impacts the overall home design.

Two different styles of timber framing within Riverbend’s Tuscany Floor Plan

With Riverbend’s in-house design group, the only limits to your future timber frame home’s design are your imagination, engineering and safety regulations, and your budget. Clients frequently take a conceptual timber frame home design and:

  • Add or subtract square footage.
  • Add a walk-out basement.
  • Change the look and feel of the interior timber framing.
  • Modify the design’s roof line to change its style.
  • Take favorite parts of several floor plans and combine them into one.

Regardless of the changes you make to the plan, at Riverbend, the initial design of your home will only take approximately four to six weeks. This is a small addition to your design and construction timeline to achieve the exact home you are envisioning. Click here to learn more about how you can customize a timber frame home design.

What if I have not found a stock plan or conceptual design I like?

Riverbend Timber Framing’s in-house design group can create your home design from scratch. We can take any ideas, napkin sketches, or images you have collected as inspiration and make your custom home design. Creating a custom design takes the same amount of time as modifying one of our design concepts, approximately four to six weeks. Learn more about Riverbend’s design process.