Looking to do my first demo / new build onsite. Wondering if most people work with a local architect to design a house plan, or order from the many online home plan retailers? The online route seems to be way more economically friendly.
Thoughts and input?
Talk to your builder... if you want to keep it economical, and you're using a builder who has been active in the area (hopefully you are), then they will have a few plans and/or architects that they have already been working with. You can take one of their more common "builds" and make a few little changes here and there (move interior doors, non load bearing walls, the simple stuff) so that its not a total cookie cutter. And your builder along with all of his subs will already have the pricing down. Less guess work = less built in oops factor. Good luck!
I don't use an architect, I use a "home designer" then have things like pilings and/or trusses engineered, it's way more cost effective.
Typically I will browse the online plans, then send a few to my designer with my thoughts on features and changes and we come up with our own plan from that. Usually ending up with a plan that doesn't even come close to resembling what we started with.... but that's just me.
Online plans for the basic structure, modify interior with a draftsman that works for an architect/engineering firm, hire a separate a&e firm to sign them of. Having a house that looks very common doesn't work for me. Good luck.
As an architect I agree there are more economical ways to go about it. I frequently here that the plans you get online though don't have enough information to actually get a permit from cities (that probably depends on what your jurisdiciton requires) In my area most people opt to go with a drafter. I would recommend talking to a few builders and finding out who they use and what they charge. Most of them are likely per square foot- I've got some in this area I could recommend if you were interested.