Modification Miracles

House Plan Modification

Modification Miracles

Samuel Stewart

At Mark Stewart Home Design, we try to offer a wide range of house plans spanning all sizes and styles of home. We also know that each family and each lot has different needs, so we offer you the option to change an existing plan to fit your exact specifications. While many people choose to create a fully custom home, others find that a stock plan gets them 90% of what they want and we will work to get the extra 10% just how they want it. These modifications can range from minor exterior alterations to scaling the home up or down. By starting with a stock plan, you save time and money over starting a custom design from scratch, and you still end up with a unique home that has exactly what you want. In this post, we’d like to talk about what kinds of changes are possible and what the overall process looks like.

What Can I Modify?

There are many parts of a design that can be changed with minimal work, while others require more effort and time. Below are just a few examples of what can be done, but bear in mind this is not an exhaustive list.

Quick Fixes

These are things that can be changed for low cost and time, and are some of the most commonly requested modifications.


In general, the location and number of doors or windows can be changed with little hassle.

Wall Locations

Interior non load-bearing walls can be changed easily, but load-bearing and exterior walls require more time and calculation to modify.

Exterior Materials

Changes in type or color of exterior materials are common and easily accommodated.

Kitchen Configuration

Counter space, islands, and appliance locations are easily changed. Many customers have a specific vision for their kitchen and this is one of the easiest ways to customize your home.

Average Changes

These include changes that affect the layout of the home and occasionally minor changes to the footprint.

Changing Room Size

Expanding or shrinking a room gets a little more involved than simply swapping two rooms and keeping the same dimensions. If a load-bearing wall is involved, extra time and consideration are required. It is common to expand bathrooms and bedrooms to accommodate different family dynamics and living situations.

Change Garage Size

It is common to add an extra garage bay or to make the garage slightly wider or narrower. This does affect the overall footprint of the home but usually does not affect the living space

Stretch or Shrink Dimensions

Sometimes a home may be just a hair too small for a given lot. We can add a few feet to the width or depth to match your lot.

Daylight Basement

The work involved in adding a daylight basement will depend on the slope of your lot, but this can range from a medium to large modification.

Major Modifications

This category includes any changes that dramatically impact the footprint, foundation, roof, or appearance of the home.

Large changes to overall size of the home

In general, reducing the size of the house plan or increasing the overall size by more than 10% constitutes a major change and will require significant time.

Adding rooms

Adding rooms to the home affects the entire plan and will require updates to the foundation and the roof.

Changing Elevations

Many customers find that a particular floor plan works wonderfully as is, but want a different exterior style. This can absolutely be done, but do keep in mind it is a significant task.

Combinations of many smaller modifications

While this is not a specific alteration, many smaller modifications added together can add significant cost and time to a project.


Here’s what to expect if you’re looking to modify one of our house plans:

Step 1

Search through our collection of almost 1,000 house plans and find the one that most closely resembles your dream home. The closer you get to perfect here, the less time and money are spent along the way. We know that sounds like a lot of plans to sift through, so we’ve made sure our search function has all of the necessary filters to help you find just the right home. Select how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, how many stories, what style, etc., until you find the plan that most closely fits your needs. If you get stuck, try looking for plans that have one more or one fewer bedrooms than you want, we can add if necessary.

Step 2

Gather anything you can to convey what modifications you’d like to make. This can be in the form of photos, sketches, or even elements from additional house plans of ours that you’d like to incorporate into your home. Get in touch via our contact form or give us a call at 503-701-4888 to get the ball rolling. We’ll talk through what exactly you’d like to change and get to work on an estimate. We’ll inform you how much these modifications will cost and roughly how much time it will take to complete them.

Step 3

It is now time to decide if the quote fits your budget. If you need to trim some of the modifications to accommodate your budget, now is the right time. If everything sounds good, we will collect a deposit and begin work on your set of plans. If your modifications are simple or small in number (adding a few windows), we can get to work right away. If there are more in depth modifications to be made, we will schedule a design meeting to make sure everyone’s vision aligns. All throughout the process, we will communicate with you and send drawings to make sure everything is on track.

Step 4

Once we have completed your modifications, you will receive full sets of working drawings and all necessary engineering required to build your new home. We are available throughout the construction process to make sure the home turns out exactly right. We want you to be completely satisfied with your new home.

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