Home Plan Online Bookstore

Home Plan Online Bookstore

Did you know we have a library of home plan books – print and digital – to aid in your plan selection? Below is a sampling of our most popular home plan books.

Digital Plan Books

Design Basics Premier Home PlansOur digital edition of PREMIER HOME PLANS was recently released and contains over 60 trendsetting HER HOME VELUX Coverhome plans presented photographically and/or full-color artist’s elevation renderings! It also includes a special section on dual owner’s suites and three builder feature stories.

HER HOME™ Home Plans featuring VELUX® Skylights is a collection of home plans with skylights incorporated into the design.

(View these plan books by clicking on the image.)

Print Plan Books

Design Basics Premier CoverOur PREMIER HOME PLANS book is available for purchase and features hundreds of plans; includes Design Basics LAAG coversour special Home Design issue of HER HOME™ magazine.

Home plans for the way you live: Set of four plan books featuring over 200 plans categorized using our signature Livability at a Glance™ floor plan color-coding.

(View these plan books by clicking on the image.)

Check out our entire library of home plan books in our online bookstore.
Contact us to order: 800.947.7526.

Flexibility Reigns!

Flexibility Reigns!

Those of you who follow Design Basics likely know that we have a home plan book collection based on the four Livability At A Glance™ lenses: Entertaining, De-Stressing, Organized Living, and Flexibility. It may come as a surprise that the top seller from this collection is the Flexible Home Plans title!

Design Basics Plan 42366We all try to predict the future – what prospective home buyers will want – and plan accordingly, so we can incorporate certain amenities into the homes we offer. This provides better design, and some control over cost and construction. Yet, individual buyers have individual needs as well as a desire for their home to both reveal and augment who they are.

Hence, the surging popularity of homes with pre-planned design options; not just the default 2-foot extension for the dining area, but true flexible spaces. Design Basics’ Harmon Haven (42366) shows an open flex space to the front – think dining room with a walk-thru pantry/server or music room. Or, imagine that space closed off as a home office via barn doors. The original design has a large laundry area that can easily double as a craft/hobby area, but some buyers would be much more interested in a second bedroom on the main floor with its accompanying full bathroom, preferring the convenience of a stack washer/dryer in their owner’s suite because there’s another laundry closet upstairs. And that second-floor loft? Just asking “How would you use this space?” may yield more varied responses than you would have dreamed!

Design Basics Plan 42336Design Basics’ Elba Grove (42336) is another new plan showcasing flexibility. The original design presents a study/home office with nice storage and adjoining powder bath, so clients and colleagues need not walk through the rest of the house to use a bathroom. But we also show it just as easily could be a nice main floor bedroom suite. There’s a pocket office at the back, which could also be a…planning center…wine room…bulk item closet…or deleted altogether in favor of a larger dining area. The deep garage offers abundant storage potential or may become a workshop, gardening center, man cave, or like Apple and Google, where the next mega-business is born!

Search for other Flexible Living plans via our Plan Search Tool.

A Better Way

A Better Way

Last week, a builder client spoke with Design Basics Plan Alterations Designer Tricia Baker regarding Design Basics’ Livability at a Glance™ floor plan presentations, “It’s a better way to evaluate and compare home plans.”

People told us it was hard visualizing a built home when looking at simple black and white floorplan artwork. This prompted Design livability logoBasics to introduce Livability at a Glance, highlighting the four lenses women reported using when evaluating the home’s suitability for her and her household. Areas primarily for entertaining were shaded yellow, de-stressing areas blue, flexible living spaces green, and storage areas were highlighted in orange. Homebuyers responded enthusiastically, with comments such as “Now this I can understand!” Livability at a Glance helped buyers see themselves living in the home, creating an emotional connection with the plan.

Additionally, for all of the plans Design Basics has reviewed for their Livability attributes, on Designbasics.com, a bar graph shows how each plan compares with similar size and type plans across the four lenses.

DBLLC Plan #42027

Livability at a Glance represented a major advancement in understanding how the home lives. Now, Livability at a Glance has evolved to become a better way to search home plans. Most online home plan searches are very linear and left-brained (logical), providing search criteria such as square footage and type of home to rule out home plans. Everybody did it the same way. Useful, but such search filters stop short of actually helping you identify home designs you would be interested in.

Now when searching home plans on DesignBasics.com you can also search by those four Livability at a Glance lenses. Since we all have different priorities when it comes to how we want to live in our dream home, Livability Search™ allows you to select the relative importance of each of those lenses. Searching by how the home lives is much more insightful and intuitive than old-fashioned plan searches! Learn more about Livability at a Glance™.

Design with Entertaining in Mind

Design with Entertaining in Mind

Livability at a Glance™Entertaining, Organizing, Flexible, and De-stressing

Our Livability at a Glance™ color coding for floor plans helps you quickly identify how each area of the home can be utilized. Areas shaded yellow are identified as spaces ideal for entertaining.Whether your need is for formal, informal, or even outdoor entertaining, there are many ways to incorporate entertaining spaces into your home design.


Entertaining kitchens are usually designed with an open flow to other entertaining areas, including dining spaces, the great room, and outdoor living spaces. Entertaining kitchens are designed to eliminate clutter, provide plenty of storage where it is needed, take a creative approach to lighting and employ today’s quieter dishwashers, garbage disposals, and ventilation exhaust fans.


Whether it’s a barbeque or outside games, outdoor entertaining should be a natural extension of your home’s flow. Covered porches are especially appreciated if inclement weather threatens your outdoor plans. Adding screens and windows around the porch means being able to enjoy being outside almost any time of the year!


Design Basics Dimarco House Plan #50014 for EntertainingThe main things to look for regarding dining areas are space, proximity to the kitchen, and flexibility. Is the dining area a comfortable size for your table and chairs? Is it close to the kitchen, reducing steps when carrying hot dishes or clearing the table? Can the space be closed off for privacy? Is there room for storage, such as including a hutch for storing and displaying servingware and dishes?

The DiMarco (plan 50014) at right offers a generous entertaining space. The covered patio even features an outdoor kitchen so your gathering can be taken outside. It’s unique dining area is close in proximity to the kitchen and is open to the great room, accommodating many dining configurations.


With today’s media choices running the gamut from gaming to movies or sports to the Internet, when it comes to media-related entertaining, the first issue is the placement of the TV. Wall-mounted TVs are making the need for deep built-in entertainment centers obsolete. Surround sound systems are being discretely installed within walls and ceilings–no longer have to decorate around the entertainment electronics!


It’s inevitable, when friends get together someone else in the home needs privacy–whether studying, catching up on work, or needing to get some sleep. Splitting secondary bedrooms from the master suite, and distancing bedrooms from entertaining areas, provides much needed quiet.

Search our plans and identify which “Livability Lense(s)” you’d like in your next home.

10 Things You Need to Consider in a Home Plan: Tips 6-10

A couple weeks ago we presented five of the 10 tips to consider in a home plan. This week we present the other five tips.

6. Study your present home.

What works, what doesn’t? Often what you’re dissatisfied with is driving your decision to move, so those aspects should appear on your needs-wants-desires list.

7. Do the research.

Touring builders’ model and “for sale” homes is a great way to help you recognize design aspects you like as well as identify those you don’t. When searching plans online, rational search filters such as type of home, square footage, etc., help rule out plans that won’t work. And, remember, only on DesignBasics.com can you also search by the relative importance of the four Livability at a Glance™ lenses (see Tip #2)–tremendously helpful in identifying plans that fit your lifestyle and priorities.

8. Mentally and emotionally move in.

Take a floor plan you are interested in and place an “X” in key locations, such as the front entry, at the kitchen sink, looking into the bathrooms, etc. Then visualize standing in those areas. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Everywhere you look in your home you should like what you see!

9. Evaluate “stock” plans vs. custom.

Most builders and home design companies offer a library of readily available “stock” home plans. The advantages are good design, low price, and quick delivery. Like buying a suit off the rack, a stock plan may be a very good fit. As with alterations to a suit, modifying a stock plan could make it “perfect” for you. Still, there are many instances where a custom home plan is the only option that makes sense.

10. Work with a professional.

Family and friends may give you advice, but it’s often conflicting, causing indecision. Your designer should be your “go-to” advisor on trends, functionality, and aesthetics. Your design professional should also have considerable construction knowledge. During Design Basics’ 30+ years designing new homes, the company has developed a proven design, drafting, and customer support systems.

Contemplating building a new home? Odds are your future looks bright! It all begins with a plan, and where you get your home plan matters!

(Read Tips 1-5: Click Here)

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