Book Report: Best Home Plans by Sunset Books (1995)

Here’s a crazy sort of sidelight into my mind: I’m sort of a fan of looking over house plans. Back in the days when I was working at a startup, spending half my day working like crazy to build an award-winning set of manuals for a software product nobody eventually bought, I spent the other half of my days spending my stock option millions. I looked at a number of Web sites offering the plans for sale and dreamt.

I mean, I bought a number of magazines and whatnot containing them and had a good run of selling them on eBay around the turn of the century, so I ended up with a bunch of them in my unsold inventory. I even bought a cheap piece of home designing software to play with in my spare hours in the old days where I didn’t think I had any time for spare hobbies, way back before I knew what that meant. So I sort of sometimes dabble in this as an interest. Dreaming still of that stock market wealth, I suppose. I’ll have some when National Lampoon stock goes to $400 after a couple of splits.

This volume I bought at a garage sale sometime in the past. And I perused it while watching a number of baseball games. If you’re not familiar with the genre, it’s a bit of marketing text along with a bare home layout schematic coupled with some measurements (sometimes) and the way to order the actual plans from the stock architectural firm if you’re interested in actually building the home. Each page also includes an artist representation of the home and sometimes a photo of a built unit.

That said, slight hobbying aside, it took me a while to get through it because each page is almost the same, and many of the homes have very similar layouts when the architectural firm starts with a template and rearranges the interior a bit. So I got bored every couple dozen homes or so, particularly when I was reading all the marketing fluff bullet points. I started skimming a little faster, though, and I got through it.

In case you’re wondering, the elements I like most in the plans and that I’d like to see in my future dream home include:

  • An atrium/courtyard.
  • An octagonal shaped house.
  • A tuck under two car garage with basement workspace.
  • A loft.

I mean, sure, I could just buy this house when I buy the lottery, but the original on the site was far larger and I have seen a map of its lands at the time of its construction, including orchards, toboggan run, tennis courts, and whatnot, so its pale comparison to its former splendor would break my heart daily. Maybe.

Books mentioned in this review: