Choosing Your Home Builder

Construction Progress of the Capistrano Plan #1227-D. Choosing Your Home Builder

If you are planning to build your own home, it helps to meet with at least three builders to talk about your options. A good home builder will be able to help you understand the different phases of the home building process. They will focus on keeping you informed about the different requirements of building your new house, and how long it will take. Selecting your home builder is as big a step as selecting your dream home plan. Here are some tips to help you find the right home builder.

Define Your Needs

After finding your dream home floor plan, you need to look for builders that are willing to build the home for you.  You will want to look for builders that are accustomed to building homes from a variety of designers and if possible, find a builder that has built and is familiar with Don Gardner home plans. You should already have your dream home plan chosen before meeting with builders to ensure you pick the design that best fits your needs and not the builders.

Search for Experience

When you have plans for a house, it helps to find a home builder with experience. Experience shows that the builder knows how to handle a number of different things that occur during the building process. If possible, visit some of the homes the builder has built in the past couple of years. This will give you an idea of what they and their sub-contractors can do, and if their style and attention to detail meets your expectations. Another important thing to consider along with experience is their reputation. Do previous homeowners rank them highly? Do they refer them to others? It helps to search for a home builder with experience to know their work will be able to translate your dream home into reality.

Construction Progress of the Chatsworth Plan #1301-D: Choosing Your Home Builder


Discuss the warranty options with potential builders. Do they provide a home warranty? Do they offer any additional warranty services from other builders? How many warranties claims have been made against their builds in the past 3-5 years? In addition to warranties, how well does the builder handle follow-up punch list work? Do they address issues that arise after closing in a timely fashion?

Insurance and Background

Always do your research on the builder to make sure they have adequate insurance to cover all workers that will be on-sight during the construction along with any other issues that might occur. It is also extremely important to verify that your builder is licensed. Knowing you are hiring a person with a quality reputation is the best way to know you are hiring the right person to help you build your own house.

Find A Home Builder experienced with Don Gardner Home Floor Plans

At Donald A. Gardner Architects, we not only want to help you to select the best home floor plans available, but we aim to assist you through the entire home building process until your home is complete. At Donald A. Gardner Architects, you can discover your dream home floor plans, access a wealth of resources about the home building process and find experienced builders in your area to help you move into your dream home. Why wait? For timeless designs and functional living, let the team at Donald A. Gardner Architects welcome you home today!


PLAN OF THE WEEK: 1 & 2 Story Designs

A 2 story Craftsman home and a 1 story European styled ranch. Check out our Plans of the Week, Over and Under 2500 sq. ft.

The Bantry #1336

The Bantry - 2 Story House Plan 1336
4 beds, 3 baths, 2498 sq. ft.

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Master suite with rear views and dual walk-in closets.
  • Large utility room, walk-in pantry and oversized closet at garage entrance.
  • Plenty of outdoor living space.
Attention to detail

Inspired by a popular hillside walkout design, the Bantry is a 2 story home plan with a large bonus room. An angled floor plan allows this design to take advantage of rear views. The dining room, master bedroom, and screened porch are bayed, adding architectural interest, and the rear porch is topped with a cathedral ceiling and skylights. The spacious kitchen is right by the screened porch with summer kitchen, making outdoor entertaining easy. A pantry, coat closet, and utility room lead the way to the garage, while additional bedrooms and a bonus room complete the second floor.

First Floor Plan of The Bantry - 2 Story House Design 1336

Second Floor Plan of The Bantry - 2 Story Home Plan 1336

The Charlevoix #1086

The Charlevoix - 1 Story House Design 1086
4 beds, 3 baths, 2607 sq. ft.

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Dimensional exterior with stone and copper detail.
  • Kitchen with Butler’s pantry and walk-in pantry.
  • Luxurious master suite with porch access.
Designed for entertaining

A stone portico makes an impressive entry to this stone and siding home. The Charlevoix  features open living spaces defined by columns, and a split bedroom layout. Coffered ceilings, a window seat and double doors enhance the study/bedroom. The Master suite has back porch access, his-and-hers walk-in closets, and a luxurious master bath with curved shower. Exciting extras include a built-in desk in the breakfast nook, butler’s pantry and a serving/dry bar that makes this home live easier.

First Floor Plan of The Charlevoix - Home Plan 1086

Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Charlevoix - House Plan 1086

See these popular plans on our website:

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VIDEO TOUR: The Jasper Hill Plan #5020

This new Jasper Hill home is a vibrant hillside retreat!

Nautical decor and soft-hued colors transform this mountain home  plan into a lakefront getaway. Step inside and immediately take in amazing rear views through the towering bay windows along the rear of the home. Pale blue walls with white trim work create a cheerful atmosphere that melds with the outdoors. The main level features an oversized great room, octagonal dining room, gourmet kitchen, bedroom/study and an fabulous owner’s suite with spectacular master bath.

First Floor Plan of The Jasper Hill - House Design 5020

The walkout basement has been modified to accommodate the dramatic slope of the lot, creating a massive rec room with volume ceilings. The downstairs bedrooms are spacious and enjoy views of the lake.  Guests can make coffee in the full wet bar and take it to the covered patio to watch the sunrise.

Basement Floor Plan of The Jasper Hill - Home Design 5020

The huge bonus room has closets and a full bathroom, and features custom bunk beds that play into the nautical theme – a dream for children or grandchildren!

Second Floor Plan of The Jasper Hill - House Plan 5020

The Jasper Hill Plan #5020

To see a more rustic version of the Jasper Hill, check out our previous blog post:
Luxury Mountain Home – New Photos

Watch more Video Tours on our YouTube Page!

Brick Home Design #1362 is NOW AVAILABLE!

The Eliana Plan #1362 has a brick and stone exterior with whimsical details

The Eliana - House Plan 1362 - Brick Cottage
3 beds, 3 baths, 2742 sq. ft.

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Brick and stone create a low-maintenance exterior.
  • Flexible exercise/office space.
  • Screened porch with fireplace and outdoor kitchen.
Brick cottage with European influences

Cupolas, curves, and an eyebrow dormer give storybook whimsy to the Eliana. Coffered ceilings top the dining room and great room, which are separated by an expansive kitchen and breakfast nook for casual meals. Nearby, a large utility room and flexible office/exercise space simplify house work and projects. Enjoy the outdoors in the screened porch with summer kitchen and fireplace, or relax in the private master suite with rear views and spacious bath. The bonus room features skylights and a curved dormer window.

First Floor Plan of The Eliana - Brick House Design 1362

Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Eliana - Home Design Plan 1362

Get more information about the Eliana home design here.

Similar plans:

The Provence - House Plan #1005The Provence Plan #1005 has a similar front exterior. See it here.


The Kendrick Plan #873The Kendrick #873 has a similar layout with less square footage. See it here.

Ice Bucket Challenge!

Don Gardner and staff accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Now it’s your turn…

Facebook: Ice Bucket Challenge #DAGALS

Don’s granddaughter nominated him for the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS and he accepted! Watch the video:

Don Gardner issued the Ice Bucket Challenge to his office staff, as well as The Sater Group, Inc., Acumen I.T. (Greenville, SC) and all our customers. YOU are now challenged to to make a donation to and/or take the Ice Bucket Challenge. Don’t forget to include #‎DAGALS and #IceBucketChallenge  when you post your videos!

From The ALS Association:

Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2014) — As of Wednesday, August 20, The ALS Association has received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 20). These donations have come from existing donors and 637,527 new donors to The Association.

The ALS Association’s mission includes providing care services to assist people with ALS and their families through a network of chapters working in communities across the nation and a global research program focused on the discovery of treatments and eventually a cure for the disease. In addition, The Association’s public policy efforts empower people to advance public policies in our nation’s Capital that respond to the needs of people with ALS.

About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.  For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at

Please Donate to ALS @

Thanks for visiting the House Plans Blog presented by Donald A. Gardner Architects. Whether you're in the process of building a new home or in the beginning stages of trying to find a house plan, you will find a wealth of information to help you select the best floor plan, tips on the building process, and information about products and finishes for your new house.