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Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021
These cheap-to-build architectural designs are full of style.

Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

By Courtney Pittman

Full of style and smart features, affordable house plans are typically small, simple, and easy to build designs. With open floor plans, major curb appeal, and sweet indoor-outdoor living spaces, these budget-friendly house plans feel anything but cheap. You can keep building costs down with smaller footprints (check out this article from The Spruce for more ways to cut back on building costs), uncomplicated layouts (hello, open concept floor plans!), and smart material choices. Check out these cheap, easy to build house plans below.

Click here to browse our collection of budget house plans.

Vaulted Open Floor Plan Victorian Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #932-409 Plan 932-409 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

The vaulted ceilings combined with the beautiful open-concept main-living space make this small, 1,412 sq. ft, three bedroom, two bathroom home feel spacious and airy. In the primary suite, note the two sinks, separate tub and shower, and chic French doors leading to a rear, covered deck. Also note the built-in desk in Bedroom 2, which could be used as a home office or computer room.

Awesome A-Frame Roof Contemporary Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #117-914 Plan 117-914 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

In addition to an impressively steep a-frame roof, this cool cabin plan showcases outdoor living with two porches and a private balcony (see Bedroom 2). The open-concept kitchen sports a peninsula, and the main-level bedroom offers a walk-in closet. Upstairs, the loft could act as a second living space. Finally, note all the smart storage space along the perimeter of the design.

Rustic and Modern Cabin Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #924-14 Plan 924-14 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Modern, striking, and open, this new house plan design gives you huge curb appeal with 1,200 square feet. The open layout flows beautifully from the great room to the kitchen and out to the big porch. A home office (attached to the main living area) can be used in a variety of ways.

The primary bedroom allows privacy and comfort and includes a bathroom with a built-in closet. Readily available right by the entrance, the utility room can be extended to have a more clutter-free storage space. Don’t miss the large covered front porch and sundeck!

Beautiful Single Story Farmhouse Farmhouse Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #1074-7 Plan 1074-7 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Here’s a relaxed, farmhouse-inspired design that feels fresh and modern inside. The great room draws the eye up to a 12’ ceiling for an airy vibe, and flows over to the dining room and island kitchen. Check out that rear porch that features an outdoor kitchen, perfect for spring - much like these outdoor kitchens from HGTV.

Cottage with Cathedral Ceilings Cottage Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #929-1093 Plan 929-1093 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Highlights of this attractive modern farmhouse plan include skylights in the great room, a big island in the kitchen, and walk-in closets for all three bedrooms. A bonus room upstairs lets you expand later and can have its own bathroom (check out these smart ways to use your bonus room from Freshome). With minimal bump-outs and an open floor plan, this design can be a cost-effective home building option.

Open Floor Plan Modern Farmhouse Farmhouse Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #430-221 Plan 430-221 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021 Modern farmhouse style doesn't require a huge budget, as this 1,706-square-foot home proves. You'll find tons of nice surprises, like extra storage in the garage, a big pantry next to the island kitchen, and stylish barn doors. French doors in the great room open to the rear porch for easy indoor-outdoor living. The primary bedroom sports a spacious walk-in closet that provides even more room for storage.

Cute Farmhouse Farmhouse Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #430-217 Plan 430-217 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Hello curb appeal! This new, small farmhouse plan offers three bedrooms, two baths, an open layout, a kitchen island, decorative ceilings, and a mudroom with lockers. Tucked away to the right of the floor plan, the spacious primary suite enjoys plenty of privacy, while two additional bedrooms and a bathroom are located to the left of the home. Front and rear porches make it easy to step outside and enjoy the day (for porch decorating ideas, read this article from Southern Living).

Posh Porches Farmhouse Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #461-71 Plan 461-71 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021 This farmhouse style architectural design sports an uncomplicated footprint, making it builder-friendly. The large front porch and double doors welcome guests, while also providing plenty of room for relaxing when the weather is nice. A screened porch at the rear of the floor plan (just off the dining room and kitchen) keeps the bugs at bay. The kitchen is an entertainers dream with a generous island and plenty of counter space.

The main-level primary suite gives homeowners privacy and makes it easy to age in place. Upstairs, you will find two additional bedrooms, a bathroom, home office nook, and bonus area over the garage.

Farmhouse Style Ranch Plan Ranch Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #47-1023 Plan 47-1023 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

This graceful ranch home design offers plenty of thoughtful touches. Vaulted ceilings in the great room, country kitchen, and primary bedroom add a dimension of extra space. Relax in the primary suite's tub, where a bayed window gives a lovely view of the backyard. Check out the spacious laundry room/mudroom too.

Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Living Contemporary Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #924-12 Plan 924-12 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

This modern house plan sports an inviting front porch and seamless indoor-outdoor living connections. An open layout between the main living areas creates a relaxed vibe, while a vaulted ceiling increases the volume of the space (making it feel bigger than it actually is).

Open to the covered porch, the kitchen boasts lots of counter space. The living room, kitchen, primary bedroom, and the second bedroom has access to the outside through French doors. The second bedroom could be used as the guest bedroom or hobby room. The primary bedroom is located away from the main living area to give more privacy and silence.

Budget-Friendly Country Home Country Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #923-128 Plan 923-128 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Isn't it a great feeling when you get something that's incredibly stylish AND fits in your budget? Well, if you're looking for a modern farmhouse that's under 1,900 square feet, check out this sweet farmhouse design. An open layout between the main living spaces makes this design feel contemporary and relaxed, while an extra-large kitchen island makes it easy to hang out.

Charming Garage Apartment Plan Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #47-1075 Plan 47-1075 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

This handy two-car garage has charm galore, plus a one-bedroom apartment on the second level for guests or in-laws, or even to rent out. And really, who knew that a garage could have such curb appeal? We love the cute deck.

Farmhouse Flare Country Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #21-454 Plan 21-454 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

This affordable home plan feels fresh and current, with vertical and horizontal siding and a cute metal roof accent – adding farmhouse flair. Inside, a vaulted ceiling gives an airy feeling to the great room and dining area, with the island kitchen overlooking it all.

Owners will enjoy their five-piece primary bathroom. Clever storage details include space for linen in the hall bathroom, a counter for folding in the laundry room, and extra storage in the garage.

Perfect for a View Lot Contemporary Exterior - Front Elevation Plan #25-4525 Plan 25-4525 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Thanks to the huge windows of this one-story cottage design, the surrounding nature can be admired year-round. The large open area features a living room and kitchen that overlooks the screened veranda in the front. Separated by a see-through fireplace, the primary bedroom feels cool and modern.

Explore more cheap-to-build house plans here.

Take Note: Many factors contribute to the cost to build a house, such as location and material choice. To better understand what a particular house plan will cost to build in your area, we recommend ordering a Cost to Build Report for a nominal fee.

Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021 Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021

Building on the Cheap: Affordable House Plans of 2020 & 2021 Inspiration

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