Free Small House Plans for Remodeling Older Homes

  • 01 of 07

    Free Small House Plans for Remodeling or Just Dreaming

    Illustration of ranch home on top of architecture blueprints
    The Spruce/Hugo Lin

    In years past, as an incentive to purchase, home builders would give out free books of home plans. They were extensive and had both attractive exterior views of the houses and correlating detailed floor layouts.

    Or, "house plans companies" would hire architects and artists to mock up dream homes and sell the plans by mail order.

    Idea-Oriented, Not Buildable

    The intent was never to build from plans; it was just to upsell the customer to a set of blueprints or a house contract. Plans were vague enough that you could not just take them to a contractor and have him start construction.

    Free For Your Use

    These copyright-free house plans, mainly mid-century style or period, have been re-purposed for today's use.

    Keep in mind that this is a remodeling site, so these are still not necessarily 100% aligned with the tastes and interests of us today. The flavor of these houses has been retained for homeowners who are interested in remodeling—not in demolishing and rebuilding—their older home.

    How to Use

    All plans are free and may be used without seeking permission. In their current state, they are not executable, but you can use them as a springboard for ideas.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    The Tahoma Exterior

    Exterior View of 3 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom House
    Lee Wallender

    This house is 1,332 square feet on one level. It dates to 1950, but it looks like it could have been from the mid-1960s.

    One downside is the small, single bathroom shared by all three bedrooms. This is one way you know this is not a contemporary house.

    No basement is included in this plan.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    The Tahoma Interior

    expanded kitchen small house plan illustration
    The Spruce/Theresa Chiechi

    Since the kitchen was small to begin with (13'6" x 10'0") and included a set of stairs to the left, these re-purposed plans have knocked out those stairs and made the house one level.

    Now, the kitchen is closer to 13'6" x 10'0".

    Another hallmark of that period: the small bathroom.

    If you want a larger bathroom, you can push the kitchen right-ward into the dining room, freeing up space to enlarge the bathroom.

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    The Snoqualmie Exterior

    Free House Plans Simple
    Lee Wallender

    This is your standard-issue boxy house from the 1960s. It was intended to be built on a farm or low-cost subdivision.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    The Snoqualmie Interior

    snoqualmie small house plan illustration
    The Spruce/Theresa Chiechi

    The company added two bedrooms to the back of this previously-boxy house. These re-purposed plans have squeezed a small bathroom into the master bedroom.

    One thing that really makes this a 1960s house: separate living and family rooms.

    For those readers who are blissfully too young to remember, homes before the 1970s would usually have a nicer room for entertaining occasional guests (the living room) and a more down-and-dirty place with TV and family (the family room).

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    The Whidbey Exterior

    Exterior View of 2 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom House
    Lee Wallender

    This is a super-small house: 882 square feet on one level.  This house would be perfect as a vacation home or cabin.

    This house is a perfect rectangle. But to avoid monotony, flower planters and a number of shrubs have been added.

    The Whidbey is a good size for a vacation home.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    The Whidbey Interior

    small house plan illustration
    The Spruce/Theresa Chiechi

    Once again, these house plans show their age in one glaring way: an 882 square foot house, with 31% of it given over to the car in the form of a garage.

    And once again, you can have a full 882 square feet of living space by parking the Escalade in the open air, constructing a carport, or building an enclosed garage in front of the house, to the left.

    Beyond that, you've got a small space without a lot of options for reworking the room layout. You can remove the nonload-bearing interior wall separating the kitchen from the living room and replace with a lower breakfast bar.