A Guide to Beach House PlansFamily Home Plans
When the salty air, ocean breeze and sun-kissed sand call your name, it’s time to consider the beach house life.
Beach house plans range from small seaside cottages to multi-story, luxury vacation homes. Every one of our coastal home plans delivers the premium features that make a house feel like a home, plus dozens of options for customizations to make your retirement, primary, secondary, vacation or rental space truly yours. Whether you’re building on the Gulf Coast or somewhere more tropical, we have a beach house plan for you.
Explore all that coastal living offers with our extensive series of coastal house designs.
Common Features of Coastal House Plans
What makes oceanfront homes so unique?
Aside from their picture-perfect shoreline views, beach home floor plans afford many one-of-a-kind design features and house details rare in other styles — like these below.
1. Waterfront Views
It’s a coastal home, after all. Waterfront views are the premium draw to this style of home and a key feature.
Most beach-side homes will come with shoreline views either in the front or rear of the home. There are benefits to both floors plans:
- A rear-facing waterfront view is more common and tends to permit uninhibited views of the waterfront in the main living areas of the home, such as the kitchen and living room.
- A front-facing waterfront view keeps the most impressive features of the home curb-side, for all those passing by to see.
Lot configuration and size will be the largest determinants in which direction your home will face. Depending on the home floor plan and lot location, some beach homes may include near 360-degree views, meaning every room comes with its own view of the nearby beach, ocean, lake or river.
2. Wrap-Around Porches
Coastal floor plan designs often feature spacious porches and patios enveloping the front, sides and rear of the home.
These farmhouse-style, wrap-around porches offer one of the best ways to soak in the beautiful surrounding scenery. They’re also ideal places for entertaining, sharing meals or simply having your morning cup of coffee while listening to the gentle hum of the waves. Who wouldn’t want to start their day like that?
Several alternatives exist when lot space is too narrow for a traditional wrap-around porch, including two-story porches mirroring Victorian or Queen Anne styles. These styles feature high vertical columns and ornate detailing to make the most of the space.
3. Ample Indoor-Outdoor Living Space
Beach home floor plans also support a free-flow of movement from indoor spaces into outdoor living and recreational spots.
Maximizing those movements is one of the top appeals for homeowners wanting to live beach-side. Generous indoor-outdoor living space will entail features like:
- Sun decks, covered or exposed
- Screened-in or open-air patios
- Open-air dining areas
- Outdoor fireplaces and decks
These areas offer even more opportunities to soak in nature, view the waterscape, entertain guests or sit back and relax, all against the dreamy beach backdrop.
4. Open Concepts
The vast majority of beach home floor plans will be designed around an open floor plan.
An open floor plan consists of the three main home living spaces — the kitchen, dining room and living room — positioned together as one continuous room. Minimal walls or barriers mean these rooms free-flow into the next, enhanced by large, expansive windows permitting light and fresh air passage.
The benefits of an open-concept floor plan for beach houses abound. These design schemes maximize natural light and ocean breezes circulating organically throughout the majority of your home, as well as unencumbered ocean views regardless of where you are inside.
5. Elevated Foundation
Another signature of the oceanside home floor plan is an elevated foundation, where the entire home sits above ground and water levels.
The most common method of building an elevated foundation for oceanside homes uses piers or piles. These reinforced beam bases keep the home above wave levels and are best for homes built directly on sandy beaches or over the water. In most cases, erected piers and piles will lift a home between 8 and 15 feet above the surrounding area’s lowest point.
Piles and piers reinforce and strengthen the home against strong ocean winds as well as protect it from high tides and storm waters, keeping living quarters safe from flooding. Water instead passes beneath your home, preventing structural or interior damage and preserving your furniture, household goods and personal items.
6. On or Adjacent to the Shoreline
Last but not least, a beach house is a beach house because it sits within view of stunning a waterscape.
Most coastal homes run parallel or adjacent to the shoreline, though some are designed for construction on the sandy terrain or water itself — often with direct, private access to the neighboring beach. It’s all about you and your preferences.
4 Benefits of a Beach House Plan
Several significant benefits come with choosing an oceanfront house for your dream primary or secondary home, including the following.
1. They Help You Live Healthily
Living near a beach offers many health boosts, such as:
- Better air quality: Frequent ocean breezes and saline-rich air promotes respiratory health, which can help fight inflammatory-respiratory conditions, plus contains less air pollution than cities and suburbs.
- Little noise pollution: Like air pollution, noise pollution common in urban settings impacts mental health, stress levels and anxiety, among other health issues. Beaches minimize noise pollution and immerse you in an environment filled with natural sounds, like ocean waves.
- Calming mental and physical effects: Nature sounds such as birds, waves, gentle wind and more can help reduce anxiety, insomnia, stress and depression. Living near a beach puts you in the center of these calming sounds where you’ll reap the soothing mental and physical benefits.
- Easy exercise: Unencumbered access to the shoreline makes walking, running, swimming, beach yoga and more types of exercises that much easier to work into your routine.
- Natural vitamin D exposure: Many of us get our vitamin D from pills or supplements. Yet the best, most bioavailable exposure remains a healthy dose of daily natural sunshine — healthy being the keyword here. Wear sunscreen daily to prevent burns and skin damage.
2. They’re a Great Investment
Beach houses present a potential year-round income source, particularly in high-demand vacation areas during peak travel season.
For those uninterested in renting their property, beach homes provide a sound investment to sell or pass along in the future for great returns. Beachfront properties have some of the shortest market listing times compared to other locations and often sell for higher prices, making them an attractive option for the fiscally-minded.
3. They’re Private
Having your own dedicated coastal home frees you from crowded hotels and overpriced resorts sprinkling many of today’s destination shorelines. Every space, room, nook and cranny is yours to decorate and live in as you please, stamping your signature on the space.
That privacy can also mean your own dedicated garage or parking spots, pools, living areas, decks and patios and sometimes even private access to the beach.
4. They Can Become a Family Heirloom
Beach-side houses can become a home away from home for your loved ones.
Turn your oceanside property into the place for summer vacations where you get to watch the grandkids grow up. Your beach house can also become the go-to holiday destination and the family’s favorite weekend getaway spot, all wrapped in one. Invite out-of-town friends to get away from their hectic lives, throw surprise parties or simply turn every day into a mini-staycation. Your beach home is the place to make the defining memories that friends and family will deeply cherish.
Examples of Beach House Plans
Beach houses are available in dozens upon dozens of architectural styles.
Explore some of the most popular styles of coastal home designs available, each with a unique architecture:
- Classic Beach House on Pilings: This classic beach house offers the best of beach home architecture, including spacious sun decks and an open concept floor plan atop an elevated piling foundation.
- Beach Bungalow: This beach bungalow house plan immerses you in Craftsman-inspired, mid-century touches on a dreamy, sandy lot.
- Contemporary Beach House: This contemporary beach house highlights sleek lines, a clean building silhouette, large windows and plenty of style to make your coastal home the standout on the shoreline.
- Beach Cottage: Quaint and cozy, the beach cottage house plan makes your home a perpetual escape from the hustle and bustle of life.
- Cape Cod House: The Cape Cod house is the quintessential northeastern coastal home, styled and transplanted to your dream location.
Family Home Plans caters to every architectural preference and design scheme, ensuring you’ll find a house plan that lives up to your dream vision of life — as well as its everyday realities.
Common Beach House Plan FAQs
Find answers to some of the most common questions about building a beach house, or reach out directly so we can field your concerns. We’d love to help.
1. How Much Does a Beach House Cost?
The cost to design and build your dream will vary depending on several factors, including but not limited to:
- Lot location
- Home size
- Foundation type
- Customizations and amenities
Working with a stock architectural firm like Family Home Plans comes with a distinct cost advantage, though. Our catalog of pre-designed home blueprints provides a turn-key-like set of designs that expedite your home build — and bringing down the costs. Compared to working with a local architect from scratch, you save considerable time and money yet still get the attention to detail, customization and commitment you need to design your dream coastal home.
2. Are Beach Houses on Stilts Safe?
Absolutely. All beach and coastal homes incorporating piers or piles are built to weather the unique elements a shoreline property may face. This includes advanced, reinforced engineering of stilt-based foundation according to local ordinances and best architectural practices. These silts support the main home, as well as any wrap-around porches, sun decks, patios, piers and more. You get the beach house of your dreams — and peace of mind it’ll stay there over the years.
3. Are There Beach House Plans With Garages Underneath?
Nearly all of our beach house designs come with underbed garage bays or attached enclosed garages. These parking areas are incorporated into the original design and, in many cases, are not considered a modification or add-on.
Do note, however, that given many beach floor plan specs, garage bays or parking spaces sit directly underneath the home, on its ground level. This placement may leave garages the most susceptible to flooding in inclement weather. Talk to your designer or firm representative if you have concerns about underbed garage placements for your beach home.
4. Can You Build a Beach House on a Narrow Lot?
We sure can. In fact, we have several beach house floor plans uniquely configured for narrow oceanside lots, including:
- Coastal Country: This country-style coastal home is only 26 feet wide but still has three bedrooms and two full baths.
- Modern-Style Beach Home: This plan, like many modern beach house plans, features lots of windows and geometric lines.
- Narrow Lot Coastal: This beach house plan is 34 feet wide and more than 2,000 square feet.
5. What Should I Do About Flood Protection?
Flood insurance is required if your lot is in an area the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates as a high-risk flooding area. Within these flood zones, homeowners must prove they have flood insurance to qualify for lender-approval, per federal laws.
Your home-design partner should help you navigate FEMA codes alongside local regulations and ordinances. Some municipalities and companies even offer a coastal property analysis, assuring proper home placement, design, build and final configuration align with site feasibility.
6. Will My Coastal Home Generate Rental Income?
You might be able to generate rental income from your beach house when you and your family are not there. That decision is entirely up to you, so long as you’ve undergone the proper steps to have your home available as a legal vacation property.
A local real estate agent with experience in vacation properties is your best choice for navigating pricing and revenue structures within your municipality. These experts can determine if revenue thresholds can reasonably be met based on factors like area rates, peak tourist seasons and how often you and your loved ones will be living in the beach house yourselves.
7. Are Customizations Available?
Always. While you begin your beach house floor plan selection with our inventory of more than 400 coastal home designs, every blueprint is available modifications. We make finding the modifications you want easier with a user-friendly search interface that allows you to find the features, swaps or add-ons you’re envisioning. It’s your home, after all. Make it fit your tastes, preferences and lifestyle.
Search Beach Living House Plans
Family Home Plans maintains one of the largest, most diverse catalogs of in-stock family home plans online today.
Our searchable inventory makes it easy for you to narrow down your options and find designs and styles that fit your tastes. Plus, working with a stock inventory can save you up to 80% on purchasing a beach home floor plan, compared to vetting, hiring and paying a local architect to work from scratch.
Family Home Plans representatives are ready to work with you on designing and building your dream beach home. Start your journey by exploring our coastal home floor plan catalog, filtering designs based on several key variables, such as square footage, number of bedrooms or garage type. Then reach out to start planning that exact beach house design today.