SHOPPING FOR HOME PLANS: Know what to look for as you build toward the reality of your dream home

Building a home from scratch can be an exciting but daunting endeavor, not to mention fraught with hidden expenses. It all begins with a plan, of course, determined by your lifestyle, aesthetic preferences, the features of the building site and your budget. If a pricey custom house plan is a little beyond your reach, fear not ─ you can get close-to-custom by shopping ready-made home plans. A variety of books, magazines and online retailers offer