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Archive for June, 2016

Jun 27 2016

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6 Commonly Asked Questions about House Plans

House Plan 037H-0234If you are planning to build a new house, chances are that you have quite a few questions about buying house plans. There is a lot to learn and know about house plans before you purchase blueprints for your new home. We’ve listed the six most commonly asked questions about house plans asked by our customers. Take some time to review these popular questions and their answers to ensure you make the right decision when it is time to purchase your house plans.

 

Are there any photos of a particular house plan that has already been built?

If exterior or interior photos are available for a particular house plan, we make every effort to post them our website as soon as we receive them. If there are no photos posted for a specific house plan, we simply do not have any photos to share with our customers at this time. We rely on past customers and builders to share photos of the house plans they’ve built. Often, these people are so happy to be done with construction and busy moving into their new homes that they don’t even think about sharing photos with us. Others choose not to share photos (especially interior photos), because they feel like it is an invasion of privacy knowing that everyone can see what their house looks like when we post the photos online.

 

What is included in a set of house blueprints?

The house plans published on our website are complete sets of blueprints for each home to be built from the ground up. The blueprints typically include a cover page, foundation plan, floor plans, exterior elevations, interior elevations when applicable, cross sections and/or details, basic electrical information and simple plumbing. NOTE: The information included in each set of blueprints varies from one designer to another. Please contact us with a specific plan number for verification regarding the elements included in a particular set of blueprints. From more extensive information, please review our resource article: Everything You Need to Know about Stock House Plans.

 

Can I modify the house plan I like?

Of course you can! When it comes to making modifications to a house plan, our customers have a couple of options. The first option is to submit our modification request form to our modification team and receive a free quote for your proposed changes. It usually takes a couple of business days to receive your quote by email from our modification team. This gives you the opportunity to find out what the extra costs will be for your home building project before you purchase your blueprints. Please take some time to review our home plan modification page to learn about how our modification process works. (For additional information, please see our previous blog post: House Plan Modifications? We Can Help You!)

 

The second option is to purchase either a reproducible master, PDF or CAD file house plan package (depending on availability), and take the plans to a local residential designer to have the plans modified. One of these three blueprint formats will be required for modifications because you’ll need a copyright release granting legal permission for you to make changes to the original copyrighted house plans in order to satisfy your specific needs.

 

Will the house plans meet my local building codes?

Our house plans are considered to be pre-drawn stock plans. This means they are designed to meet the national building codes in place at the time each home plan was created. However, we do not guarantee the plans will meet all local building codes. Our house plans are sold and built all over the US and Canada and even overseas. The local building codes and requirements you have in your area may be completely different than the local building codes and requirements for someone building the same plan you are considering in another part of the country. It will be up to you/your builder to make any adjustments necessary to meet local building codes and requirements. (For example, a person building a house along the Florida coast will need to make adjustments for hurricane code, while someone building the same house plan in the Rocky Mountains will need to make adjustments to wind and snow loads as well as thicker insulation.) It may be necessary to hire a local design professional to add notes to the blueprints regarding some of your local building codes. We recommend that you discuss your local building codes with your builder and your building department to find out what is required in your city, county, etc. to meet local building codes.

 

Will the house plans come sealed by an engineer or stamped by an architect?

The house plans offered on our website do not come with an engineer’s or an architect’s seal or stamp. Our house plans are considered pre-drawn, stock plans. This means they are designed to meet the national building codes in place at the time each home plan is created. However, we do not guarantee the house blueprints will meet all local building codes and requirements for a specific area. Because our house plans are sold and built all over the US and Canada, it is impossible for our designers to ensure the blueprints will meet all local building codes for every location, city, county, municipality, etc. Therefore, our plans do not include a seal or stamp, as the seal or stamp is a local requirement. The items required for the seal/stamp in your area are completely different than the requirements for a customer building the same plan you are considering in another part of the US or Canada. Often the building requirements that coincide with a seal/stamp for a particular state, province, city, etc., are influenced by the geography and climate specific to the area where the house will be built making them local requirements. It will be up to you/your builder to hire a local professional to review and seal/stamp the plans. This design professional must be licensed in the state/province where the structure will be built. This person will review the blueprints and make any necessary adjustments and/or add pertinent notes to the plans for the area where the home will be built before sealing or stamping the blueprints. We recommend finding a local design professional who can review the blueprints and provide a seal or stamp for your house plans before you actually purchase them. Additionally, you should discuss which blueprint format is required by the engineer or architect to seal or stamp the house plans. Sometimes the design professional providing the seal/stamp will have a preference as to which plan package he/she works with, and this will influence which plan package you purchase. Most likely he/she will want the CAD file or PDF because it is much easier to work with the electronic format when it comes to adding extra notes and elements to the plan that are necessary to meet local building codes. The only way to be sure about what plan package to purchase is to ask your local design professional before you make a blueprint purchase.

 

How much does it cost to build a particular house plan?

At TheHousePlanShop, we know the costs for materials and labor can vary greatly from one city to the next and sometimes even within the same city or county. It is impossible for us to know the average rates for labor and materials in all cities, counties, municipalities, etc. Therefore, we do not offer an estimated cost to build or a material estimate for the house plans published on our site. Rather than us guessing and quoting you an estimate that is much too high or much too low for your area, we recommend checking with a few local lumberyards, contractors and/or builders to find out what the average rates are for labor and materials in your area. Most professionals in the building industry will quote a dollar amount per square foot, based on mid-grade materials, but it is best to confirm if they are quoting high-end materials, mid-grade, etc. Additionally, be sure to inquire about what the quote includes. Sometimes ballpark estimates from builders and lumberyards do not include foundation materials, heating and cooling, and a few other things. While this requires a little more research and effort for the future home owner, checking locally will give you a better ballpark estimate than we can provide.

 

Find the answers to more house plan questions like these by visiting our FAQs.

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