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Jul 26 2016

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Will My Stock House Plans Be Stamped or Sealed by an Architect or Engineer?

House Plan 062H-0088Are you planning to build a new house using a stock house plan? If so, it is possible that your state or province, city, county, or local building department will require your house plans to be stamped or sealed by an architect or engineer. This is not something that The House Plan Shop can provide with your blueprints. The house plans published on our website are pre-drawn stock plans. This means they were designed to meet the national building codes in place at the time the blueprints were created. Therefore, we do not guarantee the house plans will meet all of the specific requirements and local building codes for the specific location or area where you plan to build. Since our house plans and multi-family designs are sold and built throughout the United States and Canada, it is impossible for our residential designers to ensure the blueprints will meet or exceed all local building codes for every state, province, city, county, municipality, or jurisdiction. If you need an architect’s or an engineer’s stamp or seal on your house plans in or
der to obtain building permits from your local building department, please be aware that the stamp or seal is a local building requirement and we cannot provide it to you. The items required for the architect’s stamp or engineer’s seal in one part of the country are completely different than the requirements for a customer building the same plan in another part of the country. They are commonly influenced by local climate and geography in the area where the house plan will be built making the stamp/seal a local requirement. For example, a home owner building a house along the coast of Florida will need engineering to meet hurricane codes while a customer building the same home in certain parts of California will need engineering for seismic codes. If yoHouse Plan 069H-0027u need your blueprints sealed or stamped, it will be up to you or your builder to hire a local architect or engineer to review the house plans and stamp or seal them before you apply for building permits. The design professional who provides the stamp or seal must be licensed in the state or province where the house will be built. The House Plan Shop strongly recommends that you find a design professional in your area that you can work with before you purchase your blueprints. Sometimes the architect or engineer you hire will have a preference as to which plan package he or she wants to work with when sealing or stamping the house plans. This will influence which blueprint package you purchase. Take some time to discuss your needs with your local design professional before making your blueprint purchase. For additional information, please review our FAQs and Resource page.

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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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Dec 02 2015

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What does a Set of Stock House Plans Include?

BlueprintsIf you are considering building a new house, you have a couple of options when it comes to purchasing blueprints. You can choose a stock house plan like those found at www.thehouseplanshop.com or you can hire a design professional to draw a custom home plan. Many people who build new homes choose a pre-drawn stock house plans, but often wonder just what is included in a set of blueprints. Below is a list of items that are included in a typical set of construction drawings. Most stock house plans will include:

 

  1. A Coversheet – Usually the coversheet is an artist’s rendering of the finished home. It serves as a visual aid that represents the finished home. Generally, this page is not necessary for construction of the home, and some designers do not include a coversheet with their designs.
  2. Foundation Plan – The foundation plan is a detailed drawing of the foundation of the home. It provides necessary information about the foundation like the dimensions, location of support columns, thickness of the foundation walls, and floor joist sizes and spacing as well as other details and construction notes.
  3. Floor Plans – The floor plan page reflect the layout of the house and the arrangement of the rooms on each floor of the home. This page typically provides construction details such as room dimensions, wall sizes, door and window sizes and locations, notes about ceiling design and other details about layout and structural elements. Two-story homes and those with finished lower levels may have separate floor plan pages for each level of the home, or they may be found on the same page of the blueprint.
  4. Exterior Elevations – The exterior elevation page(s) provides views of all four sides of the home. These elevations reflect the exterior finish and trim of the home. They call out the materials used to finish the outside of the house such as siding, stucco, brick, stone, etc., and the elevations note the placement of these materials on the exterior of the home as well. Also, the exterior elevations will specify roofing materials and typically indicates roof pitches. Finally, the elevation page(s) will depict or call out decorative elements such as window shutters and porch columns. Sometimes window and door sizes are shown on this page as well.
  5. Interior Elevations – The interior elevations offer drawings and descriptive details specific to some of the built-in elements of the home such as handrails, moldings, fireplaces, built-in desks and bookshelves. Some interior elevations will include a cabinet layout as well.
  6. Simple Plumbing – The simple plumbing can either be found on the floor plan or on a separate page in the construction drawings. The simple plumbing will only reflect the locations of bathtubs, showers, toilets and sinks.
  7. Basic Electric – The basic electrical information will either be found on its own separate page or on the actual floor plan. It will simply reflect the suggested locations of outlets, fixtures and switches.
  8. Sections – The sections of a home plan may be found on a separate page in the blueprints or they may be found on various pages throughout the construction drawings. In general, the sections provide a view of the home that shows the composition of the foundation, exterior walls, interior walls, floors, roofs and stair details. The blueprint sections specify the rooflines, ceiling heights and the relationship between the floors of the home.
  9. Details – House plan details will either be found on a separate page of the blueprints or on various pages throughout the construction drawings. They provide necessary information about how smaller elements of the home should be constructed. Some examples include the design of the handrail and spindles or the moldings used throughout the home.

 

NOTE: Not all stock house plans include each element described here. The composition of a set of construction drawings varies by designer.

 

It is important to be aware that stock plans may not include everything you need to obtain building permits or pass building inspections. Sometimes it is necessary to hire a local design professional to add other information to the blueprints before you begin construction. Stock house plans will not include the following information:

 

Site map

Energy codes

Septic design

Truss layout

Finished electric

Finished plumbing

HVAC

Engineer’s or architect’s seal/stamp

 

Additionally, keep in mind that stock house plans are drawn to meet national building codes and are not guaranteed to meet all local building codes. Every state, province, city, county, municipality, etc., may have its own set of local building codes and requirements. Often, local building codes are influenced by geography and climate, and stock house plans may need to be adjusted to meet these codes. For example, a customer building a stock house plan in California will need to make adjustments to satisfy seismic codes, while a customer building the same house in the Rocky Mountains will need to make adjustments for snow load and insulation requirements. A local design professional will be able to add the necessary details to the blueprints in order to meet local building codes.

 

For more information about what is not included in stock house plans and additional details about local building codes, please review Everything You Need to Know about Stock House Plans in the resource section on our website.

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Jul 16 2013

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Learn How You Can Purchase A Custom Drawn House Plan

If you haven’t been able to find a suitable house plan after thoroughly searching our website, you might want to consider creating your very one unique house plan by working with our custom home design service. You probably already have a few ideas about what you want and you might even have sketched a floor plan. You can turn your ideas into a reality with the help of our custom design team. In order to receive a brief consultation and a free quote to create your custom house plan, please complete and submit the custom home design request form. The form is simple to use. You’ll be asked to provide for your contact information and information about what you desire in your dream home. You’ll be asked to indicate specific details such as:

Preferred architectural style (Country, Craftsman, Mediterranean, etc.)

Dimensions of your lot

Approximate finished square footage

Number of levels

Number of bedrooms and baths

Garage size and location (left side, right side, front-entry, rear-entry, etc.)

Foundation type

Preferred wall framing type

Special features such as main level master bedroom, finished basement, kitchen island, walk-in shower, tray ceilings, screened porch, etc.

When you submit your custom home design request form, you’ll also have the opportunity to provide any sketches, site maps, surveys, photos or plats. The more information you provide about your building site and the home plan you desire, the easier it will be for our custom design team to understand exactly what you are looking for with your custom garage. Our custom design team will review your submissions and then one of our experienced residential designers will contact you by phone or email for a brief consultation and provide you with a free for your custom home design. You can learn more about the custom design process by reviewing the custom design article found in our resources. Please Note: Our custom design team has plenty of experience with other design projects as well ranging from multi-family homes and commercial buildings to detached garage plans, pool houses, sheds and barns. They would be happy to work with you on any custom design project your might have in mind. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Apr 22 2013

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Special Promotion: 10% OFF Custom Drawn House Plans

The House Plan Shop is celebrating the launch of a new partnership with a custom home design service. Now you can have a custom home plan, multi-family plan, commercial building or another structure drawn to satisfy your exact needs. We are promoting two specials to kick off our new partnership with the custom home design service. Act now to take advantage of these special promotions:

 

  1. Receive 10% OFF the quoted price on all custom design orders from now through August 1, 2013. Every customer who completes the custom design request form and moves forward with his/her custom design order by 12:00 noon CST on August 1, 2013, will receive a 10% discount off the quoted price.
  2. Anyone who completes and submits the custom home design request form before 12:00 noon CST on August 1, 2013 will be entered in a drawing for a $1000.00 credit toward his/her custom home design order or reimbursement of up to $1000.00 if the custom design order has already been completed and paid in full. Please note: The prize has no cash value and the award is non-transferable. In the event that your custom plan costs less than the $1000.00 prize and, after being applied or refunded, there is a portion of the prize credit remaining, the balance can be applied toward future custom plans. However, any remaining balance cannot be applied toward additional or optional services, such as site planning, materials lists, etc. The drawing for the $1000.00 credit will be held in the afternoon of August 1, 2013.

 

 

Click here for more details about the custom design process.

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