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Jun 27 2016

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

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

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

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 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


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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Dec 17 2013

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

A Home for the Holidays

House Plan 025H-0124There are so many aspects involved in your decision of choosing a house plan. As the holidays approach, consider whether your home plan will accommodate your needs to host or house your friends and family.  With that in mind, take a look at this Southern two-story house plan. Its stately columns are just begging to be wrapped in garland and holiday lights. Imagine your guests approaching the front door following a walkway lined in luminaries. With the dining room windows in the front of the house, this is a perfect place to display a menorah. Your guests can turn left into the formal dining room with its Kwanzaa feast already on the table, or they can continue straight into the great room. Just think of a grand Christmas tree to fill that great space with its spacious two-story ceiling. While the guests enjoy the view through the multitude of windows or cozy up to the fireplace, the family chef can take command of the kitchen. With plenty of elbow room and work space including a stand-alone island, don’t think twice about recruiting helpers. The walk-in pantry makes it convenient to store snacks for the bowl games. Even if you’re not located in a warm climate, stalwart tailgaters will certainly be willing to step out onto the covered deck and grill up some goodies by game time. Dining options are plentiful. Too many for the dining room? Some traditions separate the younger ones by seating them at the “kids’ table” which works well in the breakfast room. The snack bar provides adequate space for serving buffet style meals whether it’s latkes or the Christmas goose. Informal munching can be accomplished in the great room lap style. Chase the kids upstairs to that bonus room that you’ve converted to a playroom, while you clean up the kitchen and then enjoy visiting with the rest of the guests. When it comes time for that long winter’s nap, you are well equipped to handle all those that sleep over. Convert the study, conveniently located near a full bathroom, into a guest room. Utilize that bonus room on the second floor or double up in the two secondary bedrooms. Once you have settled everyone in, take a moment for yourself. Wash away an exciting but hectic day in your own whirlpool tub in the bathroom of your master suite. Happy holidays to all and to all a good night.

If you’d like to view the details of this design please check out home plan 025H-0124. And if you’d like to see some of the other home plans we’ve features in the past, check out our blogs representing this featured collection of home plans.

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Jan 15 2013

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Featured Mediterranean House Plan for Large Families

Mediterranean House Plan 043H-0177Characteristic of the Mediterranean region as well as the southern states such as Florida and even some regions of California, this Mediterranean house plan boast many recognizable exterior features. Begin with the eye-catching red clay tile roof and the stucco façade. Then notice the arched windows and decorative wrought iron enhance the second floor window/double doors. From the neatly detailed exterior to the elegant and spacious interior, this one-story home plan delivers sophisticated family living. Interesting angles and large windows contribute to a unique yet comfortable atmosphere. Upon entering, a roomy foyer greets all. It quickly introduces the formal gathering spaces where you’re sure to host dinner guests and entertain family and friends on holidays. The dining room features a decorative ceiling treatment and stylish columns defining the space while maintaining openness to the living room where large windows and double doors deliver views of the rear yard. Now pay attention to the causal family spaces that team up to create an open area for daily activities and family time. Two islands are better than one in the well-appointed kitchen where you’ll also discover a culinary pantry, eating bar, abundant counter space and adjoining nook. The family room connects with the kitchen and nook showcasing a fireplace flanked with built-ins. Along with the nook and formal dining room, you’ll find another option for meal time when you take a look at the sweeping covered patio, complete with outdoor kitchen, perfect for summertime barbecues and cookouts with the neighbors. Three family bedrooms and two bathrooms (one can serve as a pool bath easily accessed from the patio) accommodated the children’s needs on the right side of the home. These bedrooms are shielded from street noise by the three-car, side-entry garage and laundry room. Don’t miss the bonus room above the garage, ideal for a home theater or game room the whole family can enjoy. On the left side of the home, Bedroom 2 delights in a bayed window and enjoys access to a nearby bath. This arrangement is ideal for weekend guests or an aging family member in your care. Your master bedroom is secluded for privacy and loaded with amenities. You’ll love the bayed window and luxurious bath delivering pampering features like His and Her walk-in closets, soaking tub, separate shower and dual sinks. Designed with plenty of room for everyone and stylish features that are sure to charm you, this Mediterranean home plan is mixes the best of both worlds – comfortable living and elegant design.


For more information about this Mediterranean house plan, please visit our website. Or browse our entire Mediterranean collection for more options!

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Dec 27 2012

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Special Promotion: $40.00 OFF House Plan Purchase on New Year’s Day

Filed under Promotions

BlueprintsThe House Plan Shop wants to help you kick off the New Year and your 2013 home building project with terrific savings! We are offering a special promotion for the purchase of house plans on January 1st, 2013. This deal is available to our Facebook friends, Twitter followers and blog readers. Simply order your home plans on January 1st 2013 between 12:00am CST and 11:59pm CST and enter the promotion code below to receive $40.00 OFF your initial order for house blueprints.

Receive $40.00 off your initial house plan order using this promotion code: NYH13

This promotion code is not valid with any other promotion codes. It is not valid for blueprint package upgrades. Valid on January 1st, 2013, only.

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