QUALITY HOUSE PLANS:
Cost-effective, economical "Green Building" starts with the "Blueprint". Before any nails are hammered, before any construction begins, it is important that the building plan integrates construction materials and methods in a manner that reduces the overall project expense. The core principle of cost effective construction is operational efficiency. In utilizing common building practices and applying standard units of measure for building materials our plans provide the means towards achieving practical building solutions for confronting today's environmental challenges and financial constraints.
THE CONSTRUCTION PLANS:
A plan order will include:
Multiple sheets containing detailed and dimensioned construction drawings with 4 exterior elevations, foundation, floor level(s), wall framing plans with numbered panel views of each wall to be framed, floor/ceiling joists, roof configuration, electrical layout, cross section, specifications, window/door schedule, cabinet layout, and wall section detail (at 1/4" scales, also 1/8" and 1/2" scales).
Plans may be either "D" size (24"x36") or "E" size (30"x42"), depending on the square foot size of the house, as indicated on each plan description page and are available as Repro Plan Sets (printed and shipped) or PDF Files (digital copy, emailed).
Repro Plan Sets (Reproducible Master):
Repros are reproducible master sheets from which construction copies can easily be made using the ammonia diazo process (blueprints) or photocopy process at your local copy center. You will only need to purchase one set of plans for a given plan number. The reproducible sheets are your master copy and you can make as many additional copies as you need for full sets or individual drawing pages. Repro sets are shipped (free) via USPS Priority Mail and generally take 3-5 days depending on the options selected.
PDF File (Portable Document Format):
A PDF File of the house plan is a digital copy of the construction sheets in an electronic format and is delivered electronically via email. This is the digital version of the reproducible sheets and you can make as many additional copies as you need for full sets or individual drawing pages; or simply email a copy of the PDF File to builders, suppliers, etc. PDF files are viewable and printable on all computer platforms via a free download of Adobe Reader. Since PDF files are delivered electronically they can usually be emailed to you the same day during business hours (excluding weekends and holidays). There is no need to wait days for delivery or be available for a signature. PDF files are also easier for builders or local designers to use when making modifications.
The Repro Sets and PDF Files of plans come standard with both the Single-Use and Multi-Use Copyright Release License Agreements. The Multi-Use License is useful for builders, developers or homeowners who want to build more than one house from the same plan. You can make as many copies as needed for your constructions project which generally requires multiple copies of the plan (a set for yourself, the builder, the subcontractors, your bank and the building department). The copyright release license also allows you to legally make modifications to the plans to suit your style and building needs.
All plans are drawn to IRC (International Residential Code) Building Standards and are fully detailed with dimensions and construction specifications. All plans include structural building material schedules such as the quantity and sizes for rafters, floor joists, ceiling joists, beams, girders, windows and doors; as well as square footage for flooring materials and roof shingles.
All plans include foundation specifications for flat as well as sloped properties. Code compliant anchoring systems (hurricane clips, etc) are also indicated. On each plan, ground snow loads for roof rafters are specified. (If you would like US region-specific snow load calculations, we will provide this at no additional charge).
In addition, all plans are available in full right reading reverse. Simply make the appropriate selection in the "options drop-down menu" at the upper portion of the plan description page.
(See summary below)
We want to make sure that all the details in our plans are clearly understood by you or your builder. Therefore, we offer technical assistance for any questions or concerns you may have before or during the critical stages of building a new home. We will provide answers via email to you as the purchaser of record (or your builder) for your questions pertaining to the house plan you purchased from us for a period of up to 1 year from the date of purchase, absolutely free
. If you encounter any delays in starting construction or you are using one of our Build-in Stages plans, just email a request for an extension and we will continue to provide plan assistance.
TYPICAL PLAN SHEETS:
A Repro Plan Set or PDF File includes construction details such as: (For sample plans
Exterior Elevations: All four sides (Front, Rear, Right and Left elevation drawings) of the proposed residence detailing exterior materials and finish, window numbers and elevation dimensions.
Detailed Floor Plans: All floor levels of the house showing room/area layouts completely detailed with dimensions, notations, reference markers, cross section markers and labeled items which are cross referenced to their corresponding tables (including window/door schedule, area schedule and beam schedule). All placement location for doors, windows, cabinets, bath plumbing fixtures, kitchen and laundry appliances, fireplace(s) and notation for any special details such as tray ceilings or other similar items.
Foundation and Basement plans: Detailed concrete foundation layout supporting the house showing foundation walls, footings, pads, posts, beams, bearing walls, doors/windows (if applicable), cross section markers, dimensions and notations. Cross referenced footing, beam and window/door schedules are included. For plans with homes on a slab, monolithic footing details are shown.
Floor Framing Plans: Detailed plans showing layout, direction, spacing, specifications, framed openings and span of floor supporting joists, fully dimensioned, showing beams, bearing posts and bearing walls. Joists are numbered for cross-referencing to the floor joist schedule. Footing and beam schedules are included as well as section markers. Each plan is shown as it overlays the floor below.
Ceiling Joist Plan: Detailed plans showing the layout, direction, spacing, span, framed openings and specifications for the ceiling support joists. All ceiling joists are numbered for cross reference to the corresponding ceiling joist schedule and include dimensions, beams, bearing walls, bearing posts and beam schedules. Each plan is shown as it overlays the floor below. Some plans that have as their roof support system the use of roof trusses will not include a ceiling joist plan since the bottom chord of the trusses is engineered to support the ceiling.
Roof Framing Plan (Rafters): Detailed plan showing layout, direction, spacing, span, framed openings and specifications for rafters supporting the roof, fully dimensioned, showing beams, bearing walls, posts and numbered for cross reference to the roof rafter schedule. Each plan is shown as it overlays the floor below. Area and beam schedules are also included. Plans that specify the use of only roof trusses will not include a roof rafter plan.
Roof Framing Plans (Trusses): Framing plans showing the layout, direction and framed openings, fully dimensioned, with beams, bearing walls, bearing posts and beam, area schedules. Each plan is shown as it overlays the floor below. All relevant information is provided in order to enable the truss manufacturer to engineer the trusses for the house.
Cabinet Plans: Detailed plan views and elevation views of the proposed cabinets specified in the house plan. Layout, dimension, cabinet numbers and cabinet types are included.
Electrical Plans: Detailed electrical schematic showing suggested electrical item location for each floor level, room and area within the house as well as the exterior portion of the dwelling. All electrical lights with their corresponding switches are shown. An electrical legend for the symbols, names and count is provided. Specific wiring diagrams and circuit configurations are not included since your local licensed electrician provides this per local codes.
Cross Section Details and Specifications: Section cutaways showing the corresponding details for the foundation, floors, walls, stairways, roof and porches of the dwelling. These section details show how important structural components relate to one another with notes and specifications. Also included are room area schedule with flooring suggestions, window/door schedule and general construction notes.
For convenience and accuracy we also include:
Dedicated Framing Plans: Detailed wall framing plans for each floor level containing stud walls complete with dimensions, window/door numbers, beams and bearing walls referenced to their corresponding schedules. Individual studs are shown in plan form within every wall and all walls are given an ID number for reference to their corresponding panel views (in most cases shown separately). These plans are unencumbered by non-essential notations and items for more clarity and ease of use to framers in the field during construction.
Wall Panel Plans: Wall panel views of each wall corresponding to the wall panel ID numbers on the wall framing plans. All walls show elevation views of the stud framing complete with door/window openings, headers and beam pockets.
These are examples of our dedicated wall framing and wall panel drawings included in all of our house plan construction sets.
PDF FILE AS STUDY PACKAGE SET:
The PDF File (electronic version of the full construction set) is the best way to obtain accurate cost estimates from your builder. Once you have made the decision to start construction, you can easily start the construction process since the PDF File also includes the License Release Form allowing you permission to construct the dwelling from copyrighted plans.
Sending copies of the PDF File via email to prospective builders for quotes saves time and money normally spent in making multiple paper copy sets. Builders and sub-contractors can easily review the plans on their own computers without the need for printing.
PDF File sets contain all the detailed construction specifications needed for obtaining prices, permits and for the actual construction of the house. PDF versions run about $100 less than the Repro version and include the copyright license. This will also allow you to thoroughly review the complete plan on your own computer and email copies to kitchen cabinet providers, interior designers and other suppliers for pricing without having to make expensive copy sets.
PDF File Section
How much does it cost to build a given house plan? The answer to that question will depend on many different factors. The region where you plan to build, your choice of quality level, as well as your building site conditions; all have an impact on the actual building costs of your new home. Also, the complexity of the structure and the amount of pre-planning contribute to the construction expenses.
For example, the location and condition of your property can significantly affect the project's bottom line. Will your land require major excavating or is it well off the beaten track? Or, maybe you are fortunate to have a fairly flat piece of property, already cleared of trees, in a location where the "rock clause" is unnecessary.
If you haven't already purchased your land and you are perhaps considering a difficult building site for your future home, you might want the added building expense to be reflected in your offer to purchase.
QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION PLANS
Details in the design and structural layout of your building plans can have a great impact on construction costs. Plans that incorporate 2 and 4 foot increments in the overall structural footprint, which utilize standard building material sizes will significantly reduce high costs that would otherwise result from excessive waste and labor.
Our plans are specifically designed to be cost-effective by utilizing standard material dimensions with the 2'-4' grid layout.
VISUALIZATION AND PRE-PLANNING
Making changes and overspending on the allowances are two big contributors to cost overruns. Make sure the allowance your builder is quoting is realistic. Pre-planning the preliminary cabinet and appliance selection will prepare you with a more accurate allowance on finish materials.
Change orders can be a nightmare for builders, wasting precious time and material, not to mention the added nuisance of more paper work. For the unscrupulous builders, it's an opportunity to squeeze out more profits. Knowing exactly what your house plan will look like when built eliminates the inevitable changes that can occur from the inability to visualize.
Our plans provide 3d virtual images of every floor plan for every house plan, with both interior and exterior views, fully furnished, as well as landscaped for easy visualization and plan selection.
BUILDING COST RATING SYSTEM
We have provided a simple method to indicate the level of construction cost for each plan based on the complexity of its structural elements. This rating is not based on size, choice of building products or quality of finish materials, but rather the degree to which standard construction methods and standard building material dimensions are utilized. Taken into consideration are factors such as number of foundation corners, length of beam spans, roof complexity, window opening variations, length of plumbing runs, etc. The ratings are calculated assuming the use of "stick built" roof rafters and ceiling joists, along with their corresponding beam supports. Actual costs can potentially be reduced by using roof trusses when applicable. This rating system serves as a general starting point from which you can either go up or down depending on the factors specific to your building project (personal choices, regional location, site conditions, etc.).
For example, $(-) represents simple, straight-forward construction methods and materials which will translate into lower per square foot building costs. A rating of $$$(+) indicates a much more complex structure involving more labor and specialized framing materials resulting in per square foot building costs at the higher end.
LEVEL OF CONSTRUCTION COMPLEXITY:
- $ = Simple
- $$ = Moderate
- $$$ = Complex
Each category is further broken down by range:
- (-) = Lower Range
- (0) = Mid Range
- (+) = Upper Range
Below we have provided a list of the average per square foot finished construction cost for each state.
If you've been referred to our website by a builder, you probably already have a general idea of what your building cost range will be for your project. Otherwise, have a builder look at the website plan information to give you a general price range for your specific location.
BUILDING COST RANGE:
For a general idea of the cost range to build a plan you are considering see: House Plan Building Cost Range. This, however, is no substitute for an accurate construction quote from your local builder.
SUMMARY OF AVAILABLE HOUSE PLAN PRODUCTS:
- Repro Plan: Full set of construction plans on reproducible translucent bond with single/multi License Release Agreement, technical assistance, shipped via Priority Mail.
- PDF File: Full set of construction plans in digital format printable to scale at full sheet size with single/multi License Release Agreement, technical assistance, delivered via email.
- Building Outline: Building outline plan (1" = 20' scale) for use in preparing a survey/site plan which may be required by your subdivision or lending institution. The cost for this digital PDF file is $55. To purchase a Building Outline Plan, email us with your name and order number and we will provide you with ordering instructions. Available up to one year from date of original purchase.
- Plan Reversal: Reverse of a previously ordered plan. The cost will be based on the standard reverse fee for your given plan (as stated on the plan detail page) plus $8 per sheet for printing, shipping and handling (if applicable) and a $25 service fee. To purchase a Plan Reversal, email us with your name and order number and we will provide you with ordering instructions and total cost. Available up to one year from date of original purchase.
- PDF Version of your repro order: Full set of construction plans in digital format printable to scale at full sheet size for a previously purchased Repro Plan, delivered via email. The cost is 75% off your original plan price. To purchase a PDF Version of your plan, email us with your name and order number and we will provide you with ordering instructions and total cost. Available up to one year from date of original purchase.
MODIFICATIONS AND CUSTOM CHANGES:
If you've found a plan that you like but it's not quite the right fit, as the original designers we can offer minor modifications and custom changes at affordable rates to some of our plans. All modification questions and quotes need to be written (via email) and cannot be handle over the phone. We will need time to research the plan in order to answer your questions.
Email us with the plan number and a description of the desired changes. We will let you know if the modifications are feasible and what the additional cost will be, as well as the time frame for completion. If the changes are minor there may be no custom charge at all. Otherwise, the average fees for most of our customization projects, in addition to the cost of the plan, range anywhere from $75.00 to $975.00 depending on the size and complexity of the individual plan and the number of changes you require. The average project duration runs about 2-3 weeks, depending on our current work load at the time. Or, you may also wish to take the purchased Repro Plan Set or PDF File to your builder for modifications locally. In many cases your builder may be able to make the changes for you without having to go to the expense of having the plan sheets redrawn. For example, changing 2x4 exterior walls to 2x6 can be accomplished without redrawing the plan sheets. We will gladly provide mark-up notations on the plan at no additional cost. Otherwise, the cost to modify drawings to show 2x6 exterior walls instead of 2x4 is indicated on each plan description page in the "Available Options" section. Standard modifications run 4-7 days for completion.
However, if you have not already chosen a builder and you want all your changes clarified on the plans initially, we will be happy to get you started on your construction project.
Contact us about your modification questions.
Get a free MODIFICATION QUOTE on a specific plan.
Below are samples of typical construction drawing sheets
|STATE AVERAGE PER SQUARE FOOT FINISHED BUILDING COSTS
The above costs represent state averages for finished construction (conditioned space) based on a home ranging from 2300 to 2500 square feet. Costs may vary significantly within regions of a given state due to zoning regulations, site conditions and total finished square footage. The square foot costs do not include excavation, foundation, land and construction permit fees. The above chart is meant for general reference purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining accurate building estimates from a licensed building contractor.
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