Q. How many set's of blueprints do
I need to build a house?
A. Sometimes only one by passing the same set around to sub-contractors
but, If you want more than one contractor bidding at the same time then extra
sets are handy. Some building departments may require a set and sometimes
mortgage companies as well as home owner associations may require a set also.
To meet industry standards, we offer a five (5) set package.
Q. What is a PDF?
A. PDF files are electronic versions of reproducible vellums.
The .PDF can be emailed to suppliers, sub-contractors, engineers and financial
intitutions to save time and money on projects. You can also email them to
your local printer to get a set of erasable vellums or as many full size
1/4" scale copies (18" x 24") as you need and even print them on your desktop
printer at aprox. 1/8" scale (8 1/2"x11"). This format is now cheaper than
reproducible vellums and includes a Building License which allows modifications
to the plan as well as a copyright release for unlimited construction.
Q. Are these plans available
A. Yes they may be reversed but the numbers and words also get
mirrored, So we recommend that you request at least one of the sets to be
regular to help interpret. With Mylars you can also request mirrored copies
from your local print shop.
Q. Do you offer material
A. We don't at this time because depending on your location,
different materials will be used and it is more accurate to give no information
than the wrong information.
Q. How do we get a material
A. Most lumber stores offer free material lists to get your business,
best part is that they use materials that are available in your area. They
will need to borrow a set of your blueprints to work from.
Q. What about
A. Our plans specify UBC (Uniform Building Code) and that the finished
house meets all local codes as well. Different parts of the country require
different materials because of snow-loads, wind shears, seismic, etc. So
here again, we try to keep the plans as simple as possible for your contractors
to do their job.
Below is an illustration of typical specifications
noted in a wall section...
Q. Are your plans
designed for 2x4 or 2x6 exterior walls?
A. We specify 2x4 walls however, The dimensioning method used allows
the use of 2x6 walls without having to change many of the numbers
if any at all.
Q. Why would I want 2x6 exterior
A. The insulation value is R19 (R13 with 2x4 walls) which
may save a few bucks on your utility bills. The problem is that it costs
more to build so your house payment goes up as well.
IRC code (International) requires 2x6 exterior walls
also, many other cold weather areas are making this a requirement as well.
If your building in a mean-temperature envirenment then it's probably a really
good idea to do the 2x6.
Q. What about the new
A. This method costs from 10% to 25% more to build at this
time but has an R-Value of about 20. And since styrofoam is said to last
a million years by environmentalists it makes good sense to build houses
with it. As this method gets more and more popular, the costs are likely
to drop as well.
(Ten year update: Still pricey and not all that
Q. Are your plans
available with basements?
A. Yes, all of them. Slab or Crawl-space foundation plans may be
added to plan orders for an additional $125.
Q. What if we want
to add finished rooms in our basement?
A. We assume that you do at least someday. So, The basements are
all designed for a finished Recreation Room, One or two Bedrooms and
a bath. Most include a Wet Bar and Fireplace rough-in as well. The layout
is a very important criteria for determining load-bearing walls and
flexability for property that allows "view-out" or "walk-out"
basements. The cost of finishing a basement is usually under $20
per sq ft based on one bedroom, recreation room, and a bath
(does not include fireplace, wet bar or the pool
Q. What is a "view-out"
A. This is where normally the property on the back of the house
allows a drop in the foundation (Shown in the wall section above) to have
larger windows downstairs. This can also be done on a fairly
flat lot by raising the foundation and adding steps from the garage
to the house.
is a daylite window?
A. Full basements that do not have view-out or walk-out capabilities
(due to lot conditions) are provided with "window wells" that allow full
size windows for natural light and fire escapes.
your plans available on concrete slab or with a
A. Basement-foundation plans are included with all houses.
However, we dimension the foundations in such a way that they can still
be used with slab or crawl spaces with very minor changes for your contractor,
or slab and crawl-space foundation plans may be added to plan orders for
an additional $125.
Q. Can you make our changes
for us and what does it cost?
A. Yes we do modify plans here and the cost depends on the amount
of changes, basically you need to purchase the reproducible mylars plus $50
an hour for the extra work, Please call or
an estimate, we can do a lot of work in an hour (for example, add a 3rd car
garage or move 1 or sometimes 2 major exterior walls).
Q. How much does it cost to build
The actual cost of construction varies from
to the next, the national average is about $95 per square foot. Basically
a 1200 sq. ft. home would run about $114,000 to build and would include a
2-car attached garage and a full unfinished basement, but would
not include land. Check with Builders in your area to get an even
closer figure and then multiply it times the square footage of the home you
are interested in.