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  Important information to know before purchasing house plans!

Important information to know before purchasing house plans!

If you’re buying house plans online, you should know that many online stock home plan companies sell inferior plans that do not include all the necessary information needed to safely build your home.

The details of your construction drawings are critical to ensure that your new home is built using proper structural and building methods. The House Designers has the highest standard approval policies that are not held by any other house plan website. Please take time and review the following:

Structural Sizing and Code Conformity

It is important to note that all plans sold on The House Designers will have the entire structure sized; this includes:

  • All floor beams, girders, headers and ceiling beams
  • Roofs are designed to be trussed or, if stick framed, will show all rafter sizes and intermediate bearing points for a specific snow load. You may need to have the roof members resized locally for specific snow loads
  • All house plans from The House Designers are guaranteed to conform to the International Residential Code (IRC)

Additional Engineering/State Stamp

In some regions, there is another step you will need to take to insure your house plans are in compliance with local codes. Despite our all-inclusive structure on our plans, some areas of North America have additional engineering requirements. It is possible you will need to hire a State licensed structural engineer to analyze the design and provide additional drawings and calculations required by your local building department. Examples of this would be, but not limited to,

  • Earthquake-prone areas of California and the Pacific Coast
  • Hurricane risk areas like Florida and the Gulf States
  • Carolinas and Atlantic Coast
  • New York, New Jersey, Nevada and sections of Illinois

If you aren’t sure, building departments typically have a handout listing all of the items they require to submit to obtain a building permit.

Additionally, stock plans do not have a professional stamp attached. If your building department requires one, they will only accept a stamp from a professional licensed in the state where you plan to build. In this case, you will need to take your house plans to a local engineer or architect for review and stamping. In addition, plans which are used to construct homes in Nevada are required to be drawn by a licensed Nevada architect.

Foundation Site Plan

Our foundation plans have been designed for universal conditions and do not address a specific site. It is recommended that soil samples be taken at the site by a competent local soil testing laboratory. The foundation should be modified by a local structural engineer to comply with the findings and recommendations of the soil testing laboratory.

Site and Septic Plan

In addition to the house plans you order, you may also need a site plan that shows where the house is going to be located on the property. Your home builder or surveyor can usually help with this step.

You may also need a septic design unless your lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. Many areas now have area-specific energy codes that also have to be followed. This normally involves filling out a simple form providing documentation that your house plans are in compliance.

Return Policy

The House Designers offers a one-time 14 day exchange policy for non-electronic plan packages for plans that have not been modified, used, marked on or copied. Exchanges are subject to a 20% restocking fee and all sales on electronic and reproducible house plans and customization/modifications are final.

Additional Information

For more information or to receive pricing on obtaining an engineering stamp, modification estimates or design assistance from our house plan experts, simply email, live chat or call our toll free number (800) 532-0053, and we’d be happy to assist you.

© 2020 Jerold Axelrod, Architect. All rights reserved. All house plans and images on The House Designers® websites are protected under Federal
and International Copyright Law. Reproductions of the illustrations or working drawings by any means is strictly prohibited. No part of this electronic publication
may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form by any means without prior written permission of The House Designers®, LLC.
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10/20/2020 •