With over 40 years of custom home design experience, we understand how good residential design can enhance your life, and we bring that passion and knowledge to every plan we create.

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What's included in a house plan set?

Our home plans provide all the necessary information to build your home with confidence, though they do not include structural calculations, as that information is site-specific. There will likely be some adjustments necessary to the home or garage plans to orient the home to your site and to comply with local building codes. Your home builder and building department will be able to help with this process.

For a detailed description and illustration of what our house plans include, check out: What’s Included In A House Plan Set.

How do I find the right home plan for me?

We recommend figuring out your must-haves and the information you already know, like how many bedrooms you need, the width and depth of home that will fit your site, and an approximate square footage that fits your budget.

Floor plan style is a great place to go next. A two-story home is great for families with children, providing space for both privacy and time together. If this is a home you’re planning to retire in, or if you may be caring for aging parents or in-laws, a plan that has the bedrooms, kitchen, garage, laundry, and other living spaces all on the main level allows for seamless aging-in-place and long-term independence.

The floor plan that feels right to you is what will matter most, because even aspects as major as the architectural style can be customized to suit your taste once you find the right plan. If you’ve found a home that’s almost right but not quite perfect, get in touch with us to set up a modification consultation, and we’ll see what we can do for you!

How is square footage calculated?

The square footage listed on any given plan is considered the total living square footage of the home, meaning the area designed as “finished” and heated in the home. This includes lower levels when shown as finished (though many of our homes can be built excluding the lower level or instead as optional unfinished / future finished space).

The square footage does not include garages, storage areas, unfinished space, decks, porches, courtyards or other outdoor living spaces.

Does my house plan meet my local building codes?

Our home plans meet the International Residential Code (IRC) in effect when the plan was designed. The International Residential Code is the base code typically adopted by all states, though states will often add their own adjustments on top of the base code due to state-specific geographical conditions. Because local regulations and site variations differ widely, you’ll need to run your plan by local experts who can help you out.

Some areas of the country have especially strict engineering codes–with good reason–such as hurricane risk zones along the Gulf Coast or earthquake-prone areas of California. Certain neighborhoods have strict Homeowner Associations or Architectural Control Committees with dictates on setbacks and style. Many areas require additional steps, including site plans, structural engineering, MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) plans, energy code compliance, and local code updates. It is your responsibility to comply with all local building codes, zoning requirements, and other applicable laws, regulations, ordinances, and conditions set forth by your planning commission.

A great place to start is with a visit to your local building department or their website. Many will have a handout or list of everything you need in order to submit for a building permit.

What else do I need before I can build?

Before purchasing a set of plans, we recommend visiting your local building department either in person or via their website. They will often have resources, recommendations, and a checklist of everything you need in order to submit for a building permit before breaking ground on your site.

Often, you will need a site plan and will likely need to hire a structural engineer, as a state-licensed engineering stamp is one of the most common requirements when applying for a building permit. Site and state conditions vary widely, and an engineer will be able to address local frost-depth requirements, hillside considerations, soil testing requirements, wind and lateral bracing, and load conditions pertaining to snow, wind, and earthquakes, as required by your area.

An engineer will analyze the design of your house plan and may provide additional drawings and calculations as required by your local building department. Trusses, if used, may also need to be professionally engineered. Your home builder will likely be able to recommend trusted engineers in your area.

Can I customize my house plan?

Absolutely! It’s quite common to want changes made to a plan, and these can range from minor adjustments that simply bring a plan up to local code requirements to major overhauls that verge on custom home design. Your chosen builder or local engineer can often help you with tweaks and solutions to comply with local code jurisdiction and site orientation, but if you have anything more complex in mind, you may be better off enlisting the help of a trusted drafter or building designer.

Our design team can help you with modifications, or even develop a new plan for a truly custom fit. Find out more about this process here: Customize a Home Plan.