Frequently asked questions.

Get to Know Our Products
Before You Buy.

In order to help you with your buying decision, we have developed a list of answers to our most frequently asked questions (FAQs). Before contacting us, please check the FAQs below and see if your question has already been addressed. If you still need assistance, feel free to contact us by email.

We want you to be happy with your new set of home plans, so prior to purchase, we recommend you:

  • Consult your local municipal planning department.
  • Confirm your site dimensions and personal design requirements.
  • Confirm your construction budget and project financing.
  • Review all information on our website and contact us by email if you have any additional questions or
    concerns.
  • Please remember that all sales are final, and all of our downloadable products are non-refundable.

Our plan sets include the following drawings sent as a single PDF file:

Coversheet – includes a 3D rendering showing an artist’s impression of the completed home and the drawing legend.

License Agreement & Building Information – the first section of this sheet, outlines the terms & conditions for use of the drawings. The second section, lists the building area calculations, and includes an insulation schedule that can be tailored to your individual climatic zone. There is also space where you can add you and your builder’s contact information for permit application.

General Requirements – this sheet has been included to help you and your builder review all necessary construction items that are required to complete your project, this includes many items not typically indicated on the drawings. For example, excavation requirements, storage of products during construction, job clean-up, and other construction requirements are outlined here.

Foundation Plan – all plan sets will include a fully-dimensioned foundation plan drawn to 1/4″ scale, indicating the location of necessary concrete stem walls, strip and pad footings, and proposed column, beam and floor joist layouts.

Floor Plan(s) – a fully-dimensioned floor plan drawn to 1/4″ scale is included for every level of the house. Floor plans indicate the layout of the house, window and door sizes, kitchen and bathroom layouts, column and beam locations, as well as proposed layouts for the roof and floor systems.

Roof Plan – a fully-dimension roof plan drawn to 1/4″ scale is included in each plan set. This drawing is especially useful to the truss/joist supplier in producing the roof system for your home.

Exterior Elevations – a minimum of 4 exterior elevations drawn to 1/4″ scale are provided. These drawings show the front, rear and each side of the building along with the exterior finish materials, and heights of each floor and roof system.

Sections and Construction Assemblies – drawings include a minimum of 2 building sections drawn to 1/4″ scale, as well as a comprehensive list of construction assemblies outlining each building system necessary for the project.

Lighting Plan(s) – a lighting plan drawn to 1/4″ scale is included for each level of the house. These drawings indicate a proposed lighting scheme for the home along with possible switching locations.

Items NOT included are:

  • Architectural or Engineering Stamps or Seals (no BCIN# is provided for Ontario Residents).
  • Survey/Site Plan of your Building Site, or Soils Reports.
  • HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical Drawings.
  • Energy Calculations or Information Related to Specific Climactic Zones.
  • Interior Design and Landscape Design Drawings.

 

 

Pre-designed drawings, often called “stock” home plans, refer to drawings prepared prior to sale and typically sold through a mail-order catalogue, or on the internet. Pre-designed home plans generally include all of the necessary information required to build the home, but do not include information specific to a particular building site or location. Often additional structural design, lot surveys, and construction details will have to be provided by you or your builder before construction. This is typical of any set of drawings purchased from the internet. Despite this, pre-designed home plans continue to be the most cost-effective and widely used method of constructing homes in Canada and the US.

No, however, most jurisdictions do not require an architectural stamp or seal for residential construction under a certain size. Contact your local planning department to find out if a stamp or seal is needed for the size of home you plan to build in your area. If required, your local planning department should be able to direct you to a local professional architect who is able to stamp and/or seal the drawings for you.

No. For Ontario residents, a BCIN # is required for building permit approval. If you are purchasing a plan set within Ontario, please be advised that you will be required to obtain a BCIN # from a locally licensed building professional. Please consult your local planning authority for further information prior to purchase. 

No. Our drawings include only basic layouts and locations of structural components and do no include comprehensive engineering details and calculations. All engineering must be provided locally by a licensed professional engineer, and is the purchaser’s responsibility. In all cases, we recommend the drawings be reviewed by a local structural engineer prior to construction.

Because local codes, climatic requirements and commonly used systems vary dramatically throughout the country, we are unable to provide complete drawings for HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems.  It is typical to have a local HVAC contractor, plumber and electrician provide the layouts for these systems.

Due to the wide range of building requirements, building codes, zoning requirements, and regulatory requirements throughout the country (and internationally), our plan sets may not comply completely with your local building regulations. The assistance of a local builder, architect, or other building professional may be necessary to modify the drawings in order to comply with your area’s specific code requirements.

Although our home plans may be built “as is” in many locations, your local building department will likely have additional requirements. Some of these requirements include survey information, structural engineering, soils reports and energy efficiency calculations. This information is usually particular to your building site and must be obtained locally, generally with the help of your general contractor, or other building professional. In all cases, we recommend a licensed engineer review your plans prior to construction, even if it is not specifically required for obtaining a building permit in your area. If you’re not sure what your local jurisdiction requires, contact your municipal planning department for assistance prior to purchase.

PDF plan sets are formatted to print full-size at 24″ x 36″. This is commonly referred to as A1 size. Most local print shops, as well as most big box office supply stores can print full-size drawing sets for you.

Purchase of a plan set license allows you to make as many prints as you require to construct one house. Construction of multiple homes requires the purchase of an additional license for each additional home. Please contact us before purchase if you plan on building more than one home.

Imperial units are the standard for residential construction in Canada and the US. All of our drawings are drawn in imperial units.

The square footage for each floor (located above grade) is calculated from the outside perimeter of the exterior wall framing. Basements and crawlspaces (located below grade) are included separately, and are calculated from the outside perimeter of the concrete foundation walls.

We value our customer’s privacy, so we do not disclose the locations of built projects. In response to this issue, we provide fairly comprehensive computer-generated 3D images to help illustrate what the finished design will look like.

House construction costs can vary greatly depending on where the house is built and the level of finish that you desire. The price of construction will vary depending on how busy the local housing market is, the size and complexity of the home, access to the site, as well as the individual builder’s level of experience. In addition, variables such as your choice of finishing products such as cabinetry, countertops, flooring, kitchen appliances,  plumbing and lighting fixtures, trim details, and more, will influence building costs. 

All sales of house plans and other reproducible PDF files are final and not returnable or exchangeable for any reason. After purchasing plans, be sure to review the contents of your order immediately. If you have any questions, concerns or issues about your order, contact us within 14 days of the date of your purchase.

Downloadable PDF plan files are delivered directly to you inbox within moments of your purchase. All drawings in the set are contained within a single PDF file. If you do not receive your drawings within a few minutes of purchase, check your spam folder, and if there is still an issue with your order, please contact us by email as soon as possible.

If you have any issues with your file download, or you should accidentally delete your file, please email us immediately. Once we are able to verify your order, we will send you a replacement file as soon as possible.

Presently, our studio is unable to take on modifications or additional projects. Your builder should be able to help you with minor changes to the drawings. If you require more substantial modifications, we suggest taking your drawings to a local draftsman or building technologist. If you require a fully custom designed home, we highly recommend you consider hiring a local  architect experienced in the style of home you envision.

The easiest way to compare the differences between pre-designed plans, architects, and draftsmen is to compare the three main value propositions offered by each:

  • Design Quality – a combination of functionality, aesthetics, and construction knowledge;
  • Service – meetings with you to customize your project to your personal tastes and to the requirements of your individual building site; and
  • Price – how much you will pay for the design. 

An architect will offer very high design quality and service, but comparatively, their fees are also very high. A draftsman or building technologist will offer good service and low prices, but comparatively, provide very low design quality. Pre-designed home plans generally offer high design quality and very low prices, but do not offer any additional services.

Definitely, each design method has its own pros and cons worth considering. Whichever method you choose, be advised that engineering fees, survey work, landscaping and interior design services are usually not included, and should also be factored into your overall design budget.

 

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