Blue print Considerations
You have now decided the style, approximate size, number of rooms, type of kitchen, number of floor plans, basement or not, type of home heating, fireplace design and where to situate your home plan on the lot.
Now you need to develop and draw yourself, buy, borrow or have drawn a set of blue prints and floor plans. Building a home without blue prints should only be attempted by the most experienced professional.
If an architects seal is required, you may want to have an architect design and prepare the blue prints for you. If you do not need any help with design, (like when you buy a set of stock blue prints online), perhaps you can find an architect to just prepare the bluep rints and omit the design phase. You should get a discounted price with the second option.
Another option is to have a drafting company prepare the plans. They may have an arrangement with an architect to get the plans reviewed and sealed, if need be. This option should also be fairly economical. Try to provide pictures, floor plans, old blue prints etc.
The simplest way is to find and buy a set of stock floor plans or blue prints from a magazine, a home center, the internet or some other source. You may have to search many floor plans and blue prints to find one that fits your criteria, but this is a very economical option.
The downside is that they will seldom have the foundation requirements for your area. So, even if the blue prints are exactly what you want in every other way, the blue prints may still need to be modified. This is not difficult however. A few notations on the floor plan should clarify the necessary depth and size required in your area. Even if the plan does not have a basement, you can easily modify the foundation plan to include one. Check with your building department to see if they will accept the modified plans or set of blue prints.
If an architect's seal is required in your area, try to find one before you buy the plans. Some states do not allow architects to put their seal on someone else's floor plans. If you need to have structural information only reviewed, you may find a structural engineer more easily than an architect to seal the plans. They are accustomed to providing structural information on someone else's blue prints.
Our "House Plans" page has a collection of home plans and floor plans and blue prints that we have selected from some excellent architects and designers.
Blue Print Requirements
All plans should conform to one of the national codes such as UBC or CABO or the new IBC. You may need to alter your plans to conform to your local code or the amendments to one of the aforementioned codes. The vast majority of municipalities have adopted at least one of the national codes. Find out which one. The national codes can be found at your local public library, and the local ones should be available there too.
Of course, you can draw your own floor plans if they will be acceptable to your municipality. Be aware that if you will be applying for a construction loan, the lender will undoubtedly require complete blueprints.
Lenders are reluctant to lend to people that are acting as their own general contractor. You must impress them with your ability by putting together a good set of blueprints. It will also be helpfull if you get your permanent mortgage from the same lender as the construction loan.
Whichever option you choose, the blue prints should include at least all of the information listed here. We are not including sample blue prints because of their size. If blue prints were reduced to fit the screen, they would be unreadable. Explanations and diagrams are included so you should be able to read and even draw a set of blue prints from the information provided.
(See samples on specifications page)
Blueprints - Floor Plans - New Home Blueprints - New Home Floor Plans