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Important information to know before purchasing house plans!

We know it can be daunting to purchase house plans online, but we want you to know that The House Designers is different from other online stock plan companies. We are determined to provide the best blueprints you can find. Other companies sell inferior plans that look fine on first glance, but that do not include all the information necessary to safely build homes from them. Proper house plans include a lot more detail than you might realize!

Construction drawings should include all kinds of information that is critical to ensure that your new home is built using the best methods. The House Designers has the highest standard approval policies around, and these standards are not held by any other house plan website. Here is what you get when you purchase from us:

Structural Sizing and Code Conformity

All plans sold by The House Designers will have the entire structure sized, including:

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

Additional Engineering/State Stamp

In some regions, there is another step you must take to ensure your house plans are in compliance with local codes. Despite the all-inclusive structure details on our plans, some areas 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 are not limited to:

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

If you aren’t sure, building departments usually have a handout listing all of the items required to obtain a building permit.

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're building. In this case, you will need to take your house plans to a local engineer or architect for review and stamping. In addition, plans that are used to construct homes in Nevada are required to be drawn by a licensed Nevada architect.

Foundation Site Plan

Our foundations 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 actual house plans, 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 usually helps with this step.

You may also need to include the location of the septic system on your lot, unless you will be served by a sanitary sewer system. Many areas have specific energy codes that must be followed, too. 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, 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 us toll free at (888) 795-6803, and we’d be happy to assist you.

© 2018 The House Designers®, LLC. 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.