Frequently Asked Questions
Predesigned House Plans
Mechanical details and diagrams are not included with most home plans, as they are not required for typical construction, and they vary drastically among regions and counties depending on local codes.
Yes, all house plans sold on this website are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission. Copies can only be made if a reproducible master, CAD file, or PDF file are purchased. All home plans and illustrations published on this site are the exclusive property of Great House Design and the Architects and Designers represented on this site. Only one structure may be built from the construction package you purchase. House plans may not be resold or copied. We strive for accurate representation of rendering and house plans and will not be responsible for errors or omissions on this site. Law strictly prohibits reproduction in whole or part of any home plans or illustrations on this site.
Our house plans are not stamped by an Architect or Engineer. If your area requires an Architect’s or Engineer’s stamp, you will have to take them to a local Architect or Engineer for review and stamping. The professional you select must be registered in the state where you plan to build.
If there are photos available, they are already on the plan page for each design.
Some of our home plans were originally designed for handicapped accessibility. If you find a home plan that is not handicap accessible, you can have it modified for handicap accessibility, either by a local Designer after you have purchased a CAD or PDF file, or you can fill out this modification request form to receive a quote within 2-3 business days from the Great House Design modification team or contact us Toll-Free at 1 (877) 238-7056.
The foundations listed on our website for each plan are the available foundations provided by the Designer. If the foundation you need is not available, we recommend that you check with your builder, as most builders can make a foundation change on the building site. Also, a Designer can modify most foundation plans, either locally or you can fill out a modification request form to get a quote from our Modification Team.
You can fill out this modification request form to receive a quote within 2-3 business days from the Great House Design modification team or contact us Toll-Free at 1 (877) 238-7056.
Many of our plans show detailed sections of the framing and the floor framing and roof layouts, but it is not often that they show the entire layout. An experienced builder will be able to construct your home using the information provided on the construction drawings.
Our plans are designed to meet national building codes, but not necessarily state or county codes. Therefore, these construction drawings do not include extensive HVAC or plumbing details. Your HVAC system will be determined by the size of your home and the types of units you use. Ductwork will be defined by the type of heating and cooling systems you use and your local building codes. Although plumbing fixtures are included in your home plans, the flow of water lines and sewer systems are site-specific and must be determined locally. You can discuss these details with your local builder.
Square footage calculations are made from outside of the exterior frame wall and measures livable, heated, and finished space. It does not include decks, porches, screen porches, patios, verandas, garages, unfinished basements, attics, future space and bonus rooms.
Two-story and vaulted areas are only included once in the calculations of the first floor. Stairs are counted once. If a house plan calls out finished square footage in the basement, it will be calculated as a part of the total living square footage. Generally, brick is not included in our square footage calculations.
Square footage is calculated using the actual construction drawings. You will not be able to calculate the square footage from using the room sizes from floor plans on our website because hallways, closets and other small spaces are not included. If you need to clarify the square footage of a particular house plan, please contact us.
It depends on the complexity of the house, but in most cases, you will need roughly 5 to 8 sets. Those who will need a blueprint include you, your contractor, sub-contractors, the building department, your mortgage lender, and/or the building inspector.
CAD and PDF files are complete sets of construction drawings in an electronic file format. Both files can be emailed to you (depending on the Designer, a processing fee may apply) or mailed out to you on a disk. It is a good idea to buy the CAD or PDF file if you want to make substantial changes to the drawings. Both files include a copyright release for you to legally make changes and build one structure.
A reproducible master set is a complete set of home plans from which you can copy as many sets as you need to build your house. A copyright release is included to give you permission to legally make changes to the home plan and to make the copies that you will need for construction of one house. You will need to bring the copyright release with you when you take the plans to the copy shop. Some designers print reproducible masters on vellum paper while others print them on bond paper.
Most of our published plans include the following:
- Coversheet – Some of our Architects and Designers provide an artist’s rendering of the finished home. This is used as a visual aid, but it is not needed for construction. NOTE: Not all Designers provide a Coversheet.
- Exterior Elevations – The exterior elevations provide exterior views of the house and call out the exterior finish materials, such as siding, stucco, brick, stone, etc. This page also shows roof pitches and materials, and decorative elements, such as columns and window shutters. Sometimes window and door sizes are also shown here.
- Floor Plans – The floor plan shows how each room is laid out on each floor of the house. In most cases, the floor plan will include wall sizes, room dimensions, notes about ceiling design, window and door locations and sizes, and other structural layout notes and details.
- Foundation Plan – This page provides a detailed foundation drawing, including the thickness of the foundation walls, how the foundation is built, footing and wall placement, rebar schedule, as well as other construction notes and details. This page may also include a floor framing plan.
- Cross Sections – Cross sections are views from the top to the bottom of the house plan showing structural details related to the construction of the home. They will show the composition of the foundation, interior and exterior walls, roof, floor and stair details. They also show rooflines, ceiling heights, and the relationships between floors. Cross sections may be on a separate page or on various pages throughout the home plan.
- Interior Elevations – The interior elevations show built-in features of a house plan, such as kitchen cabinets, fireplaces, built-in bookshelves and desks, vanities, moldings, and hand rails.
- Basic Electric – This page shows the locations of outlets, switches, and fixtures. It may be on a separate page, or located on the floor plan page.
- Simple Plumbing – This page shows the locations of the bathtubs, showers, toilets, and sinks. This may be found on the floor plan, or it might be on a separate page.
- Details – This page includes the structural details for the construction of the house.
NOTE: Not all stock house plans come with each element described here. They vary by Designer.
Sometimes a house fits better on a lot if the floor plan is flipped. As such, mirror reverse plans can be a helpful tool. Mirror reverse plans are a mirrored image of the house plan, with the text appearing backward, just as if you were looking in a mirror. Although the dimensions and lettering are not readable, mirror reverse plans serve as a visual aid showing the floor plan of the home the way you plan to build it and also showing correct door swings. You can’t get a building permit with mirror reverse plans, so when your order, only order one or two sets with the mirror reverse option and order the rest as the original plan.
A right reading reverse house plan will flip the floor plan from left to right with all of the text reading correctly. If you order a right reading reverse house plan, all sets will be shipped in right reading reverse. Availability is indicated on the home plan page.
Walkout basements are suited for sloping lots typically with one wall of the foundation exposed rather than dug into the earth. The exposed wall allows for larger windows and a doorway that opens directly to your yard or property.
Some of our Architects and Designers offer a One-Set House Plan Package. This allows you to review your home in detail before building, and it can be used to get bids on materials and labor. You can upgrade to a package suitable for building within 90 days by paying the difference in the cost of the house plan packages. Building with a stamped set of blueprints of a violation of copyright laws, as is copying stamped or unstamped house plans without a copyright release from the Designer.