THINKING ABOUT THOSE MAGAZINE OR ON-LINE PLANS?

 

After doing this for years, I still get that occasional client who asks why my fees are so much when they can purchase plans from an on-line or a plan book for less money. 

I realize that everyone wants to save money but are you really saving any money doing it this way rather than hiring a firm such as SR Building Plans?

 

Let’s start off with just one aspect of stock home plans that many fail to realize.  They are considered “STOCK” for one reason, they have been built numerous times over and are really a ‘basic Builders set’ of plans.  This means that the plans could be built in the back woods with no complaints.  What is required, by any municipality, will require much more than basic stock plans can provide.  As example, will they provide detailed foundation, main floor, elevations, electrical, mechanical, roof framing, site plan, cross sections and numerous section details that Plan Examiners will want to see? I hate to say it but they won’t!  Can they be provided by a stock plan provider?  Sure… but a premium price that you surely would not want to pay for nor will they be done in a timely fashion with no guarantee that they will pass plan review without any problems.  Don’t get me wrong, stock plans do help in acquiring ideas but rarely can they go beyond that point without issues.

 

We have the other factor and that is they may not be local, if that is desired, for a true one on one relationship. I guarantee everything I do to ensure that you are able to build what you have finalized as your home design.  This means I have taken the time to collect all information needed within your area to compile a great set of plans.  

 

Most home plans are not really done with any consideration for the property in which it is to be built.  This may mean that the placement will alter foundation requirements (footing depths, walk out basements, crawl space, etc.) as well as natural light to fall within certain rooms.  Surrounding environments may also affect the exterior look and how those applications will change the overall appearance.  All of this must be taking into consideration.  Saying that, one can easily understand the need for going beyond an inexpensive plan from a book.

 

Plan books are not plans that are always current, meaning that they may have been drawn a year ago or longer.  Not many plans from a book or even on-line are done with considerations such as adhering to current Building and Fire Codes which are very important to any good designer.  The need to understand the Codes, in how a home is designed, can mean the difference in what you see may not mean that you will get it built that way in the end.

 

If you happen to live in an HOA area (Home Owners Association), certain criteria must be maintained and stock plans do not usually meet the CC&R’s or any Code Compliance's within their community.

 

Lastly, what you will also find is a clause (see below) that is mostly missed and is usually in every advertisement for ordering “stock plans”.  This should cause you to reconsider when ordering inexpensive plans with the thought of saving money.  If you are taking shortcuts and not hiring a good designer or Architect, you can rest assured that you will be spending more than you care to and with very poor results.   A good set of plans beyond a good design, informative with details for the Builder, means less headaches and expense for the homeowner. This also means that accurate and complete information will provide better quotes for the construction and avoids unnecessary changes orders which will increase the budget.

 

"Important Notes for Our Customers

 

It is important, before ordering plans, to check with your local Building Official and Zoning Dept. for requirements and restrictions regarding permit submittal for your proposed construction. (You will need a site plan which may even require you to hire a Surveyor. This is not part of any plan set that is ordered on-line nor is any Engineering provided by an Architect or Designer as this is a specialty.  This information must be included in any plan set for plan review.

Stock Plans - Books/On-Line

 

Pros:

 

  • Great Selection

  • No delays in acquiring them

  • Pretty cheap to buy considering what you get

 

Cons:

 

  • Construction details will not match local standards or current Building Codes

  • Details are minimal and may not be adequate for Plan Reviewers

  • Engineering may be required and this may mean a Site Survey, Structural or even an Architects stamp

  • Alterations or changes can be very expensive

  • What you purchase may not be exactly what you want without modifications

  • Overall design is standard and may not be accommodating for overall use or appeal.

  • May not meet HOA requirements nor be suitable for building at the location intended           

Custom Home Plans

 

 Pros:

 

  • Designed to fit your needs or wants

  • Designed to stay within your budget unless the scope/additional request change the cost

  • Guaranteed to meet all Building Codes required by local requirements

  • Direct contact with Engineering Firms

  • No extra charge for 'Red-Lines'

  • Designed for you and built for you

 

Cons:

 

  • Initial costs are higher

  • The overall process to prepare is longer