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Architectural House Plans - home plans & house floor plans

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Architectural House Plans

Frequently Asked Questions


Should I purchase bond copies, a vellum copy, or electronic files?

If you are planning to make fairly simple modifications, and you are building in an area where permit officials allow modifications to be "marked up" (some people refer it as "red-lining") right on the plans, bond copies are all you will need. They cannot be copied, but as long as your initial order (or reorder, if you've already purchased a Study/Bid Set) is for at least our 4-Set Construction Package, you will receive a Copyright License along with the plans granting you the legal right to build the house.

If the modifications you wish to make are more complicated, or you are building in an area where plans can't simply be "marked up", an erasable vellum (now Mylar – see note below) copy is what you should order. After the changes have been made to this "master" copy, you or your builder can then print as many copies as you need, whenever you need them, on regular bond paper. That way everyone – you, your builder, his or her subcontractors, local permit officials, and your lenders – will have the final version of the plans to work with.

Please Note: Vellum paper is no longer being manufactured in the U.S., so we've switched to a vastly superior (and much more expensive) product called Mylar. These semi-transparent sheets are made of a durable plastic, and since the ink that is printed on them sits on the surface, lines and dimensions can be erased and redrawn quite easily by any design professional.

However, if the modifications you wish to make are extensive, or are primarily structural in nature, you might be better off ordering an electronic version of the plans, if one is available. Changes can be made much more quickly, possibly saving you considerably more than the added cost of the CAD copy. You might want to talk to the person who will be making the modifications for you to determine if purchasing an electronic version makes good economic sense. Keep in mind, though, that you can still make any changes you want on a Mylar copy, if an electronic version is not available.

How many sets of plans will I actually need?

STUDY/BID SET

A single Study/Bid Set – which is stamped "Not For Construction" in red on each page – is a full and complete set of plans, so it is all you will need if you just want to study the plans for the time being, or want to get a bid from a builder before proceeding. When you are ready to move forward, you can receive a license to build by upgrading to any of our other packages. The price you already paid for the Study/Bid Set will be deducted, so there is no extra cost for making your purchases in stages.

This is the case no matter what you upgrade to, or how many upgrades you make. For example, if you upgrade to the 4-Set Construction/Bid Package in order to get bids from several builders, and then want to upgrade to the vellum or electronic version of the plans, the amount you've already paid will always be applied to the next order. After your builder sees the Study/Bid Set, he or she will be able to tell you what you will need to build in your area.

4-SET CONSTRUCTION/BID PACKAGE

If you are building in an area that requires very few copies to construct a house, or you want to get quotes from several builders at the same time, this is the package for you. These sets (like all of our bond copies) cannot be duplicated, but they come with a formal Copyright License that gives you the legal right to construct the house, and to modify the plans beforehand to suit your needs. If you need more than 4 sets to build you can add them to your initial order, or order them (by phone) at a later date. The cost is always $50 per set. You can also upgrade to a vellum copy or electronic files (if they are available) at a later date if you'd like, and the price you already paid for the 4-set package will be deducted.

8-SET FULL CONSTRUCTION PACKAGE

In most areas of the U.S. and Canada, our 8-Set Full Construction Package will be all you'll need to build your home -- 1 set for yourselves, 4 for your builder and his or her subcontractors, and the remainder for your lender and your permit officials. These sets (like all of our bond copies) cannot be duplicated, but they come with a formal Copyright License that gives you the legal right to construct the house, and to modify the plans beforehand to suit your needs. If you need more than 8 sets to build you can add them to your initial order, or order them (by phone) at a later date. The cost is always $50 per set. You can also upgrade to electronic files (if they are available) at a later date if you'd like, and the price you already paid for the 8-set package will be deducted.

You might want to consider purchasing a vellum (Mylar) copy of the plans instead of the 8-Set Package, unless you're in an area where it is difficult to get plans copied. It will increase your costs by just $165 ($180 less $15 in shipping fees), and it provides many advantages over bond copies (see below).

VELLUM (MYLAR)

At least 85% of our customers ultimately order their plans printed on Mylar (a vastly superior product that has replaced vellum stock, which is no longer being manufactured) because all of them intend to modify the plans to suit their specific needs. Mylar was created for this purpose – it is erasable, and can be drawn upon – so the changes can be made just once on this “master” copy, instead of having to mark-up (red-line) each bond copy of the plans. After the changes have been made, you or your builder can then print as many copies as you need, whenever you need them, on regular paper. That way everyone – you, your builder, his or her subcontractors, local permit officials, and your lenders – will have the final version of the plans to work with.

Unlike plans printed on bond paper, plans printed on Mylar are shipped with a formal Copyright Release giving you the legal right to make as many copies of the plans as you need to successfully build one house. These plans also come with a free bond copy, so that you have something to look over and mark up before making final decisions about the changes you want made to the "master" set.

ELECTRONIC FILES

If the changes you wish to make are rather extensive, or structural in nature (different exterior wall system, expansion of the house, etc.), purchasing the plans in electronic format might be your best option. Design professionals usually charge by the hour, and making changes to electronic files is much faster and easier than erasing and redrawing lines and dimensions, so purchasing an electronic version of the plans may ultimately be less expensive than having them modified by hand.

Can I order additional bond copies, or upgrade to a vellum copy or electronic files, after receiving my original order?

Yes! Just give us a call on our toll-free number (1-888-388-5735), between 10am and 6pm Pacific Time, and we can process your order in about 5 minutes. We're also happy to be of assistance if you need help in deciding what you need.

Please keep in mind that every time you upgrade from one package to another, you only have to pay the difference between the price you see on the website and the amount you have already spent. This is true whether you upgrade just once, or more than once. For example, you could start with a single Study/Bid Set, then upgrade to a 4-Set Construction/Bid package, then upgrade to a vellum/mylar version, and finally upgrade to a CAD version (if one is available), and at the end of this entire process you will only have paid the price of the CAD version. So there is no financialpenalty for placing your order in stages!

This also holds true if you upgrade from an 8-Set Construction package to a CAD version (if one is available), but not to the mylar version, as the difference does not even cover our printing costs. If this is something you'd like to do, please give us a call so we can quote you a price based on the number and size of the sheets.

Unless you're in a hurry, our advice is always to start with either a Study/Bid Set or a 4-Set Package, and then upgrade (if necessary) after talking with your builder to see what's is best for you!

Can your home plans be modified?

Our customers always modify our plans in some way to suit their specific needs. In most cases, these changes are made by their builders, or by a local design professional. However, some of our customers choose to work with the architect or designer who created the plans, if he or she is available to do so.

Can you modify the plans for us prior to purchase?

We are neither architects nor designers -- we simply represent them -- so we are unable to make any modifications to our plans. However, if you'd like to discuss the changes you'd like to make to a particular house -- to determine how simple or difficult they might be, and who might be the best person to work with -- please feel free to call us at 888-388-5735 between 10am and 6pm Pacific Time, or to email us at info@architecturalhouseplans.com.

Will the architect modify his or her plans for me?

It depends on the architect, as not all are available to modify their plans for you. If you'd like to know if a specific architect or designer would be available to make the changes you'd like, please feel free to call us at 888-388-5735 between 10am and 6pm Pacific Time, or to email us at info@architecturalhouseplans.com.

To work with the original architect or designer, you'll need to purchase the plans in vellum (mylar), or PDF format first, as these versions come with a Copyright Release allowing you to make copies of the plans after they're modified. We will then put you in direct contact with each other, and you can work together without further involvement on our part. If you ultimately decide not to work with the original architect, however, you can still work with anyone else of your choosing.

Are your homes more expensive to build than homes built from "stock" plans?

Absolutely not! Our unique, client-inspired homes are not only more attractive, functional, and comfortable than most homes built from "stock" plans. They are also often less costly to build!

First of all, when constructing a new home, the most significant factor in overall cost to build is square-footage. Whatever your family's needs and desires may be, you still have a budget to stay within, and a certain amount of land to build upon. Architects have to deal with these issues every time they design a new house, so they use their training, experience and ingenuity to be as efficient as possible with both interior space and exterior dimensions. The result is a home that fits a family's needs and desires, but with no wasted space. A (typical) reduction of 5 to 10 percent of overall square footage, without any sacrifice in actual living space or comfort, will lower your total cost to build by the same percentage. [For a much more complete explanation, please read the answer to the question titled Why is space efficient design so important? in this section]

And second, an architect's full working drawings include a tremendous amount of detail. [By the way, when we use the word "detail" on this site, we are referring to the amount of information provided to your builder, not to the complexity of the construction process]  With most stock plans, the builder and/or engineer still has to provide quite a bit of information prior to construction, adding to your overall cost to build, as well as possibly delaying the start of construction.

Our homes may look expensive, but they're not!

How much does it typically cost to build a house from your plans?

Cost to build is clearly a crucial factor in your decision-making, so it is information we would like very much to provide. However, there are so many variables in home building that it is impossible for us (or any other plan provider that's being forthright and candid, for that matter) to answer this question with any degree of accuracy. Labor and material costs vary greatly from state to state and from community to community; site accessibility, and soil content, can affect preparation costs, and the location of your property (how far the builders have to travel each day) can have an impact as well; local building codes and requirements may affect construction costs; the kitchen and bathrooms are by far the most expensive rooms to build, so the choices you make can affect the overall cost rather substantially; and your choices in lighting, finishes, details, and materials in general will have a significant impact as well. The national average is somewhere around $110 per square foot, but in different parts of the country costs can range from as low as $75 to more than $250 to build the same house!

The only person who can answer this question with any degree of accuracy is a builder in the area where you plan to build. To get a ballpark estimate, we suggest that you call at least two local builders with established reputations, and ask what their range has been recently. [Please note that where you fit in the range quoted will be determined by your choices of materials and finishes]

A helpful hint: Send your builder or competing builders to our website! They'll see floor plans, exterior elevations, interior and exterior dimensions, and (when available) photos. It's one thing to ask a builder about a house, and quite another to ask him or her about this house. Be sure to mention any modifications you are thinking of making. If they have any technical questions that need to be answered first, please invite them to call us directly.

However, if you need an actual bid, and not just an estimate, you will need to meet with a builder, show him or her the property, and give them at least one complete set of the plans.

Why don't you display average cost to build info, like some other plan sites?

We believe that giving potential customers estimates based on averages in their part of the country does them a great disservice. The figures you might have seen on other plan sites are national averages compiled each year by the US Department of Housing, with the entire country broken up into four areas. These figures are then simply multiplied by the square footage of the house you're considering. The chance that these general figures will match the actual cost to build your specific house, on your specific plot of land, in your specific area of the country is about equal to winning the lottery!

So their estimates are either going to be higher than or lower than your actual cost to build. In the case of the former, you might pass on a house you love that you could actually afford to build; and in the case of the latter, you may not be able to build from the plans you've purchased without expanding your budget or cutting back somewhere.

For a more complete explanation of cost-to-build issues, please read the answer to How much does it typically cost to build a house from your plans?

What's the difference between your plans and "stock" plans?

Let’s start with the way the plans were created. The vast majority of “stock” plans were created for the express purpose of having them marketed on websites and in magazines. There was no client or piece of property when the process started – they were simply drawn up by designers sitting in their offices. And not just some plans, but tens of thousands of plans! If you were able to compare side-by-side a sizable number of plans from a single designer, you’d see that one simple design can become 40 or 50 different plans by simply making tiny changes here and there, and giving each version its own “name”.

But for a set of plans to be offered on our site, the following must be true – a client (whether it be an individual, a family, or a builder) hired a licensed architect or designer to draw up plans for a one-of-a-kind custom home; together they went through a design process that lasted anywhere from six months to a year; the finished drawings then went through the permitting process and were approved; and the house was then built on their property. This helps explain why we can show you photographs of almost 80 percent of our homes, while stock plans sites are closer to 1 or 2 percent.

Architectural plans are the product of countless hours of conversation, interpretation, drawing and design. A family with specific real-life needs works with the architect, who then translates those needs into a beautiful and functional home design. A design is created from scratch to fulfill that family's requirements as well as their dreams. However, people’s dreams are often larger than their bank accounts, so an important part of the architectural design process involves highly efficient use of space and resources, to help clients stay within their budgets.The FAQ question just below this one, titled Why is space efficient design so important? provides a more detailed explanation of how this works.

Our plans are not only better in terms of the time, thought, and professional training brought to the process – they also contain much more information! Architects normally charge anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the total cost to build for their services, so when homeowners spend that kind of money, they expect to have a very detailed and complete set of plans to hand to their builder! For a complete explanation of what’s included in our plans, please click on What’s Included on the left side of every page of our website.

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, there's a huge difference in the way a well-designed house looks, feels, and functions. Architects often refer to their drawings as the "artwork", and the homes created from them are often as much sculptural as structural. Architects go through extensive training to be able to think and design in three dimensions, creating spaces that are balanced in scale and proportion, "feel" right in each room, suit the way we actually live, and provide great views and lots of natural light. There is nothing generic about architect-designed homes. Each is unique, and each has character.

We should probably also mention that architect-designed homes are more valuable, should you choose to sell the house in the future….
Why is space efficient design so important?

The number one issue for nearly everyone who plans to build a new home is cost. When you get an estimate or a bid from a builder, it's usually quoted as cost per square foot. So, if you can reduce the square footage of your home without sacrificing any usable space, you'd save quite a bit of money without giving up a thing.

When architects design a new home, space efficiency is always a critical issue. This is because they're hired by a client to design a house that fulfills all of their needs, and as many of their wishes and desires as possible, while staying within their budget. And the best way to do that is to waste no space. The best illustration of wasted space is the "bonus room" in many stock plans (unless it's above the garage). Designers of "stock" plans are usually not working with clients. They're just creating designs on their computers, often churning out a tremendous number of "variations" of nearly identical homes. When the design is complete, any left over space is typically called the bonus room. The first time we saw one, we renamed it the "bogus" room!

Keep in mind that this semi-useless space costs just about as much to construct per square foot as the rest of the house. Space can also be wasted by separating rooms unnecessarily, or designing unneeded hallways. With architectural plans, no space is wasted. In fact, they're often able to use their creativity to add space, particularly for storage.

Architects are also trained to design to peoples' actual needs and lifestyles. An enormous Great Room sounds exciting, and looks great, but if no one goes in there except when you're entertaining, you've spent a great deal of money that you didn't need to. An office (or any other room for that matter) that's substantially larger than it needs to be, just because there was space for it in the design, has the same effect.

Space efficiency, and creative use of space, are cornerstones of the architectural design process. A better house for less – what a concept!

Should I only consider homes that already have the type of foundation I need?

The simple answer is a clear NO! This would severely limit your search for no good reason.

Whatever foundation the plans call for – typically a slab, basement or crawlspace, and occasionally a pier – it can nearly always be changed. If you think about it, the biggest difference between a crawlspace and a basement is the depth of the excavation and height of the ceiling. The outside walls are the same, as are any interior supporting walls, so changing to one from the other is fairly simple. If the change is from a crawlspace to a basement, you'll need to find a place to add stairs from the main level (unless it's a two-story home where you can use the existing stairwell), and determine the floor plan you'd like. The opposite is true if you're changing from a basement to a crawlspace, in which case you would simply remove the stairs to the lower level.

It's also quite simple to change from either a basement or a crawlspace to a slab foundation. Your builder will use the existing foundation drawings to determine the size and shape, and local codes and conditions to determine the thickness.

You can definitely change from a slab foundation to a basement or crawlspace as well, but this is a bit more complex and costly. Again, just like changing from a crawlspace to a basement, you'll need to add stairs from the main level (unless it's a two-story home where you can use the existing stairwell), and determine the floor plan you'd like. But someone – ideally a local structural engineer – will have to create new foundation drawings, using the original drawings for reference.

All of these changes are quite common, as are changes to mixed foundations – part crawlspace and part slab, part slab and part basement, etc.

Should I only consider homes that were built on a lot similar mine?

Just like the answer to the question above regarding foundations, the answer is a clear NO! This would severely limit your search for no good reason.

Here are some examples: If you wish to build a house with a walk-out or daylight basement, and your land slopes to the rear while the original house was built on land that sloped to the front (or to the left rather than to the right), your builder will simply move the doors and windows to the opposite side of the house, and possibly make some small changes to the basement layout. If the original homeowner built on a slope and your land is flat, you might remove the basement (if the house has one) or not make it a walk-out; and in the reverse situation, you might add a basement or crawlspace, or just a retaining wall.

All homes built from previously-drawn plans need to be "married" to the land, just as they need to be oriented on it. Except in fairly rare cases, these changes should not be difficult for your builder to make.

Can the plans be printed in reverse of the way they're drawn?

Often views or site characteristics make it either advantageous or necessary to build a house in the reverse of the way the plans were originally drawn. When reversed, the front of the house continues to face in the same direction, but rooms that were on the right side of the house as you face it will now be on the left, and vice versa. If a right-reading reverse version of the plans is offered on the Pricing Options page for the home you wish to build, this is definitely the version you should purchase, whether you're interested in bonds, vellums, or electronic files. However, if – as is sometimes the case -- this option is not available for the home you select, we can simply print your plans in what is referred to as mirror-reverse. The lettering and numbers will appear as they would if you held the plans up to a mirror. This will not present a problem for your builders, as they are quite familiar with this process.

If your initial purchase is going to be of a Study/Bid Set – especially if you plan to get a bid from a builder before moving forward – you should definitely buy the original version, even if you are sure you are going to build the house in reverse of the way it was drawn. However, if you are planning to start by ordering 4 or more bond copies of the plan, we recommend that your order include both right-reading and mirror-reverse copies, since permit officials and lenders will need to see a right-reading version. There is a one-time cost of $50 to mirror-reverse the plans, whether you buy them all in your initial purchase, or a follow up order. The number you will need of each version is something your builder can advise you on.

If you decide to purchase an erasable and reproducible Mylar copy of the plans, and these plans are not available in right-reading reverse, be sure to order it in the original version. After the modifications have been made, you or your builder can then make as many copies as you need, in both right-reading and mirror-reverse format, because the plans come with a Copyright Release allowing you to do so. If the plans are available in right-reading reverse, this is what you should order.

However, if you decide to purchase the plans in CAD format, you can choose one of two options: you can have us reverse the plans prior to shipping (or emailing) them, or you can choose to let the person you’re working with do so.

What areas are included in Total Square Footage calculations?

All "conditioned" (heated and cooled) living space, excluding the basement and any developed space above the garage (typically excluded because they are much less expensive to construct), is included in the calculation of total living area. And when calculated, measurements are always made to the outside of the house. Porches and decks are not included either. In a two-story house, the stairwell is typically measured only once, and is not included in the total for the upper floor.

Can I print out the floor plans and elevations on my printer?

Yes. There is a red link titled Printer Friendly Version at the top and bottom of each page showing the expanded floor plans and the elevations. One click on either of these links and you should have no problem printing the image from your computer.

You can also print out the entire Detail page for each of our plans. Just click on the red link titled Printer Friendly Version on the right side of the page, just below the long button titled VIEW PURCHASE OPTIONS.

Do your plans come with a materials list?

Full architectural working drawings, no matter how complete or detailed, never include a materials list. The list is compiled by the materials supplier you and your builder select, and it is tailored to availability, suitability, and cost. Generic materials lists, which are often available with "stock" plans, are of marginal use in getting an estimate (not a bid), and of little or no use for bids or construction.

Do your plans include electrical, plumbing, and/or mechanical drawings?

While the vast majority of our plans include electrical schematic drawings for each floor -- showing the locations and types of the switches, outlets, and fixtures that the original client asked for -- they never include an actual electrical wiring diagram, or the specific location of the electrical panel. Codes vary from state to state, and the location of the source of electricity varies as well. The electrical contractor is required to create the wiring diagram, based on the local codes and the best location of the panel, and this is always included in his quote.

This is also true of plumbing plans, except that there are no schematic drawings, as the locations of the different appliances and fixtures are shown on the detailed floor plans. Almost 7 years ago, when I first started this business, I asked an architect we worked with why there was no plumbing sheet in the plans. He chuckled briefly, and then said this: "Thomas, if you were to hand a plumbing contractor a plumbing plan, he would do one of two things – he would either throw it away in front of you, or wait until you left the room!" Just like the electrical contractor, the plumbing contractor is required to create the plumbing plans, based on the local codes and the location of the water source, and this is always included in his quote as well.

Mechanical plans are rarely included, for the same reasons shown above, along with the fact that the climate is different is each place where the home will be built. Keep in mind also that the duct work, venting and other details will vary depending on the type of heating and cooling system (hot water, forced air, electric, solar) you select, and the type of energy (oil, gas, electricity, solar) that you choose to use.

Can ceiling heights be changed?

Raising or lowering the height of the ceilings on one or more floors of a house is often a simple change that can be made by your builder, but if you want to raise the ceiling in the basement, or the main floor of a two-story home, there has to be room to add steps to the existing staircase. For example, if the plans call for an 8' ceiling on the main floor, and you prefer a 9' ceiling, there would have to be room to add two steps – either at the bottom of the stairway, at the top, or one on each level.

Are there photos we can see that are not displayed on the website?

We ask all of the architects and designers we work with to send us any and all photos they have of their homes, so if there are no photos for a particular house, or none of the interior, it's because we have none to show you. It was in response to this problem that we added the four elevations drawings to the website, so that customers could at least see all four sides of the house.

Please understand that when the architect designed this one-of-a-kind house, he or she had no idea that copies of the plan would ever be sold to someone else, so they didn't always make an effort to get photos or other marketing materials.

Our goal is to give our customers as much information as possible, so we feel badly that we can't be of more help. We know it's difficult to visualize the exterior and interior of a house from elevations and floor plans. Keep in mind, though, that each person who purchases our plans ultimately determines which materials and finishes they want, inside and out, regardless of what substances and colors were used in the construction of the original house. So the house will ultimately look the way you want it to look.
What do I need if I'm planning to build outside of North America?

We've sold plans to people all over the world. Most of them needed plans to suit not only a different system of measurement, but also different building materials and codes. There are two ways to deal with this issue. If the plans are available in electronic (AutoCAD) format -- which you will know by looking at the Pricing Options for plans -- then a local draughtsman, designer or architect should have the ability to convert the measurements to metric. This will also make it quite easy to modify the plans to suit your needs and your property. These .DWG (AutoCAD) files would be emailed to you instead of shipped, and we would include the files in .PDF to allow you to view them on a computer or have them printed at full size prior to modification.

Your second option (or only option if the plans are not available in CAD format), which would cost considerably less on this end, is to just pay the cost of a 4-set construction package (the least expensive package that comes with a copyright release allowing you to legally build the house), and then we would email the plans to you in .PDF format. In this case, you'd need to employ a local draftsman, designer, engineer or architect to redraw (electronically or by hand) a new set of working drawings by copying the original. These plans would then conform to your system of measurement, your available building materials, and your local codes and conditions. This is not as crazy as it may sound, because the cost to redraw existing plans would be a tiny fraction of the cost of an original design. And any modifications you'd like to make can be incorporated into the new set of plans.

Our website cannot process orders from outside the US, so you'd have to call us to place your order. The number is 415-331-3383, and we're normally available from 10AM to 6PM Pacific (West Coast) Time. If you get our voice mail, please leave a number and the best time to reach you.

My builder says he can build one of your homes without buying the plans. Is this true?

Not only is it not true – it’s also illegal, and highly unethical.

Copyright infringement is a Federal crime, and the penalty for breaking this law is a $250,000 fine plus attorney fees for each occurrence! If you build a house based on an original copyrighted design – even if the design is modified – without purchasing a copyright release from the designer or his or her agent (us), you’ve broken the law.

The architects who designed the homes on our website invested a tremendous amount of time and effort over many months to create a totally unique and perfect home for their clients. Copyright law is the only thing that protects these talented professionals from being ripped off by unethical builders.

In addition to being illegal, it’s also lame! First, while they may be able to build a house that looks like the house on our site, they can’t possibly build the same house from the information provided on our site. All of the unique details, and the overall “feel” of the house, will be lost. Your enjoyment of the house will be greatly diminished, as will its value should you decide to sell it someday.

And second, you probably won’t save a dime! No one can build a house without drawings. No one. If you or they hire a designer to create the new drawings, you will have spent considerably more than we would have charged you for the complete set of existing plans (our prices are typically 5 to 10% of the amount paid by the original homeowner); and even if you or they just hire a local draughtsman, you’ll end up paying almost as much as the cost of our plans, and then an engineer would have to be brought in to make sure the house was structurally sound.

This is a lose/lose/lose proposition: An inferior and less valuable home; no savings whatsoever; and exposure to a $250,000 fine. By acting morally, ethically and intelligently – and avoiding anyone who does not – you’ll be rewarded with a great house for you and your family to enjoy for as long as you live in it.

How long will it take for my order to arrive?

We are usually able to process orders and ship plans the day after we receive them, and sometimes on that same day if we receive your order in the morning (Pacific Time). Our standard shipping is by Post Office Priority Mail, which normally takes two (business) days to arrive. We also offer two-day and overnight shipping by Fed-Ex.

What is your refund/exchange policy?

Since blueprints, vellums, and electronic files are printed (or burned to a disk) in response to your order, and contain copyright-protected information, we are not able to provide refunds or exchanges. Please be sure to do your homework, and ask as many questions as you need to, to ensure that the house you're planning to build suits both your needs and your property, prior to making your purchase. We are happy to be of assistance to you in any way we can, by email or phone.

Is my credit card information secure?

Absolutely. When orders are placed online, we never see or receive any of your credit card information – just your name and address, so we can ship your order. The online industry standard for encryption is called SSL (Secure Socket Layer), which we have on our secure servers, which then transfers your encrypted information to an online banking company whose servers are protected both electronically and physically. We’ve used this system for more than 9 years without a hint of a problem.

You might also wish to visit the portion of our site titled Important Info (you'll find the link on the left side of every page of our website), where other important questions are answered.