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What should you know before customizing a home plan?

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Published On : 11-22-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
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We have great design professionals that would be happy to customize your home plan. However, there are a few things you ought to know before doing so. Often times municipalities will require plans to be reviewed by a local structural engineer or architect before they issue a building permit. Why? Designers and architects create their drawings according to the building practices in the location in which they reside. Construction practices will not vary tremendously but homes built in the Rocky Mountains will be able to support significant snowfall while homes in Florida will not. An engineer will analyze the structure and size the beams, rafters etc. to assure that the structural integrity of the home is not compromised by the location in which it is built. In the same manner, he may be able to save you some costs by downsizing the fortitude of various framing members; should you be building a home that was designed for an area with higher snow loads.

Even if you have a homeplan custom designed by an architect or designer in your area, the municipality will still require the engineer's review. It is important to know this before customizing a home plan for a couple of reasons. Often times people have minor changes like moving a door, adding a door or window, or moving an interior wall. The engineer, builder or even a local draftsperson, may add these personalizations to the plan. You may be able to save some costs by having your changes "redlined" in this manner after you purchase a plan package from us. Like we have described in the section above. You will probably want to purchase the vellum set if it is available so that you only have to redline the plan once before making copies. They call this redlining because it is generally done with a red pen so that it is easily recognized. You may consider this option before requesting a customized plan if your changes are not too significant since you may be paying the engineer to analyze the plan anyway. While we feel it is always best to have the designer or architect make all the changes to the plan, some minor issues can be cost effectively resolved through this practice.

Please keep in mind that if you find a plan that you like on our website or other publications, it is illegal to take our advertising plan images to a local draftsperson to have them redrawn with customizations. This is copyright infringement and is punishable up to $100,000. You can have our plans redrawn with your customizations but you must first purchase a plan package to obtain rights to do so.
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