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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

We are very pleased to offer this page to help you use our site. The following are frequently asked questions. If you still need additional help, please feel free to contact us.

 

Navigating Our Site Information 

How do I find my dream home?

We have made every effort to simplify your plan search. You can use our fast search at the top of the screen to quickly navigate different categories. If you would like a more refined search use our detailed plan searchHere you can specify exactly what you are looking for and narrow your results based on square footage, house width, house depth, styles, and other features. It is important to remember though that if you check off too many boxes, you may end up really limiting your search results. If that ends up the case, you may want to reduce the number of filters you have applied. If you have any suggestions on how to simplify your search, please send us your comments.

 

Can I save my favorite house plans to review later?

We know how exciting building a new home is, and we want to help you share your excitement. To do this we allow you to save your favorites onto our database. This allows you to browse our plans, save them, and return later to show them to your friends and family. To utilize this feature, simply login. if you already have an account or create an account. While you are browsing plans, just click on the “heart” icon to button to save the plan. The heart will turn red. Clicking on a red heart icon will remove the plan from your favorites. You can return to our site from any computer, log in, and find your favorites saved for you. If you have cookies enabled, your favorite plans will automatically load upon entrance to our site. To view or purchase plans from your Favorites folder, simply click on the "view favorites" link below the folder and proceed with the links from there.

 

Do I need to register?

No, you do not need to register.  If you do register, you will be able to save plans to your favorites and be included in any exclusive discount coupons or helpful tips.  Registering also helps speed up the check-out process. If you are registered at the time of check-out, your order will be saved into your account.

 

Privacy Protection Information 

Will my account information be shared or sold?

No, it will not be.  Please see our privacy page for more details.

 

Is my credit card information secure?

Yes. We have made every effort to make your online shopping experience as secure as possible. Your information is protected in our database using encryption software.

 

Decision Making Information

How is square footage calculated?

In almost all cases, the square footage is calculated from stud to stud. Total living square footage is only the heated areas within the house. Garages, unfinished basements, storage, and unfinished bonus room are not included.

 

What’s included in the blueprints?

The Plan Collection markets plans for many architects and professional home designers. Their individual methods for drawing plans will vary, but you can generally expect the following information:

Elevations:  Drawn to scale from all sides. Some plans may include perspective views of the home as well.

Sample of home plans - blueprints elevations

 

Floor Plans:  Drawn to 1/4" scale. Provided for all living areas. Dimensioned inside and out. Floor plans include any special framing notes, unique features, window and door sizes, and swings, etc.

Sample of blueprints to build a house - floor plans with details

 

Foundation Plans:  This plan shows the general intent of the foundation. Depending on the foundation, the plan typically includes footing layouts, posts and beams, and construction details.

Sample of blueprints to build a house - foundation plans

 

Electrical Layouts:  Generally drawn on the floor plans, electrical layouts show the location of lighting fixtures, switches, and outlets.

 

Roof Plan:  Describes the elements that make up the roof including notation of spacing and schematics of peaks and valleys. It may also include the slope of the roof surfaces, chimney locations, and notations on the roofing material.   

 Sample framing plans for a house - blueprints for home building

 

Cross Sections:  Cross sections are provided to illustrate various construction methods. Various construction details are also provided.

cross sections to build a house from blueprints

Important! Please Read

Your local building department may have specific requirements. Some of these requirements, including structural engineering, energy efficiency calculations, and soils reports may require meaningful additional investments.

The typical plan does not include any plumbing, heating, or air conditioning drawings due to the wide variety of local codes and climatic conditions. These details and specifications are readily obtained from your builder, contractor, or local vendors.

All house plans from The Plan Collection are designed to conform to the local codes when and where the original house was constructed.

 

How do I get elevations not shown on site?

For each design, there is a plan details page. To make a request, find the blue “Ask a Question” button from the plan page itself. Click that button and then complete your question or request.

 

How do I get photography not shown on site?

We appreciate that photographs are helpful and make a huge effort to secure photography. Normally, once we get photography, we immediately publish it to the website. If you would like to inquire about photos for a particular plan, click on the “Ask a Question” button on that plan’s page and let us know. We will reach out to the designer and email or post any photos that may have just arrived.

 

Can I make modifications to any plan?

Yes, most modifications can be made for a fee. To learn more and get a FREE modification quote, please visit Modifications to get more details.

 

How much will it cost to build my dream home?

Building costs vary by location, time of year, and the quality of building materials chosen. For each design, there is a plan details page. On the details page, you will find several options to estimate the cost to build your dream home. You can learn more about our cost-to-build options here.

 

Why aren’t HVAC and plumbing details included in the plans?

This information is not included because of the huge variation in local codes and systems available to the customer. Qualified HVAC contractors, plumbers, and electricians know the local codes and can easily add this information to the working drawings we provide.

 

What building codes are used for the designs?

The plans marketed on The Plan Collection are a collaboration of plans from several designers. All plans are drawn to code for the specific region in which the respective designer resides and the year the design was created. Modifications may be required by your local officials to meet their adopted codes and regulations. The necessity of such modifications is not evidence of poor plan quality but merely code differences. Many of our designers are members of the American Institute of Building Design to assure plan quality. (The AIBD is an accredited home designers association accepting only designers who meet their high standards of plan quality.)

 

Placing an Order

What is a PDF file?

This includes the complete construction drawings in digital PDF format that will be emailed. This file cannot be modified. It does allow the customer to print as many copies as needed for a single construction of the home. Printed copies can usually be made at a local copy or print center such as FedEx or Staples.

 

What is a CAD file?

One copy of all CAD (Computer-Aided Design) files for your house plan on CD or by email. This includes the complete construction drawings in digital format. Qualified professionals must undertake any changes made to CAD files using special software programs. The Plan Collection LLC or associated designers and architects are not responsible for changes made to plans by any other party.

 

What is a Reproducible Master set?

This is one full set of construction drawings on a reproducible medium. A Reproducible Master set allows you to make as many copies as needed for a single construction of the home or take them to a local professional for modifications. The purchase of a Reproducible Master set does not constitute a license to build a house plan more than once. The Plan Collection LLC or associated designers and architects are not responsible for changes made to plans by any other party.

 

What is the right-reading reverse option?

The plan is reversed with all text reading correctly. This option may not be available for all home plans, so please check availability before ordering. If there is an additional fee for this option, it will be a one-time fee and all sets will be in right-reading reverse. This option may take 2 to 4 business days to complete.

 

If I find the same design for less will you match the price?

Yes! We will match and even beat the total price. All you have to do is send us a link to a competitive site that shows the plan and price. For more details, see our Best Price Guarantee.

 

Do you have other payment options besides a credit card?

You can feel safe ordering your plans or other material on our secure site. We have made every effort to make sure your information is private and not used for any other reason than your plan purchase. If you do not feel comfortable making an online transaction, you have the following payment options:

— Payment by Check*
— Payment by Certified Check

— Payment by Money Order

To place your order, please call our toll-free number to speak to a customer sales representative. Checks or money orders should be sent to:

The Plan Collection
670 Post Road, Suite 101
Scarsdale, NY 10583

*Please note that payment by check may delay your order by up to 10-15 business days.

 

Why can’t I order one set to build my house?

To build a house, you must get a license from the builder. This is because each design falls under international copyright laws. Typically, the cost of that license is not included in one-set orders unless noted on our site. In addition, normally one set is not enough. Typically, building officials want to have 1-2 copies on file and other sub-contractors want a copy also.

 

Can I make extra copies if I need them?

If you have purchased a PDF File Set or a CAD File Set, you may print out as many copies as you need when you need them. Many of our customers who are not making significant changes locally find the PDF File Set to be the best value as a result. Copies can be made at a local copy or print shop.

For those purchasing printed set packages, copyright laws do not allow you to make copies without the written permission of the designer. Printed sets are stamped “do not copy” and cannot be copied legally. We have designed our printed set-package and additional-set pricing to give you the best value. If you decide you need additional copies later, you have up to 60 days from the date of purchase to order those additional copies.

If you purchased a Reproducible Master Set, you may also make copies as you need them at a local print or copy store.

 

How long will it take to get my order?

Normally an order is processed in 1-2 business days. The actual shipping time depends upon the shipping option you chose and your location. Typically, ground shipping is 7-10 days from the date of shipment. Express orders normally are 2-3 days from the date of shipment. In terms of delivery, electronic files, such as CAD Sets or PDF Sets, take 0-1 business days.

In some cases, if your order includes additional cost options, such as 2x6 framing or a walk-out foundation, completion of such order may take 2-5 business days depending upon the plan.

 

How do I track my order?

If you provide us your email address, we will email you the tracking number when your order ships.

 

Can I return my order?

Sorry, there are no refunds or exchanges. All plans sold by The Plan Collection LLC are provided “as is.” TPC disclaims all other warranties, express or implied, including merchantability or fitness of purpose.

 

Do you ship outside of North America?

Yes. If you have any questions, please contact customer service via email or phone. Your best option, however, would be to order a CAD or PDF file and have it emailed to you.

 

Building Your Home

Can you help me find a licensed builder?

Yes, we can. If you click this link, it will take you to our “Find A Builder” page.

 

What do I need to know about building codes?

Building codes vary from town to town. We have addressed some major topics in our building code page.

 

Can you help me find financing options?

Yes, we can. Check out our Financing Options page.

 

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