When modifying a set of house plans, there are generally three main options with which to proceed. Your options greatly depend on the changes you have in mind. The first (and often the cheapest) option is:
Historically, when people wished to make changes to their home, they would discuss the changes with their builder. Their builder would then draw the changes directly on the blueprints, typically with a red pen hence the term "Red-Lining." Nowadays, there is a lot more to consider than just having your builder take a pen to your home plans; you need to keep in mind local building codes, copyright laws, etc. Some communities require all modifications to be reviewed and stamped by a local architect or structural engineer. There are a lot of important things that you have to keep in mind, but if all of the requirements are met, Red-Lining can be a very cost-effective way to modify your house plans.
Keep in mind that Red-Lining is generally meant for minor changes. Things like moving or resizing a window or door, changing exterior finishes, removing a chimney or fireplace, etc. are usually prime candidates for Red-Lining. Remember, you should ALWAYS verify any changes with your builder before choosing this option.
If Red-Lining isn't feasible, you might want to consider working with a:
Local house plan specialist
Finding a local draftsman to draw your modifications is another option that could possibly save you some time and money. Sometimes local professionals offer a cheaper price for your modifications. They also know your local building codes and can draw your plans accordingly. Perhaps the biggest advantage to working locally is the hassle that is saved in communication. It is much easier to describe your desired changes when speaking to an actual person "face-to-face", rather than via email or even the telephone.
Remember that even though you're working with a professional home designer, copyright laws still apply. You are still required to purchase the house plans. Either a CAD file or Vellum/Reproducible Set will suffice (see last week's article). The home designs on our website are the legal property of their respective designers and can't be copied or changed without express permission from their rightful owners. You can't just go stealing someone else's ideas!
One important thing to keep in mind is that in this modern age of computers, most home design professionals prefer to work with a CAD file rather than a Vellum/Reproducible Set. You always need to be sure that you are getting your CAD file in the right format. Feel free to contact us for more information.
Another option you might wish to consider is:
Our Modification Team
We at The Plan Collection work with many experienced home design professionals that are willing to make your changes for you. At your request, we will gladly provide you with an accurate price quote and do everything we can to ensure that you get your modifications the way you want them.
Together we can help you make your dream home a reality!