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Home Building Plans

Careful planning is the secret behind all great architectural structures. After you've put together budget, chosen a site and lined up a team of experts to build your home, you will need to decide on a home building plan that will accommodate all of your needs.

Forming a Plan
Construction contracts are usually dependant upon the building plan, so although plans can be the most inexpensive part of building a new home, they can also be the most elemental.

Many homes are constructed using prefabricated plans from home building catalogs. These are then slightly altered to add details that suit each specific new homeowner. But if a custom-design is what you are after, the best idea would be to call in an architect to help you lay out concise plans.

Good Building Plans Save You Money
A good building plan will allow very little room for disagreements and extra costs that can be incurred when dealing with a contractor. A thorough plan will insure that your home is properly constructed, so your home building design plans must be clear and comprehensive.


All Home Building Plans Should Include:

  • A cover page to illustrate what the finished house will look like
  • A site plan that shows your lot number and physical address, as well the dimensional location of property lines, streets, utilities and all other fine details of the site that your new house will be built on
  • A foundation plan that shows dimensions, details, size and location of all slabs, footings, steel reinforcements and brick shelves. The foundation plan should also outline specifications of concrete strength and soil pressure.
  • A floor plan that shows the dimensions and locations of all walls and cabinets, doors, windows and fixtures. Everything on the floor plan should be laid out to the minutest detail, including square footage schedules.
  • Cross-sections of the building from different views to show the arrangement of the interior of the house.
  • Exterior elevations that show the house from all angles. These should identify all materials to be used on the structure's exterior including finishes, surface treatments, roofing, trim, chimneys, balconies and any decorative elements.
  • Interior elevations that show detailed views of all walls and cabinets to determine where any extras such as unique lighting treatments, mirrors, islands or doors will go.
  • An aerial look at the roof of the structure, showing roof framing and details.
  • Construction details that include specifics about any cornices, overhangs, lumber and bracing specifications, plus sizes of joists for the walls, floor and ceiling.
  • An electrical plan that includes specifications about panels, fixtures, outlets, switches and all other electrical details, notes and schedules.

Each home building plan will differ, depending on the type of house that is being built. All plans should be drawn up in compliance with national and local building codes.

Hammer Building your own home? Visit our home builders forum for some useful tips.