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Frequently Asked Questions

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Our Home Plans Team have developed a list of the most frequently asked questions and offer them here to better serve our house plan customers. Before contacting us, check out the questions sorted in two categories below and see if the answer you need is right before you. If you still need assistance, feel free to contact us by phone, email, or conveniently with live chat and a thorough explanation for your question will be answered in no time.

Q: Does the total square footage include everything under the roof?
Q: Do the plans meet my local codes?
Q: How can I get them stamped/sealed?
Q: What is included with the blueprints?
Q: Are the blueprints stamped/sealed by an architect?
Q: How do I find out what the roof pitch, ridge height and ceiling height are for a particular plan?
Q: Why were my plan favorites erased or missing?
Q: How do I find out the snow/wind loads on a particular plan?
Q: How do I customize my plans?
Q: What do I get with a reproducible master?
Q: Why are one set plan packages stamped "not for construction"?
Q: Do the blueprints show the framing, floor joists and roof layouts?
Q: Do the plans/blueprints include plumbing and electrical?
Q: What if the plan would work better on my site if it were reversed?
Q: What is a mirror reverse?
Q: Do the plans come with 2x6 framing?
Q: Can I get a different foundation other than what is listed?
Q: If a house is shown with siding or stucco, can I change it to brick or vice versa?
Q: Are the detail plan packages specific to the blueprint I order and what do these packages consist of?
Q: Does the total square footage include everything under the roof?

A: No, the total square footage only includes the heated square footage of the home. The garages, porches, decks, unfinished areas, bonus/future areas and attic space are not included in the total.


Q: Do the plans meet my local codes?

A: At the time the drawings are prepared, the plans conform to most national building codes. However, they may not comply completely with your local building regulations. Some counties and municipalities have their own building codes, regulations and requirements. The assistance of a local builder, architect or other building professional may be necessary to modify the drawings to comply with your area's specific requirements. We recommend you consult with your local building officials prior to purchasing the blueprints or beginning construction.


Q: How can I get them stamped/sealed?

A: Contact your local building department to find out if a stamp or seal is needed for your county and/or state. Some areas only require an Architectural seal while other may require an Engineered set of plans. Based on what is necessary in your area, your local building department should be able to direct you to a local architect or engineer who is able to stamp and/or seal the plans for you for your particular area.


Q: What is included with the blueprints?

A: Most of our home plans offer the following: Coversheet - The coversheet has a rendering showing the house as it will look when it is built. In most cases this is not required for house construction. The purpose of the coversheet is to give the homeowner a visual representation of how the home will look when it is completed. Foundation plan - The foundation plan is used to show how the foundation should be built. It explains the thickness of the foundation walls, floor joist sizes and spacing, column locations, window/door/vent locations and sizes, suggested furnace/water heater locations, plumbing (where required) and miscellaneous construction details related to the foundation and basement. Floor plans - The floor plans of the home indicate the layout/construction of each floor of the house. Items typically included are room dimensions, wall sizes, plumbing/electrical locations, stair locations, door/window sizes, kitchen and bath layouts, ceiling conditions in each space, flooring, structural information and any special conditions related to the floor plan. Elevations - The elevation sheets communicate the material/dimensions that the designer envisioned, creating the correct look and feel on the outside of the house. Some of the items typically shown on an elevation sheet include materials used on the exterior of the house, size and shape of windows and doors, size and shape of vents, size of the trim, height and dimensions of various elements, depth of foundations, types of shingles and moldings, pitch of the roof, placement of materials (example: brick soldier course, brick quoins, etc.), roof plan, and location of gutters and downspouts. Details - The details include an explanation of how the smaller items are to be designed and constructed. Examples include the dimensions and appearance of a stair handrail, room moldings, design of railing spindles for staircases, and description of how a fireplace should look. The designer may add details for anything a builder needs to understand the design of the house. Sections - The sections show how the parts of the building fit together. Typical sections include walls, fireplace, and stairs. The designer may add sections in a set for anything a builder needs to understand about the construction of the house. Interior Elevations - The interior elevations show pictures of key interior features should look. Typical items and areas that are drawn include fireplaces, kitchens, and bathrooms.


Q: Are the blueprints stamped/sealed by an architect?

A: No, the blueprints are not stamped or sealed by an architect.


Q: How do I find out what the roof pitch, ridge height and ceiling height are for a particular plan?

A: Typically, these are all plan specific and we would have to look at the plans or contact the designer. However, some of our plans have this and other specific information in the Design and Material Outline located on the plan detail page on our website. Or, you can call our Home Plans Team at 1-800-373-2646 for any additional plan specific questions you may have.


Q: Why were my plan favorites erased or missing?

A: Our site uses "cookies" to save your favorites and sometimes what happens is if your computer is running some kind of virus software, or ad blocking/malware blocking sofware, these cookies get deleted. Or, if you leave your browser open and idle for longer than 20 minutes on the website, your site session will expire and clear out the "cookie" causing your favorites to be erased/deleted. If this happens, please use the Contact Us form and we will try to retrieve them for you.


Q: How do I find out the snow/wind loads on a particular plan?

A: Typically, these are all plan specific and we would have to look at the plans or contact the designer however, some of our plans have this and other specific information in the Design and Material Outline located on the plan detail page. Or, you can contact our Home Plans team at 1-800-373-2626 for help with any additional questions.


Q: How do I customize my plans?

A: You can purchase a Reproducible master or CAD file, which clearly indicates your right to copy or reproduce and allows you or a local engineer/draftsman to make changes to the plan. These plans also allow you to make copies of the plan after you have made your changes. We also have an affiliate that can customize your plans. Purchase of a Reproducible master or CAD file is necessary in order for them to make changes to a plan. You can download the modification request form from our website and e-mail the completed form to customize@hdainc.com or fax it to 651-602-5050. Within 24-48 business hours you will be provided with a quote to modify your plan.


Q: What do I get with a reproducible master?

A: If you wish to make some minor design changes, you’ll want to order reproducible masters. These drawings contain the same information as the blueprints but are printed on reproducible paper that it easy to alter and clearly indicates your right to copy or reproduce. This will allow your builder or a local design professional to make the necessary drawing changes without the major expense of redrawing the plans. This package also allows you to print copies of the modified plans as needed. The right of building only one structure from these plans is licensed exclusively to the buyer. You may not use this design to build a second or multiple dwelling(s) without purchasing another blueprint. Each violation of the Copyright Law is punishable in a fine.


Q: Why are one set plan packages stamped "not for construction"?

A: This single set of blueprints is offered so you can study or review a home in greater detail. A single set is never enough for construction and it is a copyright violation to reproduce blueprints.


Q: Do the blueprints show the framing, floor joists and roof layouts?

A: Most of our plans will show a detailed section of the framing, and the floor joist and roof layouts, but will seldom include the entire layout.


Q: Do the plans/blueprints include plumbing and electrical?

A: The rough plumbing is included on the plans showing the kitchen and bath fixture symbols and their locations. However, the location of where the pipes come into the house is site specific and not included on the plans. Finished electric, suggested lighting fixture and outlet locations are usually included.


Q: What if the plan would work better on my site if it were reversed?

A: Plans can be printed in mirror reverse. These plans are useful when the house would fit your site better if all the rooms were on the opposite side than originally shown. They are simply a mirror image of the original drawings causing the lettering and dimensions to read backwards. When ordering mirror reverse drawings, we recommend purchasing only one set of mirror reverse plans for orientation purposed and the rest as right-reading plans. Some of our plans are available in a right-reading reverse where the home is reversed but the lettering and dimensions are readable.


Q: What is a mirror reverse?

A: These plans are useful when the house would fit your site better if all the rooms were on the opposite side than shown. They are simply a mirror image of the original drawings causing the lettering and dimensions to read backwards. When ordering mirror reverse drawings, we recommend purchasing only one set of mirror reverse plans for orientation purposes and the rest as right-reading plans.


Q: Do the plans come with 2x6 framing?

A: Most plans come with 2x4 framing. However, plans can be modified for 2x6 framing. Please check with your builder and building code officials for local requirements. You can purchase the reproducible masters or a CAD file and have the plans customized to fit your needs. Or, you can download the modification request form from our website and e-mail the completed form to customize@hdainc.com or fax it to 651-602-5050. Within 24-48 business hours you will be provided with a quote to modify your plan.


Q: Can I get a different foundation other than what is listed?

A: We only offer the foundations listed with the plan. If these foundations are not what you would prefer, you can purchase the reproducible masters or a CAD file and have the plans customized to fit your needs. Or, you can download the modification request form from our website and e-mail the completed form to customize@hdainc.com or fax it to 651-602-5050. Within 24-48 business hours you will be provided with a quote to modify your plan.


Q: If a house is shown with siding or stucco, can I change it to brick or vice versa?

A: Yes. If brick is being added to a house, you will have to make modifications to the foundation to create a brick ledge. If brick is being removed, the ledges on the foundation plan will not be required. Most exterior finishing changes can be made easily without causing problems. You may want to check with a building professional to discuss the changes you want to make.


Q: Are the detail plan packages specific to the blueprint I order and what do these packages consist of?

A: No, the detail plan packages are not specific to any home plan. Each package includes three-dimensional illustrations and a glossary of terms. They offer homebuilders details for constructing various foundations, numerous floor, wall and roof framing techniques, simple to complex residential wiring, sump and water softener hookups, plumbing connection methods, installation of septic systems and more.


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