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About our
Construction Plans

We are eager for you to get started building your own compact home, but first thing’s first--we recommend you purchase study plans before buying a set of construction plans. This will really give you a head start working out the options and details you want to incorporate into your build, and you’ll be able to begin getting reasonably accurate construction estimates from builders.  We also recommend that you (or your builder) meet with your local permit office to find out if they will require any special seals or plan revisions to meet local code. 

Customized Construction Plans 

If you’ve spent any time looking into building a custom home, you probably know that it’s rarely possible to buy a set of plans off the internet and just start building.  Based on local requirements for snow load, wind load, seismic design, and climate zone, virtually every plan you buy needs to be customized.  Some plan vendors are sort of cagy about this, and it’s not uncommon to have to spend thousands of dollars to hire a structural engineer to supplement the architectural plans in order to obtain a building permit.  Alternately, you could end up building a beefy house designed for a cold climate in a southern location where you are wasting money on an over-designed structure.

Common Plan Options and Revisions Include:

  • Creating mirrored plans

  • Changing the frost depth of the foundation

  • Type of foundation: basement, crawl space, or slab

  • Roof design to meet the local snow load

  • Optional dormers

  • Wall thickness to meet energy code (Often 2x6 walls are an upcharge on other sites.  We design for 2x8 walls to comply with the IECC 2021 energy codes.  If you only need 2x4 walls, you’ll get some bonus living space!)

  • Change window glazing requirements if you need to rotate the plan away from the south arrows shown on the plans

  • Non-structural changes to interior walls, doors or windows

  • Kitchen revisions (this is a VERY personal thing, and we’re happy to let you design your own kitchen or hire a kitchen consultant.  We can send our CAD file to them if needed)

  • Porch sizes and related roof types and/or uninsulated wall enclosures

  • We can add a deck if your builder doesn’t choose to design it themselves  

Contact Us for a Proposal

We don’t want to play that game, so we stopped offering construction plans on our web store.  If every build needs to be customized for its particular site, let’s just embrace that and start with a conversation about what you need.  It’s likely you’ll want to make some minor (or major) plan changes anyway, so once we understand what you’re looking for us to provide in our construction plan set, we will send a detailed proposal with a not-to-exceed fee.  Our fee will almost certainly be a good deal lower than hiring a local architect to provide a set of building plans from scratch!

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