Frequently Asked Questions

Embarking on the exciting journey of building your dream home can come with many questions. This FAQ page is designed to provide you with answers to common queries related to house plans, from understanding architectural terminology to navigating the customization of designs. Explore this resource to gain insights into creating a space that reflects your lifestyle, meets your needs, and captures your unique vision for the perfect home. If you don't find the information you're looking for, feel free to reach out to our team for personalized assistance. Our call center is open 24/7 at 1-800-854-7852 for the US and Canada and 1-262-521-4596 for other locations, or you can send us a question via our Contact Page.

We work with hundreds of designers and architects, and it is important to note that plan packages may contain different details. We strongly encourage you to contact us for the list of details that are included in an individual plan package. 

The following is a list of sheets typically* included in our plans:
  • Foundation Plan
  • Dimensioned Floor Plans (includes window and door sizes, etc)
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Cross Sections
  • Interior Elevations
  • Roof Plan
  • Electrical Layout (when available)
Other notes and details, such as structural specifications, excavating and grading, masonry and concrete work, carpentry and wood specifications, thermal and moisture protection, and specifications about drywall, tile, flooring, glazing, caulking and sealants. 

*For more details about sheets that are typically included in our plans, click here.

Because site conditions and requirements are different throughout states and municipalities, there are certain details that can only be obtained locally. These include: 
  • Architectural or Engineering Stamp
  • Site Plan
  • Mechanical Drawings (location of HVAC equipment and duct work)
  • Plumbing Drawings (drawings showing actual plumbing pipe sizes and locations)
  • Energy calculations
  • Framing layouts with beam sizes and locations
We recommend consulting with a local professional prior to purchasing a house plan to determine if there are any additional items not included in our plans that you will need to acquire.

Our house plans were designed to meet industry standard building and residential codes at the time they were drawn. Many states, counties, or municipalities have their own specific building codes, regulations, and zoning requirements and as a result of the variety of code requirements, we do not guarantee that our plans will meet your local requirements. You may be required to make modifications to your house plans with a builder, engineer, or designer to meet local conditions and requirements. The purchaser should ensure that their plans comply with all applicable building codes and are suitable for a particular building site, including any subdivision restrictions, before construction begins. Because we have no control over the selection of your builder or other local professionals, we cannot be responsible for the advice or assistance you receive from them or the methods they use. 

Select plans in our Canadian collection include a purchasable option to obtain a BCIN #, which you can browse here. A local professional can also assist.

Our plans contain sufficient information to build a home, however your local municipality may require additional information in order to receive a permit. We strongly advise consulting with a local official to verify what information your building department requires..

Our plans are not designed for modular construction or building kits. We offer a selection of metal-framed and barndominium style house plans, but we do not sell house plans designed for prefabricated or modular construction.

In rare cases, a designer may offer a Study Set. The study set may be a full set of plans stamped “Not for Construction'' or a simplified set that includes a floor plan and elevations only. If you are interested in purchasing a study set please contact us to verify availability for a specific plan.

Modifications can be made to any plan. Submit a modification request by clicking the “modify this plan” button below the image gallery of the plan you are interested in. Your request will be reviewed and you will be emailed a quote and timeline to complete the modifications within 1-3 business days. Modification requests can also be faxed to 203-761-8600. You also have the option to work with a local design professional to make modifications post-purchase. For more information, click here

We do not offer in-person design consultations.

We are unable to assist with additions or remodels for existing homes. We recommend working with a local professional for projects of that nature.

Many designers offer alternate framing options for an additional charge. When available, alternative options will be listed under the “Options” menu for each plan. The standard framing type for a specific plan is listed under  “plan details”. If the type of framing you would like to use is not listed, we recommend submitting a modification request. In many cases, converting to an alternate framing type is possible. A quote for the wall conversion will be emailed to you in 1-3 business days.

We offer two building license options: single build or unlimited build. 

  • Single build licenses provide you with legal permission to build your plan one time.
  • Unlimited build licenses provide you with legal permission to build your plan an unlimited number of times with no re-use fees.

Yes! If you need to purchase more sets within 60 days of placing your order, we will credit your original purchase and charge the difference in price plus shipping. If you need to order more sets after 60 days from your original purchase, additional charges may be applied.

If you need to revise your order to a different plan set type, change the foundation, or reverse the orientation of the plan, contact us for assistance. Most designers will allow upgrades within one year from the date of your original purchase. We will apply the cost of the previous sale to your upgrade and collect the difference. Some designers charge an administrative fee in addition to the upgrade amount when reissuing a plan.

Below are the most common plan types available on our website:
  • PDF: A full set of drawings delivered in a digital format by email with either a single or unlimited build license. The PDF includes a copyright release, giving you legal permission to modify the plans and print additional copies.
  • 5 Sets + PDF: 5 printed sets shipped to you, and a full set of drawings delivered by email. Includes copyright release and license to build.
  • 5 Sets: 5 printed sets of plans shipped to you. This option does not include a copyright release to allow modifications or printing additional sets. 
  • CAD: This option will allow local design professionals, structural engineers, and builders to make modifications and code updates to the design. Includes a single or unlimited build license, and a copyright release to modify and print sets. Not all designers use the same CAD program. Contact us to verify the software used for a specific plan.
  • PDF Light: A full set of drawings delivered by email, a single build license, and permission to print sets. This option does not include a copyright release to make changes.

Architectural Designs offers a QuikQuote customizable cost-to-build report for any single family house plan on our website to help determine approximate cost to build in your zip or postal code. For more information, or to order a QuikQuote, click here. 

Yes - most plans can be ordered with a readable reverse option. The layout will be flipped and all text and dimensions will be readable. Your order will be filled in reverse orientation only, and the standard format will not be included. Contact us for availability if a readable reverse option is not listed under a plan you would like to purchase.

Many plans offer different foundation options. We recommend consulting with your builder before placing your order to determine which option will best suit your lot and budget. If a plan doesn’t offer the foundation option you need, we recommend submitting a modification request. 

The most common foundation options are:
  • Slab: Popular on flat lots. They do not allow for any space underneath the home. 
  • Crawl: Elevates a section of the foundation off the ground, and offers a small amount of access underneath the home for storage and maintenance. 
  • Basement: Can provide additional living or storage space that is completely or partly below ground. 
  • Walkout Basement: Typically suited for a rear sloping lot. Walkout basements have doors that lead to the rear exterior of the home, and provide additional living space
  • Daylight: Daylight foundations are most commonly chosen for sloping lots, but do not include doors with exterior access. 

A List of Materials, or Material Takeoff List, is an inventory of the materials required to build a specific house plan. This can be helpful for estimating cost to build, as well as saving time when ordering materials for a project. You can see plans that offer a list of materials for purchase here. Materials lists can only be purchased with a plan set for an additional cost. Contact us for assistance if you would like to check the availability of a materials list for a specific plan.

Occasionally plans are removed from our website, but may still be available for purchase. If you would like to check the availability of a plan you can no longer find on our website, please contact us.

To save a plan, click the “favorite” button beneath the image gallery. To see all of your favorites, click the “heart” icon in the top right corner of any page. You can bookmark plans for future reference in any browser. Plans can also be organized into collections. When you favorite a plan on our website, you will be notified via email when we update the image gallery.

Due to privacy concerns, we are unable to share detailed location or contact information for any of our client’s builds.

Photos are provided to us voluntarily by clients who would like their homes displayed on our website. Any photos we have are featured in the main image gallery, or in a client album for a plan. If you add a plan to your favorites on our site, you will be notified when we update the gallery.

If you don’t see a specific elevation for a plan on our site, contact us for availability.

The total heated square footage is displayed on all house plans. This calculation does not include unfinished or optionally finished space, garages, or outdoor living area. You can see a breakdown of square footage for non-heated areas under “plan details” for each specific plan.

All plan purchases are final. No refunds or exchanges. We strongly encourage you to contact us with any questions and ensure you have chosen the best plan to suit your needs prior to purchasing plans.

Plans are priced individually by our designers and architects. If you find a better price elsewhere, we will match it and extend an additional 10% off of the matched price. Price matching is limited to plan purchases within 10 business days of your original order date.

Orders are forwarded to our designers for fulfillment Monday-Friday. Most CAD and PDF orders are delivered digitally within 1-2 business days. We offer a variety of shipping options on printed plan sets. For more details on our shipping policy and options, click here.

The copyright to the plan is retained by the original designer. The plan licensed to you cannot be used by or resold to any other individual. For more information on copyright, click here.

If you are interested in having your portfolio represented on our platform, you can submit an application here.

We offer an affiliate program for those looking to earn a commission by promoting Architectural Designs’ house plans. For more information or to apply, click here.

We love seeing client photos! If you ordered your house plans from Architectural Designs and would like to share photos of your build, email us at [email protected]

We plant trees with every plan purchase through our partner, Ecologi. Learn more about our philanthropic partnership here.