Frequently Asked Questions
What's In A Typical Set Of Plans?
Our architectural plans provide the foundation for creating a remarkable and high-quality home. Each drawing set typically contains 13-16 sheets of content that are essential for both you and your builder to understand how to bring your vision to life. Our plans are carefully designed and drafted by experienced professionals in the USA, ensuring that they meet or exceed the latest International Residential Building Code requirements for single-family dwellings. Before you get started, keep in mind that building codes cover many aspects of the building process, and there may be additional requirements specific to your location. We strongly encourage you to consult with your local permitting authority to ensure that our plans meet all of your building requirements. You can trust our plans to provide the framework for a high-quality home that you'll be proud to call your own.
Detailed floor and foundation plans serve as the fundamental components of your drawing set. These plans establish the overall geometry of your home and provide precise dimensions for every aspect of the layout. They capture essential details such as wall placement, partitions, offsets, build-outs, as well as the locations of windows and doors. Both you and your builder will heavily depend on these drawings throughout the planning and execution stages of your project. They form the blueprint that guides the construction process, ensuring accuracy and alignment with your vision.
Exterior elevations offer precise details regarding the outward appearance of the structure. These drawings provide essential information about architectural geometry, window and door placement, and finish specification. By referencing the exterior elevations, you gain insight into the design elements that shape the exterior of your building.
A building section serves as a crucial technical and diagrammatic representation of the architectural design. It is specifically created to aid your builder in conceptualizing and visualizing the complete architectural assembly with a high level of detail. The more comprehensive and detailed the drawings, the better your builder can understand the design, minimizing the risk of errors or oversights during construction. In our drawing sets, you can typically expect to find 3-4 detailed building sections. These sections provide valuable insights into the vertical composition of the structure, allowing for a thorough understanding of how various elements come together to form the overall architectural vision.
Assembly Details & Wall Sections
Assembly illustrations and wall sections provide an in-depth understanding of how the building is constructed. These drawings play a crucial role in the construction process and are often required to obtain building permits in many areas. They showcase the precise methods and materials used in the assembly, guiding your builder in executing the construction accurately and efficiently.
Interior details and elevations provide visual representations of key areas within your home, such as kitchens and master bathrooms. These drawings showcase the precise arrangement and layout of these spaces, including the exact sizing and quantity of cabinetry. They also highlight additional features like built-in seating, bookshelves, and recesses, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the design. Plumbing fixtures and appliances are clearly indicated, providing valuable guidance for installation and placement. These detailed interior details and elevations act as your how-to guide, particularly if you aim to recreate the same aesthetic depicted in our design imagery.
Maximizing your builder's knowledge leads to better outcomes. To enhance understanding beyond traditional two-dimensional drawings, we offer 3D diagrammatic drawings that clarify design features that may not be readily apparent. These drawings provide a comprehensive visual representation, allowing your builder to completely understand the details of the design. Additionally, our 3D drawings include annotations for all windows and doors, ensuring clarity and accuracy during the construction process. By providing these detailed and informative visuals, we empower your builder with the necessary insights to bring your architectural vision to life successfully.
Lighting Location Plan
Lighting is a frequently overlooked aspect, yet we consider it a low-cost, high-impact feature that can greatly enhance your space. In our lighting location plans, we provide detailed guidance on how to effectively illuminate each area, highlighting the best-suited fixtures for the desired ambiance. To facilitate easy tracking, we also include an accompanying schedule that specifies the type and quantity of fixtures required. By incorporating our lighting plans and schedule, you can ensure optimal lighting solutions throughout your project, transforming your space into a well-lit and inviting environment. We believe that attention to lighting is essential to creating a truly remarkable and captivating architectural experience.
Your drawings include a comprehensive set of schedules, detailing window, door, plumbing, and room specifications. Whether you choose to self-build or hire a general contractor, these schedules play a crucial role in the planning process. Room schedules, in particular, provide valuable information for calculating the required quantities of finish materials, such as flooring and trim. By referencing the schedules, you gain clarity on the specific attributes and quantities of the components involved, ensuring accurate calculations and seamless coordination with your chosen building method. These schedules are an essential tool in facilitating efficient planning and execution, contributing to the overall success of your project.
Drawings & Documentation
What is the difference between PDF and CAD plans?
When you purchase a plan in PDF format, you'll receive a file that is ready for printing at your local print shop. This file includes the drawings for your design (as listed), and the title of the file indicates the correct paper size for printing. Most print shops, including FedEx and UPS, are familiar with printing blueprints. Please note that some permitting offices may only accept electronic applications, so the PDF file is also suitable for electronic submittals.
If you purchase your plans in CAD format, you'll a receive folder that contains DWG files. DWG is a standard file format used in the architecture and engineering industries. Possession of these files will allow you to make unlimited changes to the design. CAD files are commonly used for structural engineering purposes.
Can I upgrade to CAD plans at a later date?
Absolutely. If you find that you need CAD plans after making an initial PDF purchase, we'll provide you with an upgrade credit. Please contact us for assistance.
What is the difference between architectural plans and structural plans and why are they separate?
Architectural plans and structural plans are two distinct components of the overall design and construction process. Here's a breakdown of their differences:
- Architectural plans focus on the design and aesthetics of a building. They are created by architects or architectural designers and serve as a visual representation of how the building will look and function.
- Architectural plans typically include information about the layout and arrangement of spaces, such as rooms, corridors, and common areas. They also indicate the location of doors, windows, and other architectural features.
- These plans incorporate design elements like exterior facades, interior finishes, and overall style considerations.
- Architectural plans are essential for conveying the design intent to clients, obtaining permits, and guiding the construction process.
- Structural plans, on the other hand, specifically address the structural components and stability of a building. They are typically prepared by structural engineers.
- Structural plans provide detailed information about the building's foundation, columns, beams, and other load-bearing elements.
- These plans consider factors such as structural integrity, load distribution, wind and seismic forces, and other structural considerations necessary to ensure the safety and stability of the building.
- Structural plans provide specifications for the materials and construction methods required to support the weight of the building and withstand external forces.
While architectural plans focus on the overall design and appearance of the building, structural plans focus on its structural integrity and safety. Both types of plans are crucial for successful construction, and they work in tandem to create a well-designed, functional, and safe building. Architects and structural engineers often collaborate closely to ensure that the architectural vision aligns with the structural requirements of the project.
Is structural engineering included in the plans?
Although our plans are designed to be adaptable to a wide range of locations and codes, we do not include structural engineering in our drawing sets.
If you require a structural design from a licensed engineer in your area, we can help. Please see our services page for details.
What is the difference between an architectural site plan and a civil site plan?
An architectural site plan and a civil site plan are two types of plans that are used in the construction of buildings and structures. While they may have some similarities, there are also some key differences.
An architectural site plan is a plan that shows the layout and design of the building itself, as well as its relationship to the surrounding site. It typically includes information about the building's footprint, orientation, and landscaping, as well as any site improvements, such as driveways or parking areas. An architectural site plan is used to help guide the design of the building and ensure that it is integrated into the surrounding environment in a functional and aesthetically pleasing way.
A civil site plan, on the other hand, is a plan that shows the layout and design of the infrastructure and utilities that support the building or structure. It includes information about the location of utilities, such as water lines, sewer lines, and electrical lines, as well as grading, drainage, and other civil engineering features. A civil site plan is used to ensure that the building is connected to necessary utilities and infrastructure and that it is built on a stable foundation.
In summary, while an architectural site plan focuses on the design and layout of the building itself, a civil site plan focuses on the infrastructure and utilities that support the building. Both plans are critical in ensuring that a building is constructed in compliance with applicable codes and regulations and that it meets the needs of its occupants.
How is the square footage of a plan calculated?
Our area calculations are listed in itemized format under the specifications section of each product page.
The breakdown shows the following:
1. Conditioned space.
2. Unconditioned space.
3. Grand total.
Conditioned space includes:
- Finished floor space (includes areas under kitchen cabinetry and vanities). These areas are measured from the interior faces of walls.
Conditioned space excludes:
- Floor space underneath interior walls and partitions.
- Floor space underneath exterior walls.
- Floor space under built-in architectural features (e.g. chases or fireplaces).
Unconditioned space includes:
- Mechanical rooms.
Unconditioned space excludes:
- Unfinished attic space.
- Covered porches.
- All other exterior spaces.
The grand total is the sum of both the conditioned and unconditioned space.
Do Prim Haus plans specify kitchen cabinetry and appliances?
Yes, all of our plans include detailed kitchen designs that feature common cabinetry and appliance sizes. The detailing includes specific information about integrated architectural features like built-in seating, bookshelves, and recesses. Suggested plumbing fixtures are also indicated. Our goal is to help you simplify the planning and purchasing process as much as possible
Building Permits & Code Compliance
What do I need to obtain a building permit?
Building your dream home is an exciting process, but it's important to ensure that you have the necessary documentation to obtain a building permit. Before purchasing a set of plans, we highly recommend consulting with your local building department to understand their specific requirements. Every location has unique regulations and your plans may need additional documentation or alterations for compliance. We also recommend that your design be engineered locally by a licensed professional engineer. Structural engineering is often a requirement for permit and is a best practice for ensuring safety. Having your plans engineered will also help to streamline your permitting process.
Our team is here to assist you in obtaining the necessary documents so you can focus on what's most important - building the perfect home and enjoying your investment to the fullest. Contact us for assistance with any questions or if you have additional requirements.
Design & Modifications
What options are available for customizing the design of my home?
Our expert in-house design team can perfectly tailor any plan to your exact vision and desires. Please see our services page for more details.
Does Prim Haus create custom designs from scratch?
Yes. We specialize in crafting unique and fully custom architectural designs tailored to your individual needs and preferences. To learn more about how we can help bring your vision to life, we invite you to schedule a customization consultation. Please visit our services page for details.
What are some of the latest trends or styles in luxury home design that I should consider when creating my architectural plans?
- Modern Minimalism: Some high-end homes today are characterized by sleek, minimalist designs that prioritize clean lines, simple shapes, and open spaces. This design style often incorporates high-quality materials and finishes, such as polished concrete, natural stone, or sustainable wood.
- Smart Home Technology: Many luxury homes are now integrating smart home technology that allows for seamless automation of lighting, heating and cooling, security systems, and more. This technology can not only add convenience and efficiency to your daily life, but also increase the resale value of your home.
- Outdoor Living Spaces: With an increased focus on health and wellness, modern homes are incorporating outdoor living spaces that allow for relaxation, entertainment, and connection with nature. This can include features such as swimming pools, outdoor kitchens, and spacious decks or patios.
- Sustainable Design: Many homes are incorporating sustainable design elements that prioritize environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. This can include features such as solar panels, green roofs, and rainwater harvesting systems.
These are just a few of the latest trends and styles in high-end home design that are worth considering when crafting your architectural plans. By working with a trusted architectural firm or designer, you can incorporate these trends into a personalized design that is tailored to your individual tastes and lifestyle.
What is a green roof and why should I consider one?
A green roof, also known as a living roof, is a roof system that incorporates a layer of vegetation and growing medium (such as soil) over a waterproofing membrane on the roof surface. There are two main types of green roofs: extensive and intensive. Extensive green roofs are shallow and require less maintenance, while intensive green roofs are deeper and can support a wider variety of plants but require more maintenance.
Green roofs offer several benefits, both environmental and practical. Here are a few reasons to consider a green roof:
- Energy efficiency: Green roofs can help reduce energy consumption by providing insulation to the building, which can help reduce heating and cooling costs.
- Stormwater management: Green roofs can absorb rainwater and reduce runoff, which can help reduce the burden on stormwater systems and improve water quality.
- Air quality: Green roofs can help improve air quality by absorbing pollutants and producing oxygen.
- Urban heat island mitigation: Green roofs can help reduce the urban heat island effect by providing shade and evaporative cooling.
- Biodiversity: Green roofs can provide habitat for plants and animals, which can help promote biodiversity in urban areas.
- Aesthetics: Green roofs can provide an attractive and unique aesthetic for a building, and can help improve the overall appearance of a property.
While green roofs can offer many benefits, they do require some additional design considerations and maintenance compared to traditional roof systems. However, with proper design and maintenance, a green roof can be a sustainable and attractive addition to a home or building.
Can I add solar capabilities to my design?
Absolutely! Several of our designs may lend themselves well to solar installations on the low slope roof sections. These sections can provide a concealed or out of sight placement for solar panels, which can be unsightly when placed on other parts of the roof. While we can certainly help coordinate with your solar installer, we recommend consulting with a solar expert to determine the exact specifications required for installation. With the right design and expert installation, you can enjoy the benefits of solar power while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your home.
How long will it take to design and build my home?
The timeline for designing and building your home can vary based on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of the home, the level of customization and personalization. That being said, the typical timeline for designing and building a home can range anywhere from 12 to 24 months, depending on the specifics of your project. It's important to work with a trusted team of experts who can help you navigate the process and ensure that your project stays on track and within your desired timeline.
Our Store Policies
What is your return policy?
We are committed to providing exceptional quality architectural plans and ensuring our customers are well-informed before making a purchase. We take great pride in the accuracy of our product descriptions, which include detailed images, floor plans, and specifications. While all sales are final due to the nature of our products, we stand firmly behind them, offering comprehensive support and assistance. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team. Your satisfaction is our priority, and we appreciate the trust you place in Prim Haus when purchasing a set of our architectural plans.
Terms of Service
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Comprehensive Design Assistance
Need More Answers?
Have technical or in-depth questions? Get comprehensive support on a variety of topics from site planning, structural engineering, and architectural customization with our personalized design consultation service.
In addition to his outstanding creativity, Scott was very patient and never rushed us. Even when our design was finalized, he offered to help us in the future if we run in to any issues. It should be mentioned how surprised we were to find out that the price for the plan modifications was well beyond reasonable. Our whole experience with Scott and Prim Haus far exceeded our expectations.
We had been looking for house plans for about a year and even reached out to another architectural firm/building company but never received a response after multiple attempts. We were at a loss, however, we came across this gem of a home. We knew this absolutely was our dream home. When we reached out to Prim Haus, we received an immediate response from Scott. Scott has been phenomenal during this entire process. He is kind, friendly, patient and incredibly knowledgeable. No questions went unanswered and he seemed to only be satisfied when he knew we were more than satisfied.
We are so incredibly excited to build our modern farmhouse! The design is stunning! It was such a pleasure working with Scott on refining the design to meet our needs. He's really thought about this design a lot. I felt so confident in his advice as we were progressing along and he always had great solutions and options to offer. Best of all, the process was painless and easy! Thank you so much, Scott!