The contents of each designer's blueprint package or house plan set is unique, but all contain detailed house plans and high-quality working drawings. You can expect to find the following standard elements in most sets of plans:
1. Detailed Floor Plans (Detailed House Plans)
These plans show the layout of each floor of the house. Rooms and interior spaces are carefully dimensioned, doors and windows located, and keys are given for cross-section details provided elsewhere in the plans. You can make changes to any house plan, as described in our Modification Guide.
2. Exterior Elevations
In addition to the front exterior, your blueprint set will include drawings of the rear and sides of your house.These drawings give notes on exterior materials and finishes. Particular attention is given to cornice detail, brick and stone accents, or other finish items that make your home unique. Sometimes a house plan set will include drawings that show choices in siding treatments, or two very similar plans will have different façade treatments, as in brick-faced House Plan HWEPL09896 and stone-faced House Plan HWEPL65013.
3. Residential Front Perspective
This artist's sketch of the exterior of the house gives you an idea of how the house will look when built and landscaped. Check out House Plan HWEPL76927 to see another example of a strong, photorealistic residential front perspective.
4. Foundation and Basement Plans
This sheet shows the foundation layout including concrete walls, footings, pads, posts, beams, bearing walls, and foundation notes. If the home features a basement, the first-floor framing details may also be included on this plan. If your plan features slab construction rather than a basement, the plan shows footings and details for a monolithic slab. This page, or another in the house plan set, may include a sample plot plan for locating your house on a building site. Additional sheets focus on foundation cross-sections and other details. To browse a collection of house plans with walkout basements, click here.
5. House and Detail Cross-Sections
Large-scale views show sections or cutaways of the foundation, interior walls, exterior walls, floors, stairways, and roof details. Additional cross-sections may show important changes in floor, ceiling, or roof heights, or the relationship of one level to another. Among the most detailed house plans, the sections show exactly how the various parts of the house fit together and are very valuable during construction. Additional sheets in a house plan set may include enlarged wall, floor and roof construction details.
6. Floor Structural Supports
The floor framing plans provide detail for these crucial elements of your home. Each of these detailed house plans includes floor joist, ceiling joist, spacing, direction, span, and specifications. Beam and window headers, along with necessary details for framing connections, stairways, or dormers are also included.
Electrical Plan (Not Depicted on Right)
The electrical plan offers suggested locations with notes for all lighting, outlets, switches, and circuits. A layout is provided for each level, as well as basements, garages, or other structures. This plan does not contain diagrams detailing how all wiring should be run, or how circuits should be engineered. These details should be designed by your electrician.
Roof Framing Plans -- Please Read (Not Depicted on Right)
Some plans contain roof framing plans; however because of the wide variation in local requirements, many plans do not. If you buy a plan without a roof framing plan, you will need an engineer familiar with local building codes to create a plan to build your roof. Even if your plan does contain a roof framing plan, we recommend that a local engineer review the plan to verify that it will meet local codes.
Architectural and Engineering Seals Are Not Included in Your House Plan Package
Some cities and states now require that a licensed architect or engineer review and "seal" a blueprint, or officially approve it, prior to construction. Prior to application for a building permit or the start of actual construction, we strongly advise that you consult your local building official who can tell you if such a review is required.
The images in this section are for illustration only. They do not depict the actual plans you will receive.