Our plans supply you with all the usual blueprint drawings and details needed for construction and building permits. You may copy any CountryPlans plan set locally to have additional sets for your own (single house) project - you do not need to order multiple sets. On some of our plans you will want to add in some of the included options to customize your plan set before submittal. For instance, you may have several different foundation plans in the set you are sent. You will use only one when you submit your project.
Our drawings may or may not meet all of your local requirements. Code interpretations vary widely and no stock plan will be right for every location. Some locations have specific special requirements such as high snow loads, wind loads, and earthquake loads. Some jurisdictions will require that ALL plans are stamped by an engineer registered in that state. Some building departments will not allow all the foundation options we include in our plans, particularily the pier and beam foundation. The Little House plans with its low impact foundation may not be appropiate for hurricane areas without additonal holddowns.
In short, you may need to modify your plans to satisfy local conditions or opinions. This is true of any stock plan you would buy and even custom home designs you have done by a local architect. Contact a local home designer, engineer or architect if you have required structural modifications. Smaller items such as extra hold-downs can often just be added as written notes on the plans right there at the permit counter. This is what most builders do - just draw on the two sets that are to be submitted at the permit desk.
Any stock plan, modified plan, or owner-designed plan should be reviewed by a local building professional to make sure it meets local codes and climate requirements. This is standard boilerplate you will find on any plans. We go a step further and include information in your plans packet on how to work with the building department and how to ask for a "presubmittal review" to see if you need to make changes. (This can save a lot of time.)
Finally, you can expect any approved plans to come back marked up with some additional notes added. Many of these are things you or the subcontractor would do anyway.
The building permit process and can seem frustrating at times, but is actually helpful to you as an owner and is done primarily for your own safety and the longevity of the building. A good building inspector can help you do a better job of building your house — so try to see them as a construction resource (which you have already paid for in the permit fee!)
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