How to Customize a Home Plan

How to Modify a Stock Plan

Often a plan is close to what you want, but you may find you need a bit more space in a room or perhaps the entry should be on another side of the house. Our plans are unique in that you have the right to make copies (for one project) and modify these to your particular needs. You can do this yourself or take your ideas to a local home designer, engineer or architect. (Note: modifying plans may be illegal with other stock plans - check first.)

When your changes involve something simple like moving non-bearing interior walls or changing the door and window layouts, you can probably do these yourself. Some people finalize such changes when they have the main floor platform built and can layout the walls and window locations full sized on the platform.

At our subscription site ( there are PDF materials and plan details you can use to add custom details to your plans. 

There are also floorplan templates that use a simple Home Planning program such as the older (3D Home Architect ver-3) or compatable PC programs to redo walls, furniture and electrical layouts.  See the Downloads at . You can modify these floor plans and view 3D perspectives to see the effect. Then print out your changes to scale and paste them back into your working drawing plan or elevation (side view of the house). In this way you can customize the plan to your site or space needs. (Note: the programs that allow edits to the floorplans are not included with a PlanHelp subscription.) Also be aware that these programs will take some time for you to become proficient. 

Often you can lay a sheet of tracing paper over a copy of the floor plan and draw in your modifications on the scaled plan. Sometimes lengthening or shortening the plan can be done by snipping two copies of the layout and overlapping to get the right dimensions. Make a copy of your modified new plan to work from.

If your changes are more structural, such as making the house wider, you may need some local help with these modifications. We do not do this customization work and it is best to use someone who knows your local codes and construction techniques. Look under drafting or building designers in the yellow pages or ask for a referral from a local lumber yard as builders need to make plan modifications all the time.

Here is additional information about code and permit issues:

Hope this helps.

John Raabe

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