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About Our Plans  

Important information to know before purchasing house plans!

If you’re buying house plans online, you should know that many online stock home plan companies sell inferior plans that do not include all the information necessary to safely build your home.

The details of your construction drawings are critical to ensure that your new home is built using proper details and building methods. The House Designers has the highest standard approval policies of all house plan websites. Please take time and review the following:

Building Standards and Code Conformity

All house plans from The House Designers shall conform to the International Residential Code (IRC), in effect at the time the design was created. It is important to note that all plans sold on The House Designers will indicate, wherever possible, framing components and layout.

  • Floor framing may indicate general layout, joist size and spacing.
  • Supporting structure, including beams, girders, headers and columns shall be sized, if available.
  • Stick framed roofs shall indicate rafter layout direction and bearing points.**
  • Trussed roofs shall indicate layout direction and bearing locations.**

** Rafter and ceiling joist sizes, dependent upon local roof/snow design values will need to be sized locally (typically by a local design professional). Manufactured trusses will require design by an engineer for conditions indigenous to the location of construction.

Additional Engineering/State Stamp

In some regions, there is another step you will need to take to ensure your house plans are in compliance with local codes. Despite our all-inclusive structure on our plans, some areas of North America have additional engineering requirements. It is possible you will need to hire a state licensed structural engineer to analyze the design and provide additional drawings and calculations required by your local building department. Examples of this include, but are not limited to:

  • Earthquake-prone areas of California and the Pacific Coast
  • Hurricane risk areas like Florida and the Gulf States
  • The Carolinas and Atlantic Coast
  • New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and sections of Illinois

If you aren’t sure, building departments typically have a handout listing all of the items they require to obtain a building permit.

Additionally, stock plans do not have a professional stamp attached. If your building department requires one, they will only accept a stamp from a professional licensed in the state where you plan to build. In this case, you will need to take your house plans to a local engineer or architect for review and stamping. Plans that are used to construct homes in Nevada are required to be drawn by a licensed Nevada architect.

Foundation Site Plan

Our foundation plans have been designed for universal conditions and do not address a specific site. Soil samples should be taken at the site by a competent local soil testing laboratory. The foundation should be modified by a local structural engineer to comply with the findings and recommendations of the soil testing laboratory.

Site and Septic Plan

In addition to the house plans you order, you may need a site plan that shows where the house is going to be located on the property. Your home builder or surveyor usually helps with this step.

You may also need a septic design, unless your lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. Many areas now have area-specific energy codes that also have to be followed. This normally involves filling out a simple form providing documentation that your house plans are in compliance.


The House Designers will occasionally run specials, discounting our house plans. The discounts being applied to orders will be a percentage taken off of the house plan package, this will not include modifications or options to the plan. We also price match competitors pricing, please see our Best Price Guarantee for details.

Return Policy

The House Designers offers a one-time, 14-day exchange policy for non-electronic plan packages that have not been modified, used, marked on, or copied. Exchanges are subject to a 20% restocking fee and all sales on electronic and reproducible house plans and customization/modifications are final.

Additional Information

If you need more information, pricing on obtaining an engineering stamp, modification estimates, or design assistance from our house plan experts, simply email, live chat or call our toll free number 866-214-2242, and we’d be happy to assist you.