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About Our Plans  

House Plan Modifications & Customizations

Online House Design ModificationsHundreds of thousands of homes have been built from plans prepared by the leading architects and designers of The House Designers. A significant percentage of these were custom homes built from our stock designs. One thing is certain about this vast number of homes: almost everyone made some changes to their plans before building.


The following is intended to walk you through the process of making changes or customizing the design to suit your specific requirements, whether to address issues about your lot, special requirements of your locality, or just personal preferences.

Right Reading Reverse

Building the design in reverse? No problem! We offer all house plans in Right Reading Reverse. With this option, the entire floor plan is reversed from left to right, meaning that everything from the layout of rooms to the placement of windows and doors is flipped. This allows for greater flexibility in positioning the home on the lot, accommodating issues such as the orientation of views or the location of utilities. Whether you're looking to optimize your home's functionality or enhance its curb appeal, purchase your plans from The House Designers and let us tailor your home to your unique requirements.

For further information, you can select the Select Plan Package and Optional Add-Ons menus on the page for the particular plan you're interested in to see what's offered. You can also see each architect and designers’ specific plan detail and sample house plan on each plan page.

Red-lining blueprints

This is by far the most common way that changes are made. It is also the simplest and least expensive. Although our industry uses the word "blueprints," this is a holdover from days past. All the plans used today for construction are printed on white paper with black or blue line lettering. Because of this, notations are easily made by pen, pencil, or a red line pencil, which stands out clearly—hence the term "red-lining."

Red-lining is not suitable for major changes, but is suited for the vast majority of changes, such as:

  • shifting interior partitions that have no effect on structural spans
  • extending a wing of a house lengthwise that has no effect on structural spans
  • material changes, specifications, fixtures, cabinet layouts, contract provisions, etc.
  • shifting, adding, or changing windows or doors
  • adding or deleting fireplaces, garage stalls, false dormers, raised or dropped ceilings, etc.

If it involves anything other than some material or specification notes, red-lining is best done by an experienced contractor who is familiar with your local codes and would know if the change requires further input from a local professional. Plans may not be photocopied, so make sure to order an electronic plan or enough printed sets - usually at least 8 - so each can be noted with the proposed changes. A red-line set is acceptable for contracts, most lending institutions, and most building departments. If you are building in a very high wind zone or a flood plain zone where local engineering is required, red-lining may not be acceptable.

Making major modifications

A CAD (computer-aided design) file is suggested when you're looking at major modifications. The CAD allows an experienced professional to add, erase, or draw involved changes to any plan. This option is also extremely helpful where local engineering or code modifications are required. Changes that may be made via CAD include:

  • enlarging the home in any direction, even where roof pitches or rafter lengths are changed
  • adding a room, garage, or porch
  • changing foundation types, if not available with the basic plans (most are available, so check first)
  • elevation changes including roof pitch and roofline changes
  • significant interior layout changes
  • adapting a plan to meet local codes or to provide engineering where required

CAD files are best modified by an architect, designer, or engineer, but may also be modified by an experienced contractor. Authorization is provided to enable you to make prints of the final plans at a local copy shop. Copy shops are not permitted to reproduce house plans without such authorization.

It's important to note that you must have the right software to open CAD files, so let us know if you'd like us to send a PDF for your own use.

The House Designers can help you customize any plan. When major modifications are necessary, we'll ask you to purchase the CAD so our modification team has the resources to efficiently make the changes. Feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions.

Modification Assistance

If you need help with modifying your plan, we're here to help. We also offer complimentary house plan search services to help you find a plan that needs no or minimal modifications to help streamline the process. Live chat, email or call us and we'll be happy to help you find the perfect house plan for your lot, needs and budget!