Should I buy my house blueprints online?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ June 7, 2013 ~ No Comments

I am considering buying some cabin plans online and building it myself. How simple is it to follow these types of blueprints? I have some remodeling experience, but have never done new construction. Any advice for online blueprint use? How much should they cost?

-Gert J.

Brett Kulina

Gert, there are a plethora of house plans available online, most of which cost between several hundred and several thousand dollars per design. Although the less expensive options are often light on construction details, most online blueprints come with floor plans, elevations, window and door schedules, and a foundation schematic, all of which should be adequate enough to at least get you a building permit.

Of course, because most online plans are generic by nature, it is up to you to adapt the blueprints to the specific site conditions of your property. Keep in mind, you may also need to alter portions of your chosen design so that the drawings (and ultimately the construction) comply with your local building codes, as well as with the standard building practices in your neck of the woods. When you purchase a design online, you may find that the plan also includes options for a finished basement or garage. Try to find a house plan that best suits the characteristics of your building site.

If you have never built a new house, you may want to enlist the help of an experienced home builder who can help guide your project and decipher the details of the blueprints. Without a few building projects under your belt, it might be difficult for you to determine where your plans are inadequate and when you'll need to "wing it." One option for you might be to hire a builder who can oversee your progress and double check your work when you need a second set of eyes on the project.

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