How To Choose A Jadescape TOP House Plan
Almost every house plan site offers to change their stock drawings to suit your specific requirements. That’s a valuable service – but be careful, some seemingly small changes can be expensive to make, and even more expensive to build.
One Change Jadescape TOP – Lots Of Drawings
There was a time when changes to house plans were done in the field with no documentation at all. If you wanted to make the house a little bigger, you only needed to tell your contractor – and you didn’t have a plans examiner and a building inspector looking over your shoulder.
But as we’ll learn in Chapter #4 “A Set Of House Plans Isn’t Enough”, building codes across the country are getting tougher and plans examiners are looking at house plans more closely. When a change is made to a set of drawings, that change must be as well documented as the original plans, regardless of the size or complexity of the change. Sometimes that’s not a big deal but sometimes it requires quite a few changes to the set of drawings and expensive changes to the house itself.
Consider for example, a theoretical two-foot extension of a family room at the back of a two-story house with a basement. If you’re working with a typically complete set of plans, your two-foot extension will require a change to all of the following drawings in order to be accepted by your local building department:
First floor plan
Second floor plan
Left side elevation
Right side elevation
Main building section
Those are just the Jadescape TOP drawings – you’ll also need to have structural changes made
which may require review by a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer. And in areas that require compliance with energy codes, those calculations will have to be redone.
Don’t let this scare you away from considering altering your design – just be sure you get a firm quote on all of the work needed to get your drawings completely ready to submit for permits. Or better yet, find a plan that doesn’t need these changes.
Some plan services have popular “pre-designed” additions and alterations with all of the necessary drawings already completed. If one of those designs meets your needs, that’s a much more efficient and cost effective way to go.
Consider The Impact On The Rest Of The House
If you find that the change you want to make isn’t offered as a pre-design, you may want to have a custom alteration made. But don’t get caught up in major changes – the trick is to avoid doing so much modification that you’d have been better off choosing another plan, or designing a custom home from scratch.
Every day, my staff counsels homeowners who have gotten their home design almost done – and then added just one more room. Too often we find that the final room (frequently a screened porch) is difficult or impossible to blend seamlessly into the design.
If they don’t consider the entire design from day one, they risk “cobbing up” a perfectly good home plan.