How do I print a plan for permitting?
To print a plan for permitting, simply:
1. Purchase a plan and download the PDF to your desktop.
2. Take or email the PDF to a local printing store and request either 18" x 24" or 24" x 36" black & white Architectural prints. Your plan will indicate which paper size to request.
3. Print as many as you need and submit two sets (generally) of your plan for review.
It's that easy!
What is the General Catalog?
The General Catalog is an ever-expanding collection of high quality, very low-cost building plans for houses, tiny houses on wheels, cottages, garages and outbuildings, and more. Plans include collaborative designs as well as designs solely by the SMALL HOUSE CATALOG. The purpose of this catalog is to encourage builders and homeowners to seriously consider building smaller houses.
Plans are ready to submit for permitting upon download and printing. Additional engineering may be required in certain areas, specifically seismic and high wind regions of the US and Canada.
What happened to the FREE PLANS program?
Until April 1, 2017 I maintained an open source free house plans program for anyone visiting the SMALL HOUSE CATALOG to enjoy. The success of the program was impressive with my email subscriber base alone ballooning to over 20,000 subscribers! It now costs me hundreds of dollars each month to maintain but I think of it as good advertising. I really like being able to do the program and so it still exists, it's just different now. To cover operating costs the program was modified to an email subscriber-only platform. Plans are still FREE for 24 hours to email subscribers before they are entered into the General Catalog. Newcomers and current subscribers desiring a previously released free plan will need to pay a small fee to download it (and your support is appreciated).
Anyone can sign up with an email to receive future free plans.
What are the Signature Designs?
What's included in a typical set of building plans?
- A typical house plans package is drafted to current IRC code and includes,
- 3D Cover & Exterior Perspectives of Project
- General Construction Notes
- Dimensioned Floor Plans
- Exterior Elevations
- Building Cross Section
- Detailed Wall Section
- Foundation Plan & Details
- Floor Framing Plan(s)
- Roof Framing Plan & Details
- Construction Details
- Interior Elevations (Kitchens & Bathrooms)
- Door & Window Schedules (see example plan)
Do you modify the designs?
How much does it cost to build a small house?
In the United States the average cost to build (contract) a house in 2017 is $150 per square foot.
Do plans have an architect's stamp?
An architect's stamp is not required to submit house plans for permitting anywhere in the country. This is a persistent myth. Plans could be required to undergo what's known as a structural engineering review by a licensed structural engineer. This requirement is most commonly seen in seismic and high wind regions of the United States and Canada.
Architects, architectural designers, residential designers, draftsmen and owner-designers, are all potentially subject to engineering reviews. Engineers are scientists, architects are artists. Structural engineers have the final say on all structural concerns.
Check your local building departments for specific requirements and read Our License Agreement & Stock Plan Disclaimer for information.
What size paper should I use to print my plans?
Plans are designed to be printed in either of two IRC standard paper sizes: 18" x 24" or 24" x 36". Plans, as well as plan listings at the website, specify intended paper sizes. Please note: Building departments prefer black & white prints.
Can I sell your plans?
Not at this time. I've dealt with people - and companies - taking (formerly) free plans and selling them on Ebay, Etsy, various houseplans websites, and other places on the internet. Each time I've successfully resolved these issues by sending legal DMCA takedown notices. Feel free to email me with your ideas and please don't use plans without permission, it's illegal copyright infringement and can get you into trouble with your host, eventually lose your website, and worse.
What's your refund policy?
House plans, models and services are all delivered as digital goods and cannot be refunded. I stand behind my products and client satisfaction is important to me. However, because my creative work is delivered via an internet download as "intangible goods" I generally do not offer refunds. Refund requests are handled on a case by case basis and are issued at my sole discretion.
What types of buildings can you design?
I design & draft all styles of houses, accessory dwelling units, tiny houses on wheels, cabins, cottages, garages, studios, office spaces, backyard buildings, sheds, barns, small commercial spaces, and more.
I work with clients in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.
Please visit my drafting page for more information and pricing.
I found a mistake in a plan, how can I get it corrected?
If you find an error in a plan please contact me right away so it can be corrected. Corrections move to the top of my daily work load and once the correction has been made the corrected plan will be emailed to you at the address you used to contact me. While I work to make corrections same day it may take up to 72 hours to turn around the corrected PDF depending on the day I receive notice (weekends, holidays may take longer, e.g.).