Frequently Asked Questions

Do you modify designs?

Yes, any plan from the SMALL HOUSE CATALOG can be modified or redesigned to suit. Please visit the Drafting page for details and/or to request an estimate.

How do I print my plan?

To print a plan, simply:

  1. 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.

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)

Plans show fixture types, HVAC equipment and appliance locations. Dedicated mechanical, plumbing, electrical (MPE) plans are offered as optional services because they're not generally required for permitting. These trades are typically designed onsite without dedicated plans.

Visit the drafting page for more details.

Why are stock plans so inexpensive?

Stock plans sell daily and keep prices low. Nearly every plan in the catalog is a custom design made available for sale as a stock plan. 

Do you offer any free plans?

Until April 1, 2017 we offered a huge open source free house plans program. Unfortunately some bad apples started selling the free plans online on like Ebay, Etsy and other places. We have had to shut down a website dedicated entirely to selling our free plans. As a result we permanently ended the program.

We receive calls and emails weekly from people, especially teachers, asking for free plans. Please do not email requesting free plans or services. If you're a teacher do not email requesting free plans: teaching is your livelihood and house plans are ours. Please be respectful.

How much does it cost to build a small house?

In the United States the average cost to have a house built in 2017 was $150 per square foot. Costs tend to run higher in some regions, like Western Washington state, California, et al. and average $175-200 (or higher) per square foot.

Do plans have an architect's stamp?

An architect's stamp is not required for permitting anywhere in the country. Plans may require an engineering review (wet-stamp), however, this requirement is most commonly seen in seismic and high wind regions of the United States and Canada and architects, architectural designers, residential designers, draftsmen, even owners, are all potentially subject to engineering reviews. 

Check your local building departments for specific requirements and read Our License Agreement & Stock Plan Disclaimer for more information.

What size paper should I use to print my plans?

Most plans are designed to be printed in either of two IRC standard paper sizes:

  • 18" x 24"
  • 24" x 36"

Each plan specifies the correct printing size.  

Please note: Building departments require black & white prints. 

Can I sell your plans?

Feel free to email us with your ideas but don't use plans without permission, it's illegal copyright infringement and can get you into trouble with your host, eventually lose your website, or worse. 

What's your refund policy?

Plans, models and services are delivered as digital goods and are non-refundable. We stand behind our products and client satisfaction is important to us. However, our creative work is delivered via an internet download as "intangible goods" and we do not offer refunds. 

What types of buildings can you design?

We design & draft many structures and styles! We can design houses, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), tiny houses on wheels, cabins, cottages, garages, studios, office spaces, backyard buildings, sheds, barns, small commercial spaces, and more. We work with clients in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

Please visit the drafting page for more information and pricing.

Find a mistake in a plan? Please let us know!

If you find an error in a plan please contact us so it can be corrected. 

Can I build one of your plans for resale?

Your purchase includes a license to build a single house from your plan to use for personal or professional purposes. If you choose to build another version of a particular house just purchase another plan. It's that easy!