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Frequently Asked Questions On House Plans & Styles

What are the benefits of building my home versus buying a home?

The benefits of building your own home instead of buying are numerous. Quality control and cost savings are two main reasons. By building your home you are in control of the quality of construction from the ground up. You will also have hands on role in choosing the exact building materials, insulation and green features that you want. Most importantly, when you build your own home, the home is truly made for you! You can customize the home to your exact specifications and likings. You will get everything that you want and nothing that you don't.

To read more about the benefits of building your own home, visit our blog

Can I see what the plans look like?

Here are links to .pdf example pages from a few of our different plans. These .pdf files are the same pages that would be included in your order.

  1. Cover Sheet - The cover sheet features an elevation of the home, sheet number index for the plan, and contact information.
  2. Foundation - These drawings will detail and illustrate the foundation of the home, exterior and interior footings to support the floors and structure above.  If a basement is purchased, it will show the stairs, bearing walls, and basement windows and doors.
  3. First Floor Plan - This page is drawn to ¼”=1’-0” scale and includes exterior dimensions to build the home.  The notes are precise directions for your builder.  Important features such as built-ins, niches, and appliances are noted.  Doors and windows are identified and specific sizing can be found on window and door schedules. Conventional framing
  4. Second Floor Plan - The second floor includes stair details.  Often the reflective roof detail is shown legibly over the second floor plan.  This is helpful for the framing contractor.
  5. Lighting and Electrical - On this sheet you have a schematic of the lights, electrical plugs, phone location, and code items such as smoke detectors.  It is common place to build with your builder and/or electrician before the work starts to review this plan.  Careful planning can make your home special and convenient for your family.
  6. Second Floor Lighting - The same details as provided for the first floor.
  7. Front and Rear Elevations - The front and rear elevations may be on separate pages depending on the size of the house.  This page comes with exterior dimensions and notes required to complete construction.  This is where the windows, doors, and interior trim details are illustrated, as well as wall heights, roof pitches and ridge heights.
  8. Right and Left Elevations - The right and left elevations provide the same details as the front and rear elevations.
  9. Roof Plan - This drawing, usually at ¼”=1’-0” scale, will be a bird’s eye view of the home.  It will show the ridges, hips, and valleys.  This page will show a beautifully designed roof.
  10. Cross-Sections - Sections are used to further describe any architectural intent necessary for the builder or framer.  This drawing will illustrate important changes in the floor, ceiling, and roof heights.
  11. Cabinet Elevations - Cabinet elevations are provided with your plans, and like the electrical plan, they are mainly a guide for estimating purposes.  Cabinets are an area that is easy to customize and your builder or cabinet maker will work with you early on in the process to ensure that the correct cabinets are specified.  Archival Designs believes cabinets should reflect your taste and budget. After framing and sheet rock installation sizes of walls may change slightly.  The cabinet maker must take as built measurements to properly size your cabinets. **NOTE: Most house plans will contain interior/cabinet elevations, however not all plans will. Please inquire prior to purchase.
  12. International Residential Code 2012 - Effective 01/01/14 - Separate sheets that provide a summary of the most important codes found in the IRC 2012 (effective January 1, 2014). We strongly suggest all builders/owners refer back to the IRC2012 book before, and during the construction of any house plan.

What is the cost of your home plans?

Plan pricing can be found on each individual plan page and will vary based on square footage. For more information on pricing, please contact one of our Sales Representatives at 1-888-887-2584 or 770-831-6363.

How many sets of home plans will I need to purchase?

Although we sell one set of blueprints, one set is not enough to build your dream house. One set is sold mainly as a review set before you decide whether to purchase additional sets. The actual number of sets you need will vary depending on your specific needs. You will need one, your builder, mortgage lender (appraiser) and subcontractor. When you purchase our reproducible sets, such as vellum, PDF, or AutoCAD, you will have the freedom to print as many sets as you want. Additional sets may be purchased within 30 days of original invoice date if you chose to purchase 1 or 5 Bond sets. After that date, any reorder will be considered a new order.

How many times can I build a house from my home plan purchase?

All our bond blueprints are protected under copyright law and cannot be copied. With the purchase of any set, you are licensed to build only one house from the home plans. This includes any changes that may have been made to the original plan. If you plan on building a home more than once, please contact one of our Sales Representatives for more information at 1-888-887-2584 or 770-831-6363.

How do I purchase a plan from Archival Designs, Inc.?

Purchasing a plan is easy! Simply add the home plan you want to your cart, and checkout with PayPal! All major credit cards are accepted over the phone by calling our sales representatives at 1-888-877-2584 or 770-831-6363. We look forward to hearing from you!

Does sales tax apply to my purchase?

Sales tax applies to all customers in the state of Georgia. The applicable sales tax will be determined based on you county of residence. Please contact a sales representative at 770-831-6363 for more information on sales tax.

How quickly will I receive my house plan?

All orders are processed and shipped within 1 business day. We make all efforts to deliver PDF or CAD orders same business day!

I am an international customer. How do I purchase a plan?

We sell home plans to customers all over the world! Many of our international customers need to purchase AutoCAD sets since they will need to have the ability to have them modified to comply with local building codes in their country. You may order online, or by phone by calling us at 1-888-887-2584. At this time, we do not ship internationally with the exception to Canada. Please call for more information on shipping fees to Canada.

What is the difference between a vellum and a blueprint?

Vellum is a type of paper that the home plan is printed on that allows you to make changes to the home plan. When you purchase the vellum you also get a license that allows you to make changes, make copies and allows you to build one home from the home plan. A blueprint is a type of paper that does not allow you to make any changes or copies. They are similar to a copy from a copy machine (except they are black and much larger).

Are your plans available in a CAD format?

Most of our home plans are available in AutoCAD format. Purchasers may specify a particular format, as we can provide 2004 or any earlier version. If no version is specified, AutoCAD 2004 files will be sent with the order. Some CAD software may not be compatible. For an additional fee of $50.00, purchasers may request that house plan files be sent in .dxf format, which is compatible with most CAD programs.

Can I return or exchange the home plans?

Due to the fact that we sell intellectual property upon which there is no way to verify that the plans have not been copied, duplicated or reproduced, we cannot honor requests for returns and refunds. With that being said, we will work with you 100% of the way to assist with answering any questions. We want you to make the most informed decision prior to purchasing your new house plans.

Can I have modifications made to the home plans?

There are two ways modifications to your home plan can be made:

  • (1) We can make changes to your home plans through our modification department. Tell us what you want to change and we will give you an complimentary estimate. For more details, please email
  • (2) You can purchase the home plan in PDF or AutoCAD format and take it to any local architect or designer and have them make the changes for you. This provides you the opportunity to work directly with someone while lowering the cost of the design!

Do you design custom homes?

Archival Designs has received numerous awards for our designs. We can custom design a home for your needs. Please visit our custom home link for more information or contact a sales representative at 770-831-6363 for more information.

How do I go about finding a home plan on your site?

We have a simple and easy to use search that will filter through our home plan database and pull up home plans that meet your needs for your review. Search by square footage, width, depth, bedrooms, baths and many others. One hint for you when searching plans... The more information you enter into the search criteria the fewer plans you will find, so you may want to consider removing some features in your search that may not be as important so that it will find more home plans for your review. The plan name search field is sensitive to spelling; if the plan you searched for did not come up please review the spelling.

Do your plans meet building codes in my area?

Archival Designs, Inc. does not offer any engineering/structural drawings or framing plans. Please note that our house plans are designed to meet National Building Codes and are not designed for any specific area. Upon purchasing your house plans, you will need to have them reviewed by a local licensed architect or engineer to ensure they comply with all local building codes.

Will the plans be stamped or signed by an architect or engineer?

No. Our plans will not be stamped or signed by an architect or engineer. All house plans are architectural in nature and must be reviewed by a local licensed engineer prior to construction.

How much will this home plan cost to build?

There are many factors involved with figuring the price of your home. There is no way for us to determine the actual cost of your home without knowing exactly what materials you will use, what you will pay for labor, and where you will be building. Please consult a local licensed builder for more information on cost to build. Please call 1-888-887-2584 or 770-831-6363 for more information on our study sets typically used to determine cost to build.

Do you know if this house has been built in my area?

Our homes are built throughout the United States and Internationally. Due to privacy agreements with previous clients we are unable to disclose this information.

Will the material list sold online match my modified plans?

No, but we can modify it for you! The material list sold online (available for select plans only) reflects the floor plans exactly as seen on our website. If you have modified a plan and a material list is available, additional fees will apply to update the original document to reflect your changes. Please contact our home plan specialist at 770-831-6363 to request a quote for modified material lists.

Why aren't HVAC and plumbing included?

Our pre-designed home plans are sold nationally and internationally so we cannot cater to every region.Your local HVAC contractor and plumber can determine the best layouts for your home because of the local codes, climatic requirements and commonly used systems that vary dramatically throughout the country.

Will these home plans meet my local building codes?

Our home plans were designed to meet or exceed national building standards at the time they were drawn. The International Residential Code has become recognized as standard building code. Some states, counties and municipalities have their own codes, zoning requirements and building regulations. Before building, contact your local building authorities to make sure you comply with local ordinances and codes, including obtaining any necessary permits or inspections as building progresses. In some cases, minor modifications to your home plans by your builder, architect or designer may be required to meet local conditions and requirements. The purchaser should ensure that the home plans comply with all applicable building codes and are suitable for a particular site, including any subdivision restrictions, before actual construction begins. Because we have no control over the selection of your builder, or other professionals, we cannot be responsible for the advice or assistance you receive from them or for the methods they use.

How is the square footage calculated?

Calculations are made from outside the exterior frame wall and do not include decks, porches, garages, basements, attics, fireplaces, etc. We include two story and vaulted areas only once in the calculations of the first floor. Stairs are counted once. Open story and vaulted areas are NOT included in square footage of the second floor.

What do I need to know about architectural and engineering seals?

Some cities and states are now requiring that a licensed architect or engineer review and "seal" a blueprint or officially approve it prior to construction because of concerns over energy costs, safety, and other factors. Prior to applying for a building permit or start of actual construction, we strongly advise you to consult a local building official who can tell you if such a review is required.

How were these home plans designed?

Each home plan was designed to meet requirements of a nationally recognized model building code in effect at the time and place the home was drawn. A competent builder will be able to use our construction plans to construct the home and obtain a building permit in most jurisdictions.

Conventional framing is determined by regional conditions, such as wind, hurricane tolerances, snow loads, and soil. A universal framing plan cannot reflect all of the specific conditions per state. For this reason, framing plans are not included with the purchase of a pre-designed house plans.

Archival Designs, Inc. suggests using engineered wood floor systems. The main advantage is beams are stronger than conventional solid wood, sawn counterparts. Engineered I-joists span greater distances and their structural integrity prevent creaky floors. These systems are available through local suppliers.

Copyright Information

Basic copyright information

  • Purchasing a set of blueprints transfers no right or ownership of the plan to the purchaser. The purchaser has merely purchased a limited license to build the house one time, and one time only.

  • The blueprints, PDF, or AutoCAD set may not be given away or sold by the purchaser. These are only for construction and/or estimating.

  • Reproducing the blueprints, PDF or AutoCAD set without a license or written consent of the creator is illegal.