Doing Your Own House Design Plans

Some people draw up their own plans.  Unless you are specifically trained in residential design, you will probably not be totally successful in doing this.  That is, your drawings will probably have to be re-drawn by a draftsperson so as to include all of the details needed to actually construct your new home.

You may, however, find it more difficult than you had anticipated.  There are a lot of dimensions and relationships that are critical.  If you don't know what they are, you may end up with a design that really doesn't work and can be costly to correct after construction begins.

A better alternative would be to explore some of the house plan software that is readily available.  These programs will give you a professional looking set of plans and will often calculate the materials you will need.  You may find them limited if you have local conditions which dictate construction techniques not included in the program and some don't allow for normal inherent waste factors.

Plan Certification

If you plan to use CMHC or Bank financing your house design plans will have to be certified by an architect or engineer.  Municipalities in Ontario require that all plans be stamped as certified.  This is to assure that your plans meet the building codes and all other minimum requirements they have set for residential construction.

How Much Might It Cost?

What is included in your quoted price such as how many plan modifications or changes are allowed without costing extra?

The rate will depend on where you live and the talent/reputation of the designer.  Remember, you get what you pay for!  Having an designer/architect prepare your plans and specifications is usually the more expensive route but the end result is more complete and final including a certified stamped drawing.

Typically, architects charge 10% of the cost of construction for the design, but this could vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of your new home. You'll need to get a quote.

How Many Plan Sets Do I Need?

Five sets of plans should be sufficient for construction and is usually included in the total cost.  You'll need one set for yourself, one for the Municipality that issues your building permit and the other three will bounce between whatever suppliers and sub-contractors currently working on the job site.

Make sure they all understand that the plans are to be returned when their portion is completed.  You may need additional sets for the Bank and CMHC.

These requirements vary from place to place, so you'll have to do some checking to see what your needs are in your particular area.


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