What Size Are House Plans?

House plans are drafted in a variety of different sizes by architects, building designers, and drafters alike. Larger homes require house plans in the dimensions of 30″ x 42″ and 36″ x 48″. Standard blueprint sizes tend to be 18″ x 24″, 24″ x 36″.

House plans that are detail-oriented inform a builder of how a home should be constructed based on the given design and size specifications outlined. Once a builder acquires a building permit, a team of construction workers can execute the house plan and construct a physical property tailored to the house plan’s detailed specifications. In the past, house plans were released in the form of blueprints. Today, they are available in both CAD and PDF forms.

After drafting a house plan, you’ll want to ensure that your house plans meet the standards of both the International Residential Code (IRC) and the local codes. To guarantee your house plans comply with local and IRC code, consult a professional before you begin construction.

How many sets of house plans are necessary?

Once drafting is complete, designers will present you with different packages of house plans to choose from, with many designers providing as many as five to eight sets. You can operate with five, although having eight on-hand is more ideal.

The county or city that you intend to build your home in will require a minimum of two plans, one for the job site and another for filing. If you take out a mortgage, the lender will also need one copy. Your builders will require several sets at their disposal, and it’s essential that you keep a personal copy with you to reference throughout the building process.

Properties of a standard house plan

A blueprint of a home integrates a number of important details concerning a home’s design into one comprehensive document. A house plan guides on-site construction professionals and facilitates a smooth building process. Standard house plans often contain:

Site Plans

Think of a site plan as a bird’s eye view of the house itself, the construction site, and the location of the house in relation to the land surrounding the construction site. It contains the location of easements, utility services, setback requirements, walkways, and driveways. It may also include topographical information, which indicates the slopes of the terrains which alerts builders of any potential hazards such as potential landslides, erosion susceptibility, etc.

Floor plans

A floor plan is a scaled overhead drawing of the house that serves as a guide for how various spaces interact and illustrates how traffic patterns, room layouts, and other physical properties of the house relate. A single sheet of the house plan will only capture the details of one floor unless you’re building a small house. In the case of a smaller property, a designer may be able to condense two floors into a single sheet. Floor plans are an essential component of a house plan, as they list the key specs and dimensions required to construct a house.

You can choose to add the electrical elements such as light switches, light fixtures, and outlets to your floor plan, or you can put them on a separate sheet. Additionally, if there’s room, you can also include structural details. Framing plans show an aerial view of the appliances, cabinets, and plumbing.

Floor plans also physically depict the location of a home’s doors, rooms, windows, and built-in elements like water heaters, fixtures, furnaces, and water heaters of a home and also specify construction methods, finishes, and electrical items symbols. These plans are usually drawn on a scale of ¼ inch= 1’-0’.

Basement/foundation plans

A house foundation separates your home from ground moisture, anchors it against natural forces like earthquakes, and bears the building’s load. You can also use the foundation to develop an underground space for storage, host mechanicals, and even serve as a living space.

A foundation plan outlines every structural footing and beam, which will eventually support the floors of a home. If you intend to have a basement, your house plan will include bearing walls, stairs, basement windows, and other structures you may require.

Roof plan

Roof plan drawings include framing and pitch and offer an overhead view of the house. It shows the valleys, ridges, and hips, and every truss or rafter, to properly instruct a builder.

Utility layout

A utility layout suggests a location for electrical outlets and other fixtures. This layout will be used as a reference point for bidding processes and purchasing the right quantities of outlet coverings, light bulbs, and other materials. It’s recommended that you meet with your electrician and builder before beginning construction, so you can refine and fine-tune particular details of the electrical layout such as locations of switches and fixtures, if necessary.

A separate electrical layout allows you to wire your house without referring to the whole floor plan, which can be tediously general. In this particular layout, an electrician will determine where fans, electrical outlets, and other fixtures should be placed using the legend inscribed on the house plan itself. You can also create door size and swings and heating systems legends on electrical diagrams for easier translation and installation.

The rough-in building process allows you to bring in different lines and cables, such as ductwork, plumbing pipes, and electrical conduit. You will also need to provide a CAT5 cable for your internet connection. All these processes require careful planning, so you won’t want to overlook a single detail in your house plan.

Cabinet elevations

These are usually included in the house plans which can help you reach a reasonable estimate. You can easily customize your cabinets, so don’t rely on the provided cabinet elevations. Instead, work with your cabinet maker or house builder to choose the right cabinets and the best locations for installation, so you can maximize your available kitchen space.

Final thoughts

Every house plan should contain foundation details, floor plans, and crucial information on the framing and footings, including roof plan, rear elevations, and other construction details. A blueprint ensures that your home is constructed as per your standards and preferences. To avoid miscommunications between builders, construction workers, and the homeowner, dedicate the time and effort necessary to draft an in-depth house plan.