How the changes are communicated to the builder and the building officials is important and will depend somewhat on the extent of the changes. In some jurisdictions, and with a competent builder, minor changes may be handled by redlining your plans (making changes directly on the drawings) and in the field. With more extensive changes and in certain jurisdictions, modifications should be made to the plans. The House Designers offers free modification quotes simply by calling their customer support at 866.214.2242.
Consider these options for making changes to your predrawn plan:
- Nobody understands the original plan better than the people who designed it. Consider contacting the designer's office to see if they can make the changes for you or, better yet, to see if someone else has already made those same changes. Often a designer will have many variations of plans that were modified for other clients and these may work as-is or at least may be a good starting point. This option may not be possible for every plan since some designers do not offer plan revision services.
- The other alternative is to purchase reproducibles — either a set of vellums or a set of CAD files, and engage a competent architect, designer or engineer in your area to make the changes. CAD files, while are usually more expensive to purchase, are far easier to change and will likely save you money in the long run.
Regardless of which way you go, it is very important to purchase a set of plans from the designer. These plans are copyrighted and even though you may make changes, the rights to the plan still belong to the designer. Many consumers don't realize that when you buy a plan, you are really buying a license to build that home, one time only.