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Summer Sale | Take 15% Off ALL House Plans | Code: SUMMER15
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House Plan Modifications & Customizing Home Plans

Hundreds of thousands of homes have been built from plans prepared by the leading architects and designers of The House Designers. And even though many of our customers have built their homes strictly from the original plan, lots of customers have modified their house plan to meet their specific needs, budget and lot.

The following is intended to walk you through the process of making changes or customizing the design to suit your specific requirements, whether to address issues about your lot, special requirements of your locality, or just personal preferences.

Right Reading Reverse

Building the design in reverse? No problem! We offer house plans in Right Reading Reverse, and with this option, the entire floor plan is reversed from left to right, meaning that everything from the layout of rooms to the placement of windows and doors is flipped. This allows for greater flexibility in positioning the home on the lot, accommodating issues such as the orientation of views or the location of utilities. Whether you're looking to optimize your home's functionality or enhance its curb appeal, The House Designers can help you to tailor your home to your unique requirements.

On each plan page you'll find Select Plan Package and Optional Add-Ons for the particular plan you're interested in to see what's offered. You can also see each architect and designers’ specific plan detail and sample house plan on each plan page.

Red-lining blueprints

Marking up your blueprints or "red-lining" is a common way more minor changes are made to plans. It's also the simplest and least expensive. Although the industry still uses the word "blueprints", plans now are printed on white paper with black or blue line lettering. Because of this, notations are easily made by pen, pencil, or a red line pencil, which stands out clearly—hence the term "red-lining".

Red-lining is not suitable for major changes, but is suited for minor changes such as:

  • Shifting interior partitions that have no effect on structural spans.
  • Extending a wing of a house lengthwise that has no effect on structural spans.
  • Material changes, specifications, fixtures, cabinet layouts, contract provisions, etc.
  • Shifting, adding, or changing windows or doors.
  • Adding or deleting fireplaces, garage stalls, false dormers, raised or dropped ceilings, etc.

If it involves anything other than some material or specification notes, red-lining is best done by an experienced contractor who is familiar with your local codes and would know if the change requires further input from a local professional. Plans may not be photocopied, so make sure to order an electronic plan where you can make as many copies as you need or enough printed sets. A red-line set is usually acceptable for contracts, most lending institutions, and most building departments. If you are building in a very high wind zone or a flood plain zone where local engineering is required, red-lining may not be acceptable.

Making major modifications

A CAD (computer-aided design) file is suggested when you're considering major modifications. The CAD allows an experienced professional to add, erase, or draw involved changes to any plan. This option is also extremely helpful where local engineering or code modifications are required. Changes that may be made via CAD include:

  • Enlarging the home in any direction, even where roof pitches or rafter lengths are changed.
  • Adding a room, garage, or porch.
  • Changing foundation types, if not available with the basic plans (most are available, so check first).
  • Elevation changes including roof pitch and roofline changes.
  • Significant interior layout changes that can affect structural components.
  • Adapting a plan to meet local codes or to provide engineering where required.

CAD files are best modified by an architect, designer, or engineer, but may also be modified by an experienced contractor. Authorization is provided to enable you to make prints of the final plans at a local copy shop or your home printer. Because of copyright laws, shops are not permitted to reproduce house plans without such authorization.

It's important to note that you'll need the right software to open CAD files, and you can also receive an easy to open PDF file for your own use.

When major modifications are necessary, it saves time for a modification team to have access to a CAD file to efficiently make changes.

Modification Assistance

If you need help with modifying any of our house plans plan, we're here to help. We also offer complimentary house plan search services to help you find a plan that needs no or minimal modifications to help streamline the process. Live chat, email or call our team of house plan experts to find the perfect home plan for your lot, needs and budget. If you have any questions about the modification process, Contact Us and we'd be happy to assist you.