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Frequently Asked Questions.

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Frequently Asked Questions...

  1. What is a Review Set of Home Plans?
  2. What Is Included In A Set Of Your Home Plans?
  3. What is a Reproducible Set of Home Plans?
  4. What is a PDF File of Home Plans?
  5. How Many Sets Of Home Plans Will I Need?
  6. What is a Mirror Reverse?
  7. What is a Right Reading Reverse?
  8. What is Included in a Material List?
  9. How Is The Living Square Footage of a Homeplan Calculated?
  10. How Do I Know If I Can Afford To Build This Home?
  11. Can I Get An Address Where This Home Plan Has Been Built, So I Can See The Finished Home?
  12. Can I Modify the Home Plans or Garage Plans?
  13. How Much Does It Cost to Have Modifications Done to Homeplans?
  14. What Is Included In The Total Square Footage For Home Plans?
  15. Will The Home Plans I Order Contain All Of The Information Needed By My Local Building Codes Department?
  16. Can I Return The Plans If I Change My Mind?
  17. What is a Material List and what does it include?
  18. Is My Privacy And Credit Card Information Secure?
  19. What Is Mirror Reverse And How Does It Differ From Right Reading Reverse?
  20. Do Your Plans Provide All Of The Information Necessary For The HVAC, Plumbing And Electrical Systems?
  21. What If The Foundation I Need Is Not Available For The Home Plan I Have Selected?
  22. What Is The Daylight Basement I See On Some Of Your Home Plans?
  23. Do You Have A Photograph of the Plan I am Interested In?
  24. Are the Home Plans Copyrighted?
  25. Can I Get A Rear Elevation of This Home Plan?
  26. Can I Modify the Exterior Walls from 2x4 to 2x6 or Vice Versa?
  27. How Long Does It Take to Get My Plans?
  28. Are Mechanical Details Included With the Plans?
  29. I Found the Same Home Plan on Another Site, Will you Match the Price?
  30. What Do The Window And Door Sizes Represent?
  31. How Hard Is It To Switch From a Front Car Garage To a Side Car Garage And Vice Versa?
  32. If a House Is Shown In Siding Or Stucco, Can I Build It With Brick Instead Or Vice Versa?
  33. How can I order Home plans if I don't live in the United States?
  34. Do you offer plans with Unlimited Builds License?
  35. Is a blueprint license transferable even I did not build the house?
  36. I am thinking about ordering a plan, but when I go to order, in the comments section it says: Customer understands that plans are NOT engineered. What does that mean?
  37. Do your plans satisfy California building codes generally or can they be modified?
  38. I am interested in building a pueblo style home, but am looking into building it as a straw bale house. As I understand it, the basic change would be to change the exterior walls to 14" thick with the foundation plan to match, but the interior stays the same.
  39. I am really interested in this house plan, but when I order this plan I need a material list, I was just wondering how I can get a material list since your site say's you don't carry one for this plan?
  40. What does "ks" stand for on a set of plans?
  41. Do we sell house kits?
  42. How do we get an estimated cost to build?
  43. Where do the plans ship from?
  44. Can you tell us who designed our home plans?

What is a Review Set of Home Plans?
A Review Set of home plans will include all four exterior views plus the main and upper (2-stories) home floor plans. They are intended to help decide if the home you have chosen will fit into your budget and to give you a better idea of room size. They do not include the roof plan, the foundation plan, building sections or details. A review set is not a license to build. Not all of our home plan designers and architects offer this option, so check to make sure it is available.
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What Is Included In A Set Of Your Home Plans?
Each set of homeplans that we offer will provide you with the necessary information to build the home. There may be some adjustments necessary to the home plans or garage plans in order to comply with your state or county building codes. The following list shows what is included within each set of home plans that we sell. Depending on the home designer there might be more home building information provided. Our blueprints include:

· Exterior Elevations: Shows the front, rear and side of the home including exterior materials, details and measurement

· Detailed Home Floor Plans: Shows the placement of walls and the dimensions for rooms, doors, windows, stairways, etc. for each level of theme.

· Electrical Schematic: Shows the location of outlets, fixtures and switches. It may be shown as a separate sheet or be included on the home floor plans.

· Foundation Plan: Home plans will show a basement, crawlspace or slab depending on what is available for that home plan. (Please refer to the home plan's details sheet to see what foundation options are available for a specific homeplan.) The foundation plan details the layout and construction of the foundation.

Due to regional variations it is impossible to include much detail about heating, plumbing and electrical work. Ductwork, venting and other details vary depending on the type of HVAC system and the type of energy used. These details and specifications are easily obtained from your home builder, contractor or local supplier. Also not included is a separate framing plan or materials list. These items, if available from the home designer can be purchased for an additional cost. The details sheet for each home plan lists the costs and which items are available.

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What is a Reproducible Set of Home Plans?
Complete set of home plans on an erasable paper called Mylar, sepia, or vellum or bond paper, depending on the designer (please call to confirm). This is what you want if you are planning to make minor changes to your home plans. Once you’ve made your changes, you are able to make all of the copies you need to build from. Not all of our home designers offer this option, so check to make sure it is available. A Reproducible Set includes a copyright release allowing you to legally make copies of this copyrighted home plan. It does not, however, give you the license to build more than one home from the plan without a Multi-Use Construction License.
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What is a PDF File of Home Plans?
The "PDF File" plan package is your best value, and provides you with an electronic version of the plan's construction documents. This plan package provides many advantages over the Reproducible, 5 Set, and 1 Set plan packages including: Need more copies of the plan? No problem! Simply take the file to any local print shop and have them print out your copies in your desired size. In addition, you will have the copies available for use....THAT DAY! Need different size copies for different people? Easy! You can print out an 8 1/2 x 11 set for your office, a 11 x 17 set for your local building officials, a 18 x 24 set for your builder, a 24 x 36 master set for yourself! Unlimited flexibility! Need your plans immediately! No need to wait for your plans to ship! We can email you the PDF file, usually the same day!

Not available for all plans.

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How Many Sets Of Home Plans Will I Need?
The number of sets you will need can vary depending on you and your builder’s specific needs. Besides a set for yourself, you may need to turn a set in to your home builder, subcontractors, mortgage lender, and local building departments department. Many customers purchase the standard package of 5 sets or the 8 set package. These two packages are good for those that are going to build the home as is. The package we recommend the most is the Reproducible Media. Reproducible Media is a single set of either erasable vellum or Mylar copy that is used when you want to make changes to a plan. A Release of Copyright letter allowing you to make copies of the original home plans, which are then used to construct the home, accompanies each Reproducible Media.
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What is a Mirror Reverse?
A Mirror Reverse is a mirrored image of the home plan, with the text appearing backwards. You cannot obtain a building permit with the plans in Mirror Reverse, so when ordering, we recommend only ordering one or two sets with the mirror reverse option.

We highly recommend the rigth reading reverse option when available (see below).

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What is a Right Reading Reverse?
The plan is reversed with all text reading correctly. This option may not be available for all home or garage designs, so please check availability when ordering. All sets will be in right reading reverse. This option may take 3 to 5 business days to complete.
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What is Included in a Material List?
Material Lists are the complete list of the building materials that you need to complete construction of the home. They include all of your typical materials such as lumber, insulation etc. Usually, not included are appliances, plumbing, mechanical, fixtures, and various interior finishing’s.

Please double check that when a material list is available with preferred foundation type. Some of our designers only offer it for their standard foundation and not alternates.

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How Is The Living Square Footage of a Homeplan Calculated?
Generally, square footage calculations are made from outside the exterior frame wall and do not include decks, porches, garages, basements, attics, and bonus rooms. We include two story and vaulted areas only once in the calculations of the first floor. Stairs are counted once. Balconies and open walkways in two story and vaulted areas are included in square footage. This is generally true for all of our home plans. You can always call us to verify exactly how a particular plan’s square footage was calculated.
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How Do I Know If I Can Afford To Build This Home?
When viewing the home plans detail sheet you will notice an average cost to build at the bottom of the page. The US Census Bureau bases these figures on average construction costs provides these calculations. These are rough estimates and cannot substitute meeting with a home builder with a full set of home plans and establishing a budget for all areas of the home. The cost of building a home varies, depending on where you build, the cost of materials in your area, how you finish the home, and whom you hire to build the home. Because of all the variances involved, we cannot tell you exactly how much it will cost to build a specific home plan. Does not apply to our garage/apartment plans. You should consult a local builder.
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Can I Get An Address Where This Home Plan Has Been Built, So I Can See The Finished Home?
We do not have the address where the home was built. When you place an order with us, we collect your billing and shipping addresses – not the address where the home will be built. We completely understand why you would like to see a built home, but, unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with that information. All of our customers’ personal information (including yours) is held in the strictest confidence.
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Can I Modify the Home Plans or Garage Plans?
You can purchase the Reproducible Media, PDF File or CAD Package for your plan and have someone in your local area make the changes for you. What the local market charges for this service will vary, so you'll want to shop around. In many cases your home builder can make the changes you want without having to go to the expense of having the original residential drawings changed.

You can submit a modification request to us. Our modification team will be able to determine if the changes can be done and give you a quote. To find out more about our modification service, go to the plan page you are interested in and click on the “This plan can be Modified” link. Additional changes may have to be made after you receive the modified plans in order to meet your local codes.

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How Much Does It Cost to Have Modifications Done to Homeplans?
The cost to customize a home plan completely varies depending on the plan and the types of changes required. Customization work can range anywhere from under one hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the changes. Please contact us if you would like a quote!
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What Is Included In The Total Square Footage For Home Plans?
The total square footage includes all of the area inside the exterior face of the "heated walls". It does not include garages, porches, bonus rooms, or decks. For this reason, you cannot multiply the listed dimensions of each room, add them together and come up with the total square footage because you are not including hallways, closets, etc.
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Will The Home Plans I Order Contain All Of The Information Needed By My Local Building Codes Department?
Sorry, but no. In addition to the home plans that you order, you will also need a site plan that shows where the home is going to be located on the lot. Your builder or contractor can usually help you with this. You may also need a septic system design unless your lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. Some counties also have energy codes that have to be followed. This normally involves filling out a form proving compliance. There are some areas of the country that have very strict local engineering codes. Examples of this would be earthquake-prone areas of California or hurricane risk areas along the Gulf Coast. If you are building in this type of area, it is possible that you will need to hire a local engineer to analyze the home design and provide additional drawings and calculations required by your building department. If you aren’t sure, local building code departments always have a handout they will give you listing all of the things you need to submit for a building permit.
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Can I Return The Plans If I Change My Mind?
No. Since it is possible to make illegal blueprint copies of the home plans you received, we do not allow any refunds. You need to make sure of your order before placing it. It is also VERY important that you check the dimensions of your lot or land before selecting a home plan.
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What is a Material List and what does it include?
It is a complete list of the building materials needed to build your chosen home plan, and includes lumber, insulation, rafters, etc. It doesn’t usually contain items that are part of a bid such as drywall, plumbing, electrical, appliances, etc.
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Is My Privacy And Credit Card Information Secure?
Completely. When you place an online home plan order, all information is sent encrypted from our secure server to an automated payment-processing center that validates your credit card. Your order information is then sent to us for fulfillment without your credit card information. This way, no credit card information is ever stored on our server and no one will have access to it at any point in the transaction. As for your privacy, we do not give out any private information to anyone for any reason.
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What Is Mirror Reverse And How Does It Differ From Right Reading Reverse?
A mirror reversed set of home plans is exactly what it says; it is like looking at a set of home plans in a mirror. Everything, including the text, is backwards. In the days before CAD programs, this was the only way to get home plans that were the opposite of the way they were drawn. Nowadays, we can ‘flip’ home plans but keep the text Readable - hence the name right reading reverse.
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Do Your Plans Provide All Of The Information Necessary For The HVAC, Plumbing And Electrical Systems?
Since our home plans are designed to meet national building codes and not any particular state or county codes, extensive HVAC, and plumbing is not shown on the blueprints. HVAC system information regarding location of units, what types of units are used, and the duct layout are determined by local building codes and your preference of heating and cooling system. Also, we don’t know which direction the water flow will enter your home. Determining the location and the type of these systems you install in your new home is something you would discuss with your local builder or local subcontractors. They should be able to provide you with the necessary information based on what your local building codes will allow. Electrical schematics (suggested fixture, outlet, switch, etc. locations) is typically included. Please call 1-800-482-0464 to confirm.
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What If The Foundation I Need Is Not Available For The Home Plan I Have Selected?
First check with your builder, most builders can make this type of change on the building site. If you need a particular foundation specified in the Home plans you can modify the plan to accommodate the appropriate foundation for your area.
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What Is The Daylight Basement I See On Some Of Your Home Plans?
It is most often seen on sloping lots that allow a portion of the basement to have larger windows. Depending upon the amount of slope, you can often times have a door that walks directly out. There are also home plans listed with daylight basements that are simply built farther out of the ground thereby exposing part of the basement wall. These go under the names of "split-entry", "raised ranch", "bi-level" and "multi-level" home plans.
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Do You Have A Photograph of the Plan I am Interested In?
If we do have a photo of the plan that you are inquiring about, it will be displayed online on the individual plan page. Please check back, as we are updating this as we receive new photos. (Please note: The photographs placed online may differ from the actual plans, depending on the modifications performed by the owner/builder).
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Are the Home Plans Copyrighted?
Yes. All illustrations and plans contained on this website are the exclusive property of COOLhouseplans.com and our Architects/Designers. Law strictly prohibits reproduction in whole or in part. One dwelling may be constructed from a construction set purchased. Home plans may not be resold or copied. We strive for accurate representation of renderings and plans and will not be responsible for errors or omissions in this publication. Strict penalties will be enforced for violators of copyright laws.
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Can I Get A Rear Elevation of This Home Plan?
Yes. If you require a rear elevation, please click on the "Order A Rear Elevation" link located on the plan's details page. Some of our designers will not sell rear elevations.
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Can I Modify the Exterior Walls from 2x4 to 2x6 or Vice Versa?
Yes. This is a simple change that in most cases can be done by your builder during construction. If you require the actual blueprints changed, please contact us and we can provide you with a quote.
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How Long Does It Take to Get My Plans?
It all depends on when the order is placed and what method of shipping is chosen. In most cases, we can ship out the plans within 24 hours. If you require any modifications to the plan, or a reversal, the time varies depending on the complexity. Please call with the plan number and we can let you know when to expect your plans!
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Are Mechanical Details Included With the Plans?
Mechanical diagrams are not included with most home plans. They are not needed for typical construction, and vary drastically among regions/countries depending on local codes.
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I Found the Same Home Plan on Another Site, Will you Match the Price?
Yes. We will meet, and beat any brokerage sites price by an additional 5%! We have never been undersold once alerted to a home plan less expensive on another site.

Please note that it must be the SAME plan. Please have the web site and the plan number ready before calling us to do the price match. We cannot combine with any other discount offer.

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What Do The Window And Door Sizes Represent?
Most home plans are usually designed using a double hung divided light window. Each set of construction drawings uses a generic window sizing system that does not apply to any particular brand of windows. For example, a common size seen on our plans is 2860. This is a window that is 32" wide and 72" tall (2'-8" x 6'-0"). This is also the standard system used to identify the size of doors. A door labeled 2868 is a standard 6' 8" tall door that is 2' 8" wide.
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How Hard Is It To Switch From a Front Car Garage To a Side Car Garage And Vice Versa?
Usually this is not hard to do. The most important consideration is the structure and the beam that spans across the garage. Depending on the current design of the garage doors and windows, the structure may need to be changed when the door is relocated. Contact our technical support department by phone or e-mail to discuss this type of change with one of our representatives.
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If a House Is Shown In Siding Or Stucco, Can I Build It With Brick Instead Or Vice Versa?
If brick is added to a home a brick ledge must be added to the foundation to support the brick and wider overhangs may be required on the roof. If brick is deleted, the ledges on the foundation plan will not be required. Most changes to the exterior finish can be made easily without causing problems.
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How can I order Home plans if I don't live in the United States?
If you are not a resident of the United States please call toll free at 1-800-482-0464 to place your order.

If you are in a country that does not have a proper type zip code that we cannot process the order.

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Do you offer plans with Unlimited Builds License?
Yes we do!! Just follow this link.
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Is a blueprint license transferable even I did not build the house?
No - When a plan set is ordered, the license issued bears the name of the person that ordered the plan and the license is not transferable for any reason.
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I am thinking about ordering a plan, but when I go to order, in the comments section it says: Customer understands that plans are NOT engineered. What does that mean?
It means that the plans are NOT stamped by an certified engineer. Some areas of the country require that the plans be stamped by a local engineer to obtain a building permit.
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Do your plans satisfy California building codes generally or can they be modified?
Some cities and states are now requiring that a licensed architect or engineer review and seal a drawing, or officially approve it, prior to construction due to concerns over energy costs, safety, seismic zones, high wind areas and other factors. Prior to application for a building permit or the start of actual construction, we strongly advise that you consult your local building official who can tell you if such a review is required.

If a review were required by your local authorities, the professional would need to be registered in the State of California. This is not something that we can provide for you. What we do offer is an erasable master vellum or an AutoCAD disk of this design, which you can purchase from Cool House Plans, to simplify any review / change process with your selected professional.

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I am interested in building a pueblo style home, but am looking into building it as a straw bale house. As I understand it, the basic change would be to change the exterior walls to 14" thick with the foundation plan to match, but the interior stays the same.
The process that you describe for revising the plans is correct when the wood frame structure is to be utilized as per the drawings, and the straw bale is added as insulation. If the straw bale is to be use for structural bearing, the entire structural design would need to be redone as well as the floor plan changes.
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I am really interested in this house plan, but when I order this plan I need a material list, I was just wondering how I can get a material list since your site say's you don't carry one for this plan?
I know that the lumber company that you plan on using will put together a material list. Usually they will if you are going to buy the lumber from them. I know if you plan on using Home Depot, they won't. I don't know about Lowe's. Also you can try and locate some software called CAD ESTIMATOR 2000. I have not used it before but it might be what you are looking for.
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What does "ks" stand for on a set of plans?
The ks stands for Knee Space.
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Do we sell house kits?
No, we do not sell kits only the blue prints for construction of the houses.
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How do we get an estimated cost to build?
On the house plan page there is a like for a Build Quote. This will give you a rough idea of the cost of building a home of this size with your specified criteria in a specific zip code. Do note that this is not a quote for this SPECIF house but a house of this size in the area you specify. Also note this estimate will not work with garages, project plans or multi-family units.
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Where do the plans ship from?
In most cases the plans ship from the designer. In some cases we fulfill for a designer and the plans will ship directly from us. If you are interested in where the plans are shipping from we can provide you with that information.
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Can you tell us who designed our home plans?
Unfortunately, policy states we cannot provide that information to you prior to purchase. Once you have purchased and received your plans the designers contact information will be included with or on the plans themselves.
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