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What’s in a Set of House Plans?

If you plan on building a new home you’re going to need a set of plans. What comes in a set of plans? Plan sets include detailed information that your builder will need when starting the construction of your new home. Let’s take a close look at all that goes into plan sets.

Typical plan sheet examples

*Not all plan sets include all sheets listed below. See the ‘What’s Included section’ on specific plan pages to get complete information.

Sample Foundation

Foundation Plan

The foundation plan set showcases the basement, crawl space, or slab. This is usually based what type of foundation is purchased and includes the layout of the footing, post and beams, and extent of structural slabs.

Sample Floor Plan

Floor Plan(s)

The floor plan(s) sheet gives an overhead view of the home design and shows the location of windows, walls, doors, and rooms.

Sample Roof

Roof Plan

The roof plan sheet shows the elements that make up the roof, which typically include valleys, hips, and ridges. Roofing material and slopes of roof surfaces, as well as chimneys and any other decorative details.

Sample Elevation

Exterior Elevation

The exterior elevation plan sheet generally displays the materials for walls, roof, and any other elements that are part of the plan design. Elevations are a 2d representation of each of the plan design.

Sample Cross Section

Building Section(s)

The building section(s) plan sheet illustrates a cut-away view through the home plan design that shows the how close the spaces are to one another. It also shows the relationship from the ground to the house and to the roof.

Sample Electrical

Electrical Plan(s)

Electrical plan sheets show the design intent and layout of the light fixtures, switches, and outlets.

Sample Construction Detail

Construction Notes and Details

Construction notes and details may include the foundation, interior walls, exterior walls, stairways, floors, and/or roof details.

Caution! Read This Before Getting Started

Be sure to check with your local building department to be sure your plan meets local codes and building requirements. Although many of our plans can be built “as is” in most locations, some areas require extra steps (such as structural engineering, soils reports and energy efficiency calculations).

The typical plan set does not include any plumbing, heating or air conditioning drawings due to the large variety of local codes and climatic conditions. These details and specifications can be accessed from your builder, contractor, and/or local suppliers.

All house plans on HomePlans.com are designed to conform to the building codes from when and where the original house was designed.

Other Important Documents


The License Agreement gives you the access to construct a single home from a purchased plan design.

Plan Media (Digital Files or Printed Copies)

Digital Files

Digital files can be obtained via email and can also be sent to a print shop or copy store when you need printed “sets” for bidding and permitting. You will save both time and money when you need an extra copy or even just a single page.

Printed Copies

Printed copies can be sent to you via mail. Simply order another when you are in need of more copies and they will arrive within a few days in the mail.

Digital Media (sent by e-mail)


Best Value

PDF sets arrive the fastest and also give you the opportunity to print more copies locally (and inexpensively) when needed.

Print locally as needed


Computer Aided Design (CAD) files are required if you are making lots of changes to a plan set and are using your own architect.

Printed Copies (sent in the mail)

Printed Copies (sent in the mail)

5 or 8 Copy Set

Printed sets are stamped “do not copy” and cannot legally be copied.

For more prints, order additional copies


These sets allow direct copying and are printed on paper. In this set you will obtain a limited copyright release to make additional copies when/if the need arises.

Print locally as needed

The Study Set Option – For a Closer Look

Many plans have a Study Set or Single Set option that allows you to obtain bids from contractors if you are not ready to buy a full-priced plan. These plan sets are stamped “Not for Construction” and the builder or contractor legally cannot build from it. However, we do credit you 90% of the Study Set or Single Set purchase towards your upgraded plan set once you are ready for your construction documents.

* Unless you buy an “unlimited” plan set or a multi-use license you may only build one home from a set of plans. Please call to verify if you intend to build more than once. Plan licenses are non-transferable and cannot be resold.
** The original designer retains the copyright to plans derived from their plans. You cannot buy a CAD set, change them and sell the changed design to others or build additional homes based on the changed set.