Frequently Asked Questions

We’re here for every step of your design-build journey. No question will go unanswered. Feel free to reach out. In the meantime, here are some of the more common questions.

About My Purchase

  • When you purchase a home design from My Modern Home, you will receive a full-size PDF file of your drawings for download, and two printed hard copy drawing sets that will be couriered to your door. You will also receive a complimentary initial consultation with an architect – feel free to ask us questions about your design or the home building process. We want to help.

    You may also choose to purchase additional printed hard copy drawing sets at the time of your initial purchase, or at a later date – when you’re ready!

    PDF Drawing Sets:
    A PDF set is a digital file that includes multiple drawing sheets that have been combined into one electronic drawing set. The benefit of PDF file types is that they are easy to view, easy to print at high quality, and easy to share with your team members..

    Printed (Hard Copy) Drawing Sets:
    Use your two full size (24” x 36”) printed hard copy drawing sets ‘blueprints’ to engage a builder, review with your local municipality, or share with your friends. It’s just a little way that we’re making it easier.

    Want to make it easier yet?
    Order additional printed drawing sets and save yourself the hassle of coordinating with your local print shop.

  • Our commitment to you is that your drawing package will be complete within two weeks of placing your order, and submitting responses to the three project information questions outlined below.

    Once your drawing package is complete, we’ll send you an email letting you know that it’s ready for you to download. Simply login and download your files from anywhere. Your login information will have been created when you placed your order.

    Project Information Questions:

    • Project Name? (Typically, your last name - i.e. Smith Residence)
    • Municipal Project Address? (Street Address where your house is to be built)
    • Legal Project Address? (Lot, Block and Plan Numbers – Typically found on your Land Title, Land Survey, or Real Property Report)

    Note: Most municipalities require this project information on the drawings when permits are submitted. It also helps when your construction team knows where to build.

    If you have ordered hard copy drawings, these will be printed and couriered out to you as soon as your files are available for download. We'll let you know when they are on their way.

  • Within minutes after placing your order and completing the checkout process, you will receive an email from My Modern Home containing your order information and your purchase receipt. This email will confirm that your order has been processed and is in our production queue. Be sure to check your ‘Junk’ folder if you don’t see this email in your inbox.

  • The purchase of one house plan permits you to build that house one-time.

    Contact us to learn about obtaining a commercial license for designs that you intend to build more than once.

  • There is no time limit. Your purchased plans are yours to use, one-time, whenever you so choose. Your plans will be available to download on our website, by login into your account, when you’re ready. Download these documents and store them yourself for safe keeping.

  • All of our drawing sets are drawn to scale for 24" x 36" drawing sheets.

    Your electronic PDF file option can be printed at a local printer or from your home computer at a different sheet size, however the drawings will not be to the scale indicated on the sheets.

  • We want to make this as easy as possible for you. You can print as many copies as you need to build your home. By accepting the terms and conditions, at the time of purchase, you will be given permission / legal rights to modify and copy your purchased plans, as much as you need, for the sole purpose of building your house one-time.

    Your PDF file can be printed from home (usually smaller and not to scale) or they can be sent to a commercial printer where they can be printed to scale at full size. You can purchase additional printed drawing sets from My Modern Home.

  • Your builder will typically need 5 to 8 copies of the drawing sets. This quantity may vary depending on your permitting requirements and the number trades involved in building your house. You will also require additional sets if you wish to solicit pricing from multiple contractors.

    You can purchase additional printed drawing sets from My Modern Home at the time of your initial purchase, or at any other time during your home building experience.

    Remember, your purchase comes standard with a PDF drawing set which can be used to print copies locally for your municipality, builder and subcontractors, if you would prefer.

  • After you’ve made an initial purchase, you can order additional hard copy drawing sets - at any time. Simply reach out to us and we will send you a quote for the number of drawing sets that you’ve requested. You can easily make a credit card payment directly from your quote, or follow the instructions to make an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Once payment is received, we’ll print your drawing sets and courier them right out to you.

  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay

  • Yes, your credit card information is secure.

    My Modern Home uses Stripe to process all credit card payments. My Modern Home does not have access to your credit card information. Stripe is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1, which is the most stringent level of certification available in the payment industry. To learn more about how Stripe keeps your data secure, Click Here.

  • We encourage you to research building code, municipal, and other requirements before purchasing your home plan.

    However, life happens. While all our sales are non-refundable, we do offer a one-time Exchange Program within three months of your original purchase date. If you discover that you are unable to build the house design that you have purchased, we may permit you to choose an exchange plan from our existing catalog. You will be required to pay the difference if the cost of your selected replacement plan is greater than the originally purchased plan. The difference in cost will not be refunded given the amount of effort required by My Modern Home in assembling and issuing your drawing packages.

    The sale of your property, or the purchase of a different property, do not constitute reasons to exchange a plan.

    Refunds and exchanges are not offered for hard copy drawings. As a condition of the Exchange Program, any hard copy drawings of your originally purchased plan must be returned to My Modern Home prior to your exchange plan being released.

    House plans that have been modified through our Customization service are non-refundable, and non-exchangeable.

FAQs

What is included in my purchase?

When you purchase a home design from My Modern Home, you will receive a full-size PDF file of your drawings for download, and two printed hard copy drawing sets that will be couriered to your door. You will also receive a complimentary initial consultation with an architect – feel free to ask us questions about your design or the home building process. We want to help.

You may also choose to purchase additional printed hard copy drawing sets at the time of your initial purchase, or at a later date – when you’re ready!

PDF Drawing Sets:
A PDF set is a digital file that includes multiple drawing sheets that have been combined into one electronic drawing set. The benefit of PDF file types is that they are easy to view, easy to print at high quality, and easy to share with your team members..

Printed (Hard Copy) Drawing Sets:
Use your two full size (24” x 36”) printed hard copy drawing sets ‘blueprints’ to engage a builder, review with your local municipality, or share with your friends. It’s just a little way that we’re making it easier.

Want to make it easier yet?
Order additional printed drawing sets and save yourself the hassle of coordinating with your local print shop.

How soon will I receive my order?

Our commitment to you is that your drawing package will be complete within two weeks of placing your order, and submitting responses to the three project information questions outlined below.

Once your drawing package is complete, we’ll send you an email letting you know that it’s ready for you to download. Simply login and download your files from anywhere. Your login information will have been created when you placed your order.

Project Information Questions:

  • Project Name? (Typically, your last name - i.e. Smith Residence)
  • Municipal Project Address? (Street Address where your house is to be built)
  • Legal Project Address? (Lot, Block and Plan Numbers – Typically found on your Land Title, Land Survey, or Real Property Report)

Note: Most municipalities require this project information on the drawings when permits are submitted. It also helps when your construction team knows where to build.

If you have ordered hard copy drawings, these will be printed and couriered out to you as soon as your files are available for download. We'll let you know when they are on their way.

How do I know my order has been successfully received and is being processed?

Within minutes after placing your order and completing the checkout process, you will receive an email from My Modern Home containing your order information and your purchase receipt. This email will confirm that your order has been processed and is in our production queue. Be sure to check your ‘Junk’ folder if you don’t see this email in your inbox.

Can I build multiple houses after purchasing one of your house plans?

The purchase of one house plan permits you to build that house one-time.

Contact us to learn about obtaining a commercial license for designs that you intend to build more than once.

Is there a time limit for using my house plan?

There is no time limit. Your purchased plans are yours to use, one-time, whenever you so choose. Your plans will be available to download on our website, by login into your account, when you’re ready. Download these documents and store them yourself for safe keeping.

What size are my drawing sheets?

All of our drawing sets are drawn to scale for 24" x 36" drawing sheets.

Your electronic PDF file option can be printed at a local printer or from your home computer at a different sheet size, however the drawings will not be to the scale indicated on the sheets.

Can I print copies of my plans?

We want to make this as easy as possible for you. You can print as many copies as you need to build your home. By accepting the terms and conditions, at the time of purchase, you will be given permission / legal rights to modify and copy your purchased plans, as much as you need, for the sole purpose of building your house one-time.

Your PDF file can be printed from home (usually smaller and not to scale) or they can be sent to a commercial printer where they can be printed to scale at full size. You can purchase additional printed drawing sets from My Modern Home.

How many drawings sets do I need?

Your builder will typically need 5 to 8 copies of the drawing sets. This quantity may vary depending on your permitting requirements and the number trades involved in building your house. You will also require additional sets if you wish to solicit pricing from multiple contractors.

You can purchase additional printed drawing sets from My Modern Home at the time of your initial purchase, or at any other time during your home building experience.

Remember, your purchase comes standard with a PDF drawing set which can be used to print copies locally for your municipality, builder and subcontractors, if you would prefer.

What if I need to order additional printed drawing sets?

After you’ve made an initial purchase, you can order additional hard copy drawing sets - at any time. Simply reach out to us and we will send you a quote for the number of drawing sets that you’ve requested. You can easily make a credit card payment directly from your quote, or follow the instructions to make an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Once payment is received, we’ll print your drawing sets and courier them right out to you.

What methods of payment do you accept?

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apple Pay, Google Pay

Is my credit card information secure?

Yes, your credit card information is secure.

My Modern Home uses Stripe to process all credit card payments. My Modern Home does not have access to your credit card information. Stripe is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1, which is the most stringent level of certification available in the payment industry. To learn more about how Stripe keeps your data secure, Click Here.

What is the return / exchange policy?

We encourage you to research building code, municipal, and other requirements before purchasing your home plan.

However, life happens. While all our sales are non-refundable, we do offer a one-time Exchange Program within three months of your original purchase date. If you discover that you are unable to build the house design that you have purchased, we may permit you to choose an exchange plan from our existing catalog. You will be required to pay the difference if the cost of your selected replacement plan is greater than the originally purchased plan. The difference in cost will not be refunded given the amount of effort required by My Modern Home in assembling and issuing your drawing packages.

The sale of your property, or the purchase of a different property, do not constitute reasons to exchange a plan.

Refunds and exchanges are not offered for hard copy drawings. As a condition of the Exchange Program, any hard copy drawings of your originally purchased plan must be returned to My Modern Home prior to your exchange plan being released.

House plans that have been modified through our Customization service are non-refundable, and non-exchangeable.

House Plan Customization

  • Certainly. We want your new home to be a perfect fit!
    Read more below about our customization services, or reach out to us, to learn how we can help you.

    Click here to Learn More.

  • We can modify your drawings to include the foundation type that is right for you.

    While nearly all foundations in your local area may be built the same way, in fact foundation designs across the country vary greatly depending on climate, soils and site conditions.

    In many instances your builder, and their foundation sub-contractor, will know what type of foundation is required for your house, in your area. Our preferred approach is to work with your builder to modify the foundation design, so that it is appropriate for your property, and is in alignment with the way they intend on building it.

    If you don’t yet have a contractor on board who can help you through this aspect of the design, we suggest that you hire a Geotechnical Engineer to provide you with a soils report. This soils report will describe how your soils perform, and will include design recommendations for foundation designs and ground water control that are suitable for your specific property. Obtaining a geotechnical report (Soils Report) is the ideal approach that represents the least risk to your project.

    Reach out to us to further discuss your specific project needs.

  • By default, all of our plans are drawn and dimensioned in imperial (feet and inches). At no additional cost to you we can also include metric (millimeters) dimensions to your drawings; however, the drawings will still be drawn in imperial units. This approach is industry standard for residential construction.

    If you require your plans to be drawn in metric units, we are happy to undertake this through our Customization services.

FAQs

Can I make changes to a house plan?

Certainly. We want your new home to be a perfect fit!
Read more below about our customization services, or reach out to us, to learn how we can help you.

Click here to Learn More.

Is it possible to customize my plan for different types of foundations?

We can modify your drawings to include the foundation type that is right for you.

While nearly all foundations in your local area may be built the same way, in fact foundation designs across the country vary greatly depending on climate, soils and site conditions.

In many instances your builder, and their foundation sub-contractor, will know what type of foundation is required for your house, in your area. Our preferred approach is to work with your builder to modify the foundation design, so that it is appropriate for your property, and is in alignment with the way they intend on building it.

If you don’t yet have a contractor on board who can help you through this aspect of the design, we suggest that you hire a Geotechnical Engineer to provide you with a soils report. This soils report will describe how your soils perform, and will include design recommendations for foundation designs and ground water control that are suitable for your specific property. Obtaining a geotechnical report (Soils Report) is the ideal approach that represents the least risk to your project.

Reach out to us to further discuss your specific project needs.

Can a plan be converted from Imperial to Metric?

By default, all of our plans are drawn and dimensioned in imperial (feet and inches). At no additional cost to you we can also include metric (millimeters) dimensions to your drawings; however, the drawings will still be drawn in imperial units. This approach is industry standard for residential construction.

If you require your plans to be drawn in metric units, we are happy to undertake this through our Customization services.

About Our House Plans

  • Absolutely. Our drawings contain the basic information that you and your builder will need to build your dream home.

    For many, our plans will be all you need to build your dream home.

    We use standard drawing conventions, that will be familiar to your builder, to communicate the essential information on how to realize our designs. Your builder should have the expertise and resources to make, and help you make, the remaining decisions that are specific to where you live.

    For some jurisdictions, additional information may be required to obtain permits. These may include: a detailed site plan, structural engineering, energy efficiency calculations, or soils reports. Your builder should have the resources and contacts to help you obtain additional information if required. We also offer consulting services – Contact us to see how we can help.

  • All of our plans contain the following information needed to build your house.

    General
    All drawing sheets include the following information:

    • Your project name
    • Your project address
    • Purchased House Plan number and issued date
    • Drawing Name (i.e. Main Floor Plan, Building Sections, Etc.)
    • Sheet Number
    • Drawing Scale

    Floor plans
    Detailed floor plans drawn at ¼” scale include the following information:

    • Locations of walls, windows and doors
    • Door widths and swing directions
    • Window sizes and operability (swing)
    • Wall Assemblies (While we have provided detailed wall assemblies, we expect your builder to confirm/modify the wall assemblies so that it is right for your climate and local construction practices)
    • Stair location and travel directions
    • Kitchen configuration (Detailed millwork design not included. You will typically work through this with the millworker, or kitchen cabinetry company, that you, or your builder, intends on using)
    • Fireplace locations (Specific fireplace selection and design are not included. Rendering on the website suggests recommended designs, but with so many fireplace products on the market it is anticipated that you‘ll work with your builder’s selected millworker to finalize the detailed design).
    • Outdoor garden locations
    • Foundation wall and footing locations and configurations.

    Elevations
    An exterior elevation is a two-dimensional drawing, drawn at ¼” scale, that shows what one side of the house will look like from the outside. This type of drawing helps your contractor to see the big picture, and to understand what materials are to be used and how they relate to each other. Information included on exterior elevations are:

    • Exterior finish materials
    • Relationships between materials and design elements
    • Window and door locations and operability
    • Floor to ceiling heights
    • Parapet heights

    Building Sections
    Building sections (also known as cross-sections) are drawings that show what a house would look like if you cut right through it. This helps your builder understand how the house is to be constructed. The information included in building section drawings are:

    • Wall, floor, foundation and roof configurations
    • Floor to floor heights
    • Room names
    • Parapet heights
    • Dimensions of elements that are necessary to realize the design
    • Relationship to grade

    Floor and Roof Framing Diagrams
    These drawings are included to provide insight to your builder on how the floor and roof framing was anticipated to be configured. Your builder will typically work with a joist manufacturer or structural engineer to finalize a design that meets your local building codes. The information included on framing diagrams are:

    • Suggested joist or truss directions*
    • Anticipated joist depth *
    • Suggested beam and rim joist locations and configuration*
    • Stair openings
    • Locations of load-bearing elements below

    * to be confirmed by Builder

    Lighting Plans
    These diagrammatic plans communicate the placement, quantities, and generic types, of lighting fixtures. Light switch locations and groupings are also communicated within these drawings.

  • Because construction requirements vary by geographical area, and may also vary depending on your preferences and budget, the below information is intentionally not part of the plans. If you need a little help, or a lot, let us know. We’d be happy to assist.

    • Site Plan - A site plan is specific to your property. A detailed site plan, with the planned location of your new home is typically required to obtain permits. We can work with you to generate a site plan specific to your project. We would require some information from you about your property. Reach out to us to learn more.
    • Roof Assemblies – Choosing the right roof assembly will vary based on your climate, availability skilled labor, and project budget.
    • Structural Design - While we have assessed structural member sizes, based on conservative load assumptions, requirements vary by jurisdiction. Your builder will be accustomed to working with a joist manufacturer or structural engineer to finalize a design that meets your local building codes.
    • Interior design details - such as specific millwork, cabinetry, fixtures, finishes, and product specification. Availability will vary by area, and your selections will depend on your budget and design preferences.
    • Lighting & Electrical Fixture Selections – While we have communicated the optimal placement of light fixtures and switches, your personal preferences and project budget will greatly impact the selection of specific products. Homeowners typically work with local lighting retail stores to select the available products that suit your style and budget. Your builder’s electrical sub-contractor, or your interior designer, will also be accustomed to working with you to choose the right fixtures and to work through the details of your electrical installation.
    • Plumbing & Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) - Local plumbing & HVAC codes, climatic requirements and commonly used systems vary dramatically across the country. Your builder, and their preferred mechanical and plumbing contractors, can determine the best layout for your new home.
  • Consistent with industry standards, we calculate the square footage based on “conditioned spaces” only - meaning the areas of the home that are heated. Some areas that are not included in our square footage calculation include porches, patios, sunrooms, screened porches, garages, and foundations. If you chose to build a basement, that square footage would also be additional to what is shown.

  • The cost to build a particular house will vary from person to person depending on a number of factors such as geographical location, an urban versus rural setting, and the type of fixtures and finishes you wish to incorporate into your home.

    Consider using our Cost-To-Build service if you wish to better understand the cost of building your dream home.

    Click here to Learn More.

  • Cost-To-Build

    We’ve teamed up with North Americas leading cost-estimating professionals to help you understand the cost of construction…before you build. Leverage this service to help you select a builder, evaluate bids, establish your budget, or secure financing.

    Click here to Learn More.

  • Our designs comply with the current editions of the International Residential Code (IRC) in the United States, and the National Building Code (NBC) in Canada, in all aspects related the planning and functionality of the overall house design. This includes meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements for: room sizes, ceiling heights, emergency exiting, and widths of doors, stairs, corridors, and so on.

    Each state, province or territory may also have their own local building codes that typically supersede the national codes. For the most part, the IRC and NBC form the foundation that other local codes are based on.

    We’ve laid the groundwork for other decisions to build on. Further decisions, that are specific to your preferences and locale, (for example, choosing and installing the right mechanical system, or determining the right footing size for your soil) will also need to comply with your applicable building codes and bylaws. The good news is that your builder, local trades, and the broader construction industry in your area know how it’s done where you live, and can help to make the right decisions.

  • Local bylaws and zoning requirements generally set forth what can be built on a property, how big it can be, what the required setbacks are, and other factors that impact and govern how your house and site design will fit in with the neighborhood.

    Your zoning will typically determine what sections of the bylaw you need to comply to. Local bylaws are typically written in a way that can be easily understood and should be free to access online. Your local municipality should also be available to answer any zoning and bylaw related question that you may have.

    We recommend that you review your local bylaw, to ensure that the house design that you want to buy can be built on your site, before you purchase the plans.

    We are happy to work with you and modify any of our designs, through our Customization Service, in the event that modifications to the plans need to be made to comply with your local bylaws.

FAQs

Can I build with these drawings?

Absolutely. Our drawings contain the basic information that you and your builder will need to build your dream home.

For many, our plans will be all you need to build your dream home.

We use standard drawing conventions, that will be familiar to your builder, to communicate the essential information on how to realize our designs. Your builder should have the expertise and resources to make, and help you make, the remaining decisions that are specific to where you live.

For some jurisdictions, additional information may be required to obtain permits. These may include: a detailed site plan, structural engineering, energy efficiency calculations, or soils reports. Your builder should have the resources and contacts to help you obtain additional information if required. We also offer consulting services – Contact us to see how we can help.

What is included in the plans?

All of our plans contain the following information needed to build your house.

General
All drawing sheets include the following information:

  • Your project name
  • Your project address
  • Purchased House Plan number and issued date
  • Drawing Name (i.e. Main Floor Plan, Building Sections, Etc.)
  • Sheet Number
  • Drawing Scale

Floor plans
Detailed floor plans drawn at ¼” scale include the following information:

  • Locations of walls, windows and doors
  • Door widths and swing directions
  • Window sizes and operability (swing)
  • Wall Assemblies (While we have provided detailed wall assemblies, we expect your builder to confirm/modify the wall assemblies so that it is right for your climate and local construction practices)
  • Stair location and travel directions
  • Kitchen configuration (Detailed millwork design not included. You will typically work through this with the millworker, or kitchen cabinetry company, that you, or your builder, intends on using)
  • Fireplace locations (Specific fireplace selection and design are not included. Rendering on the website suggests recommended designs, but with so many fireplace products on the market it is anticipated that you‘ll work with your builder’s selected millworker to finalize the detailed design).
  • Outdoor garden locations
  • Foundation wall and footing locations and configurations.

Elevations
An exterior elevation is a two-dimensional drawing, drawn at ¼” scale, that shows what one side of the house will look like from the outside. This type of drawing helps your contractor to see the big picture, and to understand what materials are to be used and how they relate to each other. Information included on exterior elevations are:

  • Exterior finish materials
  • Relationships between materials and design elements
  • Window and door locations and operability
  • Floor to ceiling heights
  • Parapet heights

Building Sections
Building sections (also known as cross-sections) are drawings that show what a house would look like if you cut right through it. This helps your builder understand how the house is to be constructed. The information included in building section drawings are:

  • Wall, floor, foundation and roof configurations
  • Floor to floor heights
  • Room names
  • Parapet heights
  • Dimensions of elements that are necessary to realize the design
  • Relationship to grade

Floor and Roof Framing Diagrams
These drawings are included to provide insight to your builder on how the floor and roof framing was anticipated to be configured. Your builder will typically work with a joist manufacturer or structural engineer to finalize a design that meets your local building codes. The information included on framing diagrams are:

  • Suggested joist or truss directions*
  • Anticipated joist depth *
  • Suggested beam and rim joist locations and configuration*
  • Stair openings
  • Locations of load-bearing elements below

* to be confirmed by Builder

Lighting Plans
These diagrammatic plans communicate the placement, quantities, and generic types, of lighting fixtures. Light switch locations and groupings are also communicated within these drawings.

What is not included in the plans and why?

Because construction requirements vary by geographical area, and may also vary depending on your preferences and budget, the below information is intentionally not part of the plans. If you need a little help, or a lot, let us know. We’d be happy to assist.

  • Site Plan - A site plan is specific to your property. A detailed site plan, with the planned location of your new home is typically required to obtain permits. We can work with you to generate a site plan specific to your project. We would require some information from you about your property. Reach out to us to learn more.
  • Roof Assemblies – Choosing the right roof assembly will vary based on your climate, availability skilled labor, and project budget.
  • Structural Design - While we have assessed structural member sizes, based on conservative load assumptions, requirements vary by jurisdiction. Your builder will be accustomed to working with a joist manufacturer or structural engineer to finalize a design that meets your local building codes.
  • Interior design details - such as specific millwork, cabinetry, fixtures, finishes, and product specification. Availability will vary by area, and your selections will depend on your budget and design preferences.
  • Lighting & Electrical Fixture Selections – While we have communicated the optimal placement of light fixtures and switches, your personal preferences and project budget will greatly impact the selection of specific products. Homeowners typically work with local lighting retail stores to select the available products that suit your style and budget. Your builder’s electrical sub-contractor, or your interior designer, will also be accustomed to working with you to choose the right fixtures and to work through the details of your electrical installation.
  • Plumbing & Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) - Local plumbing & HVAC codes, climatic requirements and commonly used systems vary dramatically across the country. Your builder, and their preferred mechanical and plumbing contractors, can determine the best layout for your new home.

How is the square footage calculated?

Consistent with industry standards, we calculate the square footage based on “conditioned spaces” only - meaning the areas of the home that are heated. Some areas that are not included in our square footage calculation include porches, patios, sunrooms, screened porches, garages, and foundations. If you chose to build a basement, that square footage would also be additional to what is shown.

How much will it cost to build my house?

The cost to build a particular house will vary from person to person depending on a number of factors such as geographical location, an urban versus rural setting, and the type of fixtures and finishes you wish to incorporate into your home.

Consider using our Cost-To-Build service if you wish to better understand the cost of building your dream home.

Click here to Learn More.

What is your Cost-To-Build service?

Cost-To-Build

We’ve teamed up with North Americas leading cost-estimating professionals to help you understand the cost of construction…before you build. Leverage this service to help you select a builder, evaluate bids, establish your budget, or secure financing.

Click here to Learn More.

What do I need to know about building codes?

Our designs comply with the current editions of the International Residential Code (IRC) in the United States, and the National Building Code (NBC) in Canada, in all aspects related the planning and functionality of the overall house design. This includes meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements for: room sizes, ceiling heights, emergency exiting, and widths of doors, stairs, corridors, and so on.

Each state, province or territory may also have their own local building codes that typically supersede the national codes. For the most part, the IRC and NBC form the foundation that other local codes are based on.

We’ve laid the groundwork for other decisions to build on. Further decisions, that are specific to your preferences and locale, (for example, choosing and installing the right mechanical system, or determining the right footing size for your soil) will also need to comply with your applicable building codes and bylaws. The good news is that your builder, local trades, and the broader construction industry in your area know how it’s done where you live, and can help to make the right decisions.

What do I need to know about my local bylaws and zoning requirements?

Local bylaws and zoning requirements generally set forth what can be built on a property, how big it can be, what the required setbacks are, and other factors that impact and govern how your house and site design will fit in with the neighborhood.

Your zoning will typically determine what sections of the bylaw you need to comply to. Local bylaws are typically written in a way that can be easily understood and should be free to access online. Your local municipality should also be available to answer any zoning and bylaw related question that you may have.

We recommend that you review your local bylaw, to ensure that the house design that you want to buy can be built on your site, before you purchase the plans.

We are happy to work with you and modify any of our designs, through our Customization Service, in the event that modifications to the plans need to be made to comply with your local bylaws.