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Drawing your own house plans?

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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 1487 days ago 6042 views 1 time favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2271 days


1487 days ago

I am planning on building my first/dream house looking at doing a 1300 to 1500 sq ft house, I am going to do a lot of the work myself. I am looking at these two houses because they have extra space above the garage, for a extra bedroom or guess room. my question is worth the trouble to draw my own house plans? or just should I buy them? I also plan on turning the garage into a woodworking workshop :) All this depends on my efforts in getting a job.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker


32 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#1 posted 1487 days ago

Sounds like a great plan Charles. all I get is error messages on your links. About drawing your own plans . It will depend how picky your building department is and if they will help you. There’s a lot more than just drawing the floor plan out. There’s excavation,drainage,foundation, plumbing, electrical,heating and air.framing and more.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1584 days


#2 posted 1487 days ago

You need to find out what your local laws are on building houses and blueprints. Some places require certified blueprints – from an architect – and some places do not. If they have to be certified, you’d be better off just buying pre-certified plans (make sure they’ll pass for your local codes!). If they don’t, then go ahead and play around on your own. And see where you can find the building code for your local government. I know it sucks the romance right out of it.

Also check into the rules for building your home from scratch. The rules are so dramatically different everywhere… no use on speculating what they may be for you.

Btw those links did not work.

One of the things pretty high up on my to-do list in life is to build my own home. My personal taste runs different than what I can find in this area, most of the time, so I want to just make it EXACTLY what I want.

Though if you are looking at plans and want to make a workshop why not make a garage AND a workshop. I sure am fond of parking my car indoors. Three and four car garage plans are not that hard to find.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

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Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2271 days


#3 posted 1487 days ago

Here is some pictures on the plans!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2584 posts in 1616 days


#4 posted 1487 days ago

All I would suggest is that you have a detached workshop and the reason for that is shop odors, dust, noise all are further removed from the house. You can have a breezeway connection but I would not have the roof line connected to further isolate odors and dust. You would not be able to work in your shop if (for example) your future wife gets pregnant and is highly sensitive to paint and varnish finishes. By having a separate building for that, this problem is eliminated. Some woods have a powerful odor and you would not want it permeating the house. Also be sure to wire it for 220 power as well, if you are going to build it, do it right! A good thing to include is maybe a bathroom with showering facilities so you could clean up before going into the house. Good Luck and best wishes!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

I saw the addition of the plans after I posted so added to my post. The garage is too small! If for instance you want to park your future full size truck in it, it won’t fit, you will need at least a 24 ft depth.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View patron's profile

patron

12955 posts in 1939 days


#5 posted 1487 days ago

there are many books of house plans ,
a bookstore is a good place to go for that ,
i built a house for a family ,
they got a set of plans from sunset magazine ,
in the study books , they give you a basic floor plan ,
and an estimated cost to build ,
you can send for study plans for a reasonable cost ,
then if you find one you like ,
the real plans are pre approved for most building depts.
you can find plans for just about any kind of home you like .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View uffitze's profile

uffitze

199 posts in 1553 days


#6 posted 1487 days ago

Anybody can draw a floor plan … making sure that it is to code, will be accepted by your local building department, and can be read by your builder are the things that you are paying for.

If you think you can navigate all of that on your own, go ahead, otherwise purchase the things (and make sure they are complete plans.)

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2271 days


#7 posted 1487 days ago

Ok, I was thinking that buying would be better. They have drafting software that you can buy these days.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View spclPatrolGroup's profile

spclPatrolGroup

174 posts in 1492 days


#8 posted 1487 days ago

Growing up as the son of a contractor and architect, and working with my Dad on my own house plans, I can tell you there are things that you wont think of, that someone with experiance will. Its good to have an idea, but I would suggest you work along with someone who does this for a living. Tell them what you want, have them draft it, then revise, revise, revise, until you have a plan that you like, that also works functionally. Think of your mailman comming to you with woodworking plans for a bookshelf he made himself, full of butt joints, odd dimensions, calling for a combination of purpleheat and wenge, you could make the plans for a bookshelf that had the same look and feel, but much more practical.

-- Dave, Fargo ND "Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE!!"

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1595 days


#9 posted 1487 days ago

Tyskkvinna is correct. Check with your local municipal, county or city by-laws.
I use a draftsperson, (I am fortunate my nephew his certification in drafting) they generally have an architect on staff, this allows you to help the design of what you want and they have the knowledge to make it work.
It is cheaper to make the changes on paper ahead of time than it is to get part way into building it and realizing what you thought might work doesn’t. Do your homework ! You want to know as much as possible about all aspects of building, For the most part building a home is the same as years ago, BUT Building codes do change.
I do NOT want to burst your bubble. I had a home with a WALK in basement, in my wisdom I used 1/2 basement as a workshop. THIS IS WAS NOT a GOOD IDEA. I sealed up all vents and soundproofed ceiling. The dust still floated around , the odors went upstairs. I would recommend a seperate building or a breezeway between house and workshop.
On a lighter note: The space above garage could be used as a space for the “Mother-in-law” or relatives to visit ?

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1469 posts in 2723 days


#10 posted 1486 days ago

I’m in the process of drawing up plans (not just floor plans) for my workshop. I’m doing a heck of a lot of learning, everything from allowable code distances and tolerances of rebar from the edge of concrete forms in the foundation (and how thick the foundation needs to be based on local soil and seismic issues, and the fact that I’m designing for a heavy living roof), to the narrow strips of housewrap that will extend from the furring that holds the siding away from the sheathing to create the drainage plane over the individual pieces of siding, to allowable spacings on the nails that hold the sheathing on given the aforementioned seismic and wind issues particular to my area.

And after all that, I expect to take these plans to a licensed structural engineer or architect and pay several hundred dollars, if not more than a thousand, to have them check me for errors and sign off on the plans so that when I take them to my town’s planning department I know I’ve got it right. And I’ve done some engineering for some of the roof truss designs I’m considering, but I’ll probably also take my roof loads to a truss company and let them do the engineering for that, too, just to make sure I really got it right.

Ragging on the deficiencies of architects is one of my pet hobbies, and I think it’s a grand thing to draw up your own plans, but if you value your own time at all it’s not going to be a way to save money (unless you’re looking at architecture as a profession and can amortize that knowledge over many houses), and it’s not a simple process.

If I could buy a set of plans that incorporated the more difficult aspects of what I’m trying to accomplish with my workshop and just alter them, rather than starting from scratch, even if those plans cost me a couple of hundred bucks, I would. In a heartbeat. And that’s less than 300 square feet, just four walls, a few windows, two doors, and a roof.

However, it’s also totally reasonable to take floor plans (which are very distinct from house plans) to an architect and say “here’s what I’m trying to accomplish, here’s why, can you help me come up with building plans?”

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1276 posts in 2335 days


#11 posted 1486 days ago

I design and draw all of my projects including house plans. In your case, I suggest you select a house design that you like and order a pre-approved set of plans. The reason is that the learning curve will most likely be too great. This way you will be able to concentrate on the actual building aspect of the project. You will learn the construction part of building as well as come to a much quicker and better understanding of how to read plans. There are so many things to consider when drawing plans. Keep it simple on the first few builds.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2271 days


#12 posted 1486 days ago

Thanks guys, I’ve made up my mind that its best buy the plans instead of drawing them.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View JimF's profile

JimF

141 posts in 1891 days


#13 posted 1486 days ago

Many years ago, my dad & I drew up a floor plan with a 6” plastic ruler. He took it to a general contractor who gave that to his drafting/design people. They developed the floor plan sketch into a full set of plans which was then approved and built. If you want a specific layout, you might try something like this. Apparently Dad’s layout was good as the contractor asked to use the plans for other homes in areas not near ours.

-- Insert clever tag line here

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1884 days


#14 posted 1485 days ago

I have designed and built a few houses, including our personal “dream house”
I drew the basic plan, then took it to a local draftsman to do the “real” plans. He knows the local codes, so I felt much safer that way.

There are several computer programs to help you also.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1486 days


#15 posted 1485 days ago

I have one suggestion if you want to play around with home plans (or ANY plans, including woodwork) and that is to log onto Google and download a copy of SketchUp 7. It’s FREE and a very easy to learn yet powerful drafting/planning program.
Although originally intended for architectural use, it lends itself to all sorts of design work and it’s in 3 D to boot!

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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