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What is included in designer's final plans?


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By David in Salem, OR on 11/30/2005


I'm anxiously awaiting the final plans from my designer so I can move on to the application phase with my county. All the engineering has been done.

What will be included in the final packet? Also, how many copies should an owner-builder have on file, for all practical purposes? 

Thanks.


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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 11/30/2005


I think more copies are better, but in many cases you are limited in how many copies the designer provides as they own the copyright. In my case, my architect even provided me with his account number at the blueprint shop so I could make as many discounted copies as I wished.

At one point, I had over 30 copies of plans out. When you have many copies, you don't have to worry about subs returning plans so you can get them to other subs. The only downside is keeping track of changes; i.e. I changed a window dimension when I ordered the windows and told the ICF subcontractor and we marked up his plans. Somewhere, he picked up the plumber's plans (which didn't have the change on them), I picked up a new set of plans (again without the change), and when the windows arrived we were trying to figure out who ordered the larger window (I did), and how we were going to get that big window into that small hole, and more importantly who was paying the materials and labor to accomplish this. A gas-powered chop saw rental later, and I had an appropriate sized hole for my window - the ICF subcontractor picked up this cost. It could have ultimately been any one of our additional costs, but my ICF sub was a very stand-up guy on this and many minor issues (changes) we made.


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By David in Salem, OR on 12/3/2005


I got my final plans today from the designer, and the engineering stuff is there too. First thing I did was drive the 15 miles to the county office and turn in the paperwork along with the big money.

I'm going to keep one set of plans labeled "Master Set." Any design changes will be put there.

I'm going to Kinko's to have the whole thing reduced down to 8 1/2 by 11 so that I can scan it into my computer to upload to email. I will email out just the pages that the prospective subs want in that format. I have used this method already with a preliminary set of floor plans, and it worked for some people.

If they want a "working drawing," I will make several sets of 1/2 to 1/3 size plan sets to loan out.

In your experience, will this "smaller" set of working plans be feasible for most of the subs? 

I live about 20 miles from my home site. Any reduction in the "running around" time and fuel expense makes my life easier.

David


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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 12/3/2005


I found many subs were happy with "mini's" - half-size prints. On my house, these fit into 11x17 and were especially nice, as it is easy and cheap to make copies (once again, my architect didn't mind). I found many subs were happy to provide bids based on mini's, including electric, plumbing, roof, utilities, windows, insulation, etc. They have to be big enough for them to get good quantity takeoffs, no more (e.g. roofing is simply bid based on squares of material, electrical is bid based on square footage, plumbing is bid based on number of fixtures, windows are based on sizes, etc.).

For some suppliers such as trusses, lumber, etc., they really wanted full-size prints, even though trusses were made to a custom template measured after the basement walls were in place. I found that all subs and suppliers would rather have full-size prints, but most were plenty happy with mini's. When work was taking place, I always had full-size for the subs doing work.


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By Mat in Rome, NY on 12/5/2005


My architect is designing my house and offering the plans via PDF files online for me. He can print them large scale and send them to me (for the printing/shipping fee) or he is giving me the option to print them myself.
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