How to Use our Plans

Make copies of these plans for modifying, giving to contractors for bids, and giving to your planning department. Keep the master drawings so that you may make new copies in the future. Take the master drawings and the invoice or letter, allowing permission to copy, to a blue printing shop for copying. A typical copy is about $1.30 per sheet at the blue print shop and $3.00 at Kinko´s.

Our plans are construction blueprints drawn to basic architectural drafting standards. They are not detailed, step by step, instructions. There are many “how to” books available that describe the carpentry techniques required to construct a building. They are available at Home Depot, Lowe´s, on-line book stores, and some hardware stores.

Many minor changes can be made to our garage plans and still obtain a permit in most areas of the U.S. Changing the ceiling height, pitch of the roof, moving a window or door, or changing the size of a window or door are minor changes. The strictness of planning departments varies greatly. Most rural areas are lenient. Large cities are more strict. Areas in California and Florida are very strict. Minor changes are not allowed in the strictest areas. Talk to your planning department and ask if the minor change you are considering will be acceptable with out a full redraw of the plans.

There are several ways to modify these plans. For simple changes, erasing and adding new text is sufficient. Use an ink eraser to remove the existing text. Redraw with ink or dark pencil. Whiteout can be used to erase paper copies. Entire details can be removed by covering with a piece of paper the appropriate size before recopying.

We provide building options on the plans.  Some planning departments do not want options on the plans. Decide which options you are going to use and remove the unused options from the plans.

Our plan package includes a basic materials list, which should be used to estimate the cost of materials. It lists major wood components, concrete, and hold-downs and is an approximation of the materials used. Always verify the accuracy of the materials list before ordering components. Some components cannot be returned to the supplier without a restocking charge.

Beam calculations are provided with most plans. Beams longer than 10´ have a calculation to show that they are of sufficient strength to withstand the load applied. These are not required for some planning departments and we do not send them with plans sent to California. The planning department will require truss engineering for truss roof plans. These are obtained from the truss manufacturer and are part of their package. Hand made trusses will require engineering from an engineer licensed in your state. We do not design trusses.

Take the required number of plan copies, copies of the beam calculations (if required), and copies of the truss engineering (if a truss roof) to the planning department to apply for a permit. Provide competing contractors with a copy of the plans and the materials list. They will be able to bid on the same exact building and provide the most accurate quotes.