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How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

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How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby Blondie » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:31 pm

I found stock blueprints for a single family home that uses the space efficiently. Modest build w/ 2x6 walls which I'd prefer up here.

This plan includes a basement which isn't required by code and I'm considering changing it to slab for cost savings. Just need to bring all the mechanicals to the main floor.

The choices are a reproducible master (no copy shop locally), or set of 4 or set of 8? Town hall, building dept, etc don't require a copy to be filed.

If I need the foundation changed and the builder wants the plans professionally modified, what's my most cost effective choice?
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby oldasrocks » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:47 pm

I would say electrical, plumbing, and general construction. I have built homes from a sketch on a paper. The trick is to hire people with a brain that know code.

Be careful building on a slab. The cold will come through the floor if not insulated properly from the outside. You still need a footer so you won't save a lot skipping the basement. The footer needs to be below frost line.
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby Illini Warrior » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:31 pm

save $$$$$ elsewhere - don't skip putting in a basement - cheapest square footage around ....
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby daaswampman » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:03 pm

+1 for a basement

Mine was a bit on the expensive side due to the area. Still the best dollars I spent! Swamp
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby Blondie » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:30 pm

OAR, the town hall will accept a site plan drawn to scale with a straight edge on a sheet of paper. Blueprints to code are required.

Frost line up here is minimum 42" below grade.

Since it's just me, why do I need a basement?
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby rickdun » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:05 pm

If you don't have to file the blueprints with local authorities, you shouldn't have to pay any extra fees, but that will be up to your contractor. Even though you don't have to file the blueprints, I'm sure you'll still have to build by code and that again is your contractors responsibility.

Now as far as a basement, wouldn't you want all your utilities, hot water tank, furnace, electrical box, etc., away from you initial living space. I know I wouldn't want to hear my furnace kick on and off all winter or a hot water tank leaking in my living space.

The old saying goes, I'd rather have it and not need it than not have it and need it. Separate part of a basement for a root cellar (north side of basement), build a separate faraday cage, food storage, etc.. Just something to think about.

Good Luck with your build.
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby Blondie » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:58 pm

rickdun wrote:The old saying goes, I'd rather have it and not need it than not have it and need it. Good Luck with your build.


Spoken like a true Marine :blush:

Most of the newer builds here have furnace, hot water tank & fuse box on the main floor. I will be on a well & septic.

Need the plans for cost estimates. Can't clear the site until fall.
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby daaswampman » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:00 pm

Since it's just me, why do I need a basement?

Storage, security, and life without central air and heat come to mind. While heat is the problem in Louisiana, I grew up in Northern Nevada and the easiest place to keep comfortable was the basement! With modern insulation you can have ideal storage which is a relatively constant temperature.

A well planned basement can be made more secure than any part of an above ground home and for much less money. Swamp
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby anita » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:16 pm

As someone who is looking for a new house, I am not considering those without a basement, so it's a selling point, for one thing.

It's not just having the mechanicals down there, it's also storage, a cool place on a hot day if there's no air conditioning. A place to go in a bad storm, if necessary, or if there's radiation of some sort. A good place to store root vegetables. I'm sure there are other reasons that aren't coming to mind at the moment.
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby IceFire » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:43 pm

Add my vote for the basement! Grew up without one, and never had one until we moved to PA. I had my food storage down there, as well as furnace, washer, dryer, etc. Mine was actually a mostly "finished" basement. Furnace, washer, dryer and utility sink were in their own sectioned off area (basically a room without a door); there was a 10x16 room (again, no door) that I used as my "pantry" for food storage--my family jokingly called it "Mom's Bunker". It was actually the most protected spent in the entire house, and was our "retreat" area. I also had part of the basement set up as a permanent sewing area, as well as extra storage.

Since we've moved across the country, we no longer have a basement, and I REALLY miss having one.
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby Fullmoon » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:46 pm

If you are building the house yourself you will need 2 complete sets of prints, minimum, one for the job site and one to study at night. The job site prints will get faded from the sun and crinkled from exposure and rough use. After 3 months of hard use they will be pretty much shot. Are you in the U.P.? I built lots of structures in Michigan and minimum footing depth was 4' below grade. Maybe they have changed the code? A monolithic slab is hard on the body and legs and will cost more for fuel to heat the house, even with insulation beneath the concrete. You can do a cost estimate to determine the price difference between excavating and building a basement as opposed to pouring the slab. Ever considered using insulated concrete forms? You can build walls with an R40 insulation rating instead of R21 in 2x6 stick framed walls, plus save on overall labor and time of construction. Just a thought.
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby Blondie » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:28 pm

Fullmoon, the property I bought is in the NW lower. 42" is the minimum required depth and I've seen recs for 50-55" depth. I'll take notes on your suggestions with me when I shop for a builder.

I'm going to order the reproducable master. My oldest called around and found a copy place near him that has the capability of producing 24x36" prints from a jump drive.

There goes next month's pay raise. :(
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby oldasrocks » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:36 am

Good advice all around Blondie. Resale value storage etc,

A crawl space can be a major problem too. This old house has a "crawl space" and it's a nightmare. This old place is literally rotting from bottom up. Last year I had to tear out the kitchen floor and rebuild it from bottom up. The floor in the master bedroom has dropped 2 inches on the outer wall. So this winter I'll have to tear it all out down to the foundation and rebuild with pressure treated lumber.
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby Blondie » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:49 pm

OAR, repairing nasty crawlspaces up here is big business. Especially when it comes to removing the mold. I think it's a combination of poor design and harsh winters.

I'll price out the basement vs crawlspace after I get the plans.

Then I'll get out the box of Kleenex.
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Re: How Many Blueprints Do I Need?

Postby oldasrocks » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:05 pm

Don't forget the problems you will have if a water pipe ever ruptures in the floor. If you do end up with a slab pour 4 inch sewer pipe in the concrete to snake the water pipes through. This helps with 2 things. First a built in drain for a ruptured pipe and an easy way to install a new pipe.

My brother taught me this trick. He is a plumber. Saves jackhammering the floor out. Even if you never have a problem it helps sell the house later if you remember to point this safety feature out.
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