It’s a common sight on home improvement websites. Blueprints for sale. So what’s so special about an online blueprint versus hiring an architect? Some online blueprints go for as much as half the cost (or more) of hiring an architect to draft your blueprints. But the real question is this: are your online blueprints going to save you money or are they going to waste your money? Find out the pitfalls and potential problems that might end up costing you fortune so you can avoid them long before they have a chance to be a problem by asking yourself the following questions about your purchase:
Are they up to code?
It’s a good question and probably one of the most important you should ask your online blueprint supplier. Without a sample of the actual blueprint (which is often impossible to get) you can bet that you won’t be able to tell if it’s up to code in your area. In locations where high winds, flooding, mud slides or earthquakes are a problem, you can bet that your online blueprints aren’t going to be draw to the brutal codes and high specifications that are required in these high-risk building areas. Get a sample and submit it to the building department before purchasing your online blueprints to make sure your prints will be up to code in your area.
Will they customize them for a reasonable price?
Just because you like the way the house is designed, doesn’t mean it’s going to work on your lot. Many blueprints are drawn so that power and water supplies come into the home in an inconspicuous location. But more often than not, the power/water supply isn’t in the right location. This can sometimes mean the garage, kitchen and bathrooms need to be relocated to another location in the home and the prints will need to be customized. Will your online blueprint retailer make customer blueprints to their original designs and will they charge a reasonable fee for doing it?
Will you get enough sets?
One of the biggest problems with getting blueprints is knowing how many you’ll need. The contractor, plumbers, electricians, concrete, block, framing and many other subcontractors will all need a copy to make a bid and do the work. There will also need to be several for the building and health departments as well as an onsite copy and you haven’t even got one for yourself yet. Making sure your contractor gets the required amount of blueprints can be tough. Will your online blueprint company offer you plenty of copies of your blueprints for a reasonable fee if you happen to need more during the middle of the job?
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