Frequently Asked Questions

 

Construction License FAQs

What options are available for Construction Prints?
  • PDF Format: Receive your construction drawings via email in PDF format. Print from your plotter or take to your local printer. We provide an overlay with your company name and order number on each page.
  • CAD Files: Available in AutoCAD DWG and MicroStation DGN formats; sent via email.
Do you offer a Single-Build or an Unlimited-Build Construction License?

We offer both a Single-Build and an Unlimited-Build Construction License:

  • Single-Build License: The home depicted in the plan purchased may be built one time; should you wish to build it again, you can obtain another Single-Build License for that same design for $100, each subsequent build. A Single-Build License is most appropriate for individuals purchasing a home plan and builders that do not intend to build the plan multiple times.
  • Unlimited-Build License: The home depicted in the plan purchased may be built multiple times. An Unlimited-Build License is most appropriate for a builder that intends to build the plan multiple times, such as a developer.

For both the Single-Build and Unlimited-Build Construction Licenses you must report the address of where the home is to be built; failing to do so invalidates your License and may subject you to legal penalties under federal Copyright law (please refer to the Home Plan Copyright Protection section for more information).

When you license a plan, you receive a Construction License that gives you certain rights in building the home depicted in that plan, including

  • Local Modifications: The Construction License allows you to make modifications to your plans. We offer a complete plan customization service, or you may have the desired changes done locally by a qualified draftsman, designer, architect, or engineer. NOTE: If you have modifications done locally, the original designer’s Copyright notice must be retained on the modified changes.
  • Running Blueprints: Your plans are sent to you as a PDF that reproduces well on your printer. The Construction License authorizes you or your printer, at your direction, to make as many copies of the plan from the PDF as you need for construction purposes.
Are your plans copyrighted? What does that mean for me?

Yes, each plan license offered for sale by Design Basics is protected by United States Copyright law. This means the images and construction prints of our designs are legally protected from unlawful use. To learn more about Copyright protections, click here.

What do I receive when I order a set of plans?

When you license a home plan from Design Basics, you will receive the following items:

Construction Drawings (most plans)

  • Cover Page: Each home plan features the front elevation and informative reference sections including, general notes and design criteria*, abbreviations, and symbols for your plans.
  • Elevations: Scaled elevations for the front, rear, and sides are provided. All elevations are detailed, and an aerial view of the roof is provided.
  • Foundations: Foundations are fully engineered for each design*, whether slab or basement (excludes designs by William L. Martin).
  • Main Level Floor Plan: The detailed drawings are fully dimensioned for ease of framing. Exterior wall thicknesses vary by plan. If necessary, contact us for clarification.
  • Second Level Floor Plan: Dimensioned and drafted to the same degree of detail as the main level floor plan*.
  • Electrical and Sections: Illustrated on a separate page for clarity, the electrical plan shows suggested electrical layout for the main and second level floor plans. Typical wall and stair sections are provided to further explain construction of these areas.

When you buy direct from Design Basics, full technical support is provided to answer your plan-related questions.

*Plans are drafted to meet the Uniform Building Code or IRC (International Residential Code) at the time they are designed (contact us for more information). Because codes and requirements can change and may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the designers cannot warrant compliance with any specific code or regulation. All plans can be adapted to your local building codes and requirements. It is the responsibility of the purchaser and/or builder of each plan to see that the structure is built in strict compliance with all governing municipal codes (city, county, state, and federal).

Construction Print Options (not all options available on all designs)

  • PDF Format: Receive your construction drawings via email in PDF format; print from your plotter or take to your local printer. We provide an overlay with your company name and order number on each page.
  • CAD Files: Available in AutoCAD DWG & MicroStation DGN formats; sent via email.

Construction License: When you license a plan, you receive a Construction License that gives you certain rights in building the home depicted in that plan, including

  • Local Modifications: The Construction License allows you to make modifications to your plans. We offer a complete plan customization service, or you may have the desired changes done locally by a qualified draftsman, designer, architect, or engineer. NOTE: If you have modifications done locally, the original designer’s Copyright notice must be retained on the modified changes.
  • Running Blueprints: Your plans are sent to you as a PDF that reproduces well on your printer. The Construction License authorizes you or your printer, at your direction, to make as many copies of the plan from the PDF as you need for construction purposes.

Construction License Options

  • Single-Build License: The home depicted in the plan licensed may be built one (1) time; should you wish to build it again, you can obtain another Single-Build License for that same design for $100, each subsequent build. A Single-Build License is most appropriate for individuals purchasing a home plan, and builders that do not intend to build the plan multiple times.
  • Unlimited-Build License: The home depicted in the plan licensed may be built multiple times. An Unlimited-Build License is most appropriate for a builder that intends to build the plan multiple times, such as a developer.

For both the Single- and Unlimited-Build Construction Licenses you must report the address of where the home is to be built; failing to do so invalidates your License and may subject you to legal penalties under federal Copyright law (please refer to the Home Plan Copyright Protection section for more information).

Home Plan Copyright Protection: Each plan offered for license by Design Basics is Copyrighted with the U.S. Federal Copyright Office, meaning the images and construction prints of our home plans are legally protected from unlawful use. Our Position Statement lays the foundation for protecting all parties involved: Design Basics values our intellectual property and that of its many collaborative partnerships. We, therefore, protect our 1,800+ plan design copyrights from illegal infringements. This preserves and maximizes customers’ investments, while also protecting our assets, our team members’ employment position, and our stakeholders. When ordering a home plan from Design Basics you will receive a Construction License that gives you certain rights:

  • You may modify the plan or have a qualified local professional modify the plan at your direction. The original designer’s Copyright notice must be retained on the modified drawings.
  • You may make additional copies of the home plan as needed for construction so long as the copies are made from the set you receive containing the red seal.
  • You may build the home based upon the home plan purchased. Before you start construction, complete the Construction License process by reporting the address where the home is to be built; failing to do so invalidates your License and may subject you to legal penalties under federal copyright law.

Please contact us if you have any questions: 800.947.7526

What’s included in your Full Construction Drawings?

All construction prints include the following:

  • Detailed, scaled floor plan(s)
  • Detailed, scaled elevations
  • Detailed, scaled foundation plan

Construction prints may include the following:

  • Detail cross sections
  • Floor structural supports
  • Roof plans and suggested electrical plans (Contact us for specific details: 1.800.947.7526)

Format Options:

  • Electronic prints: PDF email or CAD file
  • Many plans are available as a ‘right-reading’ reverse
  • Many plans are available as a No-Step Entry floor plan
What is a Study Set?

Sometimes you need to price out a home in order to get the sale, but you need the plan to get accurate bids. Our Study Set is one complete set of construction drawings, which is the exact same set we would send you if purchasing the design. A Study Set is for study purposes only and is stamped, “Illegal to Build From – For Study Purposes Only.” It does not include our Construction License, and you cannot legally build a home from the Study Set. The Study Set purchase price is 100% applicable towards the purchase of the construction print(s) for that design.

Click here to learn more about Study Sets.

What is a Concept Plan?

Customers who must have home plans drawn locally to meet the specific building code requirements of their jurisdiction, including local engineering or architectural seals, but who do not require plan specific documentation or drawings.

No construction prints are included with a “Concept Plan.”

The “Concept Plan” grants you the right to change this home design to meet your specific needs and the right to construct the home. You or your local architect/drafting service draft the plan to meet your specific needs in relation to building codes in your area.

This is a legal document; please keep it in a safe place; you will need to reference the License Number when inquiring about your design.

*Click here for information on Construction License options.

What is a Dimensional CAD Plan Construction License?

Customers who must have the home plans drawn locally to meet the specific building code requirements of their jurisdiction, including local engineering or architectural seals. The Dimensional Plan is a dimensioned starting point for your architect or drafting staff/service. A Dimensional CAD Plan includes:

  • Design Basics’ federal Copyright and Construction License*
  • Scale front, side, and rear elevations
  • Fully dimensioned ¼” scale floor plans
  • Fully dimensioned ¼” scale foundation plan
  • Roof plan (aerial pitches of the roof)
  • NO structural information is included.

*Click here for information on Construction License options.

What Options are Available with a Design Basics Home Plan?

Plan Options

Several options are available to customize or complement your plan. See below for full explanation of these options:

  • Optional 2 x 6 Exterior Walls
  • Optional Foundations
  • Optional Right Reading Reverse Plans
  • No-Step Entry Plans
  • Materials List

Contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with your plan: 800.947.7526

Optional 2 x 6 Exterior Walls

Stronger exterior walls and added insulating capabilities are in demand by today’s homeowners. The added strength allows studs 24 inches on center rather that 16 inches with standard studs. This saves energy in two ways. It reduces the amount of wood surface in the width of the wall (wood is not a good insulator) and it creates bigger insulating cavities.

Example Purposes Only

BUILDERS: Find out how you can get this upgrade for FREE. Click here to learn more!

Optional Foundations

Foundation Plans Each of our home plans come standard with either an unfinished basement (lover level) or slab on grade foundation. We offer a optional alternative foundations for most, but not all of our home plans. The optional alternatives are:

  • Unfinished basement / lower level
  • Unfinished walk-out basement / lower level
  • Slab on grade
  • Crawl space

BUILDERS: Find out how you can get this upgrade for FREE. Click here to learn more!

Optional Right-Reading Reverse

Plans that offer a Right Reading Reverse format: rather than simply flipping the plan and the text appearing backwards, the Right Reading Reverse format presents both the floor plan and the text in a readable format. 

Right Reading Reverse Example

BUILDERS: Find out how you can get this upgrade for FREE. Click here to learn more!

No-Step Entry Floor Plan

No-Step EntryA No-Step Entry floor plan means there are no barriers to enter the home from the front door or the garage entry door. This is helpful for occupants and guests with limited mobility as there aren’t any steps to go up or down for entering your home (front door or garage entry). According to a Bradley University study, a no-step entry into your home costs perhaps $200 if done at the time the home is being built. Retrofitting an existing home with a no-step entry averages $3,300. That’s $200 well-spent, your home will welcome people of all abilities and you’ll never miss those steps!

Many of the plans we offer can be modified to a No-Step Entry floor plan. Contact us for more information: 800.947.7526

BUILDERS: Find out how you can get this upgrade for FREE. Click here to learn more!

Materials List

Materials List Material and Estimator’s Workbook or (MEW): Our MEW is designed to save valuable time in the budgeting process, ensure accurate and comparable bids and help eliminate errors. It also allows you to track projected costs vs. actual expenditures throughout the construction process. The MEW is available* and customized to the plan as originally designed with 2×4 exterior walls. Changes to the plan as designed will effect the material actually needed to build the home.

BUILDERS: Find out how you can get this upgrade for FREE. Click here to learn more!

*Not available for all plans. Contact us for availability.

Plan Promotional Products

You have only one chance to make a first impression – and, as with every other industry, that first impression is most often your corporate identity. Whether it’s your logo on a business card, the look and function of your website, or a message on a billboard, it’s important that the first impression you make is professional, memorable, and reflects the work you do. Design Basics is your one-stop-shop for helping you market and sell homes! 

Click here to learn more or contact us: 800.947.7526

Other FAQs

How do I go about selecting a design?

A great way to find a plan that’s just right for you is to contact our Plan Specialist for a complimentary plan search! You may also begin your own search by clicking the ‘Plan Search’ button. The easiest way is to narrow down your needs, wants, and desires for your new home to a core set of requirements such as finished square feet, number of bedrooms, and type of plan. Once you have your core requirements, look at other features that appeal to you, such as the amenities you want in your kitchen, primary living, and secondary bedroom areas. Click on these items on the to view your results. You can view as few as 10 plans or as many as 100 per page; sort in decreasing or increasing sq. ft. order. Please note: the more search filters you select, the narrower your search may become, possibly eliminating designs that may appeal to you. When this happens, simply work your way back by removing filters to see what selections you are presented.

Customer Service

Placing Orders: Orders for home plan construction sets or plan books may be placed online or by calling our office: 800.947.7526. We’re available Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Central.

Shipping and Delivery: We use FedEx to ship all printed Construction Sets and the USPS to ship all plan book orders. Printed construction sets ship via FedEx Ground at no additional cost; Next-day or expedited shipping is available for an additional fee. FedEx does not deliver to PO Boxes; therefore, will require a street mailing address. Printed orders will ship within 1-2 business days (see Exceptions below). Plan orders in PDF format will be emailed to the recipient within 24 hours, business days (see Exceptions below). Exceptions include plans purchased with “options” or plan alterations/modifications; these may require additional time to complete. Please confirm delivery time with your plan specialist.

Payments and Pricing: Pricing is subject to change at any time without notice. We accept payment via check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit/debit cards. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Returns and Exchanges: As our home plans are federal Copyrighted and licensed to the purchaser, we do not allow returns, refunds, or exchanges. Please be sure of our selection before ordering; if you have any questions, please contact us prior to ordering. *Click here to contact Customer Service.

Contact us at: 800.947.7526

What is the difference between a 1-story, 1 ½-story and 2-story home?

A 1-Story home, also referred to as a Ranch-style home, is a home with one level above ground. Example: Locklear #42074

A 1 1/2-story home is a home with the owner’s suite (or, master bedroom) on the main level and the secondary bedrooms on the second level. Example: Hepburn #42065

A 2-story home is a home with all the bedrooms on the second level. Example: Sunflower #42040

Use our Plan Search tool to find the right plan for you! Or, contact us for a complimentary plan search by a Plan Specialist: 800.947.7526

What if I want to make alterations or changes to the home plan?

Design Basics offers a complete and cost-effective plan customization service for our home plans. Our designers work with you to determine exactly how to change the plan to meet your needs. Or, you may have a qualified local professional modify the plan at your direction. The original designer’s Copyright notice must be retained on the modified drawings. For more information see Plan Customization Service.

Please note: Changes made to any home plan are legally considered to be “derivative works” of the plan. As the owner of the Copyright of the home plan, only the original designer is entitled to Copyright of derivative works. Any attempt by others to claim Copyright in derivative works would be a violation of federal Copyright law.

Do Design Basics' plans meet my local codes?

Plans are drafted to meet the Uniform Building Code or IRC (International Residential Code) at the time they are designed (contact us for more information). Because codes and requirements can change and may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the designers cannot warrant compliance with any specific code or regulation. All plans can be adapted to your local building codes and requirements. It is the responsibility of the purchaser and/or builder of each plan to see that the structure is built in strict compliance with all governing municipal codes (city, county, state, and federal). Our designs have been licensed and built in all 50 states as well as internationally.

How do I find a home builder?

Design Basics showcases home builders that are members of our Preferred Builder Programs, which can be found on our ‘Find a Builder’ page. Please Note: Our Find a Builder resource is provided as an informational service only. The builders listed are members of our preferred builder programs; however, Design Basics does not endorse or make any claims about the qualifications of the builders. Please use your local resources and references to learn more about these builders.

Builders: Interested in being added to our Find a Builder resource page by joining one of our Preferred Builder Programs? Learn more by selecting a builder program below, or contact us for more information: 800.947.7526

Can I get discounts off my plan purchases?

Yes! When you join our one of our Preferred Builder Programs, you will receive a discount on every plan you purchase as well as many other benefits and cost-savings. Learn more about our Builder Programs by clicking the links below, or contact us: 800.947.7526

What is my Cost to Build?

Cost to build can vary greatly. Since building practices, contractor labor, materials, land, and permitting fees vary from location to location, it is impossible for Design Basics to predict or provide accurate building costs for your location. But, you do have control of many of the materials expenses in your new home. Consider the countertops in your kitchen and bathrooms. The most inexpensive material is laminate; it’s common in entry level homes and some lower end move-up homes. However, other materials like granite, solid surfacing, quartz, tile, soap-stone, stainless steel, and even concrete have wide costs per square foot. Consider these costs for materials and labor per square for the materials just discussed:

  • laminate – $10 to $30 per sq. ft.
  • granite – $35 to $100 per sq. ft.
  • solid surfacing $35 to $100 per sq. ft.
  • quartz – $40 to $90 per sq. ft.
  • tile – $10 to $80 per sq. ft.
  • soap-stone – $70 to $100 per sq. ft.
  • Stainless steel – $65 to $125 per sq. ft.
  • concrete – $75 to $125 per sq. ft.

Looking at just one material type, it is easy to see that costs vary greatly. In a kitchen with 35 square feet of countertop, by choosing the midpoint of these material examples your costs range from $660 to $3300. Choosing laminate is great for controlling costs; however, selecting any of the other material drastically changes your cost very quickly. So, while Design Basics cannot give you an accurate cost to build for a particular home design, builders can ballpark the cost-per-square-foot for the type of home they build. You can use this guide to ballpark your cost to build*.

Cost per Square Foot

Ballpark Cost to Build

$80  
$90  
$100  
$110  
$120  
$130  
$140  
$150  
$160  
$170  
$180  
$190  
$200  
$210  
*Typically does not include the lot.
What is a Specifications and Finishing Checklist?

Specifications & Finishing ChecklistEvery great home design and construction project should begin with a checklist of all the details involved – we call this our Specifications & Finishing Checklist. It begins with the Construction specs, from excavation to the foundation, to roofing and utilities; then, the Finishing details, such as flooring and paint/wall covering for each room. Not only does this assist the builder with specific information, but also the homeowner with a record of the construction specs and materials used.

Contact us for more information: 800.947.7526

Do you offer free plans for educational or charitable purposes?

Yes, we do offer free plans for educational or charitable purposes! Plans for Education donations can be requested from a school or organization to further its students’/participants’ learning in home design and construction. With required documentation, the home can also be built by the school/organization for more hands-on experience. We have also donated plans for charitable fundraising, such as Jan’s House of Hope, silent auctions, etc. If you are an educational or charitable organization and would like to request a free plan, please contact us: 800.947.7526

Contact Us

Design Basics, LLC.
11112 John Galt Blvd.
Omaha, NE 68137-2384

Monday – Friday
7:30am CT – 5:00pm CT

Toll Free: 1.800.947.7526
Local: 1.402.331.9223
Fax: 1.402.331.5507

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