Frequently Asked Questions

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 purchase 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.
  • 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 were drafted to meet average conditions and building codes in Nebraska (Texas for Carmichael & Dame Designs) at the time they were designed. 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

  • 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.
  • Multiple Sets Printed on Bond: Traditional blueprint paper cannot be reproduced and fade over time; therefore, we use bond paper, which is reproducible and does not fade over time. Page size varies depending on the complexity of the plan, typically, 18” x 24” (can also be 24” x 36” or 36” x 48”).

Construction License

When you purchase 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 alteration 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 either as a PDF or on bond paper 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 or bond masters as you need for construction purposes.

Construction License Options

  • 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.
  • Multi-Build License: The home depicted in the plan purchased may be built multiple times. A multi-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 Multi-Build 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 sale 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 shareholders.

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. (The red seal will appear on your construction license if you ordered your home plan as a PDF file.)
  • 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.
What’s included in your Full Construction Drawings – Multiple Sets, PDF, CAD?

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:

  • All sets printed on reproducible bond (1 set; 4 sets; 8 sets options available)
  • Electronic prints: PDF email or CAD file
  • Many plans are available as a ‘right-reading’ reverse; additional single sets are available as required.
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.
  • Multi-Build License: The home depicted in the plan purchased may be built multiple times. A multi-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 Multi-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 purchase 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 alteration 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 either as a PDF or on bond paper 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 or bond masters as you need for construction purposes.
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 decrease 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.

What is the difference between a one-story, 1 ½-story and 2-story home?
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.
  • Multiple Sets Printed on Bond: Traditional blueprint paper cannot be reproduced and fade over time; therefore, we use bond paper, which is reproducible and does not fade over time. Page size varies depending on the complexity of the plan, typically, 18” x 24” (can also be 24” x 36” or 36” x 48”).
What if I want to make alterations or changes to the home plan?

Design Basics offers a complete and cost-effective plan alteration service for our home plans. Our designers work with you to determine exactly how to change the plan to meet your needs. For more information see Plan Alterations.

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?

Our plans are drafted to meet average conditions and codes in the state of Nebraska at the time they were designed. Because codes and requirements change, and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, Design Basics cannot warrant compliance with any specific code or regulation. All Design Basics plans can be adapted to the 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 the governing municipal codes (city, county, state and federal). Our designs have been licensed and built in all 50 states as well as internationally.

What are building codes?
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.

Can I get discounts off my plan purchases?

Yes! When you join our Builder-Centric℠ Preferred Builder Program, you will receive a discount on every plan you purchase as well as many other benefits and cost-savings. Visit our Builder-Centric page for more information. Enroll today!

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 Your Right to Build Construction License*?

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 “Your Right to Build Construction License.”

The “Your Right to Build Construction License” 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 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 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.

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. If you have any questions, please contact us!

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. Most orders received by 2:00 pm Central time on a business day will ship the next business day (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 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.

What Options are Available with a Design Basics Home Plan?

Optional 2 x 6 Exterior Walls
BUILDERS: Find out how you can get this upgrade for FREE. Click here to learn more!

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

Materials List
Material and Estimator’s Workbook PDF 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.

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 Roof Construction Plans
Roof Framing Plan, RFP – Useful for extra complicated roofs. Prepare accurate bids. Save time and money with our RFP. Available for the , this complete roof framing and dimensional layout includes:

Aerial views of the roof showing hips, valleys, ridges, rafters and roof supports. A dimensional plan showing lengths, runs, ridge heights and wall plate heights.

Example Pages

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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