Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2017-04-21T10:10:59+00:00
How Should I Choose a House Plan?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Choosing a house plan can, initially, seem like a daunting task. To help ease your worries, we’ve compiled a few pointers on how to choose a plan.

Choosing a plan. Here’s the good news: there are literally hundreds of stock home plans to choose from – so if saving time and money is important to you, there’s a strong chance that you’ll be able to find a plan that meets most of your needs. Here’s the bad news: there are literally hundreds of plans available – narrowing your choices down to one can sometimes be difficult. Here are three quick pointers that will help you in your effort to find the perfect plan.

  1. Determine the maximum footprint for your lot. Call your local building department to find out your setbacks. Subtract your setbacks from your lot dimensions to determine your maiximum allowable footprint. Use this dimension as a starting point for locating a house plan. Keep in mind that adding or subtracting even one foot (1′) from a home plan is a lot more work than you think, so try to find a plan that won’t require modifying the footprint.
  2. Look for a design with a floor plan that fits your lifestyle. Don’t want to climb stairs? Find a plan with the master bedroom on the main level (or one with an elevator). Prefer a more casual look? Find a plan with a great room that’s connected to the kitchen (avoid “formal” living rooms and dining rooms). Have a lot with great views? Choose a plan that is oriented to take advantage of those views. The floor plan is the single most important aspect of home design. If you aren’t sure what type of floor plan suits your lifestyle, start taking notes as you visit friends’ homes – you’ll figure it out.
  3. Exteriors are usually easy to modify. Prefer shingle siding to horizontal plank siding? No problem – simply “red line” the change on the plans. Many exterior modifications are easy to make – especially for swapping out one type of material for another. Many design changes, such as changing from a gabled dormer to a shed dormer, are fairly straight-forward. Just be sure to rely on the services of a professional designer or architect. They will be sure to get the details just right.
Can I Visit Homes That Have Been Built from Your Designs?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Sometimes we may be able to provide an address, but only for homes that are models in a development. Due to privacy reasons, we do not provide addresses.

How Long Does It Take to Receive My Plans?2017-04-21T09:36:32+00:00

Plans are generally shipped the same day for orders received by 12 Noon (Eastern Standard Time). However, because we seek out talented designers and architects who spend most of their time creating custom design work, some orders may take longer to prepare and ship. When you are ready to make your purchase, we’ll provide an ETA for when to expect your shipment.

Can I See a Rear Elevation of a Design?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Yes. For most of the plans, rear elevations are available for review. Send an e-mail with your request to or call us at 843-886-5500.

Who is Coastal Home Plans?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Coastal Home Plans is owned and operated by Coastal Home Network, LLC and is located in Charleston, SC. In business since 1998, Coastal Home Plans markets and sells stock home plans from designers and architects across the U.S. who specialize in designing homes with a coastal flair.

What is a “Stock” Home Plan?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Most stock home plans began their lives as a custom designs for specific clients. Often, builders will commission a designer or architect to create a plan for them, but, in exchange for a reduction in the standard design fee, will allow the designer to resell the plan outside of their competitive area. The builder saves money on the front end and the designer holds on to the right to resell their plan.

What are the Benefits of Using a Stock House Plan?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

You’ll save time and money. Commissioning a designer or architect to create a home design, specifically for you, is a time consuming process that can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months (or more!) to complete. The fees charged for custom design services range from $2-$10 per square foot.

Stock plans are available immediately. Preparing a stock plan for permitting and construction can generally be accomplished in days. Better yet, you will realize significant savings: stock plans cost between $400-$3000. The cost to prepare a plan for permitting and construction generally ranges from $0 – $1500. Custom designs routinely cost the purchaser $10,000 to $30,000 and sometimes much, much more.

Once you do the math, you’ll see that using stock house plans can save your thousands of dollars and months and months in time. Why reinvent the wheel? Find a stock plan you like, then tweak it to make it yours.

Can I Submit a Stock House Plan to My Local Building Department Without Making Any Changes?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

In almost all cases, no. All plans should be reviewed to be sure that they adhere to your local building codes and are appropriate for your specific site conditions. You may need to modify the plan to meet these requirements. Local and/or state building code may require that your plans be stamped by a licensed architect and/or engineer. Some local and/or state building codes may require additional information such as electrical plans.

Do Your Plans Provide Everything I Need to Begin Construction?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Almost. You will need to have a local builder, designer, architect or engineer review your plans before submitting them to your building department for permitting. Depending upon where you will be building, you may need to make modifications to make plans suitable for your site conditions and local building codes. Codes in some coastal areas require that the plans be reviewed and stamped by an engineer or architect. Electrical, plumbing and HVAC specs are not included.

Can You Provide Cost-to-Build Estimates?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Sure – but only for the Charleston, SC market. Cost to build per square foot varies, sometimes dramatically, from region to region. Interior and exterior finish materials used will also impact your final cost to build (granite vs. Formica, seamless metal roof vs. asphalt shingles, etc.). To get accurate estimates of how much a design will cost to build, we recommend that you consult with your builder, as they will have the best “real life” idea of building costs in your area. Another reliable source is a real estate agent who specializes in new homes.

May I Build Multiple Homes from the Design I Purchased?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

No. When you purchase a set or blueprints, reproducible vellum or AutoCAD (electronic) you are purchasing a license to build one residence per purchase. All home plans sold through the Coastal Home Plans website are protected by federal copyright laws. Some folks are tempted to build multiple residences from a single plan purchase. It’s really not worth the risk: Copyright owners can seek full remedies available under the copyright statutes including statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement. The original purchaser of either a single set or multiple set plan package is granted a licence to construct one home from the purchased plans. Any reproduction, modification or reuse of the plans without written authorization of the copyright owner is prohibited.
In the big picture, the fee for compensating the architect or designer is a fraction of the total cost of your project. Do the right thing – once you find a design that you love, allow the designer of that residence to make a living by compensating them for their work. Besides, all of the designers and architects on our site offer fantastic pricing for “reusing” the same plan. Call us and we’ll provide details about resuse pricing.

How Do I Purchase a Set of Plans?2017-04-21T09:36:42+00:00

Call us at 843-886-5500. We accept MasterCard, VISA and Amercian Express. If you prefer, you can mail a check, but the order will not be completed until the check has cleared.

How Much Does Shipping Cost?2017-04-21T09:37:57+00:00

Ground shipping (3-7 days) – $25, Second Day (2-3 days) – $40, Express (1-2 days) – $50

May I Return or Exchange a Plans?2017-09-22T12:44:32+00:00

Plan purchases (Printed Sets, Reproducible Masters, PDFs  orAutoCADs) may not be returned for credit and/or refund. All sales are final.

Please call us at 1-843-886-5500 with any questions.

Do You Offer Modifications Services?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

In most instances the original designer of the plans on our website do offer modifications services. Just send in your list of changes to and we will be glad to request an estimate for you. If the designer does not offer modification services, not to worry. You can hire a local design professional who can make the changes. In fact, about 75% of our customers choose to work with a local designer or architect. Working with your local designer has several benefits. They can take care of two tasks at once – reviewing and modifying your plan for compliance with your local building codes (the original designer, in all likelihood, will not have a working knowledge of your local building codes). At the same time, they can perform any modifications to the design that you may desire. Some of the designs on our site, the designer or architect is available for making modifications. You’ll need to submit a complete list of the changes you’d like to make so that we can have an estimate prepared. However, before making a request for making modifications, you may want to discuss the planned changes with your builder and/or building department. Many minor modifications can be made during the construction of your home without having to include them on your plans. After the modifications are complete, you will still need to hire one of your local design professionals to review the plan for compliance to your local building code. Call us at 843-886-5500 and we can advise you as to whether or not the designer/architect of the plan you have chosen offers modification services. Please note that changes made to any home plan are considered “derivative works” of the plan. The original designer maintains copyrights to all derivative works. Only the original designer is entitled to copyright the derivative works. Any attempt by others to claim copyright in derivative works would be a violation of federal copyright law.

What is Included with My Plan Purchase?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Coastal Home Plans offers plans from over 55 designers and architects. As such, what is included with your order may vary. Generally speaking, you will receive the following:

  • Detailed Floor Plans
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Foundation Plans
  • Wall Section Diagrams
  • Roofing Layout
  • Exterior Materials and Finishes
  • Door and Window Sizes

Plans are not stamped by an engineer. Plans are provided as “stock” and will need to be reviewed and possibly modified to suit your specific site conditions and local building codes prior to beginning construction. Electric, plumbing and HVAC specs are not typically included. Please call us at to inquire exactly what is included with the plan that you would like to order. The plans are available as blueprints, reproducible vellums or in electronic format such as PDF or DWG.

Are Study Sets Available?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00

Most of our designers/architects do not offer study sets. We are, however, happy to provide larger versions of the artwork shown on our site. Just e-mail us at to make a request.

Do You Offer Modifications?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00
Yes. Some of the designers and architects do offer modification services. However, we have found that, in most cases, it is best to have modifications performed by a designer, architect or engineer who is local to you. Your local design professional will have a much better grasp on your local building codes. If your desired modifications are extensive, however, it may make sense to work with the original designer. Call us at 843-886-5500 and we can advise you as to whether or not the designer/architect of the plan you have chosen offers modification services.
Are the Plans Stamped by an Engineer?2017-04-11T11:33:33+00:00
No. If your building code requires that your plans be stamped by an engineer, you will need to hire someone local to review and stamp the plans. For many coastal areas the foundation sheet will need to be certified by an engineer to meet your specific local building code. This typically includes sizing pilings and beams to meet your wind load requirements as well as determining the appropriate footing for your soil conditions. Keep in mind that you will need to incur this cost whether the plan you use is stock or custom. Depending upon the size and complexity of the design, this fee will typically run between $500 – $1,500 or more.
What’s the Difference Between a Stock House Plan and a Custom Home Plan?2017-04-21T09:20:22+00:00
Custom plans are drawn to meet the specific needs of a client for a specific piece of property. Stock plans are designed to be resold multiple times. They are not designed for a specific geographic location or a specific piece of property. Stock plans offer significant cost savings compared to custom plans. Stock plans usually run from between $500 to $3,000. Custom plans may cost as little as $2.50 per square foot or as much as 20% of the cost of construction. While savings can be realized when using stock home plans, it is important to have these plans reviewed by a design professional, local to where you’ll be building, who can determine if changes or modification need to be made to the plan so that local building codes are met.
Coastal Home Plans sells stock house plans from a variety of designers and architects across the country. Stock plans offer a great alternative to commissioning a designer/architect to create a custom design. Let’s take a look at the differences between Stock House Plans and Custom House Plans: Stock vs. Custom Custom plans are home designs that are drawn for a specific client, for a specific property. The fees designers and architects charge for custom design can vary greatly depending upon the services they offer. If the service you purchase is strictly design, you can expect to pay between $3-25 per sq. ft. for a design. If they also offer engineering and construction management/observation services, fees are typically charges as a percentage (typically 6-20%) of the total cost of construction. Based on these fee estimates, a custom design will cost, for a 3,000 sq. ft home will range between a low of about $6,0000 (design services only) and a high that could exceed $100,000 (includes engineering and construction management). The time frame for creating a custom design can range anywhere from one month to six months (or longer in instances where changes are made, original concepts discarded, etc.) Expensive? Yes, but the custom design offers several benefits. First, if the design professional is talented and motivated, the design will ideally suit the site where it will be built. Secondly, the exterior will evoke the look and feel desired by the homeowner. Lastly, the floor plan will be precisely suited to its owners. The primary disadvantage, generally speaking, to commissioning custom residential design work is that it cost more and takes longer than using a plan that is already drawn – the stock plan. Stock Plans A stock plan is a plan that is “pre-drawn” and is not normally created for a specific building site. Some designers and architects study market needs and draw plans, on a speculative basis, that they believe will be popular with homebuyers and homebuilders. Many stock plans begin their lives as custom designs.
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