Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2019-03-28T21:33:01+00:00
How Should I Choose a House Plan?2019-03-29T21:47:32+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.
What is Included with My Plan Purchase?2019-09-09T16:30:33+00:00

Coastal Home Plans offers plans from over 65 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 (shown on elevations)

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 in a variety of different formats depending upon the designer. This may include printed sets or electronic formats such as PDF or AutoCAD (DWG) files.

Do You Offer Modifications?2019-03-29T23:28:40+00:00
Yes, many of the 65 designers and architects we work with do offer modification services.  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.
If the designer/architect does offer modifications getting a quote is easy. Just e-mail your desired changes directly to us at questions@coastalhomeplans.net and the designer/architect will put together pricing. Fees are based on their hourly rate which ranges from $65 to $125/hour.
If you prefer to work with your local design professional to have your modification done, you are certainly welcome to purchase the plan and complete your changes locally.
Lastly, some changes are easy for your builder to handle on site. These include:
  1. Adding or eliminating a fireplace
  2. Changing window openings to doors and vice versa.
  3. Changing from 8′ to 9′ walls is easy for most builders… they just make the change on the fly.
  4. Modest revisions to roof pitches (usually done to meet a height restriction).  The truss supplier can easily make this change.
  5. Additional on site changes that are easy: window sizes, door swings, cabinet layouts, siding, shutters, handrails, soffit overhangs, converting tubs to showers.
Are the Plans Stamped by an Engineer?2019-03-29T22:45:43+00:00
No, engineering is never included with the plan sets.  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 $1,000 – $2,500 or more.
Want to learn more about engineering your coastal home? Check out our page Engineering Your Coastal Home
Can You Provide Cost-to-Build Estimates?2019-03-30T00:01:58+00:00

No. Truly accurate cost-to-build estimates should come straight from your local builder. Relying on a “seat of the pants’ online cost-to-build estimate is risky. They may be cheap at $25 dollars or so, but are wildly inaccurate.

To get an accurate estimate for your area we strongly recommend speaking with a couple local builders and/or real estate agents who specialize in new construction. They will factor in local labor cost (a huge factor!) and local material supply cost.

Regarding choosing a design, generally speaking the more corners in a design, the more expensive it will be to build. Other design factors that impact cost:

1) One and one half story homes are generally less expensive to build than one story or two-story homes (more square footage – less siding material).
2) The larger the footprint, the more the design will cost to build per square foot.
3) Your material choices (high-end windows vs. builder grade windows; granite vs. Formica; metal roof vs. asphalt shingle roof; heart pine flooring vs. carpet, etc.) will have a huge impact on cost to build.

We have found one online estimator that produces fairly reasonable guesstimates: www.building-cost.net

We still recommend speaking with folks local to where you’ll be building because material and labor costs can vary dramatically from region to region. (For instance: An 8′ 2×4 cost $5.49 in Denver right now, versus $5.98 in Charleston, SC. That’s 10% higher here, just for one material).

Can I See a Rear Elevation of a Design?2019-03-30T03:38:29+00:00

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

Do Your Plans Provide Everything I Need to Begin Construction?2019-03-30T03:15:30+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 I Submit a Stock House Plan to My Local Building Department Without Making Any Changes?2019-03-30T03:17:06+00:00

In most 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 riser diagrams for plumbing.

Can I Visit Homes That Have Been Built from Your Designs?2019-03-30T03:41:28+00:00

Yes, if we have permission to share the address from the property owner. If we do not have permission, we may have photos that we can share. give us a call or send us an e-mail to questions@coastalhomeplans.net to inquire.

Are Study Sets Available?2019-03-29T22:56:52+00:00

A small number of the designers and architects we work with do offer study sets – call or e-mail to inquire about availability. Keep in mind that your builder is traditionally the go to person for this. He/she works with your local building supply to put the material list together for you at no or low cost.

What’s the Difference Between a Stock House Plan and a Custom Home Plan?2019-03-29T23:06:08+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.
What is a “Stock” Home Plan?2019-03-30T03:31:47+00:00

A stock house plan is a ready off the shelf set of construction drawings. Every plan is designed to meet one of the national building codes for residential construction.  Many 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.

Since a stock plan is not drawn for any specific location, the designer often removes specifications intended to address specific lot conditions. For this reason, any stock plan you purchase should be reviewed and adjusted to address your local codes and conditions.

How Do I Purchase a Set of Plans?2019-03-29T22:53:17+00:00

Plans can be purchase through our online shopping cart which utilizes an SSL Certificate with 256 Bit Encryption. You can also 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?2019-03-29T22:48:57+00:00

Plans are prepared and sent typically within 24 hours.

Time to ship varies:

E-Mail delivery is used for Reproducible Master (PDF) and AutoCAD files.

Ground shipping (3-7 days) is FREE!

Second Day Air (2-3 days) – $45. Please call us at 843-886-5500 for this shipping option.

Overnight Express (1-2 days) – $50 to $75. Please call us at 843-886-5500 for this shipping option.

May I Return or Exchange a Plans?2019-03-29T22:47:29+00:00

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

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

How Long Does It Take to Receive My Plans?2019-03-29T22:58:56+00:00

Plans are generally shipped within 24 hours of when the order is received. 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.

May I Build Multiple Homes from the Design I Purchased?2019-03-29T23:34:32+00:00

No. When you purchase Printed Sets, Reproducible Master or AutoCAD you are purchasing a license to build one residence.

Some of the designers/architects we work with do offer discounts for re-use as well as multi-use licenses. Call us at 843-886-5500 to inquire.

What are the Benefits of Using a Stock House Plan?2019-03-30T03:20:42+00:00

You’ll save time and money. Commissioning a designer or architect to create a custom 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 $3-$20 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 additional costs for preparing a stock 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 and save big.

Who is Coastal Home Plans?2019-03-30T03:37:36+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.

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