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Pre-engineered.
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FAQ


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Initiating The Planning Process

How do I get started?

Decide what you want. Many decisions have to be made before choosing a house plan that fits your family, budget, and lifestyle. Some of these decisions may be: 1. How much square footage? (This will be determined by your lot and budget) 2. Do you prefer one or two stories? 3. What room configuration fits your needs? (How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Do you want a dining room, living room, family room, pantry, walk-in closets, etc.?) 4. What style do you prefer? (Mediterranean, Ranch, etc.) 5. What is the topography and location of your lot? (We will need to determine how much of the lot is build-able. (Sloping lots require additional services, such as a survey) 6. Will the lot require a grading plan? 7. Do you wish to include raised wood floors or other special features? 8. Are there special requirements mandated by CC&R’s? Choose the plan which most closely matches your needs. Please be aware of the size and unique characteristics of your lot. Your lot must be big enough to accommodate setbacks and the plan you choose. 1. Browse the plans on the website. Take note of which plan you like or print it out and bring it to our office. 2. Flip through our plan book located at our office in Bakersfield. 3. Copies of floor plans and elevations are free of charge. 4. We are pleased to print dimensions (room / floor plan measurements in detail) of any of the plans that we have online or in our plan book. Contact us and we will provide it for you. Schedule an appointment. You will meet with one of our designers, free of charge. For those of you that want to re-use one of our plans with no changes, we can simply do everything over the phone.

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Can the plans you have online be modified?

Yes. We can make any requested changes as allowed by the building codes and jurisdiction at an additional fee.

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What if my lot does not contain a standard level building pad?

You will need to have your lot surveyed. You may then be required to obtain a grading plan. We can make recommendations for surveyors and civil engineers if you wish. In the case of custom design projects, we can begin schematic design while this work is being done, but we cannot begin preliminary drawings until the work is completed. The time and charges necessary for completion of this work is beyond the scope of our work.

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Can my plan be customized for a different foundation type?

Yes. Although all plans are drawn with a slab-on-grade foundation, each can be modified, for a fee, to a raised wood floor with or without a basement, depending on your lot.

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Can the exterior style or finish on a plan that I like be changed?

Yes. Exterior style or finish changes can be done for an additional fee.

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Is it possible to visit a house like mine that has already been built?

Unfortunately, no. Our customers’ personal information is held in the strictest confidence.

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How do I purchase my plan or begin the design process?

1. You will pay an initial deposit (cash, check, or credit card) and sign our agreement to get started. 2. You will need to provide contact information. 3. If you are modifying one of our plans, you will need to indicate the plan you wish to use, provide information regarding your lot, and meet with the designer to discuss the changes you wish to make. 4. If you want a custom design, you will need to provide information regarding your lot and meet with the designer to discuss what you want. It is advisable to bring any drawings, sketches, photos, and ideas that you already have.

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What geographic areas do you serve?

Most of our houses are built in Kern County, in California. Requirements vary from county to county, and state to state. Contact our office for specifics about working in your area.

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Do you have a photograph of the plan that I’m interested in?

If we have a photo of the house, it will display beside the floor plan on the website. However, please check back on the website or contact us, as we are constantly updating and adding photos.

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Can I order a plan over the phone without coming in?

Only plans without any kind of modifications can be purchased via telephone. In such cases, we accept credit cards via PayPal, for an additional fee, and correspond via phone and e-mail.

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Completing The Planning Process

How long will it take to finish my plans?

Depending on the project package requested, the completion time will vary. Our projects are given the following deadlines: Custom Design: After you and the designer have finalized the initial concept, it will usually take 2-3 weeks to prepare your schematic floor plan. After you approve the schematic floor plan, it will usually take 1-2 weeks to prepare your preliminary plans. After you approve the preliminary plans, it will usually take 2-3 weeks to prepare your final plans. Our agreement with you assumes we will meet a total of four times or less and that we will make revisions to the drawings in response to your feedback. Once we have received signed approval of the revisions at each phase, either in person, by mail, or scanned and sent as a PDF, we will proceed to the next phase. If additional meetings and/or subsequent revisions after the receipt of approval are required, then the fee and completion time will be adjusted accordingly. Generally, an additional week will be added for each additional meeting, and the additional time will be charged at our hourly rates. Plan Re-Use With Modifications: After you and the designer have finalized the initial concept, it will usually take about 1-2 weeks to prepare your final plans. Our agreement with you assumes we will meet a total of two times and that we will make revisions to the drawings in response to your feedback. Once we have received signed approval of the revisions at each phase, either in person, by mail, or scanned and sent as a PDF, we will proceed to the next phase. If additional meetings and / or subsequent revisions are required, then the fee and completion will be adjusted accordingly. Generally, an additional meeting and the additional time will be charged at our hourly rates. Plan Re-Use As Is: This is the simplest and least expensive package we offer. It is also the most time-efficient because there are no changes, and the plan has already been approved through the City of Bakersfield or the County of Kern. Major changes to satisfy requirements of other jurisdictions may result in additional charges based on hourly rates. It will usually take 1-2 weeks to prepare your final plans. Our agreement with you assumes an initial meeting and no changes to get to final plans. Any alteration to the plan changes the basic agreement to a plan re-use with modifications. Structural Calculations & Title 24 for Plans Not Prepared by us: Some clients come to us with plans that they have drawn themselves, have purchased over the internet, or have acquired from some other source. Often, we will recommend that we begin again with a custom design because the work can be completed faster and with less expense. If we determine that we can complete structural and / or Title 24 calculations with only a few modifications on the drawings, we will usually be able to complete these in 1-2 weeks.

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What will my plans cost?

Our package plans are as follows: Custom Design: The cost will be computed at a per-square-foot rate for conditioned space (any space that is heated and / or cooled) and unconditioned space (usually garage or large storage space) plus supplements as noted on the fee schedule. The cost of changes to the plans after the client has approved the preliminary plan will be computed at our hourly rates. The cost incurred by additional meetings and revisions beyond the agreed four meetings will be computed at our hourly rates. See Fee Schedule. Plan Re-Use with Modifications: The cost will be computed at a per-square-foot rate for conditioned space (any space that is heated and / or cooled) and unconditioned space (usually garage or large storage space) plus supplements as noted on the Fee Schedule. The cost of changes to the plan after the client has approved the preliminary plans will be computed at our hourly rates. The cost incurred by additional meetings and revisions beyond the agreed two meetings will be computed at our hourly rates. See Fee Schedule. Plan Re-Use As Is: The cost will be computed at a per-square-foot rate for conditioned space (any space that is heated and / or cooled) and unconditioned space (usually garage or large storage space) plus supplements as noted on the Fee Schedule. Any alteration the the plans changes the basic agreement to a plan re-use with modifications. See Fee Schedule. Structural Calculations & Title 24 for Plans not prepared by us: If we determine that the plans are adequate, we can prepare only structural calculations and energy compliance calculations (Title 24) as noted on our Fee Schedule. However, with this service, some additional drafting hours (charged at the hourly rate) will likely be needed to add the structural requirements to the plans. See Fee Schedule.

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What forms of payment do you accept?

Checks, Cash, or Credit Card (American Express, Visa, and Mastercard)

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What are additional service supplements?

Additional service supplements represent fixed fees that are added to the basic fee calculation for custom design and plan re-use with modifications as delineated above. See Fee Schedule.

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Do you have a refund policy?

There is no refund on custom design and plan re-use with modifications because you have approved the plans at each stage of the process, and the plans have been prepared to your specifications. For plan re-use as-is, we can exchange your plan for another of our plans, but you will be charged for the difference of cost in the replacement plan is more expensive than the plan you originally chose and you will be charged for the additional copies. No refunds will be made.

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What does my final plan include?

What does my final plan include? Structural Calculations, Floor Plan, Foundation Plan, Roof Plan, Exterior Elevations, Cross Section, Details, and a Total of three sets of final plans and two sets of calculations. Building departments typically require two sets of plans and calculations. The additional set of plans is for your use. When your final plans are approved by the building department, they will return a copy to you. Exceptions: We do not provide grading plans, engineered septic plans, mechanical details, and truss calculations. Please check with your building department to verify if the additional plans will be required. Major changes to satisfy requirements of jurisdictions outside of Kern County may result in additional charges based on hourly rates.

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Can you ship my plans to me?

We will ship your plans to you for an additional charge. The plans will not be shipped until paid in full.

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Do your plans meet the most up to date codes?

All of our online plans have passed plan check and conform substantially to require codes of Kern County. On a custom designed home, however, it is virtually impossible to meet all codes. Therefore, some revisions may need to be made to pass your local codes. We will make all required revisions within our scope of work. On plan re-use as-is, major changes to satisfy requirements of jurisdictions other than Kern County may result in additional charges based on hourly rates.

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Understanding My Plans

What are preliminary plans?

Utilizing the revised schematic plan (custom design) or the revised re-use plan (plan re-use with modifications), we prepare the preliminary plans for your review, which consist of the refined floor plan, exterior elevations and a cross-section of the house. You will then review the preliminary plans, indicate any revisions that you require, and approve those preliminary plans as revised.

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What do window and door sizes represent?

Each set of construction drawings typically uses a generic window sizing system that does not apply to any particular brand of windows. For example, a common size seen on our plans is 2860. This is a window that is 32″ wide and 72″ tall (2′-” x 6′-0″). There is also a standard system used to identify the size of doors. A door labeled 2868 is a standard 6′-8″ tall door that is 2′-8″ wide.

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What is a schematic plan?

In a custom design, the schematic plan represents our comprehensive understanding of what you want your plan to be. In our initial meeting, you will sign the agreement, and you will provide us with sketches, ideas, photos, etc. We will develop the schematics for your review. You will then approve the revised schematic plans.

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What are final plans?

Final plans are what you will take to the building department to submit for plan check and receipt of your building permit. It is best to obtain your building permit before you provide your plans to your contractor. The contractor will develop a cost of construction for you. We do not provide an estimate of the cost of construction.

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What if I already have plans?

Some clients come to us with plans that they have drawn themselves, have purchased over the Internet, or have acquired from some other source. In most instances, these clients request that we provide them with structural calculations and energy compliance calculations (Tile 24) required for a building permit. Often the plans are lacking so much information that it becomes less expensive for us to begin the planning process again, as a custom design. Charging our flat rate for the structural calculations and the Title 24, along withe our hourly rate to make all of the required modifications on the drawings to comply with the structural and energy compliance calculations (Title 24) is more expensive than beginning anew. If we determine that the plans are adequate, we can prepare only structural calculations and energy compliance calculations (Title 24), as noted on our Fee Schedule. However, with this service, some additional drafting hours (charged at the hourly rate) will likely be needed to add the structural requirements to the plans.

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Can I switch from a front garage to a side garage or vice versa?

Yes, with the Plan Re-Use with modifications. Such a change would need to be discussed with our staff. The most important consideration is the structure and the beam that spans across the garage. Depending on the current design of the garage doors and windows, the structure may need to be changed when the door is relocated, which will incur an hourly charge.

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Are the house plans copyrighted?

Yes. All illustrations and plans contained on this website and produced by this office are the exclusive property of theplanstore.net. Only one dwelling may be constructed per set of plans purchased. House plans may not be resold. Strict penalties will be enforced for violators of copyright laws.

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What is a mirror / reverse plan?

A mirror / reverse plan is an identical mirrored image of an existing house plan. If the garage is located on the left, the plan can be reversed to place the garage on the right. Everything is backwards from the original plan, as if viewed from the original plan as if viewed in a mirror, except the text will read correctly.

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How is the living square footage (or conditioned space) on a floor plan calculated?

Generally, square footage calculations of conditioned space are made from the outside the exterior frame walls and do not include unconditioned space, which is not heated and / or cooled, such as garages, basements, attics, and large storage areas. We include two story vaulted areas only once in the calculations of the first floor. Stairs are counted once. The second story is calculated in the same fashion as the first story. Stairs are counted once. The second story is calculated in the same fashion as the first story. Interior balconies and open walkways in two story and vaulted areas are included in square footage. Porches, decks, and balconies which are outside of the exterior walls are not included in either the conditioned or unconditioned space calculations.

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Using My Plans

How many sets of house plans will I need?

We print the 3 standard sets: two for the building department and one for you. If you would like more, we can print more sets for you. See our Fee Schedule. The building department will return one set to you. The number of sets you will need will vary upon you and your builder’s specific needs. Besides a set for yourself and one for the building department, you may need sets for your builder, subcontractors, and / or mortgage lender.

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Will I need anything else for the City / County that you do not provide?

We do not provide the following (which may be required by the City / County: Grading plans, engineered septic plans, mechanical details, truss calculations, soil tests or compaction reports, insulation certificates, mechanical certificates, or window certificates. It is typical that corrections are requested by the City / County. In that case, we complete the corrections and submit them to the City / County for you. We do not charge extra for this on custom design and plan re-use with modifications, as it is part of the service you have paid for. However, on a plan re-use as-is, major changes to satisfy requirements of jurisdictions other than Kern County may result in additional charges based on hourly rates.

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Once I have submitted my plans to City / County, how long will I have to wait for approval?

In the City of Bakersfield or the County of Kern, depending on the type of plan and how busy they are, your plan check will generally take about a month. Custom design house plans may involve a little more time.

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If my final plans have corrections to be made, do I have to pay for the corrections?

No fee is necessary for custom design or plan re-use with modifications. If we have to make changes within our scope of work, we will do so at no charge and take or ship the plans to the City / County for you. For plan re-use as-is, minor changes will not incur additional charges, but major changes to satisfy requirements of jurisdictions other than Kern County may result in additional charges based on hourly rates.

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Where is my City / County’s building department located?

We have listed the information for building departments within Kern County.

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Do you offer materials lists?

We do not provide a list of materials for your particular house plan. Depending on your location, different materials may be required for the same application.

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How do we get a materials list?

Most construction material stores (such as Home Depot or Lowes) often prepare materials lists at no cost, and they will specify materials that are available or are required in your area. They will need a set of plans in order to generate a materials list.

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How do we find the best contractor?

We have close working relationships with many contractors in the Kern County area. For your convenience, we will provide a list of contractors that we have worked with.

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