FAQ's

Here are answers to the questions we’re asked most frequently. Click on any question to see the answer.

1.
What is required for a building department permit?
2.
What services does Designs Unlimited provide to help someone get building permits?
3.
Is it easier to make revisions to a stock house plan or to design a custom home from scratch?
4.
How many stock plans do you have in your library?
5.
How long does it take to get a stock plan (straight reissue)?
6.
How long does it take to get a modified or revised stock plan?
7.
How long does it take to design a custom home from scratch?
8.
Does Designs Unlimited sell stock house plans that have been pre-approved by building departments?
9.
Do you guarantee that I will get a permit for the plans you sell?
10.
How much should I plan to spend on a custom home design?
11.
I’m building a house outside Washington State. Can you bring the plans I’m buying up to code for my area?

1.
What is required for a building department permit?
In general the following is required (some jurisdictions may require more)
1. Floor plans, elevation and sections of the proposed structure. (Remodel or new.)
  2. Washington State Lateral Analysis stamped by a licensed architect or engineer.
  3. Gravity load analysis (beam calculations). (No stamp required.)
  4. Energy calculations per Washington State Energy Code (WSEC).
  5. Site plan of proposed residence or changes.
  6. Manufactured Truss Engineering stamped by a licensed engineer.

2.
Which of the above services does Designs Unlimited provide?
Designs Unlimited provides services 1 through 5. Services 1 through 4 are included with any reissue or custom home that is in the current code cycle. Service 5 is hourly per project, with the norm being two to three hours total. Requirement 6 can be met by the contractor selecting a Truss Manufacturer that will provide the calculations.

3.
Is it easier to make revisions to a stock house plan or to design a custom home from scratch?
Depending on the number and / or complexity of the changes, it is usually more cost and time effective to revise a stock house plan. However, the design control is much greater on a custom home. For example, revising a stock house plan may get the house close to what you want, but a custom home would be exactly what you want.

4.
How many stock plans do you have in your library?
Over 1000 plans. These include a wide variety of house styles including ramblers, split level homes, to story homes, duplexes, garage plans, and more. View plans now.

5.
How long does it take to get a stock plan (straight reissue)?
You can purchase a stock plan here; it takes 10 to 15 days for processing, plan check and delivery.

6.
How long does it take to get a modified or revised stock plan?
You can purchase a stock plan that can be revised here; it usually takes 10 to 20 days for processing, revision, plan check and delivery.

7.
How long does it take to design a custom home from scratch?
A custom home design usually takes three weeks from the preliminary design meeting. The amount of time varies depending on the size, complexity and when the final approval to proceed is given.

8.
Does Designs Unlimited sell stock house plans that have been pre-approved by building departments?
Yes. You can choose from dozens of plans that have IRC pre-approval from City of Kent and King County DDES. Reissues of the plans have additional costs for permission to use the Basics.

9.
Do you guarantee that I will get a permit for the plans you sell?
We cannot guarantee that Designs Unlimited plans will pass through your local building department without a correction letter or comments from a building plans examiner. We do warrant our plans in Washington state (within reason) but additional fees may be required to answer out-of-the ordinary questions from your local building department.

10.
How much should I plan to spend on a custom home design?
A general rule of thumb is 1-3% of construction costs. If your land or situation is unique these proportions change.

11.
I’m building a house outside Washington state. Can you bring them up to code for my area?
Yes. We can bring your stock plans up-to-code for you or recommend an architect near you who can do it for you. Some people like the simplicity of having us do it; others prefer to work with an architect in their local area.

For answers to other questions related to stock, modified or custom house plans, commercial design or drafting services please call or use our simple on-line contact form.

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Designs Unlimited
26519 199th Place SE
Covington, WA 98042
Tel: 253-872-2580
Fax: 253-872-3649
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