A Timber Frame Home Plan Buyers Guide

1) How many sets of plans are needed to build a home?
You will need plans for your building department (some building departments require plans on CD and others need two copies of paper plans), your general contractor, subcontractors, and bank. We’ve found that five is the minimum number of plans you’ll need. Purchasing an electronic set, either PDF or CAD, you have the ability to print individual sheets or full sets of plans on various sizes of paper throughout the building process.

2) What is included in my package?
A full set of “Builder’s Plans” designed details that would allow most builders to successfully construct the home. Timber Frame Plans, Foundation Plans, Exterior Elevations, Floor Plans, Electrical Plans, Typical Sections and Details, First Floor Post Locations and Loading Notes.

3) Can I return a package?
Because plans are so easily copied digitally and in paper format, we are unable to accept returns.

4) How many times can I build my plan?
Our license allows you to build the home one time. If you choose to build again, you can buy an additional license at a reduced price.

5) Can I make copies of my plans?
Yes, with our license release, you can make copies. We understand that plans get damaged or lost and that multiple subcontractors need copies so we haven’t restricted the copies of plans you can make. However do remember that you are responsible for the copyright protection afforded TimberStead by the license agreement and should request that the bid plans you give to contractors and subcontractors be returned to you with their proposals or at the project’s completion.

6) Do you offer a study set?
We offer a Design Proof in both large format print and digital copies. These make it easy to get preliminary bids, approvals from banks and architectural committees, and to work out revisions that might make the home work better for you and to fit better on your site.

7) Is a material list included?
We specify generic finishes, but have found that each builder has his or her own method and preferred materials that he/she will include. Many choices are dictated by availability in your region and by your personal choices, so we don’t include a material list.

8) Can TimberStead help with the engineering required by the local building department?
TimberStead partners with engineers registered in all states and who are knowledgeable in heavy timber construction. We can either send you to an engineer or we you can work through us to have the plans engineered and we can make any modifications required to meet your local code.

9) Does TimberStead offer plan revisions/modifications ?
We do offer revisions and modifications, simple and complex for all of our plans. We will consult with you through meetings in our office or via live web meetings and will give you an estimate of the charges before we begin. We charge $55 per hour for revisions, but since these revisions are done by the same people who designed the home and understand the plans, the hours are minimized.

10) How is square footage calculated?
Square footage includes all heated living area. It does not include garages, porches, bonus rooms, decks, or unheated basement space.

11) What is the exterior wall construction?
Most of our plans have 4″ walls designed using energy efficient structural insulated panels. Your builder, engineer, or a designer can modify the plans to use 4″ or 6″ stud walls, if you choose.

12) Are HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical plans included?
We include an electrical schematic and place the plumbing fixtures on the plan, but plumbing plans, HVAC plans, and electrical details are left to the local contractors.

13) Can I build this home without having a general contractor?
You can build your home as an owner builder. Many of our homes have been built by their owners. However, we recommend that you use a local builder or at a minimum have a project manager. Most banks require a contractor for financing. There are also local building department regulations that specify rules for owner builders.

14) What can I do to certify my home as “green”?
We can work with you to specify materials and processes you’ll need to include to make your home meet any one of several green building certifications. Some require that your plans be certified prior to building, other require that you meet their green building standards. Our goal is to provide you with plans for an energy efficient, sustainable home.

15) Do you offer custom home design?
TimberStead does offer custom timber frame home design.

16) Do you offer alternate foundation plans and mirror images for your plans?
Alternate foundations and mirror images are available. Contact us for pricing.

17) If I decide to conventionally frame my walls, do you offer framing plans?
We can offer alternate framing plans as a modification.

18) Are the photographs of homes built exactly as the plans available?
Because these homes have been built many times, the photographs often depict modifications that may not be included in the plan.

19) When can I expect my plans to arrive?
Electronic plans arrive within two business days and printed plans within ten days.

20) Do the plans meet code in my area?
The plans are designed to national building codes at the time they were drawn. They may meet or exceed your local code or you may need to make modifications to meet the code. These plans have been built nationwide.

21) Can I come to your office and review the plans?
We welcome visits to our office to discuss plans. The first 30 minutes is free and thereafter, there is a $50 per hour charge for consultation. We also offer online web meetings. If you have purchased plans, the first 30 minute meeting is free and we charge $50 per hour afterward.

21) Are site plans available through TimberStead?
We can develop site plans for you. We will need a plat and any additional information required by your local building department to compile the site plan. We will quote the site plan based on the amount of detail required.