Where to Start searching for your House Plans or Blueprints?
More often than not, modern houses are constructed using a blueprint that bears all building details. This detailed illustration normally functions as a kind of road map for those in charge of building the house, from start to finish. As a matter of fact, without this plan, no construction firm can successfully erect a structure. As an intending homeowner you will want to consider it a necessity to find plans of your old house first.
However, it is possible that once the home has been built and there is seemingly no more use for the document, they misplace it. But what happens when a renovation project has to be carried out, and the home design is needed again? Not to worry, there are a few viable options that can get people reunited with the original blueprint of their property. If you happen to be stuck in this situation yourself, keep reading to know the different ways through which you can re-access your blueprint.
A realtor is a person through which you bought your house. He is the real estate agent. This individual is the first likely source to get your original floor plan from. This is especially so if the home you have purchased got constructed within the last 50 years. Apart from the probability that this agent may have a copy of your floor plan design, there’s a big chance that he may be able to help you locate the local developer. He can also have useful knowledge about the whole construction as well as the housing style that is dominant in your region.
Likewise, real estate agents usually know about the stock building plans that were used in their locality. How? They deal with a lot of houses. Stock house plans usually contain all of the information needed to construct a new home. However, one will typically require additional information to obtain building permits with a stock house plan.
2: Local Building Inspector
Before an intending homeowner can build a home, he or she must have already gotten a building permit from a permitting agency. A building permit is usually filed after the local building inspector has ascertained that the structure is safe to build. When you contact your local building inspector, there is a huge possibility that you gain access to not only your blueprint but also your floor plans and elevation drawings. At least, if your house has not lasted for more than 20 years, checking with the inspector will yield results.
3: Historical Archives
Many cities and communities store records of old building plans, archives of maps and also photographs of buildings. However, you do have to find out if your community keeps them. If it so happens that your city holds a record, you may need the help of a historian to guide you there and help you find your original house plan design. Usually, they are stored in town hall attics or shelved at a local museum or historical commission. The local library is another place to look at.
Asides this, you may also want to pay attention to newspapers, advertisements and old catalogs, especially if your home was built several years ago. A majority of the houses built in America in the 20th century were inspired by the stock blueprints of companies like Palliser, Palliser, and Company, and yours may not be any different.
Old advertisements and newspapers tend to have pictures and house designs of the last century. If you’re lucky, you may find something similar to or exactly like your home. Once again, a visit to your public or local library may be necessary to access these old magazines and find your vintage house plan.
4: Previous or Original Owner
You would agree that it is highly probable that everyone who has owned your house before has a copy of the original house design plan.
For this reason, contact them all and inquire about the plan. You may want to begin with the original owner of the home. He can easily direct you to the lender if they took a construction loan to fund the construction of the property. The original lender is likely to also have the blueprints on file. Other previous owners too may know how to find the document if they don’t have it.
You could also look for the original builder of your home, and the chances are that he has a copy of the plan. Check with the county clerk for the contact information of your contractor if your house is a residential development.
You should check out past real estate advertisements from the time builders constructed your house. This can lead you towards finding something useful. Observe the other homes in your area, and if you notice that they appear similar or have the same kind of materials, it is possible the same contractor built them all.
Another way to get your contractor’s contact information is through the original building permit. This should be available on file with the county zoning board. Find the contractor and get a copy of your blueprints. If he doesn’t have it, ask the contractor for suggestions on who else might.
6: Online Resources
The internet is a storehouse of a vast amount of resources. You can take advantage of this and explore it for your small house plans. Visit websites like NETR Online, which is run by the Nationwide Environmental Title Research, LLC. They never cease to enrich their databases with public records.
Also, some informative online forums when it comes to housing matters still exists, old house web, for example. It is quite possible that someone else too has gone through the same dilemma. These forums will prove helpful in connecting you both. As such, you’ll receive guidance on how to go about it from someone who has experienced something similar. You can also inquire from your friend or on social networks.
As the days go by, more and more professionals in the field are employing new technologies. These applications are meant to support online document retrieval. With this development, everybody will have access to any kind of house plans. Through innovative cloud based tools.
7: Pay an Architect
If you would like an easier way out, you could hire an architect to redraw the house plans for you. You must keep in mind that the current house designs of your house may not reflect the exact way it was designed and built. Changes may have been made over the years. Therefore, you need to hire someone highly trained and knowledgeable in this respect.
This is perhaps the only step that will require you to spend your hard-earned money. It is also the most time consuming. But it’s worth it. Besides, hiring an architect to reproduce your original plan should be your last resort. Make sure you have tried all other options so that you can save yourself some cash. It is better to employ the very same architect that worked on the building initially. He tends to be used to the overall layout of the building and is more likely to do a better job.