House Plan Requirements

Patricia Skinner  |  1/4/2007 6:51:52 PM

As part of the permit application process for a new house or new addition, some parish and local governments will require that you draw-up and submit plans for the project The plan review usually involves meeting with a building inspector from the building department and reviewing your proposed plans for construction. These plans can be fairly simple - some graph paper can be used to sketch floor plans and elevations at a scale of 1 inch equals 4 feet (the standard scale for a permit set).

Owners should consider working with a designer, homeowner construction representative, architect, or engineer to create these plans, because those professionals have experience and know what critical details need to be included. If the project is a newly built home, stock plans can be purchased from a house plan service (house plan catalogs can be found on-line or in book stores). Good plans will help speed you through permitting, and will help greatly in the bidding and construction management processes. On a one- or two-family house, these plans do not usually need to be stamped by an architect or engineer unless they are in a high velocity area of a floodplain or a high wind area. However, some jurisdictions may require detailed plan drawings for all but the simplest structures.

If you are not able to draw your own plans and you do not want to hire a professional to help, then your contractor may be able to produce plans for you. Keep in mind, however, that you loose some control over the project when you assign this responsibility to the contractor. Architects, designers and engineers can serve as your advocate in disputes with the contractor when needed, and you loose this additional assistance when the contractor prepares the construction documents.

These are typical items that you may be required to provide for plan review:

Plot Plan

  1. Provide a legal description of the lot or tract.
  2. Indicate the size of the lot or tract, showing servitudes.
  3. Driveways and Off-Street parking should be indicated and surface material described.
  4. All structures should be located on property.

Building Plans

  1. Floor Plan (1/4"=1'-0" scale) showing
    • dimensioned and labeled
    • fixture layout
    • ceiling joist size and direction of span
    • Location of smoke detectors
    • Location and sizes of all doors and windows
    • square footage: living area, accessory area
  2. Foundation Plan showing the following:
    • location/size of footings and grade beams
    • details of footings by a qualified professional
  3. Detail/Typical Sheet showing the following:
    • wall sections; one & two story, or firewall
    • stair details (if applicable)
    • basic framing plans indicating joist and rafter sizes
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