Services: Custom Plan Changes

Modifications & Customization of Home Plans

Hundreds of homes have been built from plans prepared by The Plan Drawer, Inc. A significant percentage of these were custom homes built from the very same stock plan designs shown on this website. One thing is certain about this vast number of homes:


virtually everyone makes changes to the plan while building their home.

The following is intended to walk you through our process of revising and customizing the design to suit your specific requirements, whether due to changes required by your special lot, plan requirements of your local municipality, local market requirements or just personal preferences.


Red-Lining Prints

This is by far the most common way that most changes are made; it is also the simplest and least expensive. All the plans used today for construction are printed on white paper with black or blue line lettering, not the white lines on blue paper of years ago. Because of this notations are easily made on these prints. They can be made by pen, pencil, or a red line pencil, which stands our clearly, - hence the term “red-lining”.

Red-lining is not suitable for major changes, but is preferred for the vast majority of simple changes, such as:

  • Shifting of interior walls that do not affect structure or spans.
  • Extending a portion of the house lengthwise in a manner that has no effect on structural spans.
  • Material changes, specifications, fixtures, cabinet layouts, contract provisions, etc.
  • Shifting, adding or changing windows and/or doors.
  • Addition or deletion of fireplaces, garages, false dormers, raised or dropped ceilings, etc.

However, if your red-lining involves other than these basic changes it is best done by an experienced residential designer who is familiar with your local codes and would know if the change requires further input from a local engineering professional. Since plans may not be photocopied make sure to order enough sets – usually at least 10 – so each can be noted with the proposed changes.

A red-line set usually is accepted for contracts by most lending institutions. Some building departments may not accept red-lines, if you are building in very high wind zones or flood zones where local engineering is required red-lining will most likely be unacceptable, it’s always best to check with them before you purchase a use license.


Reproducible Formats

Where major changes are contemplated a reproducible set, PDF file or CAD file is suggested. These formats allow an experienced local draftsperson or residential designer to add, erase or draw involved changes to any plan, These formats are also extremely helpful where local engineering or code modifications are required. Changes that may be made with our reproducibles are as follows:

  • Enlarging the home in any direction even where roof pitches or rafter lengths are changed.
  • Adding a room, garage or porch.
  • Changing foundation types if not available with the basic plans (most are available).
  • Elevation changes including roof pitch and roofline changes.
  • Significant interior layout changes.
  • Adapting a plan to meet local codes or to provide engineering where required.

Authorization is provided to enable you to make prints from the reproducibles at a local copy or print shop. Copy shops are not permitted to reproduce these plans without such an authorization.


Economical Changes

Depending on the square footage of the home, the following are changes that you can expect to be fairly inexpensive and are in addition to the purchase of a Reproducible Format license:

  • Changing a foundation from full basement to partial w/crawl.
  • Changing exterior wall framing (2x4’s to 2x6’s).
  • Roof Pitch changes.
  • Relocating garage door openings/adding or eliminating bays.
  • Kitchen or bath layout change, or different appliances.
  • Changing ceiling heights from vaulted to flat, or special details.
  • Rearranging non-structural interior walls.
  • Changing garages to rear, front, or side-load from existing.


Moderate to Expensive Changes

You might expect the following changes to cost in the range of $1500 to $3000+, depending upon the square footage of the home and is in addition to the cost of a Reproducible Plan license:

  • Changing an exterior elevation style (Using the floor plan of one home and the exterior of another).
  • Adding or eliminating a room (This would involve changes to all aspects of a plan – elevations, floor plans, roof, foundation, and sections).
  • Stretching house plans in either width or depth.
  • Adding a bonus room over the garage.
  • Reducing or increasing the square footage of the home.

Find Your Plan


Ordering Information

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Customized Blueprints

If you prefer, The Plan Drawer, Inc. can work with you to create the custom changes you desire to make your home truly unique. Just call our office and speak with one of our friendly designers who will work with you to develop a quotation for the revisions.


Always Check First

These are modifications that can typically be done during construction without changing the existing house plans:

  • Eliminating windows, fireplaces, false dormers.
  • Changing garage door location.
  • Reconfiguring kitchen cabinets & appliances.
  • Rearranging non-structural interior walls.
  • Changing exterior surfaces (brick, siding, stucco).

Reverse Plans?

Building the design in reverse? No problem with our Right Reading Reverse Plans!

Mirror prints, where the plan is printed in reverse are available, but we take it one step further to make it easier for your subcontractors. We reverse the plans and clean up all the notes so that everything reads correctly, to eliminate field errors.

For further information please do not hesitate to call or email us at info@theplandrawer.com.


Contact Us

  • The Plan Drawer, Inc.
    7844 Flint Road
    Columbus, OH 43235

    Tel: 614.430.0472
    Fax: 614.430.8071
    info@theplandrawer.com