Blueprints from Ebay


  #1  
Old 11-03-03, 07:12 PM
Willyp
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Blueprints from Ebay

I was looking on Ebay and they have all kinds of blueprints for sale for around $30. Is this a good deal? Are they approved? Will i have to have an engineer look them over before submitting them to the local building dept? how much do blueprints cost to have made? If anyone can help me with this that would be great, Thanks. Willy
 
  #2  
Old 11-03-03, 11:06 PM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4,679
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Willy,

You are asking a question with no idea as to what you are referring to. Let's assume a new home. If it's for $30.00, I have only one thing to say "Buyer Beware".

I will only tell you what I have personally witnessed. I have a couple of friends, one a contractor and the other a lead carpenter, both of different companies. I was asked to design and draft new homes for them but the total square footage was more than I was allowed per Michigan State law so I politely declined and suggested an architect. Since then the law has been revised and I now could have done them.

Point is that most plans available via plan books, Internet plan sites have great prices but they also have "disclaimers". I stress there are some good sites but none that I have seen guarantee a set of building permit application plans. The reasons for this are as follows (the quotations below are taken from several plan sites which represent the general disclaimers I mentioned above),

"Because local and state building regulations vary from region to region and are constantly changing, absolute conformance to purchaser's specific requirements is impossible."

"Note that certain states require the services and seal of an architect registered in that state."

"All construction plans ordered through the company are provided AS-IS and the company disclaims all other warranties, express or implied, including merchantability or fitness of purpose."

"The company is not liable for incidental, special, consequential, or indirect damages of any kind, including, but not limited to, loss of anticipated profits, business opportunity, or other economic loss arising out of the use of services"

"It is the customer's responsibility to ensure the accuracy, compliance with applicable statute or regulation, and fitness of purpose of any plans or construction information received from the company prior to use thereof. In the event any liability is imposed on the company, the company's liability to you or any third party shall not exceed the price paid for the company's product"

They had both purchased plans through a plan book, thinking that they got a good deal by avoiding my advice of hiring an architect. One paid $650, the other for $850. The plans were not the best and when I was asked to look at them, I advised both that they would not pass for a permit. They were great looking layouts but many errors were evident. Reason: They didn't meet code in our climate and what was drawn was lacking critical information that the Building Department requires.

They both had to have the drawings done by an Architect, one had to have a structural engineer review, revise a critical area and stamp it before submission to the Building Department.

So the $650.00 turned into a $2500 bill. My other friend had to fork out $3500 plus $750 structural fee making his deal of a century $5100. Written approval had to be obtained to redraw plans from vendors to avoid violation of Copyright Laws.

So should you hire an Architect or Designer for your project?

Few people realize how complicated it is to build... that is until they find themselves lost in the maze of design options, building codes, zoning laws, contractors, and so on. No two building projects are exactly alike, so there is no single, clear-cut path to follow. The architect/designer is the one professional who has the education, training, experience, and vision to guide you through the entire design and construction process, from helping you define what you want to build to helping you get the most for your construction dollar, virtually saving you thousands of dollars! You'll not get this from a mail order venue. By the way, changes/revisions to these types of plans come with a price and when you start to add it up, you start to increase the cost of that "good deal". If the drawings are not done well, don't be surprised if the Contractor gives you a bid that is higher than expected. They will know if potential problems are in their future due to poor drawings.

One important note...the fees charged for these services varies by who you hire. Their services are invaluable. The experience and knowledge they possess to assist you in attaining your goals is what you are paying for. This is usually a fraction of the projected total cost of your project. Architect fees can be from 5% - 15% of the projected cost. A designers fee will be less. Whether it be an architect or designer, if structural issues are evident, both will have to consult with a structural engineer.

If you are thinking that the fees are too much, think about this. What do real estate companies charge for selling your home? 6%, 7%? Do you realize that they spend less time, though just as important, on selling your home than the experienced person who will spend many hours trying to comply with your wishes, budget, building codes, construction practices, design and drafting, let alone consulting with you and others involved with your entire project. What do you think this is worth?

So the choice is yours, this is a big investment. Can you afford to make mistakes, I can't.

Hope this helps!
 
  #3  
Old 11-04-03, 07:31 AM
slumlordfrank's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Where time and space begin
Posts: 702
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I definitely have to agree with Doug on this one. I notice you live in Ohio, so you probably have to deal with such things as permits, zoning, etc. Building a house is a big money investment, trying to save a few bucks, (actually a couple of thousand) on this area is penny wise and pound foolish.

We have lived in Texas for 25 years, in Texas, ONLY CITIES CAN ENFORCE BUILDING CODES. Even with that the only "store bought" plans I have used are for freee standing garages.

Follow Doug's advice.

Frank
 
  #4  
Old 11-04-03, 10:25 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 76
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
And as an architect, I'm willing to bet that these $30 sets are some unethical former client selling off copies of his custom house plans. We copyright everything we do for our clients, so they aren't allowed to use it more than once. I can't imagine that ANY architect or even plan service would sell sets for $30! I'm gonna have to see this to believe it.
 
  #5  
Old 11-04-03, 10:52 AM
Doug Aleshire's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4,679
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
MarkNOK,

I'm glad you said that!

Take a look at e-Bay, put in "blueprints" in the search box - it will surprise you! This is the reason that I give fair warning of "Buyer Beware".

Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 11-07-03, 01:21 PM
Willyp
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks for all the input!! I guess if it sounds too good to be true..it is.


Thanks again Willy
 
  #7  
Old 11-17-03, 08:05 PM
Grumpy
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
There is no doubt that an architect will at least have to review the prints and make changes per your local codes.

Chances are good that you will save money. It might be a couple hundred. It might be a couple thousand. There is no way for us to know the detail of the print you plan to purchase, or the coades to which they were designed.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: