FAQ

What are Building Code Qualification Requirements?
On July 25, 2003 the Building Code Statute Law Amendment Act, 2002 was proclaimed and Ontario Regulation 305/03 was filed to implement changes to the Building Code Act, 1992 and Building Code.  Among the changes is the introduction of mandatory qualification requirements for individual building officials, designers and staff of registered code agencies.  Also introduced are mandatory registration requirements for design firms, septic installers and registered code agencies. In order to be qualified, building practitioners must successfully complete the Ministry examination program, which requires that individuals pass examinations that test their knowledge of the legal and technical requirements of the Building Code related to their area of practice.  They must also file their qualification information with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.Registration with the Ministry requires that certain design firms and registered code agencies carry professional indemnity insurance.The qualification and registration provisions of the Building Code Act, 1992 and Building Code will take effect January 1, 2006.  However, provisions that allow building practitioners to successfully complete the Ministry examination program were introduced September 1, 2003 in order to provide a smooth transition into January 1, 2006.

What is included in a set of drawings?
Each set of blueprints is an interrelated collection of detail sheets, which includes components such as floor plans, interior and exterior elevations, dimensions, cross sections, and diagrams.  These sheets show exactly how your house is to be built. Among the sheets included may be:

Foundation Plan:
This sheet shows the foundation layout including support walls, excavated and un-excavated areas, if any, and foundation notes. If the plan is to be built with slab construction rather than a basement, the plan shows footings and details for a monolithic slab. This page, or another in the set, may include a sample plot plan for locating your house on a building site

Detailed Floor Plans: 
These plans show the layout of each floor of the house. Rooms and interior spaces are carefully dimensioned and keys are given for cross-section details provided later in the plans.

Cross-Sections: 
Large-scale views show sections of the foundation, interior walls, exterior walls, floors, stairways and roof details. Additional cross-sections may show important changes in floor, ceiling or roof heights or the relationship of one level to another.
Exterior Elevations: These drawings show the front, rear and sides of your house and give necessary notes on exterior materials and finishes. Particular attention is given to cornice detail, brick and stone accents or other finish items that make your home unique.

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How many sets of blueprints do you require?
A single set of blueprints is sufficient to study a home in greater detail. However, if you are planning to obtain cost estimates from a contractor or subcontractors you will need additional sets. Because additional sets are less expensive when ordered in quantity with the original order, make sure you order enough blueprints to satisfy all requirements. The following checklist will help you determine how many plan sets you need:

  • Owner
  • Builder (generally requires at least three sets; one as a legal document, one to use during inspections, and at least one to give to each subcontractor)
  • Local Building Department (often requires two sets)
  • Mortgage Lender

 

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Can I change the foundation and exterior walls of my plan?
Most of our plans are drawn with either a full or partial basement foundation. Depending on your specific climate or regional building practices, you may wish to change this basement to a slab or crawlspace. Most professional contractors and builders can easily adapt your plans to alternate foundation types. Likewise, most can easily change 2×4 wall construction to 2×6 or vice versa.We cannot assume any responsibility for blueprints that have been changed, whether by you, your builder or by professionals selected by you or referred to you by us, because such individuals are outside our supervision and control.

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Why are HVAC, plumbing and electrical plans not provided?
Due to regional variations, local availability of materials, local codes, methods of installation, and individual preferences, it is impossible to include much detail on heating, plumbing, and electrical work on your plans. The ductwork, venting, and other details will vary depending on the type of heating and cooling system (forced air, hot water, electric, solar) and the type of energy (gas, oil, electricity, solar) that you use. These details and specifications are easily obtained from your builder, contractor, and/or local suppliers.

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What is the best method of choosing a design?
First you have to analyze your situation – specifically what you are looking for in a design and why? A good way to find out what you want, is to ask yourself questions about your needs, wants and desires in a new home. Also, visit local model homes to get a feel for room sizes, appliances, traffic flow from room to room, etc. Second, look through plan books or magazines to find a design that best suits you. There are a number of places to look for plan books. Home plan design services sell a wide variety of plan books featuring their designs, as well as other related products and services. Other places to look for plan books are bookstores, libraries and home plan magazines, such as those found in supermarket newsstands. Local builders, real estate agents and lumberyards also have plan books available.

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How is the total living square footage determined?
Total living square footage is calculated from the outside face of the stud to the outside face of the stud. For brick, it is calculated from the outside face of the brick. Total living square footage includes only the heated area of the house and does not include the garage, storage areas or bonus rooms.
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Standard Contract Payment Schedule
20% Non Refundable deposit
30% at first preliminary design
30% at second preliminary design
20% Balance due upon completion (adjustments made for additional time or square footage at time of final bill)
(Blueprinting and HST are extra)

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