What a is a builder set?
A builder set is a complete set of blueprints. They are also called construction drawings or plans. Whatever you want to call them, the builder sets are documents that are ready to take to a builder.
How do I view the builder sets?
You must be a member to view the full builder sets with Zoomify. Zoomify requires a browser and Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or newer) for zoom-and-pan viewing.
How much do the builder sets cost?
Builder sets range from $1195 to $3195. The cost is dependent on the square footage of the house.
Do I need to be a member to purchase a builder set?
No, non-members can purchase plans but being a member allows you to view the plans before you make the purchase.
Where are the Hometta mansions?
We intentionally limit our plan size for a number of reasons. We feel that larger houses should not, generally be pre-designed. If you can afford a larger house, you can probably afford custom architecture. We believe the small house movement is a good thing, and we want to encourage it by offering less expensive pre-designed plans. Small houses equal less waste, more sustainability and more efficiency.
Which is why our house designs top out at 2,500 square feet. We have a few designs that exceed that limit a bit when you count optional rooms or additions, but those are the exception. All base versions of our houses are under that ceiling, which is roughly the average size of all new American houses built today.
How much will it cost to build a Hometta house?
It is very difficult to answer this question reliably, so we won't even attempt it. Though some companies do offer estimate and calculation tools, those tools only work if the houses are extremely basic and you make a lot of assumptions. Even then, you will only get a ballpark number.
In order to get a solid estimate you need to find answers to a lot of questions: What quality of finishes do you want? How much is the cost of labor where you live? How many modifications do you need? What is the cost of transporting and storing materials where you live? What are your site conditions? How much help do you need or want from other professionals?
We can’t provide all those answers for you, though our Construction Guide will help you find the answers yourself. Become a member and show your local builder the plans by providing him or her with a guest login (all memberships come with 5 guest logins). Your builder will have more knowledge about local building costs and can help you to get a more accurate budget estimate. With a membership you will get a lot of information you need to help you along.
Are all Hometta houses appropriate for all regions and climates?
No. Some of our houses really aren’t appropriate for all regions, without making major and costly modifications. Some can be built anywhere with minor modifications. If you are lucky, you can build your Hometta house as-is, because the original design had your region in mind. How to figure out if it can be done? Buy a membership and show your local builder the plans by providing him or her with a guest login. Meanwhile, read through our members-only Construction Guide. If you are still serious after doing a little legwork, a qualified and experienced builder should be able to help you develop a solid strategy for determining if your favorite Hometta house is appropriate for your climate.
Have these houses been built before?
Some, but not all. If they have, we usually provide photo slideshows so you can see them. For reasons of privacy, we will not give the addresses or locations of built houses.
Can I contact your participating design studios myself?
Our designer studios are all highly sought after, and are kept very busy with their own custom architecture and design projects, or have positions and careers at top schools or other institutions. So please do not contact them unless you know what you want, know what you can afford, and are a serious potential client.
We request that all questions regarding Hometta plans come through us first. If you are seriously interested in hiring one of our studios to design a custom house for you, we encourage you to send the studio an e-mail inquiry. They may or may not be interested in taking on your project. If you want to approach one of our studios about making major or minor modifications to a Hometta plan, we ask that you contact them through us. We are happy to make the introduction, after which you can engage them independently of us.
Be prepared for costs that are significantly higher than a single Hometta plan. A full-service custom house design from our design studios might cost anywhere from $15,000, at the very least, to as much as $150,000 or even more, depending on what you want designed and how you arrange the business relationship.
If you are simply kicking the idea around of building a Hometta house, or trying to decide whether or not to build a house at all, become a member and read through our Construction Guide. If you still have questions about our plans or your project, shoot us an e-mail before you contact our design studios.
How much do modifications cost for the builder sets?
Minor modifications can sometimes be made with the help of your builder in the field, and may not require a change to the Hometta plan. Structural modifications need to be made with the help of an engineer. Your best bet is to hire a local architect who is happy to help you coordinate all architectural and structural modifications. The cost will depend entirely on the level of modification required and how many local professionals are involved. While many plan companies are all too happy to charge for modifications, we believe your local architect, perhaps working in a partnership with the original design studio, is the best way to approach a Hometta project. The cost of modifying Hometta plans can easily meet or exceed the cost of the original plan, but they are sometimes necessary to make the project work for you.
It is important to understand that Hometta houses are not really designed to be modified in major ways. Minor modifications to accommodate structural changes, or to make the house perform better, are encouraged. But the purposeful design intent of the creative studio should basically be left alone. Major changes to these designs will probably wreck the overall design, which is probably what attracts you to the house in the first place. It would be like adding a 5th wheel to a car. If you would like a custom house that looks and performs like one of our designs, but is significantly larger, or smaller, or arranged differently, then you should contact the design studio. Please do so only if you would like to make a serious inquiry.
What type of changes do people request?
Common changes include a new foundation plan, and weatherproofing modifications required to adapt the house to a particular regional climate. You might want to add a basement, if possible, or take one out. You may find that you need a little more closet, or a little less garage, etc.
Hometta plans are not really designed to accommodate substantial changes that affect the house layout or appearance. For instance, if you want to add a whole bedroom to one of our houses, it probably won’t work without a complete redesign. You may want to end up hiring one of our design studios to design a custom version of their Hometta plan just for you. It will likely cost quite a bit more, but it will be tailored to you and your site, and you might find the investment well worth the money.
A local architect will be a good resource for modifying plans and providing you with construction drawings. Your builder can help you locate a licensed local architect who might be a good fit
Can you do completely custom plans?
Hometta can't, but if you are serious about making an investment in a fully custom house, and you are interested in hiring one of our studios to design you a custom house on a full-service basis, we encourage you to reach out to them. Please remember that a custom, full-service relationship with one of our studios may cost as much as 10-18% of the total construction costs. The amount of time it takes to develop a custom set of drawings for one client is considerable, and architects and designers must charge a reasonable amount for a process that can take many months and hundreds of hours of work.
We want to emphasize that Hometta provides substantial value in terms of design that is only possible because our plans can be sold repeatedly. That affordability can not be achieved with a completely custom design.
Does Hometta provide the house plan drawings in different digital formats? If so, what are they, how are they used, and which ones do I need to build my house?
We offer our plans in PDF form, which you or your builder can have printed locally for use on your project. When you make your plan purchase online we will ship you the digital files on a thumb drive. You always have the option to skip the shipping and receive the builder set digitally. You may print as many as you need, as long as they are used only for your project, for which you have only one license.
After purchase, you may also request background .dwg files for your structural engineer to use.
Our website is designed to help you and your builder review the full plans on-line, by purchasing a membership. But if you want to purchase a physical review set of plans in order to obtain a bid, or for permitting, you may purchase a set in our on-line store.
Do the builder sets have all of the information I need to get a building permit?
While the builder sets are developed enough that a builder should be able to get a building permit, you should assume that they do not. Our plans are intended to meet 2006 International Residential Code, but many local authorities may require more or less than that standard. You may have to make modifications to satisfy your local permit office (if you have one). You will have to consult with your local builder, a local structural engineer, and possibly a locally licensed architect before sending your plans to the permit office.
What if the foundation option I'm looking for is not available with the house plan I want to buy?
As with all other modifications, you may need to hire a local architect to design an alternate foundation that gracefully ties into the original house design. We are also happy to ask our studios on your behalf what they would charge to do this.
Are your plans different from other stock plan publishers' plans?
In our opinion, yes. The caliber of our design studios is very high. All of our designers have won design awards and/or have been published. This is reflected in their work, and results in a signature house that is considerably more valuable. We also feel that our plans have significantly more detail and information than other plans. Our plans also specify advanced technologies and custom features that make our houses unique. Our plans are not typical stock plans.
Our relationship with our design studios is also different, which allows for the ability to continually improve and reconfigure our plans based on a process of dialogue and information sharing. We do not simply purchase and resell their plans. We have exclusive agreements with designers that care passionately about design, process and residential construction.
Can I or my builder build more than one house from your house plans?
No. When you purchase a plan from us, you acquire the license to build one house, and one house only. Furthermore, you are required to sign an agreement to that effect before we unlock the plans for you. If we find that anyone is in violation of the license or our copyright, then we will have to aggressively pursue damages in court. We do not recommend trying to build one of our houses illegally and hoping no one notices. Unlike traditional houses, our designs are pretty distinctive, and not likely to go unnoticed.
We encourage you to partner with a local architect to make modifications to our plans, but regardless of the scope of changes made, the modified plans will be derivative works. All license rules are still in effect, and Hometta and the original designer must be credited. The derivative work cannot be rebuilt. If changes are made to a Hometta house, and your local architect would like to share design credit with us we are happy to negotiate that, pending design studio approval. But we do require that all design professionals ask Hometta’s permission before claiming any credit for a Hometta house, or for a derivative version thereof. We want to be fair and share the credit for a successful project, but until otherwise agreed to, we retain all publication and credit rights.
I want to build multiple Hometta houses. Can I get a deal?
Developers and builders should contact us directly about package deals. Those can be made with the permission of participating studios.
Do the builder sets include HVAC, plumbing and electrical drawings?
We provide information to help you locate mechanical systems, plumbing fixtures and electrical outlets and drops. But plans related to sizing and specifications of these systems are best left to your local builder and their sub-contractors. A local architect should also be able to help resolve mechanical issues.
Can you provide reversed plans?
Yes, we can do this for you, though it will require an additional cost after you have purchased a set. We will not sell you a “mirrored” set with backwards text, but we are happy to give you a quote to reverse the plan.
Can I get plans with an architect's stamp on them?
No. You will have to hire a local architect if your project requires the stamp of a licensed architect. Your local architect will be the "production architect" or "architect of record". He or she will review the plans, make necessary modifications, and if necessary and appropriate, stamp the plans, thereby assuming liability. The local architect can also help supervise the entire construction process. Some architects will be very interested in providing these services, while others will refuse if they are not the original designer. It all depends on their own business model and professional interests. A qualified and experienced builder should be able to help you find someone happy to help you.
What happens if I change my mind, or if I cannot get financing, or find a builder, and I have already purchased the plans?
Unfortunately, we will not be able to refund your money, nor is the license to build the house from the plans transferable (you cannot sell it). You can hold on to the plans and build the house later in life, but we cannot provide refunds. We encourage you strongly to invest in our subscription services and tools first, before buying plans, so that you can inform yourself, plan your project thoroughly, and put together the right team in advance. Before you even think about buying a plan from us, you should have a builder, financing, and all the other necessary professionals and resources lined up. Purchasing a membership will give you some of the tools to do that.
I do not live in the United States. Can I buy your plans?