House plans give instructions for building houses. They generally include detailed blueprints with floor plans and may give other planning or building information, such as materials, cabinet layout, fireplace instructions. Sometimes the plans are just starting points to work with an architect or designer for designing your customized home; sometimes a builder will put up an entire neighborhood using just 3 or 4 designs and variations like flipping them for a mirror image or different exterior colors or materials.
There are many different accreditations and certifications for architects or designers reflecting the different training and specialties. In general, the requirements for someone to call him or herself an architect are more stringent and usually require graduating from an accredited program, passing exams and/or registering with professional organizations which screen credentials. Some are listed below in the references.
- Organizations, accreditations, certifications, etc.
- CACB Canadian Architectural Certification Board
- AACA Architects Accreditation Council of Australia
- NAAB - "The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture in the United States."
- NCARB - National Council of Architectural Registration Board "NCARB members are the architectural registration boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)."
- The American Institute of Architects (AIA), includes a "find an architect" and questions to ask your architect sections
- Web sites with house plans (commercial) not added in any specific order. Some sites are collections of plans; others are design or architectural firms. Several of the sites also have or include links to other useful information -- about building, builders they recommend, advice on selecting a home plan and more.
- The House Designers
- Donald A. Gardner, Inc.
- Dream Home Source
- Ahmann Design, Inc.
- Studer Residential Designs, Inc.
- Residential Design Services with a glossary of home building terms
- Vaughan's Home Design LLC
- Edsel Breland, F.A.I.B.D. Breland & Farmer Home Designs™
- b4ubuild.com/ - house plans and also has information about materials, specific projects (painting, plumbing, decks, gardening) that may be useful after the home is built
- firstname.lastname@example.org's house plans - this site also has information on a range of other things, from cooking to free educational programs to feng shui