What is included in the CAD Plans?

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If you have never actually seen a set of plans before you may be in for a real surprise. If you look at the plan below this text. This is just one page, and no this is not all! They could appear like an ugly set of drawings to you.

But these kinds of drawings contain a vast amount of information for the contractors who actually build the house. All of which are necessary in order to actually build your dream home.

Trust me they are not just a bunch of lines, symbols, and notations. Once you get used to it, you will see all the information contained in a very small space.

All very easy to read and see, well once you know what you are looking at.  You will need to be able to communicate with your contractor, engineer, building department, etc.

All of these many professionals that you will work with. Note: None of our plans have any engineering or any structural details in them for a very important reason.

The reason is that it does not matter where you will build the house it will require an engineer to determine all the footings which are based on soil density, wind speeds, earthquake zone, and on and on.

Floor Plan A-1


Your single CAD plan contains every sheet or page of your house plans. Yes, that one single file has all the plans.

What people use to refer to as blueprints as seen above. Each one of the sheets is in its own little rectangle. It makes it really easy to move around your plans on a CAD system like AutoCAD, or IntelliCAD well you get the point.

Just by panning and zooming, you can see everything. You will see the following drawings, not every plan has all the same, due to size, location, etc.:

Cover Sheet: The cover sheet has an index of all the plan sheets. Scope of work area, Design criteria, building square footage, material legend, and abbreviations.

Floor Plan: Key notes, egress details, wall framing notes. Every room has light and vent calculations, room size and ceiling heights, windows sizes, door sizes, etc.

Floor Dimension Plan: This may contain other notes that are required and some more details. Plus all the dimensions of the house are in 2D.

Exterior Elevations: Exterior finishes, attic ventilation calculations, exterior elevations: front, rear, finish floor to roof dimensions, wall heights, etc.

Exterior Elevations: Exterior finishes, attic ventilation calculations, exterior elevations: left, right, finish floor to roof dimensions, wall heights, etc.

Section Plan: Insulation and construction section information.

Foundation plan: Your foundation may be a slab on grade. If so it will have an outline of the footprint with dimensions. But it may have a full or partial basement, crawlspace, or raised foundations, post and beam, etc. -and all of the basics necessary for constructing it, including dimensions.

Roof Framing Plan: Again your home could have stick framing or trusses. Depending on the plan it will have all the needed layout with it.

Electrical Plan: Electrical Legend, general notes, Title 24 lighting measures, electrical load calculations, every wall plug, light switch, smoke detector, etc.

Plumbing Plan: Your may or may not contain this.

Gas Plan: This has the calculations and a natural gas line plan.

Gas ISO Plan: This is a quasi-3D plan which is an isomeric drawing or gas layout of the gas lines.

Meet the Author

Since the early 80's Timothy has been designing houses you can learn more here About, and now that that Tim has retired he is selling some of his favorite designs for you to enjoy. If you want to send Tim a quick message, then just go to our contact page.