9 Ways to Find the House Floor Plans of a House
Finding house floor plans or blueprints of a house could be a challenging process for most people.
This is especially true for people who aren’t even in the architecture or construction industry.
It is possible that you don’t even know where to begin.
Well, here is how you can find floor plans of an existing house.
1. Contact your Municipal Offices, Local Permit Agency, Records Office or Homeowners Association
Contacting your local permit agency , municipality or records office is the first thing you can do to locate the original floor plan of your house.
Builders usually require permission from these agencies before going ahead to build a house.
Usually, they would first submit a copy of the building’s blueprint. The municipality or permitting agency will store the house floor plans and other vital records for future reference.
Therefore, you are very likely to find the floor plan of your home with them, even if the house was built many years ago.
Here you can find house floor plans by address or by stand number.
Call your municipality or the agency before you go there and ask about what you will need to present in order to receive a copy of your floor plans.
Once you provide the required documents and information, you’ll get a copy of your blueprint, and elevation levels.
2. Visit the Local Planning or Zoning Office
Another option is to visit your local planning or zoning office.
Apart from getting a copy of your property’s plan, you will also get to see your entire property, including the footprint of the building.
However, you also need to contact the office ahead to ask whether you’ll be needing any documentation to access these records.
If it happens that you are not the owner of the house involved, you’ll probably be required to produce a signed affidavit from the real owner of the property.
Also, if it’s a house you’re looking to buy, you can contact your real estate agent first for guidance.
3. Call the Original Builder, Developer or Architect
Usually, there’s a significant probability that the original architect of your house has a copy of the house floor plan.
In most cases, large contractors and developers will store copies of the blueprints of the projects they undertake.
Therefore getting the blueprint from them may not be too hard.
The only downside, however, is that sometimes locating the architects or builders that were in charge of your building can be hard.
This is especially so if your house has lasted for decades. Nevertheless, contacting your architect if he or she is still in touch is a good option.
Also, you can take a look at your mortgage paperwork to find out other people that are likely to have a copy of the floor plan.
4. Check with Your Real Estate Agent
It may be the case that your architect can’t be located or even when you do locate him; it turns out he doesn’t have the blueprint.
If this is so, you may want to check with your real estate agent. He may have copies of the blueprint, especially if your building is new construction.
Even if he doesn’t have them, there’s a high chance that he can track down the designs for you and is willing to help you out.
5. Ask Your Neighbors
You may also want to consider asking your neighbors. This is because a good number of neighborhoods have the same contractor overseeing each house and buildings in them.
Therefore, if your area is one of such, one of your neighbors may have an idea about the best place to find your home’s floor plan.
Apart from this, there is also a tendency that your neighbor’s house looks very similar to your own. As such, you can easily copy their blueprint if all other options fail.
6. Browse through historical plan books and newspapers
Browsing through historical plan books is especially useful if your house was constructed in the early 20th century or thereabout.
Most of the homes built at that time began from kits or floor plans that were purchased from sears or stock plan books.
Also, during the late 20th century, a lot of the floor plans and home designs of that period were advertised in home magazines and newspapers.
Because of this, you will find many of these house plans on the internet or in library archives. From the ’70s through to the mid-’90s, this type of advertising was quite popular.
7. Hire an Expert
It is in such situations as this that the help of an expert or professional is needed.
In this case, an architect or structural engineer will be the best person to consult.
They can easily make use of their professional knowledge, measuring and other information to reproduce the house plans of your home.
However, hiring an expert in the housing industry will probably cost you extra money. So you have to be ready for that.
8. Check Fire insurance Maps
For the sake of ease, you should focus on the fire insurance maps of the community that you’re in.
Typically, you’ll find them somewhere around your town hall or local city. A majority of these maps can date as far back as the 1800s.
They give adequate information about the materials used for the construction of buildings and even provide a three-dimensional image of the neighborhood in which the building is situated.
So, using this information, one can quickly determine the frame of the structure as well as the original locations of old windows and doors.
9. Just Look Around!
When all else fails, this is your last resort. Especially with very old houses, many house owners usually find old house plans of their house somewhere in the attic or basement.
See if you can’t find the house floor plans from your house attic.
So if yours is a very old home, it’s always a great idea to scour your basement and attic for your original floor plan.
The blueprint may be lying just anywhere you house, so, you could look everywhere. If you have the time, you can dedicate a day to doing this.
All the stress you’ll go through will be worth it in the end when you finally find the house plans.
Now, you know how important a building’s blueprint is to the house. As such, it is crucial that you lay hold on it before proceeding to get any remodeling or changes done.
You will be saving yourself lots of harm and headaches in the future by doing this.
Remodelling Without Floor Plans?
To really understand how important it is to have copies of your house floor plans, try to undertake a renovation or building alteration project without them.
“Floor plans are like a road map to your house.”
For you to establish how the various parts of a building fits together you need to first get the house floor plans of that building.
Various elements of a building are shown in the floor plans. These will include existing walls, floor slabs, doors and window sizes, wiring, piping and other such systems.
It is therefore for these reasons that more and more home buyers nowadays insist on being given copies of the existing house floor plans as part of a property deal.
Like you probably already know, no remodeling project can be successful without first ascertaining the exact floor plans of the building involved.
Besides this, a knowledge of the blueprint of the house helps to ensure safety while remodeling or renovating.
However, to have accurate and complete floor plans of a building, there are various things that you can do. Thankfully, all these steps have been listed and explained to enable you to find the floor plans for your house.
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Blueprints for your House
Most plans that were build in the 1950’s and onwards were were usually drawn and files on blueprints.
If your existing house is more than 30 years old, chances are that you will be looking for records that will contain those blueprints.
Floor Plan Lookup by Address
Most municipalities file submitted building plans using either a street address or Lot number.
So in order to find house plans for your house you must know both the address or Lot number.
Knowing the address and the Lot number will help you find records much easier during your search.
Finding Floor Plans of a House Online
Finding floor plans online maybe a difficult task but not impossible.
Nowadays a lot of information is shared using online platforms. Property developers also use online marketing to sell new developments.
Even if you were just searching for names of previous owners of the house, making use of the internet will make sense.
It is good to remember that in the process of building a house, floor plans are used extensively.
From sharing ideas between the architect and his clients right up to lodging building applications with the municipality. All the renovation carried out on a house requires floor plans to be submitted for approval.
Nowadays, most cities accepts the submission of building plans online.
Blueprints for existing older homes used to be kept for record purposes by every institution involved in this process.
It is that paper trail that will now help you find floor plans for your existing house.