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What Are CAD Files & Engineering?

Building a home is a big project!  There is so much to do, and a lot of apprehensions about how things will turn out.  The Plan Collection understands.  That is why we feature the finest home plans and bring you the latest information about each and every design.  Our goal is to start your build off right so the process can go as smooth as possible.  This requires a good plan and a sound understanding of how the pieces all fit together.  The key to success is preparation.  We want to pass that key along.  To do so, we need you to order the right set of plans.


Many projects require modifications to the house plans.  What if I need the help of a professional draftsman or architect?  What do I order when I need to make several and/or big changes?  You, my friend, need a CAD file.  CAD means Computer Aided Drafting.  There are several programs out there that aid in drafting houses.  They are called CAD programs, and they create CAD files, which can be edited by any qualified individual who has the same program.  What kind of file do you need?  Well, that depends.  It’s a good idea to ask your draftsman or architect what kind of CAD program they use, and that will tell you what kind of file you need.  Then call us to make sure it’s available.


Why do you need it?  It’s a faster, more powerful way of drafting.  The speed saves you money, and the power of the program ensures accuracy and precision.  What if my builder can do it?  Be careful.  Many builders just want to get your business and will promise you the world.  They very well may be able to make a lot of changes, but without proper plans, the chance of expensive mistakes and time consuming reparations increases.  There are also legal issues at hand.  You cannot legally make any change to a design without permission from the designer.  The CAD file comes with the copyright release needed.  Our worst nightmare would be for an inappropriately expensive build, riddled with mistakes and reparations, to end in a lawsuit.


Another step you can take to ensure the integrity of your home, and the resale value, is to have the plans engineered for local conditions.  Unfortunately we cannot provide engineered plans as the process is site specific, meaning it’s done for the land that you will build on.  Soil conditions, weather, and natural disasters all contribute to the great need for engineering.  Most building committees require the stamp of a licensed structural engineer, who will review your building site and your plans to make necessary adjustments.  Often times, the CAD file and the engineering process go together.  California is a great example.  The earthquakes there require engineered foundations which cannot be designed by anyone out of state and unfamiliar with the requirements.  It actually saves money to purchase the CAD file in this case because it saves the engineer time in drawing the foundation.


Preparation is the key to success.  Better safe than sorry.  Time is money.  These household sayings really illustrate the importance of purchasing the right set of plans and having them engineered.  A small initial investment in a more expensive, engineered set of plans could help you save time, save money, avoid mistakes, and provide a safe dwelling for you and your family.

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