A house plan serves several functions and is made to be viewed by different parties. First, it's used by the drafter to ensure that the owners are getting the design that they want. State plan checkers will also see the plans and approve them or send them back for corrections if there are problems. If plans include a second story or less typical elements, they may have to be signed off by a licensed Engineer to be guaranteed of their safety. Once approved, the owners will use their plans to get estimates and bids from potential builders. They may also use the plans to show to interior decorators to plan wall paper, paint and other finishings. Lastly, the builder will consult the plans constantly as the construction progresses.
A typical house plan will include the following:
The first sheet of a set of plans will show the neighborhood street map of where the plot sits and another map of the plot to show where the house sits on the site. This page will also include a table of contents and building code notations.
This second sheet shows the walls, doors, windows, and plumbing elements of the house. This is the most important page of the plan set as it shows the builders the exact dimensions of the bulk of the project construction.
Concrete foundations and floor systems are detailed on this page.
The elevations page is a front, back, and side view of the building. This can be useful to the builder in a way of double checking elements that can be hard to visualize from looking at the over head, floor plan sheet.
If a building has a wood floor system, this is the page that give the builder directions on how this will be laid out.
This is another important sheet in the plan set. This page lays out the framing of the roof.
Similar to the Elevations sheet, this page gives a cross section view through the middle of the building from the foundation to the roof.
Fixed lighting units, electrical outlets, wall switches, smoke detectors, and so on, are mapped out on this page.
Up close views of more complicated structures like footings, framing details, and other structures that the builder might need better detail on, are shown here in scale. General misc. information may be displayed here as well.
A Title 24 report is a comprehensive calculation of the energy required to heat and cool a home based on many factors such as window types, wall insulation, door sizes, outside shading, etc.