Frequently Asked QuestionsGo to: Plan Support Information
Go to: Important Structural Information
Go to: Before You Meet With A Designer
Go to: City of Portland Base Zone Standards
What is included with your plans?
Each set will include between six and ten pages including the following:
- Exterior Elevations - all at 1/4" scale and - usually two sheets.
- Floor Plans - fully detailed with structural elements sized.
- Cabinet Elevations - often included on the floor plans.
- Electrical Fixture Layout - usually included on the floor plans.
- Foundation Plan - crawlspace is standard but basements & slabs are available.
- Wall Section - usually included on the foundation plans.
- Building Sections - usually at least three or four but most different conditions are illustrated.
- Roof Plan - 1/4" scale with structural sizes and often including both tile & comp/shake versions.
- General Notes & Details - includes structural and insulation specifications and standard details.
With which codes do your plans comply?
These plans, and associated documents have been prepared to comply with the latest adopted version of the International Residential Code (I.R.C.) or, if you're building in those areas, Oregon / Washington Residential Specialty Code (O.R.S.C. / W.R.S.C.).
IN addition to mandatory codes, we can also supply drawings which meet voluntary energy efficient, or green building codes. Our Efficient Living plan package contains notes, details and all the information you need to build your home to meet LEED for Homes, National Green Building Program, or Energy Star certification requirements.TOP
This is a great design, and I want to build it again... what am I required to do?
It is important that you review the license document, which seals your plan set when it is delivered. It describes the permissions granted you, the user of the design depicted on these plans. It basically states that you have the right to build this design once, unless you have purchased a "multi-use" license. We also offer a discount for repeat purchases of the exact same plan. Contact our offices if you require further explanation, or for permission to copy or alter the design.TOP
I've noticed many items, such as window brands, are left 'generic' on the plans, why is this?
These plans are not intended to be the only documents of construction. Items, such as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing layout, fixtures, and finish products, are matters of local construction practices or personal taste. Their detailed specifications are a typical function of the general contractor, and a usual part of the construction contract documents. TOP
I need help understanding your plans, or I've noticed an error, what should I do?
Contact our plan support department. It exists to provide plan clarification, and to control and improve product quality. Our goal is to provide clear and accurate plans. Please contact us immediately, should you encounter any error. It is important that you let us know of any errors or omissions BEFORE you begin construction.TOP
How do Mascord designs address high wind and seismic design criteria?
All of our stock plans have engineering to meet seismic zone 3, 80 mph wind, exposure "B" and this is available for an extra fee. The drawings detailing this, usually referred to as "L" sheets, and the supporting calculations, stamped by a licensed engineer are available for Oregon or Washington only — see the price options for each plan.TOP
Will the information on the "L" sheet meet all requirements, everywhere in the United States?
No, this would be virtually impossible as wind and seismic requirements vary, dramatically, throughout the country. The off-the-shelf engineering that we have available shows a way of reinforcing the structure, which is acceptable in portions of Oregon and Washington.TOP
How about beam calculations, do you provide these?
Yes, vertical gravity load calculations are either included with your plans, or available for a nominal shipping/handling fee. These calculations do not carry a stamp from an engineer. Again, if an engineer's stamp is required, you will have to make the appropriate arrangements, and allow for the added time and expense involved.TOP
What design load values are used in the gravity calculations you provide?
The structure has been evaluated with Roof Live Load of 25psf, and Soil Bearing Pressure of 1,500psf. Otherwise, design loads follow the U.B.C. and C.A.B.O. codes. Calculations using different design values require additional time and costs. It is best to enlist the services of a local professional for such "location-specific" structural redesign.TOP
What species of lumber are specified on your plans?
Sawn lumber species are typically Douglas fir, or Hem-fir. Substitution of material (species or grade) should not be undertaken without the review of a qualified professional, as required by your local building codes and ordinances. Many lumber yards have staff who are versed in substitution of material, and can work from the load information contained in our calculations, to determine the proper replacements.TOP
I want to frame the house differently than shown on your plans, is this O.K.?
Changes, such as conversion between framed, or trussed roof, are likely to drastically affect the structural design of the house, and should not be undertaken unless all ramifications are clearly considered. If you deviate from the plans, our staff will not be able to support your field changes.TOP
What roofing materials are typical on your plans?
Our plans will depict Composition/Shake or Tile roofing. In some cases (larger homes) both types are available. The major difference is simply the dead load of the heavier roofing materials, in the case of tile. You may, for instance, use a different roof material, so long as it's dead load is no more than specified on our plans. Follow manufacturer's installation recommendations for the material you select.TOP
I have some changes to make, how should I proceed?
To satisfy the requirements of most building departments, we recommend that you have the plans revised to properly account for your alterations. Our staff can assist you with this, or you can enlist the services of a design professional in your area. In either case, don't wait till the last minute! Plan ahead and allow adequate time for review of structural design changes.TOP
Thank you for your interest in having Alan Mascord Design Associates, Inc. modify one of our plans or design a custom home. To make your designer meeting more productive we ask that you gather up the following information and bring it along with you (or send us before a phone meeting):
Building Site Information
We need this information about your building site. AMDA Site Plan Guidelines
- Boundary survey with property lines dimensioned including bearing information (eg. 101.64' N89°55'17"E).
- If there are any curves in the property line be sure to include the curve data table.
- Make sure that any easements are shown and identified.
- Unless the lot is dead flat, include the topographical survey showing the lot slope.
- Identify any views from the property.
- Provide the legal description.
- If your site is steep, a soils report is often required - bring a copy if you have one.
- Zoning designation (eg. R-10) and building setbacks.
- Subdivision specific CC&R restrictions - bring a copy if you have one.
- If any height restrictions apply, what is it and how is it measured?
- If an architectural review board applies, provide any information available.
- Lateral engineering requirements; design wind speed, exposure, seismic zone when applicable.
When Modifying a Plan
Find a Base House Plan & identify your changes.
- Before you meet with a designer, select the plan (or plans) that comes closest to meeting your needs. Use our search engine to help you find that plan. (Click on Search Plans on the Site Menu to go to the search engine). The following guidelines will help you find that plan:
- As a general rule, it's easier to add square footage than to reduce it.
- Make sure stairs are close to where you want them - it is often expensive to relocate them.
- Do not try to combine a floor plan from one design with one from a totally different plan.
- Focus primarily on the floor plans since the facade or exterior appearance can often be changed.
Once you have chosen the base plan, you need to illustrate the changes that are required. This can be done two ways - your choice:
- To graphically identify the areas you want revised and to see how it may impact the plan, print the PDF page available for your plan and mark it up with your changes.
- detailed list of your changes can also be an effective way of conveying your intentions.
In either method, simply provide us with your general requirements and the areas to address and let our creative team go to work for you! View more details about plan modificationTOP
When Designing A Custom Plan
If unable to find a suitable Base House Plan and you are interested in having us design a custom home, the following list will help you prepare for your meeting:
- Identify the general parameters such as area target size and amenities required.
- List each room and include specifics desired such as size, orientation or other features.
- Identify architectural style desired. Any photographs or clippings from magazines are helpful.
Scheduling the Meeting
After you have collected the information listed above, contact our offices using the links or phone numbers below to schedule an appointment. Depending on your location and needs, the meeting may be in our office, or via phone, fax or email.
Of course, feel free to contact is if you have any questions on the information contained on this page.
Being prepared for your initial meeting will help to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Thanks for letting the creative team at Alan Mascord Design Associates, Inc. to help you create your dream home.TOP
I have more questions. Who do I talk to?
For technical/structural support for all our plans:
Need to modify a plan? Contact:
Need to create a new plan? Contact:
503-225-9161 x238 or x 224
For sales and infromation:
We have many plans which meet the City of Portland Base Zone Standards. Please note also, that additional plans can be slightly modified to meet the PDX Base Zone Standards quite quickly. If you have any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org 503-225-9161 x230.