1. How do I get started selecting
or designing a new home?
A great place to get started is to download a Free copy of the UDA Home Planning Guide which can assist you in the selection and design of your new home and includes 22 pages of innovative ideas and useful worksheets. It is equally useful for selecting from a library of existing plans as well as guiding you in the design of a custom home. You will be asked to define priorities, establish needs and explore adjacencies, all of which combine to form a foundation of guidelines to plan your next home.
2. What if I want to make changes to the design? What are the Costs and Options?
UDA offers 5 basic options for clients wishing to make Plan Revisions:
1. Request a Preliminary Design (Typically $45 - $75) showing the changes you are interested in, and have UDA fax or post the revisions on a private web page. Approve the quote, and we will work with you to finalize the design, (plans will be shipped within one week of final design approval). Costs are calculated as a Reproducible Set plus Plan Modifications. Consult UDA Custom Plan Modifications for further information and detailed procedures.
2. Purchase 2 copies of a Preview Set of Ideal Home Plans. Revise and return the marked-up plan to UDA and receive a quote to revise the plans. Consult UDA Custom Plan Modifications for further information.
3. Choose UDA to revise an Ideal Home Plan by purchasing a reproducible vellum set, select from the various changes available through UDA Custom Plan Modifications, approve the quote, and we will complete and ship the revised plans within one week.
4. If you feel the revisions you are proposing would be appealing to other buyers as well, consider applying for a UDA Plan Partnership, which is in effect Custom Plan Services for about a third the cost.
5. Purchase a set of Reproducible Erasable Vellums from UDA and Do-It-Yourself or have the plan revisions done locally by a qualified professional.
3. How long does it take for UDA to complete design revisions?
United Design offers an exclusive One Week Turnaround Guaranteed!TM Program for plan revisions for all the Ideal Home Plans we sell. Please contact a UDA Design Associate at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free 1-800-700-UDA1 (8321) M-F between the hours of 9 AM and 7PM ET to confirm exact schedule availability.
4. What does UDA include in square-footage figures?
Interior square-footage figures represent heated floor area only and do not include two story or vaulted spaces, garages, decks or any other unfinished areas. These measurements are from the outside face of studs.
5. How do local building codes affect my home?
Building Codes are customized to meet the special needs and requirements of local and regional areas. Examples include high exposure coastal areas, earthquake zones and soil bearing conditions, as well as handcapped access and other important safety issues. All United Design Plans are designed to conform with the Standard Building Code as administered by the SBCCI. It is the responsibility of the contractor and owner to insure compliance with all applicable national, state and local building codes.
6. What primary factors effect the cost of a home?
Obviously things such as size, complexity of design, quality of finish and types of material all greatly effect the cost of a home. However, two things that might be less apparent include minimizing the size of the footprint (total area of ground covered by foundation or roof) and the height of the foundation as effected by the flat or hilly nature of a site. Prices will also vary based on the usual pulls of demand and location.
7. Why should I use a professional design service or architect?
More than any other item, the quality of design you employ will have the greatest effect upon the initial cost, future demand, resale value, and perhaps most importantly the actual functional and aesthetic quality of the space you and your family will live in.
8. How long does the process of building a home take?
Actual construction of a home typically varies from 3 to 12 months depending on size and complexity. However, the total process can also add additional months for arranging financing, choosing a lot, selecting or designing a plan, bidding the home out to two or three contractors and awarding the contract.
9. What are Building or Restrictive Covenants?
Building or Restrictive Covenants are guidelines that are established in neighborhoods or subdivisions to protect or enhance existing and future property values. Typical restrictions include: minimum size (square-footage), height, exterior finishes, setbacks, fencing, usage restrictions (no chickens, pigs, livestock, etc.) and yard maintenance.
10. How do I site my home to best take advantage of the lot?
A variety of factors affect the success of siting a home. These include: Topography or grade changes and elevation, Desirable Views, Orientation towards the Sun, and Preserving existing vegetation (Canopy Trees, etc.) If you are building in an established neighborhood you will also want to consider roughly following the front setbacks of adjacent structures so as to create a sense of community within your localized area. One of the items that greatly affects the appearance and costs of a new home is the natural topography of the lot. For typical one or two story homes it is usually best to design the home so that the garage is on the high side of the lot. This minimizes the intrusion of stairs into the garage and minimizes foundation costs. The exception to this rule is when the home is designed for a drive-under garage or split-level plan, in which it is important to locate the garage on the downhill side of the lot.
11. Are these Ideal Home PlansTMCopyrighted?
All United Design Associates Inc. plans are protected by United States Copyright Law and International Treaty Provisions. You may not modify, duplicate in any form, rent, lease, loan, distribute or create derivative works based on information provided in whole or in part (except when purchasing a Reproducible Set of Plans). Any reproductions or modifications by means now known or hereafter invented, without the express written consent of United Design Associates, Inc. is strictly prohibited and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Copyright Infringement is investigated by the FBI, and carries civil penalties of up to $200,000 per person involved, per offense. Complete UDA Copyright Information.
12. Can I purchase Additional Construction Plan Licenses?
United Design Associates, Inc. grants the purchaser of these plans the license to build only one structure from the documents provided. Additional Construction Plan Licenses can be purchased which grant the right to build the structure more than one time. Consult the Ordering Plans Page for specific pricing information.
13. Explain Sepia Set (Reproducible Erasable Vellums)?
Sepia Sets are reproducible, erasable sets of plans on vellum which can be modifyied by you or a local qualified professional. United Design Associates, Inc. grants the purchaser of a sepia set the right to modify plans, reproduce a maximum 10 sets of blueprints and the license to build one structure. Consult the Ordering Plans Page for specific pricing information on Additional Construction Plan Licenses.