Policies and Procedures


1.  The Owner/Contractor shall provide all required information about the project to The Plan Shoppe including, but not limited to, property address, site maps, surveys, flood plain requirements, FEMA requirements, legal description, AIN number, tax number, parcel number, snow load zone, assessor’s maps, CC&R’s, soil conditions, topographic maps, plat maps, ground water conditions, fire department requirements, health department requirements, highway and street department requlations, proof of ownership, utility easements, underground structures or utility lines, water associations, well logs, perched water bodies, onsite hazardous waste or conditions, access limitations, stormwater management systems and reports, zoning regulations, sewage disposal systems, school districts, utility suppliers, Department of Lands regulations, Property Owner’s Associations, Army Corp of Engineers regulations, Tribal regulations, EPA regulations, or any other similar documents, jurisdictions, restrictions, or rules that may impact the project.

2.  The Owner/Contractor shall verify all dimensions, setbacks, and conditions on drawings and shall be responsible for all adjustments, variations, and corrections made to the drawings in the field.  Construction loads on the structure caused by interim storage of materials or use of materials shall not be allowed to exceed the design loadings.  The builder is to supply all necessary temporary supports/bracing for walls and floors prior to the completion of vertical and lateral load systems.  Do not scale from the drawings because the reproduction process often stretches the plans and distorts the measurements.

3.  Safe working conditions are to be maintained at all times.  Each subcontractor is to be responsible for cleaning up their work area and/or the job site following their work each day, unless other arrangements have been agreed to by the Owner/Builder.

4.  All subcontractors shall verify and be responsible for all dimensions and conditions on the job pertaining to their work and the Owner/Builder and local building department must be notified of any variations from the dimensions and conditions of these drawings prior to construction.  Verify rough openings, backing, bracing, fire blocking, delivery dates of materials and equipment, electrical outlets and switch locations, all substrates, the quality of materials, temperature and moisture conditions, and plumbing fixture locations.

5.  Drawings for cabinetry, or other fabricated items, are to be checked and approved by the Owner/Builder prior to ordering or submitting for fabrication.  The Owner/Builder is responsible for verification and coordination of all dimensions and details for each subcontractor.

6.  All workmanship shall be of the highest quality and in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications, directions, and recommendations.

7.  These plans use details marked “typical” wherever applicable.  Changes, omissions, or substitutions are not permitted without the written approval of the Owner/Builder after the plans have been accepted.  Refer to Performance Specifications for further requirements.

GUARANTEE:   The Plan Shoppe guarantees that all plans and drawings produced for a custom project will be sufficient to comply with the minimum required drawings necessary to obtain a building permit, except for any third party work.  If the building jurisdiction requires additional plans, specifications, or details; such work is included in the fee and will be provided at no additional cost to the customer.  If the customer, however, is required to make changes to the original drawings or design by the building jurisdiction, health department, fire department, or any other regulatory agency, then the work necessary to achieve compliance to such regulations will be extra and billed accordingly.  This guarantee does not include structural engineering, truss design, storm water management, energy analysis, or any similar third party work products that may comprise the permit submittals. This guarantee is strictly limited to the design and drafting work for which The Plan Shoppe is specifically responsible.  The deliverable for any revised plans or documents shall be one set of drawings to replace the initial deliverable copy.

DISCLAIMER:  All my plans have a disclaimer on the cover sheet which explains the limits of my liability.  The Plan Shoppe is a professional planning, design, and drafting service, not a licensed architectural firm.   The Plan Shoppe will endeavor, to the best of it’s ability, to produce an accurate set of working drawings in accordance with standard practices of the profession and requirements of the local building jurisdiction for the client’s specified project.  The Plan Shoppe assumes the information provided by the owner/builder for the design of the structure is correct.  Errors and/or omissions may occur during the design process or during revisions of preliminary drawings, and may be overlooked in the preparation of the working drawings.  It is the responsibility of the owner or builder to verify all information in the plans prior to final acceptance and construction. Furthermore, the local building jurisdiction may determine if certain structural details, site conditions, and complex foundation or roof designs, and/or similar construction work, may require the services of a licensed structural engineer, special inspectors, or an architect prior to issuing a building permit.

Ownership:  In most cases, original drawings are delivered to the client by the Plan Shoppe, and may be changed at the discretion of the purchaser. The drawings are a conveyance of the design service. However, most drawings, diagrams, details, and all ideas represented in a set of plans, or other related construction documents, are generally the work of the client and the planning consultant together. The information is compiled and produced to define a custom project specified by the client.  Ownership of the structural design as a whole, shall therefore jointly belong to both the client and the Plan Shoppe, at it’s discretion.

Dimensions:   Written dimensions on these plans shall have precedence over scaled dimensions, and it shall be the responsibility of the owner and/or the contractor to verify all dimensions, property line setbacks, easements, covenant restrictions, soil bearing capacity, structural member sizes, load bearing conditions, sewage disposal requirements, excavation, strengths and quality of materials, and general construction conditions on the job prior to beginning construction.  Any variations from the dimensions or conditions shown on the plans shall be reported to the owner and the local building inspection agency prior to construction.  The Plan Shoppe shall be held harmless from the client, the owner, the contractor, or any other subcontractor or agent thereof: and the building inspection agency and respective jurisdiction, of any liability in accordance with these stated terms, conditions and circumstances.  Responsibility for technical accuracy, changes, errors, omissions, layout, subsequent construction, and compliance to all applicable codes and ordinances shall be borne by the purchaser of the plans; presumed to be the owner.

PLAN ACCEPTANCE:    A detailed review of all work and invoicing is provided to the client upon request prior to final acceptance.  When the client takes possession of the plans and pays for the final work; it is understood that the drawings are acceptable and complete according to the owner’s specifications and the work order.  Any future changes or modifications to the completed drawings beyond that point are understood to be extra work and will be charged accordingly.

It is the responsibility of the client to verify accuracy, completeness, and the level of quality prior to accepting the work. The client, or the purchaser of my plans, either as the owner, the contractor, or the appointed representative of the client for whom the project will be built, must sign an acceptance of the work on the cover sheet of the plans.  This signature indicates to the building department, other jurisdictions, subcontractors, and suppliers that the client has read the disclaimer, notes, terms and conditions of use of the plans, including all the limitations, liability, and ownership information and accepts them as complete.  The signature formally acknowledges acceptance of the the plans as drawn, and furthermore an agreement to hold-harmless The Plan Shoppe, and any of its representatives, or employees, from any liability associated with the subsequent construction of the project from these plans. The client further acknowledges that he/she is the responsible party for this project and assumes full liability for it from the date of acceptance forward.  The following notice is given to the building jurisdiction accordingly:

NOTICE TO BUILDING REGULATION AUTHORITY:  If these plans are unsigned by the owner, or his/her authorized agent, they are to be considered preliminary drawings only, not for construction.  Also, if these plans require the wet stamp from a licensed structural engineer, and his signature, and it is not present on the plans, then these drawings are to be considered preliminary drawings, not for construction.  Site location or building permits should not be issued based upon these drawings, unless the proper signatures or stamp is present.

DESIGN CRITERIA:  All plans are intended to be in strict accordance with the most recent editions of the 2012 International Residential Code, the 2012 IECC, all companion International mechanical and plumbing codes, and all local and state, or provincial building and energy code statutes, ordinances, policies, and requirements.   For plans prepared for projects in north Idaho and eastern Washington, the following design criteria also applies:

 Seismic Zone-                                                               C,  Exposure B

Frost Depth-                                    Minimum 24″ Below Finish Grade

Wind Loads-                   90 mph, 3 second gusts, 75  mph sustained

Snow Load-                                      Class A & B Zones , Prescriptive

                                         Class C Zones, Structural Design Required

or as otherwise indicated by the ground snow study from University of Idaho for all projects in Idaho. For Class C Zone projects in Kootenai County, ID, all roof design and foundations must be designed by an Idaho licensed structural engineer.  Kootenai County Snow Load Map

CHANGES:   As with most businesses, time is money, and indecision costs extra for those who cannot make decisions quickly because they place a greater time demand on my services.   The sooner a customer can arrive at their design decisions, the less it will cost them. Some customers have difficulty with decision-making and become “moving targets”, that is, they change their minds as often as they are presented with new options.  Every meeting generates design changes, which create more work, which are billed at the appropriate hourly rate.  Making design changes is a normal procedure that is encouraged during the design process and is necessary to explore different options in order to arrive at the final design.  Every design change requires production of new sketches showing alternate sizes, roof pitches, sidings, window and door placements, wall locations, etc.; and is produced on an hourly rate.  These changes can take as long as is necessary.  However, changes that occur during the drafting phase create much more additional work and potential for errors because the changes have to be coordinated throughout the other drawings and text content and the requirement for additional copies.  Oversights can easily be made. Some drawings are done in ink, which makes physical changes to the drawings difficult and time consuming, and therefore changes during the drafting phase cost more. Since I provide a board-based drafting service, and frequent changes can increase the design costs significantly, I suggest people who have difficulty making decisions should seek a computer based design service that can make design changes faster and keep your change order costs to a minimum.  Change orders done under my service tend to be more expensive by comparison.

The Plan Shoppe quotes a service rate based on a given building area by the customer at the beginning of a project.  If the building area changes, then the drafting rate changes accordingly.  During the drafting phase, it is necessary to establish the outside perimeter of the building in the initial meeting, because as the work progresses, more technical drawings are produced, more information is layered on, and changes must be coordinated through all the various sheets to maintain agreement. All drawings are related to other drawings, text, details, dimensions, or specifications within the plan documents. A change in any one detail or dimension may affect several others, which creates work over and above what was originally quoted.  The later any changes occur in the drafting phase, the more it cost in time and labor.  Once the exterior dimensions are established, minor interior changes of wall locations, doors, windows, and similar design elements are made on an hourly basis, or as part of the quoted drafting fee.   As a rule, if the building is downsized from the original quoted project, there will be no reduction in the service fee and an hourly rate may be charged to redraw the changed drawings.  If the building is increased in size, then the rate will be increased according to the area-rate schedule above, plus an hourly rate for the redrafting.

MEETINGS:    The Plan Shoppe specializes in bringing the service to the customer, a special convenience that is not provided by most competitors. I do not have a rented brick and mortar office and can therefore keep my overhead costs down and pass the savings along to my customers in the form of reduced rates.  For clients located in my market area, I make house and office calls, providing that it is within a 25 mile radius of Coeur d’Alene, ID.  Meetings outside the area are billed for travel time and mileage.  Initial meetings are usually held at the property, the client’s home or business, or over a cup of coffee at a local restaurant for project review and service quotations or on Skype. Most subsequent local design meetings are usually held in the customer’s home or place of business or on Skype at scheduled times, so family members (or even employees) can participate in the planning process without having to engage babysitters, etc.  During the design phase, meetings are included in the hourly billing.  During the drafting phase, there are four hours of meeting time allotted  in the quoted fee.   Additional meeting time is billed at the rate of $30 per hour.

DELIVERABLES:  During the design process, sketches are delivered to the customer on 8 1/2″x11″ paper for ease of reproduction and transmission by fax or mail.  During the drafting phase, a set of regular working drawings includes all details and drawings necessary to obtain a building permit.  Structural, storm water management, or site engineering is not included in the service.  A typical set of my plans includes a site plan, a floor plan for each level with electrical schematic overlay, a foundation plan, four exterior elevations, floor framing plans, a roof framing plan, a typical wall section detail, a stair section detail, framing details, braced wall panel details, and general specifications.  Kitchen details, fireplace elevations, electrical details, plumbing details, landscape plans, room finishes, door and window schedules, site visits and mileage are not usually included in the fees to produce a standard set of working drawings, but are available upon request.  These extra services are billed at the regular hourly rate.  Original drawings are turned over to the customer, and as a rule, copies are not kept on file by the Plan Shoppe beyond one year.  Bond copies are made for check print reviews only, and are not included in the service price.  Printing costs are $2 per sheet for 18”x 24” paper and $4 per sheet for 24”x 36” paper. Plans can also be scanned and digitized as PDF files on discs at a cost of $4 per sheet. Extra review copies due to change orders are billed extra. The customer assumes responsibility for all subsequent project reproduction requirements.