Plan Options

What Options Should I Choose?

When you purchase a house plan from us, you have a variety of customizable options to tailor the plan to your needs.

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Because each plan is unique, it's important to check the plan detail page to see what's included with each plan.

*Not all elevation views are available for preview on the plan detail page.

Selecting A Package Format

Plan packages come in a variety of digital and physical formats, each with their own copyright limitations. Most packages come with a single-use license, but some are offered with an "unlimited" use option as well, so be sure to check the plan detail page to see what formats are available for purchase.

The most common plan packages are listed below. If you require a package or multi-use license that isn't shown, please contact us for availability and pricing.


By selecting this option, you will be emailed a full set of house plans in PDF format, along with a copyright release allowing you to print and forward the plans as needed for the completion of your build. PDF is our most popular package as it gives you the flexibility to print as many sets locally as needed for your project.

While the PDF license agreement is typically for building a single home, some options exist for builders in need of an unlimited construction license.

Printed Sets

Selecting this package provides house plans printed and shipped directly to you. While not all designers offer printed sets, the most common number of sets offered is 5 sets, although a limited number of designers offer 3 or 8 sets.

Some designers offer a PDF + Printed Sets option which gives you even more flexibility.

CAD Files

Purchasing the CAD Files allows a qualified professional the ability to make modifications to your plans using a compatible CAD program. This electronic format comes with a copyright release giving you the full rights to customize the plans. CAD files may be needed for engineering if required in your area. Some designers offer the CAD files plus a PDF.

Selecting a Foundation

Before choosing a foundation, determine the best option for the lot of land you plan to build on by discussing it with your builder. Depending on the conditions of your lot, certain foundations will work better than others.

The most common foundations are listed below. If the foundation you require is not listed on the plan detail page, you can submit a modification request.

Slab Foundation

Slab foundations allow for no space under the home and are the most common type. These low maintenance foundations are popular on flat lots.

Crawl Space Foundation

Crawl Space foundations are elevated a few feet off the ground and offer access to a small area under the home for maintenance and storage.

Basement Foundations

Basement foundations are the most expensive because they offer more space in the home by going 8 feet or more into the ground. Basements give you more square footage and the ability to use that space however you please.


When you purchase a house plan from us, you are offered a variety of available packages to choose from depending on your personal preference.

Right Reading Reverse and Mirror Reverse

Right-Reading Reverse flips the entire plan so that the left side of the home is on the right, and the right is on the left. All of the text and dimensions have been re-drawn to be right reading but with the reverse of the original layout.

Mirror Reverse also flips the entire plan to the reverse layout, but with backwards text and dimensions, as if the plan were viewed in a mirror. This option is less convenient to work with.

By clicking the REVERSE button on the house plan detail page, you will be able to view the mirrored reverse of the images and floor plan. The Right Reading Reverse would have the same reversed layout, but with the text and dimensions redrawn for convenience.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Right Reading Reverse is an option to purchase, clicking the reverse button is for visual purposes only.

2x4 and 2x6 Conversion

While 2x4 construction is a more common option, the northern locations of the United States tend to use 2x6 construction because this allows for more insulation for homes built in colder locations. Utilizing 2x6 construction costs more up front but also gives you a stronger structure to endure high winds, earthquakes, etc. and decreases heating and cooling costs by increasing insulation.

Some of our designers offer a 2x6 conversion, which updates the house plans to 2x6 exterior walls. Please check the additional options section to determine if that house plan offers a 2x6 conversion. If you don't see that option, you can submit a modification request to receive pricing for a 2x6 conversion.

Material List

These helpful lists include the building materials needed to construct the house plan.

Some designers offer their own material list for the base plan - this is referred to as a "Material List" under the additional options drop-down on the plan detail page. These material lists may be limited to the base plan only and may not include purchased options or modifications.

Where a designer doesn't offer a material list, America's Best House Plans offers a material list for the plan that includes purchased options. This is referred to as the "ABHP Material List" under the additional options drop-down on the plan detail page. While the ABHP Material List includes purchased options (with the exception of right reading reverse as it would be the same list), it will not include modifications.

For modifications to be included in a material list, you will need to purchase an ABHP Custom Material List. For this option, you must request it when submitting your modification request.

There are rare exceptions where neither a designer material list or ABHP Material list is available for purchase.

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