6 Reasons That Dusty Planset In Your Attic Could Be Worth $2000+

If you are like most people, a set of house plans is not something you care about.  House plans are filled with abbreviations and references that you don’t understand and that are difficult to interpret.

Are your plans, torn, dusty and smudged?

Space is usually limited and precious in a home and due to their size, plan sets take up valuable space.  Plan sets are most often in a 24″ x 36″ size and it is hard to find a place to store them that isn’t awkward.

As a result, plans are rarely stored in a way that protects them and are often stored in attics, garages, at the back of a closet or behind the water heater.   Over time the plan sets become discolored, dusty, smudged, and have torn corners and edges.

When it is time for spring cleaning, it is oh so tempting to just chuck them in the recycling pile with the owner’s manual for the lawnmower that you no longer have. Don’t do it! Here’s why:

1. You need them for your upcoming remodel!

Many kitchen or whole home remodels and virtually all home additions require as-built plans of the existing home together with the proposed plans for the home.

2. They are expensive

The cost for recreating the as built plans can be between $.50 and $1.50 per square foot of building area.

3. You might have to literally tear apart your house to get information that is marked on the plans.

The plans likely contain information that cannot be determined without invasive and sometimes costly inspections.

4. Your remodel could be delayed several weeks

The time it takes to schedule the home and site measure, conduct inspections, and then have the plans drafted can add several weeks to your project.

5. Your city probably doesn’t have a copy

Each city, county or municipality has its own approach to archiving permit information and construction documents i.e., plans, engineering, permits, etc.  Often they have disposed of all plan sets submitted prior to a certain date, in which case you are out of luck.

6. If you are lucky and the city does have them, it could be weeks before you can take a peek.

If the Jurisdiction does have plans for your home, there may be a process for you to follow, which can take weeks.   Even if you can see them, you won’t be allowed to copy them without written approval of the copyright holder.

Here is a simple solution.

Take the plans to a copy shop that can scan large format documents and create a digital copy and a backup copy.

Then store the digital version in a safe place, perhaps with important online documents such as a will or the title to your car.

When you do need the plans, you will have them and your contractor or design build firm will think you are very cool.  Including us!  May we suggest you start by browsing our gorgeous kitchens?


Kat Mullen

Kat and her husband, Scott Westby, own and run MSK Design Build, an award-winning design-build firm located in the San Francisco East Bay. With over 10 years of experience in design-build construction for high-end remodels, Kat enjoys sharing her knowledge, experience and expertise. Kat's favorite part of the design build process is hearing her client's vision for their home and helping to make their dream into reality.