Frequently Asked Questions on building your home

If there is a question you have that is not addressed below, please contact Nelson Design Group so that we can help answer that question.

Where can I go to see a particular house built?
Our homeplans are sold throughout the United States and we usually do not know exactly where a particular house is built. However, we have full color photography available on many of our plans. Call us for details.

How is the square footage calculated?
Square footage calculations are made from outside the exterior frame wall and do not include decks, porches, garages, basements, attics, fireplaces, etc. We include two story and vaulted areas only once in the calculations of the first floor. Stairs are counted once. Balconies and open walkways in two story and vaulted areas are included in square footage of the second floor. Brick is not counted in our square footage calculations.

What do the window and door sizes represent?
Our homeplans are usually designed using a double hung divided light window. Each set of construction drawings uses a generic window sizing system that does not apply to any particular brand of windows. For example, a common size seen on our plans is 2860. This is a window that is 32" wide and 72" tall (2'-8" x 6'-0"). This is also the standard system used to identify the size of doors. A door labeled 2868 is a standard 6' 8" tall door that is 2' 8" wide.

What are the ceiling heights of your plans?
Depending on the square footage of the house, the first floor is either 8'-0",9'-0" or 10'-0". The second floor ceiling heights are 8'-0" except for some of the very large homes that have 9'-0" ceilings. These ceiling heights are for the typical rooms that do not have a vaulted or tray ceiling. Most of the rooms with a volume ceiling are indicated on the promotional plans.

What size are your exterior walls?
Typically, all first and second floor exterior walls are 2 x 4 wood stud walls. Exterior walls in two story rooms are 2 x 6 wood studs. Also, all exterior walls on the basement foundation plans are shown as 2 x 6 wood studs minimum. All stud sizes are dictated by the building codes to meet the structural load requirements or the insulation requirements in colder climates.

What type of foundation comes with my plan?
Our Customer Service Representatives can tell if the plan you are interested in is available with a particular foundation.

How can I find plans that are similar to the one I like?
Using your design parameters we can perform a plan search in our database and provide you with a list of similar plans. You may preview our collections of homes with complementary designs in our Master Planned Community Development and Home Plan sections. For further assistance please call 1-800-590-2423 or e-mail our design department.

How hard is it to switch from a front car garage to a side car or vice versa?
Usually this is not hard to do. The most important consideration is the structure and the beam that spans across the garage. Depending on the current design of the garage doors and windows, the structure may need to be changed when the door is relocated. Contact our technical support department by phone or e-mail to discuss this type of change with one of our representatives.

If a house is shown in siding or stucco, can I build it with brick instead or vice versa?
If brick is added to a house a brick ledge must be added to the foundation to support the brick and wider overhangs may be required on the roof. If brick is deleted, the ledges on the foundation plan will not be required. Most changes to the exterior finish can be made easily without causing problems. Other changes should only be made after consulting with an NDG Designer. Call 1-800-590-2423.