For those of us outside of the construction industry, we may not be the most familiar with floor plans and what they might mean for our homes. Floor plans show the location of all the building components within a home, including walls and piping. Complete and accurate building plans can make the difference between a successful remodeling project and one that could possibly break the bank. It is important to know the floor plan of your home not only for remodeling but for general safety concerns as well. Here are some ways that you can locate the original floor plans of your home:
1. Contact your Local Permit Agency or Records Office
These kinds of places often keep copies or records of floor plans, even years after the home has been built. Contact them beforehand to find out what information you will need to provide in order to receive a copy of the blueprints.
2. Visit the Local Planning or Zoning Office
Going to a local planning or zoning office will not only get you a copy of the property’s plan but also will show you the entire property itself. But again, make sure to call ahead to see if you need any documentation to access these records.
3. Call Your Builder or Architect
Generally, the original builder or architect of the house will have a copy of the blueprints. Large contractors will keep copies of the blueprints which can be easily accessed. However, it can sometimes be hard to locate the builders, especially if your house is older. A good way to find out who might have a copy of the blueprints is by looking at the original mortgage paperwork.
4. Check with Your Real Estate Agent
The listing agents may have a copy of the blueprints. And even if they don’t, many will be happy to help you locate them.
5. Ask Your Neighbors
Many neighborhoods are built by the same contractor. One of your neighbors might know where the best place to find the blueprints is. Also, with similar houses, they might have many of the same features. So if all else fails you can make a copy of their blueprints.
6. Just Look Around!
Many times with older houses, it’s not uncommon for people to find old plans in basements or attics. You’ll hear stories of new owners finding 100 year old blueprints when moving in. It’s a long shot, but when you have an older home it might be one of the only ways to get the original plans. So go treasure hunting in your attic, you never know what you could find. If you are thinking about remodeling or buying a new home, it is crucial that you obtain the floor plans for the home in order to save yourself a maintenance headache down the line.