Frequently Asked Questions

Planning your dream build can be tricky, but the Alametals team of experienced professionals is here to guide you every step of the way.

construction crew

How can I get a plan modified?

Questions about modifying plans are very common — luckily you do have options for making changes to plans. We will call you once we receive your request to determine what changes you’d like to make to your plan.

What is a stem wall slab foundation?

A stem wall slab is a term to describe a foundation type where there is a footing, a short foundation wall is formed and poured on top of that and then the garage slab is poured within the perimeter of the foundation walls.

Do these plans include everything I need to obtain a building permit?

These plans include almost everything you need to obtain a building permit. Your general contractor will be able to assist you with the additional material that needs to be gathered and submitted for permits. If you are serving as your own general contractor we suggest you contact the Department of Public Works in the city or county in which you wish to build. They will be able to provide you with a list of what they require in addition to the architectural drawings (blueprints).

Examples of other items necessary for a permit application would be a site plan, septic system design (unless on city sewer), pre-engineered roof truss diagrams, mechanical layout for heating and cooling system and installation instructions from manufacturer for a pre-fabricated fireplace if applicable. There may be additional items necessary. Again, consult with your Department of Public Works.

Are the plans sealed by an architect or engineer?

At the time blueprints are drawn, each designer puts great care into ensuring the construction drawings conform to national building codes. However, this does not mean they will meet all local building codes. Each city, county, municipality, etc. has its own set of building codes consisting of zoning requirements and other regulations that are best suited for that particular area. Be sure to check with your local building official to determine what is required for the area where you plan to build.

It may be necessary to work with your builder, a local residential designer or another design professional to modify the blueprints for code compliance in your specific area. Some areas of North America have very strict engineering codes such as the Northern areas with snow load requirements, hurricane-prone areas of the Golf Coast and parts of California that are in a high-risk zone for earthquakes. If you are building in these areas, it will be advantageous to hire a local engineer to review your plans and provide any additional drawings or calculations required by your building department.

Along with the blueprints, your local building official may require a site plan, septic system design (if your property is not served by a county sewer system) and energy codes. If you are not sure if you will need to hire an engineer or supply the other items along with your construction drawings, contact your local building department. They can provide a list of all the required items needed to obtain a building permit.