Frequently Asked Questions

Our Frequently Asked Questions page in broken down into 7 sections. While the topic of building a home can generate a lot of questions, we have tried to gather the most asked questions and organize them here.

Each section below has the most asked question in that category. If you do not see the question you need the answer to, please phone or email us your question. If enough people have the same question, we will expand this section. And remember no question is too small, we deal with home plans all day so what might be obvious to us could be a total mystery to someone building a home for the first time.

Plan Modification

I have some changes to make, how should I proceed?

If you are making changes beyond bringing the plans up to your local codes, we recommend that you make use of our Plan Modification services. If you are intending to simply bring the plans up to the building codes in your area, to satisfy the requirements of most building departments, you will need to purchase the reproducible Vellum or CAD version of the plan you are interested in. Plans must be purchased on Reproducible Vellum or CAD for the modifications and revisions to be permitted due to Copyright Law.

Do you offer custom home designs?

Yes, we do offer custom home designs. You can find out more information through our custom division. Learn more at The Sater Group, Inc.

Why modify a plan?

Many times people find plans that are almost perfect. With a few changes, the almost perfect plan can become your dream home. We can change almost anything, within reason. Your builder may also offer a modification service. If you want your builder to modify a plan, you simply purchase the AutoCAD version of the plan. This is an editable version of the home plan. However, since we designed these plans, sometimes it is best to have us modify them. But there is a limit.

When modifications become too detailed and extensive, it is time to look at a custom home. It is not unusual for modifications to cost much more than the cost of the stock plan. Sometimes the better choice is a custom home plan. Through our sister company, Sater Group, Inc. we offer full service custom home plan creation. However, it is always best to start with the Modification Consultation first. This way we have a good idea of what you are looking for.

What will your modification cost?

All of our modifications are based on an hourly rate. Any changes that can be completed by our CAD Department will be $125.00 per hour. Anything that will need to be redesigned by Dan Sater II will be $235.00 per hour.

On average, modifications cost around $3,649.50. The range could be anywhere from $125.00 to $20,000.00, depending on the amount of changes and size of the home.

How long will it take to complete my modifications?

Less than one-third of those who requested a modification quote proceed because of the time involved. Typically, once we receive your signed proposal, it takes three to four weeks to receive your preliminary. The preliminary drawings are sent to you with the changes you wanted to make. You have the opportunity to review them. Once you approve the preliminary drawings, it will take around four weeks to complete your modifications. However, depending on the complexity of your changes, it may take longer.

Why do modifications usually cost more than the plan?

Modifications are not just “point and click.” A simple change to one area might result in large adjustments needed in other areas. For example, simply moving an exterior wall 12 inches will require the foundation, floor, elevations, and roof plans to be adjusted. This could also impact the plumbing and electrical systems. Many times a simple interior change will impact the exterior look of the home as well. This can result in new exterior elevations being created. Seemingly simple changes to home plans can ripple throughout the structure. Modifications take skill, resources and time.

Modifications are essentially turning our stock plans into a custom home for you alone. With our stock plans, we are able to easily resell them to multiple people with virtually no labor cost. Modifications can be expensive and take a lot of time because we are creating a one of a kind home based on your individual needs.

How do I know which changes are possible?

Any change is possible. It all depends on how much you want to invest in your new home plans. There is a fine line between modifications and a custom home. Smaller changes, such as removing a door, adding a window or creating a third bay to a garage are simple modifications. Larger changes, such as bumping out walls and making the home larger are more complex modifications. When almost the entire home is being modified, that will lead to a custom home. Merging two or more separate home plans into one will definitely be considered a custom home.

Also, keep in mind that it is much easier to add square footage to a home than remove square footage. Making a home smaller is a difficult task. It is always safer to start with a smaller home and add square footage to it.

If, for some reason, we deem your changes to be too extensive for a modification, we will gladly refund your $125.00 modification fee.

Why the fee for the consultation?

We get requests for modifications all of the time. Each request must be researched. There are no quick and easy answers. A home plan is a collection of documents illustrating a home’s connected systems. Calculating the time a modification will take and how the modification will impact the rest of the structure requires knowledge and thought. The Modification Consultation form is the only way we can get all the information we need in order to give you a detailed and accurate estimate. If you decide to proceed with the modifications, the $125.00 modification fee will be deducted from the cost of the final modification. If you have any questions, please give us a call at (800)718-7526.

Frequently Asked Questions about Custom Home Design

If you are looking for information on getting a custom home plan designed, please visit Sater Group, Inc.