Phase 1: Planning

Sometimes It’s Just Plain Luck

elevations Our house “As Built”

In order to know where we are going, we had to start with an accurate view of where we were starting. Most additions are build with “as built plans”. “As built” can also be translated into necessary and expensive. It is when the engineer or architectural group comes to the house and measures everything, then draws up the house “as built”. We were fortunate enough to get scanned blueprints of our house from the city of the original plans. If you’re lucky, and you live in Awesometown, your city may have copies of your original house plans.

Our house was built in 1982 in an unincorporated part of town. In other words it was “county”. The county had a copy of those plans on file (since they approved them) and luckily when the city incorporated our development the blueprints were given to the city – this doesn’t always happen – usually things get lost – especially something like blueprints for one house…. this was over 30 years ago people. Who keeps stuff that long? I know I don’t! And then – as if keeping those blueprints wasn’t awesome enough, some very special person with a lot of patience and a ton of time on their hands scanned every single 24″x36″ page of blue prints in all the city archives and then saved each set as individual pdf’s for public access.

Having originals made our engineer’s work a lot easier because he knew what types of headers were over all the doors and their load capacities, the foundation and where all the footers were, the composition of the walls, all without leaving his computer screen. This saved us a ton. So, if you’re lucky – and in construction a lot of times it just comes down to that – your city will have original plans for you to purchase. Ours were $15, and saved us from digging up footers, exposing headers, and expensive site visits for measurements well worth the $15.

Where we are heading.



  • Dee

    This is really cool Joannie!! Good luck with the addition!! You will be so glad you blogged along the way. Exciting!!!

    • Hambels Get Real

      I’m pretty excited too, although right now I am sitting in the recliner in the middle of the living room looking at pictures of bathrooms while piles of books that need to be put in boxes surround me. If packing is this overwhelming how am I gonna make it?

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