Plans and Permits



After looking at countless house plans online, and not finding exactly what we wanted, we decided to design our own house.  This took about 8 months and we went through several iterations.  We used punch home design software we bought at Costco.  I'm not a AutoCAD power user, but I have used it some in the past.  The punch home design software was like an AutoCAD for dummies does a lot of things for you and you can't change all the parameters you might want.  But for us it worked great.  It allowed us to design the house shell and the rooms with sufficient details to get a building permit and it also allowed us to flip into 3d mode and walk through and around the house to see what it would look like from different positions.  Being able to look at things in 3d mode turned out to be really helpful to us new designers.
The first step was the get the septic permit.  We have a septic system with our current house, but it wasn't big enough to support the new house.  We had some test holes dug on 11/3/2007 and received a permit to install the new system.  In the winter in Oregon the ground is too wet to install septic the new system will be installed in the spring or summer of 08.  One slight complication was that the only area they could find for the drain field was right smack in the middle of the Christmas trees gone wild zone of our property.  About 15 years ago a bunch of Christmas tress were planted on 6' centers.  Well they never got cut down when they should have so now they are all about 50' tall.  I'm clearing out a couple hundred of these tress to make room for the drain filed.  They don't have much value as lumber so I'm turning them into firewood.
We submitted our plans to the Benton county development department on January 23, 2008 and we received our permit about a month later.  Here are the basic files we had to submit for the permit.

The plans reviewers in Benton County are really great.  They took these basic plans and marked them up with all the required building codes.  They also specified where the seismic sheer walls should be.  They could have told me to take it to a structural engineer and have them design it but they didn't.  It's really been great working with them, I just hope I don't wear out my welcome before the project is over.

Floor Plan




Plot Plan

Floor Joist Layout

Roof Truss Layout