How to Order & Print Your Plans

How to Place Your Order

If you have picked a Cottage Plan and are ready to buy, you should go to the Model Description Page.  There you'll find details about the model and all the products associtaed with it.  At the bottom of the page are a series of "ADD to CART" boxes where you can choose what options fit your purpose. The normal choices are going to be:

  • Building Plan Set - This check box is used to buy a downloadable pdf file which contains a complete set of "Blue Prints" in 24" x 36" print format. The Set contains the permitting and building information required to build the Cottage you have chosen. A comprehensive description of what's in the "Building Plan Set" can be found by clicking this link to "Buidling Plan Sets".
  • Material Price Estimates & Purchase Orders - This check box should be clicked if you would like to receive our comprehensive, item by item price list and purchase order package assembled specifically for your Cottage. The package will be sent to you in downloadable pdf file in 8-1/2" x 11" letter size format. Click on this link If you want to learn about what's in the "Material Price Lists & Purchase Order Package".
  • Engineering Documentation - If you are planning to build in California, you will need this package. For people from other states, you should check with your building departments to determine whether any of this documentation will be required. The "Engineering Documentation" package includes a variety of Structural, Energy, Green Code and Equipment calculations that will be required for California permits. The Engineering Package is delivered by a pdf download formatted in 8-1/2" x 11", letter sized format. Click here if you want to learn the specifics about what's in the "Engineering Documentation" Package.

Once you've filled in the "Add to Cart" boxes, just click on the Place Order button at the top or bottom of the screen and you'll be taken to our secure order processing center.   Within minutes we will provide make available your downloadable documents.

Downloading Your Purchase:

After completing your purchase from our “Website Shopping Cart”, you will be provided with a download link containing your purchases in Adobe PDF format.   The PDF will contain the Plans, Pictures, Estimates, Site Information and instructions on how to use the files.   If you already have “Adobe Acrobat” on your computer then you just need to double click on the file(s) contained in our e-mail.  The downloaded file should open in PDF format. 

If don’t already have “Acrobat” on your computer, you can install this free program by going to the Adobe website noted below and following the simple directions for adding it to your computer:

Saving Your Downloads:

Once you have your downloaded files up on your monitor, it’s a good idea to immediately save the files on your computer.  Saving a backed up copy to a thumb drive or the Cloud might be a good idea as well.

You can save a PDF copy to any drive attached to your computer by simply using the standard menu at the very top left corner of the Adobe Acrobat window.  Just select“File” then “Save As” on the drop down menu.  Select “PDF” from the drop down menu and Acrobat will display your computer’s directory.  Just choose a folder and a name for your file and press the button labeled “Save” in the lower right hand corner and your file is saved.  Your file will remain accessible from your e-mail for 30 days after the first download.   If you lose a PDF file or need a copy after 30 days, call us for instructions on how to get another copy.

Printing your Downloads:

  • Letter Sized Printing of "Material Estimates”, “Purchase Orders”, “Engineering Documentation” and our free “Site Assessment” forms are printed just like any standard PDF document. However you probably will want to make a few adjustments in the “Print” window.  First, make sure the “Reverse Pages” option is correctly set for your printer so pages paginate in the correct order.  Second, set the “Orientation” to “Auto portrait/landscape” so the pages adjust to Portrait or Landscape orientations without cropping. 
  • Blueprint Size Printing – All of our “Building Plan Sets” are formatted in the construction industry standard size of 24” x 36” (Paper size “D”).  You can print our drawings from your desktop printer at letter or ledger size, however it will be very difficult to read if not printed at the full 24” x 36” dimensions.   Since most people do not have direct access to a large format printer, you’ll probably need to order them directly from a local large-format printing company.   We recommend you search in the Yellow Pages or online for a printer who advertises graphic reproduction services to architects and engineers. These specialized printers will normally be listed under "Blueprints".   Another alternative is to use an office supply store like "Staples" or "Office Depot".   However, you'll normally find office supply stores to be more expensive and less familiar with construction "blueprinting" than printers providing services specifically to architects and engineers.
  • Large Format Color Printing – If you have ordered a “Building Plan Set” from us, you will notice that the Plan Set came with one drawing that shows a number of perspective views of your completed cottage in full color.  This “Rendering Page” is provided to allow the purchaser to gain some feel for the look and proportions of the completed Cottage.  You will probably want to print at least one full color copy for your use to show your friends, family, local Planning Department or the contractors who will be working on the Project. 

You should note that full color, 24” x 36” copies may cost 20 times more than black and white copies.  So you will not want to include a color print with every set of drawings you hand out.  The full color “Rendering Page” is not considered part of the “Building Plan Set”.  The building department will not need a full color drawing of your cottage for permitting.    

Sending your Files to a Printing Company - To prepare your files for printing by a professional printer, you can simply attach the original PDF files to an e-mail and send them to the blueprinter's e-mail address.  Before sending the files, we suggest you should call the company and ask for pricing and account set-up details.  The following is a list of the information you’ll want to send in an e-mail with your files:

  1. How many sets of plans you want to purchase,
  2. Specify that you want the sets printed in 24” x 36” black and white on 20 lb bond,
  3. Explain that the full color “Rendering Page” is not to be included in the printed sets,
  4. You will want the Plan Sets  "Bound and Stapled",
  5. Ask that the sets be printed at Full Scale.

The printer will take it from there. If you prefer to order the plans face-to-face, you can copy the PDF files to a "Memory Stick" or "Flash Drive" and hand the loaded drive to the printer.   Just remember to give them the information noted above.

How Many Copies to Print

When you order your first set of "Blueprints", we recommend that you order only one or two check sets first. The check sets are advisable in order to review your set for printing problems and completeness. It will also give you a set to show to contractors, sub-contractors and the Building Department. If any revisions are needed, you can make them before you print a dozen sets that you can't use.
It's hard to say how many sets you'll need but this is what we normally figure:

24" x 36" Blueprint Sets:  
Building Department 3
Owner’s Record Drawings 1
Estimating Mark-up Set 1
Site Layout/Working Set 1
Sub-Contractor Sets 2
Total 8 sets
Engineering Documentation Sets:  
Building Department 2
Owner’s Record Set 1
Total 3 sets

You should talk to your Building Department and your sub-contractors to determine how many copies you will actually need.

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