Green House Plans FAQ

1.  How do I view the rear elevation of a plan? 

2.  How do I make changes to a plan?

3.  What is reproducible vellum and how are changes made?

4.  What if the foundation I need is not available for the plan I selected?

5.  What is included in a set of your house plans?

6.  Will this plan meet my local building codes?

7.  Can I get the plans with an architectural or engineering seal for my local area?

8.  Do your plans provide all of the information necessary for the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems?

9.  How is the living square footage calculated?

10.  Can I build a SunTerra home design with insulated concrete forms (ICF)?

11.  Can structural insulated panels (SIP) construction be used or adapted to a SunTerra plan?

12.  Is it possible to purchase the plans in CADD form?

13.  What does your Energy Conservation Guide cost?

14.  How do I know if I can afford to build this home?

15.  Can I get an address where this plan has been built, so I can see the finished home?

16.  Can I order plans in reverse?

17.  How many sets of house plans will I need?

18.  Do you sell “Study Plans” or “Study Sets”?

19.  How do I place an order?

20.  How can I pay for my purchase?

21.  When and how will my plans be shipped?

22.  Is rush service available?

23.  What is your return policy?

24.  How do I contact you?

25.  Is there a SunTerra in my area?

26. I like the concept of radiant floor heating, but what happens if a tube breaks?

27.  I want to have air conditioning in my home, but I like the thought of radiant floors. Do I have to use a forced-air system or is there a was to air-condition the home?

28.  I have severe allergies in the spring and summer. Will a SunTerra Home help my condition?

29.  Can I cool home with the radiant floor heating system?


1.  How do I view the rear elevation of a home?
For plans that do not have the rear elevation on our web site, please contact us and we will email, fax, or mail a rendering or image of the rear elevation to you if one is available. 

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3.  What is reproducible vellum and how are changes made?
Reproducible vellums are ideal if you intend to make minor changes to the plan. They allow qualified architects and engineers to modify the design without having to completely redraw the plan.

You may use one of the following items to remove the image from the vellum paper (these can be purchased at a blueprint/drafting supply store):
a. Xerographic eradicator fluid such as Michlin film eradicating fluid applied per manufacturer directions.
b. A dark grey ink eraser in an electric eraser.

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4.  What if the foundation I need is not available for the plan I selected?
First check with your builder, most builders can make this type of change on the building site. If you need a particular foundation specified in your area, you may need an engineer, architect, or designer to draw a foundation plan to replace the one that is supplied with our plans. You may also consider our design service through our web site.

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5.  What is included in a set of your house plans?
Each set of plans that we offer will provide you with the necessary information to build the home. There may be some adjustments necessary to the plans in order to comply with your state or county building codes. The following list shows what is included within each set of plans that we sell. Depending on the plan chosen there might be more building information provided. All site plans must be generated by you or your builder being specific for your property.

Our blueprints include:
a. Exterior Elevations: Shows the front, rear, and side of the house including exterior materials, details, and measurements.
b. Foundation Plan: Shows a basement, crawlspace, or slab depending on what is available for the plan. The foundation plan details the layout and construction of the foundation. Designed for 1,500 lbs per square feet soil loading.
c. Detailed Floor Plans: Shows the placement of walls and the dimensions for rooms, doors, windows, stairways, etc. for each level of the house.
d. Roof Layout: Shows the pitch and layout of the roof assembly.
e. Cross Sections: Shows details of the house as if it were sliced from the roof to the foundation. The cross sections detail the construction of the home.
f. Electrical Schematic: Shows the location of fixtures and switches. It may be shown as a separate sheet or be included on the floor plan. Electrical plan is typically not required to obtain a building permit and can be created by your electrical contractor, so a few designs may not include the electrical layout.
g. Additional: Most of our plans include an energy recovery ventilation design and many include a radiant floor heating layout.
h. Conservation Guide: Provides instructions and information about any combinations of the following: structural specifications, excavating, and thermal and moisture protection.
Conservation Guide Table of Contents

Due to regional variations it is impossible to include much detail about heating, plumbing, and electrical work. Duct work, venting, and other details vary depending on the type of HVAC system and the type of energy used. These details and specifications are easily obtained from your builder, contractor, or local supplier. Also not included is a material list. This varies depending on the type of wall construction you choose as illustrated in your Conservation Guide CD included.


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6.  Will this plan meet my local building codes?
Many states, counties, cities, and subdivisions have their own set of codes and regulations that they have determined work best for their area. Since stock plans are sold throughout the country, they meet national codes at the time they are designed. You may need to take the plans to a local architect or designer to bring the plan up to your local codes. It is also possible that you will need to hire a local engineer to analyze the design and provide additional drawings and calculations required by your building department. If you are not’t sure what is needed it is best to contact your building department to see what provisions they have imposed in order to obtain a building permit. Most of our plans are designed for Central Oregon conditions such as: 80 mph wind and 25 lb per square feet snow load.


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7.  Can I get the plans with an architectural or engineering seal for my local area?
Some cities and states now require a licensed architect or engineer to review and “seal” a blueprint, or officially approve it prior to construction due to concerns over energy costs, safety, and other factors. Prior to application for a building permit or the start of actual construction, we strongly advise that you consult your local building official who can tell you if such a review is required. If a seal is required, you will have to find a local architect or engineer to perform this function for you.

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8.  Do your plans provide all of the information necessary for the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems?
Specific HVAC, plumbing, and electrical information is not shown on the blueprints. HVAC system information regarding location units, what types of units are used, and the mechanical and final electrical layout are determined by local building codes and your preference of heating and cooling system. Also, we don’t know which direction the water flow will enter your house or where the electrical feed will enter. Determining the location and the type of these systems you install in your new home is something you would discuss with your local builder or local subcontractors. They should be able to provide you with the necessary information based on what your local building codes will allow.

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9.  How is the living square footage calculated?
Generally, square footage calculations are made from outside the exterior frame wall and do not include decks, porches, garages, basements, attics, and bonus rooms. We include two story and vaulted areas only once in the calculations of the first floor. Stairs are counted once. Balconies and open walkways in two story and vaulted areas are included in square footage. This is generally true for all plans.


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10.  Can I build a SunTerra home design with insulated concrete forms (ICF)?
Insulated concrete form construction is a SunTerra approved method of building a home shell. Each time we have produced a cost estimate of our projects with insulated concrete form construction compared with advanced 2 x 6 framing and foam insulation, our clients have all chosen the 2 x 6 advanced framing method and foam insulation for the following reasons:
a. Insulated concrete form construction cost $6.00 to $8.00 more per square foot of home floor area versus our preferred method.
b. ICF reduced the interior volume of the home because of the wall thickness required, which also increases cost per square foot of usable space.
c. The insulation value is less than we recommend when needed in the cooler regions during the coldest time of the year.


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11.  Can structural insulated panels (SIP) construction be used or adapted to a SunTerra plan?
Several of our home designs have been built with SIP construction. We design in 24” modules which help reduce the cost of SIP construction.

We also illustrate in our “Energy Conservation Guide” the advanced framing method with structural urethane spray foam. This allows you to not change standard construction methods and to acquire the added structural strength and insulation value.

Both of these construction methods are highly recommended by SunTerra Homes, Inc.

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12.  Is it possible to purchase the plans in CADD form?
We do not offer our designs in CADD format. There are too many different programs resulting in incompatibility problems.


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13.  What does your “Energy Conservation Guide” cost?
Our energy conservation guide can be purchased for $99.00. This guide was composed, so you have the same information to build you new home as we offer our local customers and the design and construction methods that achieved us our national and local awards.


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14.  How do I know if I can afford to build this home?
The cost of building a home varies, depending on where you build, the cost of materials in your area, how you finish the home, and who you hire to build the home. Because of all the variances involved, we cannot tell you how much it will cost to build a specific house plan. We recommend you research the cost of construction in your area and feel comfortable in proceeding before you purchase a plan. We believe a SunTerra home is your best value.

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15.  Can I get an address where this plan has been built, so I can see the finished home?
There are several reasons why we cannot give out this information. First and foremost, is to protect the privacy of our customers. All of our customers’ personal information (including yours) is held in strictest confidence. Secondly, when you place an order with us; we collect your billing and shipping addresses – not the address where the home may be built. For the homes we still have access to, we have provided virtual tours of these existing homes on our web site.


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16.  Can I order plans in reverse?
Yes, when a plan is printed in reverse, the text also is printed in reverse; this is called a Mirror Reverse. When ordering a mirrored reverse plan, you need to order at least one set of the blueprints in nonreversible (so that the text is easy to read). To reduce the chances of confusion, the non-reversed blueprints should have the words “Build in Reverse” clearly written on every page of the blueprints.

Reproducible media cannot be ordered in mirror reverse format. If you order a reproducible media for a plan and want to print the plan in mirror reverse, you simply turn the master plan upside down while running it through a blueprinting machine. This will cause the blueprints to be printed in mirror reverse.


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17.  How many sets of house plans will I need?
Besides a set for yourself, you may need to turn a set in to your builder, subcontractors, mortgage lender, and local building departments. We provide a deluxe package with 8 sets of plans. This package is good for those that are going to build the home as is with little modification. If modification to our design is required, refer to our Designer Coop Program.


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18.  Do you sell “Study Plans” or Study Sets”?
We don’t offer “study plans”. We are more than happy to answer any specific questions that you may have in hopes to help you with the selection process before ordering a full set of plans.


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19.  How do I place my order?
There are three easy ways to order:
a. Us our secure online shopping cart, Pay Pal.
b. Phone us at (541) 389-4733, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Pacific time.
c. Mail us your order at SunTerra Homes, Inc., PO Box 5278, Bend OR 97708.


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20.  How can I pay for my purchase?
We accept MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and checks for orders placed via our shopping cart or checks only by telephone or mail orders. For telephone and mail orders please pay via cashier’s check or money order (payable to SunTerra Homes, Inc.).


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23.  What is your return policy?
All construction plans ordered are provided as is. SunTerra Homes, Inc. disclaims all other warranties, express or implied, including merchantability or fitness of purpose. Construction plans may not be returned for credit and/or refund under any circumstances. SunTerra Homes, Inc. is not liable for incidental, special, consequential, or indirect damages of any kind, including, but not limited to, loss of anticipated profits, business opportunity or other economic loss arising out of the use of services or any construction plans received from SunTerra Homes, Inc., even if SunTerra Homes, Inc. has been advised of the possibility of such damage.

It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy, compliance with applicable statue(s) or regulation(s), and fitness of purpose of any plans or construction information received from SunTerra Homes, Inc. prior to the use thereof. In the event that any liability is imposed on SunTerra Homes, Inc.’s liability to you or any third party shall not exceed the price paid for the SunTerra Homes, Inc. house plan product.

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24.  How do I contact you?
SunTerra Homes, Inc. is committed to providing the highest level of customer service. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments. Check HERE for our latest contact info.


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