I'm planning to build a home addition and I'd like to know if the construction drawings will contain the information of what material the walls need to be built?

I have some experience in building a house but not so much in getting paperwork around it. I'd like to build with AAC blocks. Do I also need to get an architect who understands what it is and how to design the plans? Or the architect will only draw the borders and the materials are up to me?

I worry if in the process I will change my mind, i.e. I decide to use ICF instead of AAC and I will need new blueprints and approvals. I reside in USA, oh.

In this example I don't see any information on the material used: enter image description here

  • 1
    Yes, a full drawing package normally includes cutaway section drawings and material specifications. The example above isn't typical of what an architect or draftsperson would provide (unless it's just an overview sheet). It would have many more dimensions and their true endpoints, for one thing.
    – isherwood
    Mar 8, 2017 at 18:07
  • Why these people claim they draft their own plan? ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2299208/… and here they teach you how the-house-plans-guide.com/make-your-own-blueprint.html. It just looks like it would never pass the inspection. I thought you need serious professional blueprints and some people say "My dad drew his on a piece of paper." How would he ever got a permit for some piece of paper? Am I missing something?
    – Grasper
    Mar 8, 2017 at 18:25
  • First, a plan is not a set of technical drawings. Maybe that's one point of confusion. Second, when did "Dad" do this? In the 1950s? Where? Modern building codes are designed to protect the buyer and the occupants. They can't be implemented without detailed specifications.
    – isherwood
    Mar 8, 2017 at 18:40
  • Some plans can be submitted with very little detail. things like trusses, walls below grade and anything out of the ordinary require engineering stamps. The level of detail required depends where you live. Without detail drawings that have been approved and permitted you are at the mercy of the inspector.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 8, 2017 at 20:07

2 Answers 2


Will depend on what your local building code requires. Some jurisdictions will require that you hire an architect or have the plan engineered in order to meet building/renovation requirements. Your best bet is to reach out to a building official in your area that can direct you to what your building plan will require.

Most plans you find on the internet are designed to utilize wood platform framing. I haven't come across many 'canned' plan sites that are designed for ICF or or AAC blocks. This is where you may need to reach out to a building designer or architect that is familiar with those building materials.

If you're really ambitious, study the latest International Residential Code, and that can guide you on what you will need to provide on your construction documents.

Also, some building departments may not care the form or method the plan is developed in or on. As long as they know what you're going to build, with what materials, dimensions, etc.


What you have there is a set of floor plans. Anyone that can use draw lines and label things can provide floor plans. Floor plans are innately OK because they don't prove or disprove that anything is done right.

Here is what you are missing:

  1. Foundation blueprints. How the house will be supported, details about a possible basement pour, any I-beams needed, joist pattern and layout. Everything under the first floor would be detailed in one "sheet" and for each floor you would have something similar albeit not as full as the foundation.

  2. Roofing plans. Structure of roof - in 3D, spacing, type of construction, ventilation and so on.

  3. Materials list. Old school way was to have very detailed notes on the blue prints about what is needed, spacing, whatever. I much prefer the Excel spreadsheet with material type, where it will be used, how it should be used, how many needed, and any notes.

  • Do I submit floor plans or blueprints for obtaining permits?
    – Grasper
    Mar 9, 2017 at 14:20
  • 1
    You submit whatever your local office wants. I can't imagine anyone building a house without floor plans and the three things I have listed. Depending on your local inspector, you may have a good or bad experience by submitting not enough. Some cities I have done work in have nice people and will walk you through anything you are missing. Others will use it as a tactic to be more rigid with you or to force you on their friends for help. I would turn in floor plans, foundation blueprints, roofing plans and materials list. From there inspector can say what is missing from those.
    – DMoore
    Mar 9, 2017 at 16:09

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