DoItYourself Plans

If you intend to perform your own translation from design to finished plans, it is crucial to obtain a copy of your local building code. If straw bale is included in your code, homemade plans should be acceptable; if not, most other jurisdictions will not accept them.You may, however, draw up your own plans before approaching a professional who will be able to get code approval.

Everything in your plans should be drawn to an exact and consistent scale. Access to a drafting table or computer drafting program can be useful and could speed up the planning process. Try to avoid incorporating odd dimensions that will require excessive trimming of each piece of plywood or lumber. Sheet materials — plywood and drywall — usually come in 4-by-8-foot sheets. Lumber usually comes in 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, 16-, or 20-foot lengths.

If you have previous building experience, some knowledge of drafting, or the time and patience to acquire these skills (many community colleges offer basic drafting courses), it is entirely feasible to draw your own plans. If you don't, it may be better to hire a professional.

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