How to find original house plans?
When you buy a used house or a vacant lot with pre-existing plans, you can find the original house plans.
This can be done as sources through the office of your local building inspector. If you are looking to restore the original house that existed on the property, having access to plans of the original home is important. You can also check with your local history company to find photographs and other documents related to your original house plans.
Tools, materials and resources required :
- Old House Plans
- Local real estate agent
- Local Home Builder
- School of architecture
- Office Building inspector
- The computer
Step 1: Communicate with the real estate agent’s office
When purchasing a batch that is now vacant , speak with the real estate agent who had represented the original house. Ask if they have any files or information about the type of house that existed on the property and whether images or plans existed. In many cases, if the real estate agent also represents the interests of the seller, the information can be obtained from the seller or from the seller’s family. If it is possible to get in touch with the seller directly, this will provide you with a wealth of information about the old house and its plans.
Step 2: Office of the Building Inspector contact
After communicating with the real estate agent, you will probably need to go to the office of the local building inspector to find the plans on file. Depending on the age of the house standing on the vacant lot, this can be a quick process or you can find yourself on a wild goose chase through the archives and other resources to locate the plans.
Step 3: Communicate with a house builder
A local home builder who has been in the community for a while may be able to provide you with house plans for the vacant lot. Look for a home builder who has been in the community for several decades, maybe 50 to 75 years or more. If the house builder does not hold the old house plan files, they can direct you to a local historical company or school of architecture in a local college.
Step 4: Communicate with a local college or Historical Society
If there is a college located in your community that has or near an architectural school, you can contact them for information about the house plans for your neighborhood or the neighborhood where the vacant lot is located. The school keeps information on construction trends and construction styles and types and can give you an overview of the types of buildings that have been constructed in the community.
Another historic source is a historic society, if applicable, who can provide you with information on the types of houses that have been built around and near the vacant lot and provide you with plans that may be similar to those you are looking for at home. If you can find images, descriptions and accounts of the type of house built, have a sketch plan of the architect based on this knowledge and proceed with your construction.