Simple House Plan Design

Hello Mr. Heldmann,

I've finally found a house I would like to build (after days of searching all
of the sights you mentioned and then some)

But I’m unsure about the company,

The house is called the Universal Cottage (20x34) # Z012-A

The plans are only $165.00 and material list is $35.00.

I realize this is a lot to ask but could you check out his web sight and let me know what you think.

I really like his plan because it looks simple to build (my husband used to frame houses so we are going to do a lot of the work)

I can’t find one like it anywhere else.

Thanks, Marian

Hi Marian,

I think this is a great home and a simple easy to use web site! seems to give you great value for the money.

It’s a very attractive home with excellent roof lines and yet its’ simplicity should make it easier to build. It would also be ideal for a narrow lot.

Courtesy of
"“This classic 20' wide farm house style home is built with simple platform frame construction on your choice of nine different foundation types to adapt to your specific soils, budget and site. The home feels spacious and open but is efficient with its use of space.
The plan has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, a utility hall and a full sized wrap around stair. The stairs can go down to a basement or on up to the attic should you need to expand up there in the future. Because of the simple framing system much of the interior layout can be modified by the owner or builder."

Click to enlarge

Their 16 page plan set includes all the drawings and information normally needed by builders and the building department:
• Full structural floor plans (main, upper and basement).
• Full foundation plans and details for a basement, crawlspace, slab, or beam and pier (post & beam) foundation.
• Structural cross section with basement, crawlspace, slab and pier and beam foundation options.
• Roof and attic framing plans and details for both truss and rafter & joist framing.
• Optional truss diagrams for flat or cathedral ceiling in the upper story.
• Basement plans with details for your choice of poured concrete, concrete block or the stud and plywood all weather wood foundation system.
• Foundation details for two types of concrete slab on grade floors and two types of pier and beam systems.
• Framing plans for floors using both I-joists for full width spans, or 2x8 joists and an exposed interior beam and post support system.
• Porch framing plans and details for the shed roof porch in the photo, plus an extendable wrap around porch that can run down either side.
• Four elevations including trim and siding details
• Electrical plans and plumbing layout notes
• A bonus sheet with complete plans and details for a pop-out bed and sitting alcove that can be added to any outside wall (it needs no foundation).

It appears that the owner of the web site, John Raabe, is the designer so I can only assume he controls the copyright, which is good.

Print out a sample set of the house plan and run it by your local building inspection department to see if they have any problems with the design. I doubt that they will. They might even have a suggestion or two.

I don’t know if you read Mr. Raabe’s biography on his web site, but he certainly is an interesting man.

Good luck and let us know how it goes,
PS. Be sure to read my How to Read House Plans.