Blueprints, or building plans, are easier to find for newer homes. Local municipalities keep records on file for all properties in their respective area, which may include blueprints and other building plans. Government agencies may provide copies of documents upon request under the Freedom of Information Act. Municipalities are less likely to have copies of blueprints on file for older homes, although they may be able to provide clues about builders and owners that can help in a blueprint search.
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Things you need
Locate the municipal office for the area that the home is located. Go to the office with your address, legal description and real estate identification number.
Request all documentation, including permits, inspection reports, contracts and architects of record and occupancy certificates. Fill out request forms and pay any photocopy fees.
Review the documents you receive. You may actually be given a copy of the blueprints if they are on file with the local municipality. If your search is unsuccessful, continue the investigation.
Look at the building permit and inspection reports. They should have the names of the contractor, builder and/or architects of your home.
Locate contact information for the contractor, builder or architect. Your local municipality may have business licenses and addresses for these professionals. Contact the contractor, builder or architect and ask if they have blueprints for your house in their document files. They will provide you with blueprint copies for a fee.
Contact the developer of your home's subdivision, if applicable. Track houses are built by contractors without individual blueprints; hundreds of homes may be built with the same specifications from a master building plan.
Find the name of the original owner of the property. If they had a construction loan on the house, the bank or lending institution might have blueprints on file.
Tips and warnings
- Blueprints are sometimes stashed in the attic, shed or basement of an old home. Do some archeological investigating on your property to find documents that may have been saved by the original owners.
- Blueprints are often discarded after a residential construction project is finished. Some houses are built without blueprints or building plans, especially in unincorporated or rural areas.
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