Hawaii House Plans - Tips and FAQs

Are you dreaming about building a beautiful three-bedroom, two-story home with a walk-in shower and expansive lanai overlooking the Ko‘olau mountain range? You may need to hire a residential architect or draftsman to draw a house plan for your dream home design.

What’s included in a typical set of house plans?

A house plan, also known as blueprints, is a set of drawings that define all the specifications to construct a residential home. It includes specifications such as the dimensions of the rooms, materials needed, layouts, installation methods, and more. The main information in each of the house plans will typically show these items:

  • Site plans show where the home will be located on the property. This overhead view of the construction site will show the lot’s boundaries as well as utility locations, setback requirements, easements, walkways, and sometimes the slope of the land. Will your new home be located in the middle of the lot or near the ravine in the back of the house? How will your home be connected to water and electricity? Site plans answer these questions in an overview.
  • Elevations are drawn to scale and show the exterior of the home and the elevation of the land. Plans will include the front, rear, and side elevations as well as the ridge heights, exterior finishes, and roof pitches – among other exterior architectural styling elements.
  • Foundation plans will outline the dimensions of the foundation as well as footings and other requirements to ensure a solid foundation.
  • Framing plans show how the house’s walls and roofs will initially be built. Framing plans specify the size of the lumber to be used, such as 2x4 or 2x6.
  • Roof plans will detail the roof’s construction, including the type of roof (such as shingles), pitch, and the framing.
  • Floor plans show an overhead view of what the rooms in the house will look like. How wide are the walls? Where will windows and doors be located? Where will the sink, cabinets, and other built-in elements be in each room? Floor plans will specify the construction layout of the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, garage, and every room in the house – along with specifying construction methods, finishes, and electrical locations. Often there are special symbols and lines to show the dimensions or other room features.
  • Section plans are a form of floor plans that ‘cut through’ the dwelling to show how the home will be constructed as well as internal finishes. Sections often include ceiling heights, ceiling types, and window and door dimensions. 
  • Detail drawings can optionally provide further information for special home elements, like built-in shelving or an expansive outdoor lanai.
  • Electrical drawings will show the locations of all the electrical outlets, switches, and light fixtures. Electrical drawings will also show where the electric lines will be run throughout the house.
  • Plumbing drawings will show the location of the home’s piping and plumbing fixtures, such as sinks, washers, showers, toilets, outdoor hoses, and more.

What size are house plans?

House plans or blueprints come in a few standard sizes. Two of the most common sizes residential architects in Hawaii use are 18 inches by 24 inches and 24 inches by 36 inches, but sometimes house plans will also be 30 inches by 42 inches and 36 inches by 48 inches. No matter the size of the house plans, the purpose is to show your general contractor how to build the home.

How much does it cost to have house plans made?

In Hawaii, the cost of having house plans drawn will depend on several factors, including the size and complexity of the build as well as whether you use a residential architect in Hawaii or a professional home drafter. Architects cost around $100 to $250 per hour while house plan drafters cost between $50 to $130 per hour. Architects can help design the home, while a draftsman will not usually design homes but rather draw what they are told. A typical three-bedroom home will take at least 10 hours to draw. 

Hawaii Home Designs

Home designs in Hawaii vary with common floor plan elements – like many windows, open rooms, and lanais. Here are some Hawaii home design contemplations to spark your thoughts for your Hawaii house plans.

  • What is my budget? Timeline?
  • How many rooms and bathrooms will I need now – and in the future?
  • What will my view be? Am I near the mountains or the water?
  • How can I maximize natural light and airflow?
  • Do I want an open floor plan with my kitchen and living room connected to host gatherings and parties?
  • What style suits my family and our house’s lot? A small bungalow? ‘Ohana cottage? Plantation style home? Large luxury island home?

After thinking through your home, hire an architect to design and draft Hawaii house plans. Your ideal home design can become a reality with blueprints to guide construction and trusted professionals by your side.