Q: Does a site plan come with the Building Plans?

A: As far as the site plan, it is not included in the Building Plans and is usually designed from a survey. To locate a company that can design a site plan, ask for references from your building department.  Some building departments will accept a hand drawn site plan, others require a professionally drawn site map.  Some building departments require a survey showing certain trees, animals, plants on the property – as your building department for a list of required items.

Meantime, gather the following information to give to the site plan designers.

  • Layout of your property: North, south, east and west directions
  • Side, Front and Back Setbacks
  • Road names, road rights of way, easements, and utilities
  • Views
  • Prevailing winds
  • Trees, ponds, existing structures, new home site location & other proposed out buildings
  • Driveway



Q: Can I find my own engineer to seal my Building Plans?

A: Yes, you could try to find some other structural engineer to seal the plans, but they will probably charge you this much or more. Engineers that have never sealed a set of Ai building plans tend to charge more because they would have to start from scratch and research everything about our dome before they could seal the plans.


Q: What are the contents of your Building Plans?

A: Stock sets generally have 17- 23 pages per each set. Building plans include the basic drawings for the dome that are needed when acquiring a building permit. They are composed on our computer aided drafting system as stock plans, or based on your individual requirements and design. Some of the pages are a 3-D elevation and a 3-D perspective view.

American Ingenuity’s Building Plans contain all of the typical drawings and details and number 13- 23 sheets. The blueprints included in your plans are based on the type of entryways, dormers and foundation that are designed in your plans. Some of the Blueprint names are:

  • Cover Sheet
  • Legend Sheet
  • First Floor Plan
  • Second Floor Plan
  • Dome Panel Nomenclature
  • Exterior Elevations
  • 1st Floor Electrical Plan (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
  • 2nd Floor Electrical Plan  (shows location of electrical outlets, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors)
  • Foundation Plan
  • Foundation Details
  • 2nd Floor Framing Plan
  • Typical Dome Section
  • Standard Entryway Details
  • High Profile Entryway Details
  • 1st Floor Window Dormer & Door Dormer Details
  • 2nd Floor Dormer Details
  • Stair Details
  • Cupola Blueprint if ordered
  • Link blueprint if ordered

These plans include all the structural drawings, show the placement of the electrical outlets, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures; however, they do not have the electrical diagram, plumbing diagram or HVAC layout. Your local electrician, plumber and HVAC subcontractor want to design their own diagrams.

Q: Do your Building Plans include the electrical, plumbing and HVAC layouts?

A: No. We have found if these layouts are included, then the inspectors require the subcontractors to follow the diagrams when usually the subs like to do their own layouts. Ask you building department if these layouts are required for you to obtain a building permit. If they are required, your subcontractors can be hired to design your layouts.

Q: Can I modify a stock plan? 

A: Yes. Quite often our clients send us sketches….we need to convert those sketches to actual building plans for the following reasons. Some of the footer locations in the concrete slab foundation are based upon the location of the first floor load bearing walls which help support the second floor. Plus the dome riser panels set on a perimeter footer in the slab. Also parts of the second floor are suspended by rods into the dome shell. These rods are inserted and buried in the seam concrete during the shell assembly. So we need to design your floor plan per your sketch and then design the structural sheets that the slab person, shell assembler, framer, etc. need to follow. 

Q: If I want to modify your stock plans or give you a custom sketch, how do I do that?

A: Ai draws the plans using AutoCAD program. You do not need to use that program or any program to draw your plans. See the blank floor planners at the bottom of size domes stock plans.  Print out the You can email drawings to us in pdf format or bmp format (windows bit map) or if you are using AutoCAD we can accept the documents in dxf format or dwg format.

Print out the planners and paste copies of rooms that you like from other plans of that size dome, scan and email to us at GlendaB.Aidomes@gmail.com   Or take the planner and sketch out your ideas and email. If you should sketch in something that is either not practical or not cost effective we will let you know.

In the email include your name, telephone number and best time(s) to contact you. We will call you back with questions and email a Plans Quote to convert your ideas into modified or custom plans. When you want Ai to start the design of your plans, return the Plans Quote signed along with payment for the Building Plans, engineer seal and energy report, etc.. During the custom plan design, Ai emails from 3 to 8 proofs depending on the complexity of your plans design for your review and tweaking. We then take the final draft and design all the other blueprints.

On the internet, there is a free 30 day trial of Delta Cad which is compatible with AutoCAD program that we use.  You can order DXF files for each dome diameter.  Click on DXF to learn more.  You can read and edit the dxf files if you have AutoCAD program, any other computer aided drafting program, a photo editor program like adobe or paint shop. You can read the dxf files but not edit them using Microsoft word and power point.

Q: I understand that parts of the 2nd floor can be suspended from the dome shell.  Is that true?

A: Yes, the second floor can be partially suspended from the dome shell and allow for as open a first floor as possible. Keep in mind that it is more economical to occasionally use the first floor walls as supports. Long spans with floor joists will require more expensive materials to provide the strength for suspension rods that pass through the second floor.  The suspension rods and plates can be purchased from Ai.

Q: What is the cost to design metal framing in the Building Plans?

A: Call for pricing. The cost of metal framing is slightly higher than wood.  Only use metal framing if your subcontractor has worked with it before. Metal Framing is not more fire proof. In a fire metal will deform quicker than wood.

Q: How many sets of plans will my building department require?  

A: Each building department determines the number of sets of building plans which are submitted.  The Plans Quote will list your plans printing and mailing costs.  After your building plans are finished, the plans will be emailed in pdf format so you can have additional sets of plans printed locally.  If your Building Plans are for one dome then you plans are “C” size – plotted on 18″x24″ blueprint paper. If your Building Plans are for two domes or dome on basement with deck, then your plans are plotted on “D” size 24″x36″ paper. 

Q: Your stock Building Plans come with a concrete slab if I desire to change that to a raised wood floor or a basement or columns/platform is that possible and what is the cost?

A: Yes Ai can design custom foundations.  To change our design from a concrete slab to any of the other foundations described, Ai hires a local engineer to calculate the load of the dome and the load of the first and second floors on the basement walls, columns, etc.  The engineer then gives us designs as to the size and spacing of the columns, joists, etc.  Our CAD department then implements his designs.  With the engineer who seals your plans, reviewing the plans design