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What Are Stock Plans?


Sears Foursquare Catalog Home

In the first half of the 20th century, several catalog companies sold stock building plans. Here is Modern Home No. C227 - The Castleton - from the Sears Modern Homes Mail Order Catalog, 1921


"Stock Plans" are pre-drawn building plans that you can order from a catalog, magazine, or Web site. Most builders also offer stock plans for you to choose from.

Stock plans ordered through the mail should include floor plans, foundation plans, structural framing plans, electrical and plumbing plans, cross section drawings, and elevation drawings. If you are not sure about your selection, you can usually obtain an inexpensive floor plan to review. However, you will need to buy the full set of plans before you can apply for a building permit and begin construction.

Using stock plans can save you time and money, but the costs will escalate if you ask for changes.

Also Known As:

catalog plans, stock building plans, stock house plans, mail order plans


Your builder or a draftsman can customize stock plans, changing details to meet your needs. However, a customized stock plan is not actually a custom home. As you drive through your neighborhood, you may notice many variations on the same essential plan. Although they are not unique, houses built from stock plans can be quite lovely. Catalog houses Sears made fifty years ago are still popular today.

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