Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
HOUSE PLANS
HOUSE PLAN SPECS
Floor 1
1,448 sf
Daylight Basement
1,224 sf
Entry Faces
East
South Glass
7%
Complexity
simple
Prairie Dog 4
PLAN PRICING
$70
Study Plans
11x17 set of drawings to better study the design of the house. 6-9 pages depending upon the size of the home. Excludes construction information and custom energy specs. Choose PAPER or PDF. After the order is placed, send a list of your ideas for customization and Sun Plans can tell you if the ideas are practical ones.
Sun Plans uses PayPal for secure payment processing. You may pay with a PayPal account, or any major credit card (no PayPal account required).

Payment will be handled on the secure PayPal web site, then you'll be returned to the Sun Plans site.
 
Plan Name:
Prairie Dog 4
Plan Format:
PDF Files Paper Both (+$20)
Total Price:
$70
 

$220
Review Sets
11x17 mini set of Construction Prints marked "not for construction". 10-16 pages depending upon the size of the home. Includes Study Plan also. Excludes Custom Energy Specs. Cost deductible from orders of Construction Prints or CAD files. Choose PAPER or PDF. After the order is placed, ask for an opinion of construction cost from the architect.
Sun Plans uses PayPal for secure payment processing. You may pay with a PayPal account, or any major credit card (no PayPal account required).

Payment will be handled on the secure PayPal web site, then you'll be returned to the Sun Plans site.
 
Plan Name:
Prairie Dog 4
Plan Format:
PDF Files Paper Both (+$50)
Total Price:
$220
 

$1,340
Construction Prints
24x36 construction drawings. 10-16 pages depending upon the size of the home. Includes Custom Energy Specs. Choose 6 PAPER sets or PDF.
Sun Plans uses PayPal for secure payment processing. You may pay with a PayPal account, or any major credit card (no PayPal account required).

Payment will be handled on the secure PayPal web site, then you'll be returned to the Sun Plans site.
 
Plan Name:
Prairie Dog 4
Plan Format:
PDF Files Paper Both (+$200)
Total Price:
$1,340
 

$1,780
CAD Files
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Files for having changes made by a local architect, design professional or engineer. Includes CAD Files, PDF Files, Custom Energy Specs and a Copyright Release. Electronic delivery.
Sun Plans uses PayPal for secure payment processing. You may pay with a PayPal account, or any major credit card (no PayPal account required).

Payment will be handled on the secure PayPal web site, then you'll be returned to the Sun Plans site.
 
Plan Name:
Prairie Dog 4
Plan Format:
DWG & PDF Files
Total Price:
$1,780
 

$220
Mirror Reverse
Must be ordered with Construction Prints or CAD Files. Reverse the house along the north-south axis (i.e., if the front faced east, it will be reversed to face west). This is a service performed on the drawings. Drawings will be true right-reading, mirror reverse drawings.
Sun Plans uses PayPal for secure payment processing. You may pay with a PayPal account, or any major credit card (no PayPal account required).

Payment will be handled on the secure PayPal web site, then you'll be returned to the Sun Plans site.
 
Plan Name:
Prairie Dog 4
Plan Format:
PDF Files
Total Price:
$220
 

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Study Plans
See larger, clearer, and more drawings than what are shown on the individual house plan pages.
The price is deductible from future orders of Construction Prints or CAD Files of any Sun Plan even if a completely different house plan is later purchased. Study Plans can be ordered from the Pricing tab for each house plan.

Study Plans include:

  • A mini set of design-oriented drawings set up for 11"x17".
  • A choice between a Paper version sent by US Priority Mail or the PDF version sent via email.
  • Unlimited printing with PDF's for sharing with family members.
  • 6 to 9 pages of drawings depending upon the complexity of the home.
  • Click here to see an example set for a 1.5 story home with daylight basement.
  • Schematic site plan, floor plans (with room sizes and furniture), daylight basements if applicable, exterior elevations, a schematic section of the house to help visualize the interior, kitchen elevations and garage plans.

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Review Sets
Review Sets provide information to help decide whether the design will meet the budget. They are mainly for those who crave technical details, have construction experience or have a builder on board. 
The price is deductible from future orders of Construction Prints or CAD Files of any Sun Plan even if a completely different house plan is later purchased.
Review Sets can be ordered from the Pricing tab for each house plan.. 
Review Sets include:
  • A mini set of construction drawings set up for 11"x17"
  • Choice of PAPER sent by US Priority Mail or PDF version sent via email. (Select PDF to print extra copies or share electronically with other building professionals.)
  • 10 to 16 pages of drawings depending upon the complexity of the home.(See each house plan description for the drawings that come with each design.)
  • Dimensions and construction notes.
  • Click here to see an example Review Set of a 1.5 story home with daylight basement.
  • A copy of the Study Plan.
  • An "Opinion of Probable Construction Cost" from Sun Plans if requested. Sun Plans evaluates the design and compares it to similar home designs for which other clients have provided construction costs.   A range of construction cost is provided. (This is based on national information. Sun Plans does not have statistics by state, region or country.)
Review Sets may vary slightly from later orders of Construction Prints and CAD Files since drawings are continuously being updated to meet newer construction and in-house standards,
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Construction Prints
Large Construction Prints with clear, concise information make it easy for builders to follow yet they are flexible enough to adapt locally based on the price and availability of materials and subcontractors, various construction methods and home owner preferences. Together, every builder and home owner will change some aspects of the design before or during construction. If mutually agreeable (and approved by the building inspector and local engineer), these "field changes" can often be made with red notes on the Construction Prints. (For complex changes, please see CAD Files or Adapt-A-SunPlan Services.)
Construction Prints include:
  • Six sets of Construction Prints on 24"x36" paper shipped via UPS ground or PDF computer files sent by email
  • 10 to 16 pages of drawings depending upon the size and complexity of the home. (See individual house plan descriptions for specific drawings for each design.)
    • Schematic site plan (cover sheet showing how to orient the house for passive solar gain)
    • Foundation Plan (either slab-on-grade, crawlspace, below grade or daylight basement)
    • First and second floor plans (many construction notes, window sizes, etc.)
    • Exterior elevations (all four sides shown in hatched detail)
    • Schematic Building section (cut-away through the home showing basic configuration)
    • Kitchen elevations (all sides of the kitchen)
    • Typical wall detail (showing the various building materials recommended)
    • Schematic electrical (showing lights, switches and outlets)
    • Schematic framing plans (showing floor framing, roof framing and beams)
  • Garage or Carport
  • Custom Energy Specs. (Read more.)
  • Under the Tell Me More about the Review Set, you can see an example set of drawings; however, with Construction Prints, the plans are updated to the current in-house checklist, do not have the Not For Construction, and include the Custom Energy Specs.
  • One hour of technical support with the architect by email or phone
Miscellaneous Details
  • Order Construction Prints through the Pricing tab on any house plan.
  • After an order is placed, reply to the email received to advise of the requested information Sun Plans will need to prepare the Custom Energy Specs.
  • Allow 5 business days for updating the design to the Sun Plans in-house checklist and preparation of the the Custom Energy Specs. (Shipping then takes another 3-7 days.)
  • With PDF's, unlimited copies of the Construction Prints can be printed locally so long as they are used for building one home. PDF's are handy for sending to builders, mortgage companies, appraisers, home energy raters, and others who may be assisting with the planning and construction of the home such as the builder's subcontractors. Some building inspection departments require PDF.
Rick is in the lighting business and reviews construction prints in his work.
They are wonderful!  If you saw most of the drawings and specifications I see, you would wonder how anything got built properly...It is just nice to see a true professional who does the job correctly and takes pride in her work.  In my 34 years of working with Architects you are hands down the best I have had the privilege to work with. - Rick
A client sent a set of Construction Prints (designed for stick construction) to a SIP company to have them converted to SIPs. This is what they told the home owners:
I also wanted to take this opportunity to confirm your selection of Sun Plans Inc.  We receive many sets of drawings each day that are interested in comparing SIPs.  The drawings submitted by Sun Plans Inc. were high quality and very easy for us to work from. - Steve, SIPS of the South
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CAD Files
CAD files are the most flexible type of construction drawings since they can be modified and sent electronically. While the house design is intended to save the home owner energy, the CAD files are designed to save the energy of design professionals by making adaptations proceed faster should it be desired to have someone other than Sun Plans make the changes. The PDF files that are a part of the order allow for printing unlimited Construction Prints even if no changes are made. CAD files are intended to be used by professionals experienced in residential design.
CAD Files Include:
  • CAD files of the Construction Drawings (see below for options)
  • PDF file of the Construction Prints (see Construction Prints)
  • PDF file of Custom Energy Specs
  • PDF file of Copyright Release to allow the house to be modified and changed to build one house
  • Under the Tell Me More about the Review Set, you can see an example set of drawings; however, with Construction Prints and CAD Files, the plans are updated to the current in-house checklist, do not have the Not For Construction, and include the Custom Energy Specs.
  • One hour of technical support. This can include review by the Sun Plans' architect on proposed changes prior to preparing Custom Energy Specs. If the customer sends a list of proposed changes immediately after placing the order, the architect can review them for energy implications and try to address them in the Custom Energy Specs.
CAD File Details
  •  Order CAD files through the Pricing tab on any house plan.
  • After an order is placed, reply to the email received to advise of the requested information Sun Plans will need to prepare the Custom Energy Specs.
  • Allow 5 business days for to allow for updating the design to the Sun Plans in-house checklist and preparation of the the Custom Energy Specs.
  • With the CAD files, many changes can be made to the design.
  • With PDF's (part of the CAD file order), unlimited copies of the Construction Prints can be printed locally so long as they are used for building one home. PDF's are handy for sending to builders, mortgage companies, appraisers, home energy raters, and others who may be assisting with the planning and construction of the home such as the builder's subcontractors. Some building inspection departments require PDF.
  • If consulting on changes is desired before the order is placed, then Adapt-A-SunPlan Consulting and Review Service is the process to take.
Examples of how the CAD files are used include: 
  • The design professional may expand the house a couple of feet, change the exterior materials, move a bathroom, or rearrange interior walls and doors.
  • The structural engineer may want to add engineering information such as rebar sizes and specific connections suitable for the local codes, soils, winds, snow or seismic activity.
  • The builder may find it easier to perform take offs and layouts with this electronic version of construction prints.
  • Home Energy Raters or HVAC subs creating duct work layouts can increase the speed and accuracy of their services.
Info for the Design Professional
  • The CAD Files are designed to be used by an experienced residential design professional
  • The standard method of preparing the CAD files is in AutoCAD 2000 DWG file type, with the files split into separate files. Approximately 95% of CAD file orders are prepared in this format. (Sun Plans can export to any version of AutoCAD between version 12 and 2013, but 2000 seems to be the most common one that most design professionals can use including those with older versions of the software.)
  • Can't use any of these CAD File types, but still want the local design professional to copy and redraw the design with changes?  The Copyright Release that comes only with CAD Files allow for this. (Please see Copyright.)
  • Special requests for all-in-one CAD files, DXF or AEC (DataCAD) files can be honored if advised within one business day of the order.
  • Split CAD Files are divided into separate files - cover sheet, foundation, first floor, second floor, elevations, section, kitchen, wall detail, and detached garage as applicable.  More than one of the printed sheet may be in each file. For instance, the fp1elect and fp1framing will also be in the fp1 file, but these are recommended to be printed separately as shown in the PDF files that come with the CAD Files.
  • More questions? Have the design professional contact us.

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Mirror Reverse
Similar to the Mirror Reverse feature for each house plan, mirror reversing Construction Prints and CAD Files flips the house plan on the north-south axis. However, the Mirror Reverse custom service also reverses the text and numbers so that they are no longer backwards. The drawings will be "right reading". It takes some time to check for overlapping text and numbers, but it is a worthwhile service considering the errors that can be made by the builders and their subs if they otherwise tried to reverse the home during construction.
In rectangular plans designed with one long wall designed to face south, the south and north sides will still face the same compass direction, but the east and west walls are reversed. In angled plans designed to sit at a 45 degree angle to south, the mirror line is from the northern-most corner to the southern-most corner which is a diagonal line across the house. What was the northwest wall would then become the northeast wall, and what was the southwest wall would then become the southeast wall.
Instances of when reversing might help include when the home owners want the entry on the east rather than the west. Or maybe a bedroom on the west is desired instead of the east-facing bedroom if light is not wanted from the sunrise. There are hundreds of reasons for mirror reversing a house along the north-south axis. Sometimes the architect suggests it during the Review and Consulting phase of any custom services based on the home owners' site or other particulars.
A local design professional can also do the reversing with the CAD Files.
Mirror Reverse is a not available for the lower-priced Study Plans and Review Sets.
Farm house charm summarizes the Prairie Dog 4. The lovely wrap-around front porch is large and inviting without being excessive. With the front door tucked deep on the east side, both guests and family share the same entry which leads directly into the sunny center of the home. The west screened porch may end up being the favorite space with expansive views and French doors to the great room. It is a perfect place to wind down the day. A unique, compact split bedroom design similar to the other Prairie Dog and Fernwood designs with two bedrooms and two baths on the floor and unlimited possibilities in the sunny daylight basement.

First Floor

Like most sun-inspired designs, the first floor has the main living spaces on the south side. The east to west kitchen to living room area is one open space with slightly vaulted ceilings. This extra height makes the room feel large without the waste of high vaulted ceilings. A corner wood stove under the higher parts of the ceiling makes for a dramatic focal point with plenty of firewood storage on a stone-covered hearth.

The kitchen receives morning light and is tucked in a corner, out of the main circulation path, yet it is completely open to the dining and living areas. The large, eat-in island is a cook's dream for overflow preparation. The frig, sink and range are efficiently located on an L, reducing the need to carry large pots and dishes across open space.

The bedroom layout is a split design which creates privacy for both bedrooms. Each has their own bath, but the smaller one can be accessed from the living areas as well. The master bath has a large shower and windows which capture sunsets. The laundry is near the center of the house making it convenient from all work areas as well as the garage entry.

Daylight Basement

A sunny basement is designed with flexibility and is easily accessed from the center of the home. Sun will stream down the stairs in winter. There is room for at least two bedrooms (and up to four) and at least one (or two) more baths. The entire level could be rented out or reserved for in-law or teenage living. Patio doors on the west allow for easy outside access. The mechanical room could also be a storm cellar.

Garage

The garage has room for extra storage or a workshop. Like many Sun Plans, the attached garage is designed such that it can be eliminated or constructed later.

Construction Info

The Prairie Dog 4 is designed to be constructed with an economical truss-framed roof, 6" walls, and an ICF (insulated concrete form) foundation. Upper and lower wall construction type can be changed. Both floors have 8' ceilings and the first floor south rooms are vaulted to the center. The north rooms could also be vaulted. Although thermal mass always helps with comfort and minimizing temperature swings, with 7 percent south glass, additional thermal mass is not needed to prevent winter overheating when the low sun is streaming through the windows.

Modification Ideas

Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.

  • Glass in the west porch if west trees can provide shade
  • Add French doors from bedroom 2 to the porch
  • Turn the desk area near the kitchen into a pantry
  • Build just the first floor on a slab, and take out the stairs
  • Reverse the stairs so the basement is closer to the laundry room
  • Detach the garage for narrow lots

Construction Prints

For this plan, the following are included with orders for Construction Prints and CAD Files:

  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Plan
  • Floor Plan with Attached Garage
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
Photos and Comments
Thanks Lori for photos and comments:

"Wanted you to know we are just about completed with our construction project and we couldn't be more pleased with the final result!!! The house is absolutely amazing and everything and more than I dreamed it would be. When I am at my kitchen island looking out at the view and feeling the breeze flow through I feel like I am right in the middle of the field.

"The daylight and views are amazing!...The front porch is amazing. It stays cool even on hot days between the shade and the nice breeze that wraps around the house from the SW direction. Eventually we will finish the basement with rough shiplap siding as a family/rec room for the grandchildren and gathering place for parties. Can't wait for winter to enjoy that warmth from the sun.

"Between your gorgeous design and my builders hard work you have both made our dreams come true and we feel truly blessed. I told you about my grand babies passing. The day we received the bad news and knew he was not going to make it, on the way home a beautiful double rainbow appeared in the sky and I told my husband that was a sign from God and my father (who passed on recently) that everything was going to be okay and Calvin would be with his great grandfather soon. We have since then witnessed a beautiful rainbow over our home/field and I truly believe Calvin and my dad are with us and smiling down. I feel so close to God up there.

"Thank you so very much!" - Lori
(Like most clients, they made a few more changes during construction so the photos may not match the house plans exactly.)
Since they have moved in, she told us:
"On the cold, sunny days I turn the thermostat down and the furnace does not kick on until 5-6P." 

"We had a couple of sunny 12 degree days recently and it heated up to a comfortable 72 degrees and we didn't have to put the furnace on until after sunset. Today is in the mid-twenties and it is 74 degrees in the house. I have been marking all "free heat" days on the calendar. I have to say I appreciate the sun much more than I used to. Thankfully we have had a good share of sunshine. Even on cloudy days a bright home is so much more uplifting especially for those of us that live in the north and have long winters!"