These FAQS are for end customers. FAQs for professionals and architects supplying designs are elsewhere on this site.
Other plan services allow me browse through many plans, why doesn’t Opoplan do that ?
Opoplans service is founded on the idea that, just like when you go to an architect, a specific design should be created that is a response to your particular plot/site, lifestyle, and taste. While we understand that our customers know what they like when they see it, Opoplan takes the approach that careful analysis of your brief in combination with our architectural design software (developed by architects to mimic and accelerate what we normally do on, and the knowledge we bring to, a new home project) will lead to a better design than if the customer is left to scroll through thousands of designs with no guidance. In fact Opoplan usually creates up to 3 designs for you, so you get the best of both worlds.
Opoplan creates a personalised design solutions for my family and our site, how does that work ?
When you begin creating your design on Opoplan, you input details about your site, your family, lifesyle, personal taste, rooms you require and much more. This is your personal brief. From this, using our unique architectural analysis system, we develop a full picture of your design requirements. This is then input into our architectural design software and applied to our portfolio of seed designs from architects (see below) and combined with our toolbox of customisations to generate a unique design solution for you.
Where do Opoplan designs come from?
All of Opolans designs begin life as real designs by licenced/registered architects from North America and around the world. We call these the seed plans and the architects recieve a share of the money you pay when their plans are used to make your design. These seed plans are then customised and modified to respond to your site and brief by our software and so are transformed to become a unique design solution thats individual to you.
What are typical prices for Opoplan designs ?
Unlike our competitors we dont charge according to the size of the house. All of our designs are generated automatically so the cost to us is the same. Our designs come with a basic package (the architectural design set) which comprises our base price. Additional output formats to suit different uses or stages of your project are available at indivdual prices. We anticipate that most customers will spend about the same on designs and products from Opoplan as they would on other plan services but for a much better design outcome.
In most cases you will get the best prices by using Opoplan through a subscriber builder or local design professional (and of course that means you have a direct route to complete your build too).
What formats and outputs are Opoplan designs available in and whats included ?
The basic package is our architectural design set. This is equivalent to the developed design stage in North America (outline design in Europe) and the set includes plans, section, elevations and 3d views of your new home. This is enough to let you understand and communicate the general design to your family, neighbour, builder and is a key component of any consents or permit applications. Once this has been purchased, our additional product formats are available. These really bring online plans into the modern era and include walk through movies, 3d printed models (delivered in a few days) where available, continued access to the online 3d explorer, high quality renderings (CGIs/ artists impressions) and soon an Augmented Reality experience.
We also offer a blueprint set which contains the general information your builder would need to begin sizing, costing and planning the build (though some local detail will need to be added for construction). Additional products for the builder include material lists and other technical information.
You say the designs are architect quality, can you explain ?
At Opoplan we believe that only architects have the skill and knowledge to create a really bespoke design solution for you. However we also recognise that there are not enough architects to do all the new houses in the world and that the amount of time they spend on a project (its in most architects DNA to only take on a project if they can do it brilliantly from start to finish) means most people – over 90% actually- cannot afford their service. To address this gap, Opoplan spent years systemising the steps architects take in analysing, understanding and creating a house design and refined these into an automated process. Our system follows exactly the steps most architects take on projects and captures much of the benefit an architect can bring to the early stages of a design, but does it automatically.
Thats the first reason we say Opoplans designs are architect quality. The second reason is that of course all of our designs start as seed plans designed by real architects for a family and site/plot just like yours.
Is Opoplan the same as going to a real architect ?
Opoplan produces architect quality (see above) outline designs for your house at an affordable price. This is not the same as engaging an architect to design your house and champion its quality through to completion. We are big fans of what architects do and do not claim to offer an equivalent outcome. So if you can afford an architect, we reccomend you do so. If however you cannot, Opoplan is the next best alternative.
What about local building codes, permits and consents ?
In common with other online plan services, you will always need to engage a local engineer to carry out structural calculations, add engineering detail to the deisgn and organize getting building permits or other consents, before the build starts.
In many areas only a building permit will be required. Where consents from Architectural Review Boards are needed, Opoplans range of design products provide you with the main drawings and materials you would need to include in an application. However you will probably need to engage a local architect or other professional to finalise the application. Your builder may be able to reccomend such a professional.
How do I find an engineer to do the structural aspects of my design ?
You will always need to engage a local engineer to carry out the structural design aspects of the design. These depend on local conditions and standards and are impossible for us to integrate in our process. Your builder may be able to help with finding a reputable local engineer or other professional (check they have insurance) who can provide these services and adjust the design as required and to take account of other local conditions like seismic, flooding or other risks.
Is it likely I’ll see another Opoplan design like mine in my area ?
Given the detail of the brief we take from you and the complexity of our analysis and design software – used to create an idividualised design for you, it is exceedingly unlikely you would see another design that is exactly the same as yours anywhere.
Some plan services offer reverse, mirror and reproducible variations of their plans. Does Opoplan do the same ?
Because Opoplans designs are an individualised solution fo you and your site, they have already taken account of most of the reasons that you might wish to reverse or mirror your design. So usually it wouldn’t be necessary or beneficial to do this. See also the question on Changes below.
May I copy or share my design ?
What reports, schedules / lists and analyses are available for Opoplan designs ?
Opoplan can, depending on availablity, produce schedules (lists) of rooms, area, components like windows and material lists that help the builder begin sizing and costing the project and planning the construction.
Can I get the design in soft copy formats (CAD or BIM) ?
Yes these are part of the additional product outputs available when the basic set is being purchased.
How do make changes to my design?
There are really 2 ways, the first is to purchase the soft copy (CAD and BIM) versions of the design and take the file to your local draughtsman, technologist or similar (or an architect if you can). Your builder may also be able to make simple changes. The other way, available in 2019, is to order changes to be made manually by Opoplan (approximate cost $100/ per change). Coming Soon !
What are your terms of service ?
Our Terms of Service are available for review here