These FAQs are for homeowners who are thinking about creating a custom design plan for their new house.

1. What is Opoplan?

Opoplan is the world’s first virtual architect platform where ordinary people who are building their own home come to get a custom house plan designed by a virtual architect. Unlike other online houseplan websites, Opoplan creates each design in response to a Design Brief – from you.

 

2. What does Opoplan do?

Opoplan creates custom design house plans for customers who are designing and building their own new home. Each individual house plan is created automatically by our unique Opoplan technology in response to a design brief and the resulting design plan is available to view and explore in two separate 3D explorers.

When customers are ready to proceed with permit application or construction, Opoplan supplies a Full Architect Design Set with information your builder needs to move forward with construction and pricing. A builder information set is also available with extra detailed information to help them get started more quickly. The builder information set is included in the price of the full architect design set, but the information is sent directly to your builder.

Opoplan also has a free service called Lot Check, that measures land parcels to give potential purchasers a guide to the size of house that will fit on that lot.

 

3. What is Lot Check?

Lot Check is our free, unlimited service where you can map out any lot that you are thinking about buying and Opoplan will tell you what size house will fit on that lot.

 

4. What is a Design Brief?

A design brief is the unique set of questions that you answer online telling your virtual architect what you want. Opoplan asks questions about your family, pets, hobbies and lifestyle, as well as specific questions about how you live, your design preferences, constructions options, nearby buildings and much, much more. From this, using our unique architectural analysis system, we develop a  full picture of your design requirements. Using artificial intelligence, our architectural design software then selects a seed design and customizes it to match the requirements you have specified in your design brief.

 

5. How does Opoplan work?

When you submit your design brief, the Opoplan proprietary technology system creates a custom house plan, using artificial intelligence and other technology, to suit your lot and lifestyle based on your answers to the design brief questions.

 

6. What browsers provide the best experience for Opoplan users?

We recommend Google Chrome for the best experience, but the latest versions of Safari and Microsoft Edge should also work.

 

7. What devices work best for Opoplan?

In order to best enjoy our new design plans in Opoplan’s 3D viewers, we recommend using a device with a mouse such as a laptop or desktop computer rather than a touchscreen device such as a tablet or smarphone.

It is possible to complete your Design Brief on a touchscreen device, however, we recommend using a device with a mouse, particularly if your lot/site is outside the US, as you will need to manually configure your site/lot boundaries.

 

8. Does Opoplan map lot/sites globally or only in the USA?

Outside of the US, you will need to manually configure your site/lot boundaries which is why we recommend using a device with a mouse instead of a touchscreen device.

 

9. How long will it take Opoplan to produce my custom design house plan?

Your free plan will be ready to explore in 3DExplore, 3D Tour and Plans & More in around 15 minutes.

Further customization, based on automated or manual changes requires a subscription and will take longer.

 

10. How can I have changes made to my Opoplan custom design house plan?

There are 2 options:

  1. Buy the soft copy (CAD and BIM) versions of the design plan 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.
  2. Take out a monthly subscription, from $11 per month, and request automated or manual changes.

 

11. Can I share my Opoplan 3D viewers with my family, friends and my builder?

Yes. You can show the 3DTour, 3D Explorer and Plans & More viewers to other people. Later in our development, you will be able to share a link to the viewers.

 

12. What is a ‘Full Architect Design Set’?

The paper plans with elevations and sections are called an ‘Architect Design Set’. When you buy an Opoplan custom design house plan, you get everything you would get from a live architect, but from Opoplan it comes as a downloadable PDF file.

 

13. What’s included in the Builder Information Set?

This is information that will help your builder provide you with cost quotes and should help move the process along more quickly.  All of this information is exported from the Opoplan virtual architect platform and includes: fully dimensioned builder layouts (.pdf), plans in 2D format (.dwg/.dxf), material take offs, window and door schedules.

 

14. When you say your design plans are architect quality, what does this mean?

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 because then no other buildings would ever be designed and for 9 out of 10 people who build their own home, an architect is an unaffordable luxury.

Opoplan spent years systemising the steps architects take to analyse, understand and create 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. The difference is that Opoplan does it automatically.

 

15. Am I likely to see another Opoplan design like mine in my area/zip code?

It is highly unlikely that you will ever see another house that is exactly the same as your Opoplan custom design houseplan given the detail of the brief we take from you and the complexity of our analysis and design software. Obviously, it’s not totally impossible, but we don’t think it’s likely – anywhere, ever.

 

16. How much does it cost for the full Opoplan design plan?

All Opoplan custom design house plans are available at a fixed price of €1950, irrespective of the square footage of the house. You can subscribe to compare different design plans, and make further custom changes, before you buy your chosen custom design house plan.

 

17. What other advanced formats can I buy from Opoplan?

Some of the other advance formats include: walk through movies, 3d printable files that you can take to a print shop and get a 3d model printed, CGIs/ artist’s impressions and coming soon an Augmented Reality experience. All of these formats are available at an extra cost, starting from $400.

 

18. Can I get my Opoplan custom design house plan in soft copy formats (CAD or BIM)?

Yes, these are part of the additional product outputs available when the architect design set for your final custom house plan is being purchased.

 

19. What is included at each Opoplan Subscription level?

We have a free level and 3 subscription levels: Personal and Plus for Consumers and Pro for Professional Designers, Builders and Architects:

Level Description
Free 1 design plan with access to 3D viewers. No purchase or change options..
Personal 3 design plans with unlimited access to 3D Tour, 3D Explorer and Plans & More viewers for as long as you continue to subscribe.

Plus, access to automated change requests that you submit to your virtual architect and the option to upload files including images and PDFs.

Plus 5 design plans with unlimited access to 3D Tour, 3D Explorer and Plans & More viewers, as long as you continue to subscribe.

All of the features available at the Personal level plus access to manual changes made by Opoplan’s team of architects and house designers, and access to ‘exclusive ask the architect’ events.

Pro This level is for house designers, builders and architects who want a quick and professional custom design houseplan for their clients.

 

 

20. How much does Opoplan charge for a custom design house plan?

Opoplan starts with one free design plan for everyone. From the free level, you can upgrade to one of 3 subscription levels that include automated and manual change options, before you purchase your chosen custom house plan.

Level Price US$ Description
Free $0 1 design plan with access to 3D viewers.
Personal $11 p/m 3 design plans with unlimited access to 3D viewers with automated changes and file uploads.
Plus $25 p/m 5 design plans with unlimited access to 3D viewers, automated and manual changes and file uploads plus access to limited ‘Ask the Architect’ events. 
Pro $150 p/m Professional level for house designers, builders and architects.
Architect Design Set $1950 Includes: 2D plans, Sections and Elevations, CGI’s.
Builder Information Set Free to your builder Includes: fully dimensioned builder layouts (.pdf), plans in 2D format (.dwg/.dxf), material take offs, window and door schedules.
Lot Check FREE Unlimited access to check what size house will fit on any lot/site.

 

21. Why are Opoplan house plans not priced according to the size/square footage of the house?

Unlike our competitors we don’t charge according to the size of the house. All of our design plans are generated automatically so the cost to us is the same.  Additional output formats to suit different uses or stages of your project are available at an extra cost. Take a look at our Products and Prices pages to find out more.

 

22. How does Opoplan pricing compare to other online house plan websites?

Most customers will spend about the same on designs and products from Opoplan as they would on other plan services, but we deliver a much better design outcome. All Opoplan house plans cost $1950 regardless of the size of the house.

 

23. Why is Opoplan different from other online houseplan websites?

Opoplan is different because:

  1. You complete a design brief, and your custom home plan is then created for you by our virtual architect technology – you don’t select from pictures and make selections based on the number of bedrooms, car park spaces, etc.
  2. Opoplan creates a house plan for your lot, oriented for access, sunlight, views and nearby buildings, so you know your new home will fit your lot.
  3. Before you buy the full architect design set from Opoplan, we give you the option to explore your new home design in 3DExplorer and Plans & More viewers – these unique tools, based on gaming environments, allow you to walk around inside your new home.
  4. Our Builder Information Set provides lots of great information to get your build off to a quick start, helping with planning and costing the build.

 

24. Why is using a virtual architect a good idea?

Using a virtual architect is the next best thing to a human architect.  With a virtual architect, you get an architect quality design plan without the high cost of using a human architect. However, you don’t get the human interaction to discuss your house plan once the design plan is created.

 

25. 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 recommend you do so. If however, you cannot, Opoplan is the next best option.

 

26. Other house plan services allow me browse through many plans, why doesn’t Opoplan do that?

Opoplan’s 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 lot/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 technology will lead to a better design than if  you are selecting a house plan yourself from limited criteria.

 

27. Does Opoplan supply blueprints for my builder?

A blueprint set which contains the general information your builder would need to begin sizing, costing and planning the build is available free of charge with your Architect design set priced at $1950. Though some local detail will need to be added for construction, additional products for the builder include material lists and other technical information.

 

28. Some plan services offer reverse, mirror and reproducible variations of their plans. Does Opoplan do the same?

Because Opoplan’s designs are an individualised solution for you and your site, they have already taken account of most of the reasons that you might wish to reverse or mirror your design. Therefore, it usually wouldn’t be necessary or beneficial to do this, but it is possible as part of the manual change service available at the Plus subscription level at $25 per month.

 

29. Does an Opoplan custom design house plan meet the requirements for North American ‘developed design stage’ and ‘outline design stage’ in Europe?

Opoplan’s architect design set is equivalent  to the developed design stage in North America and 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, neighbours and builder and is a key component of any consents or permit applications.

 

30. 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 design 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, Opoplan’s 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 recommend such a professional.

 

31. 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 aspects of the design. These depend on local conditions and standards, and it is not possible for us to integrate this information into our process at this time. Your builder may be able to help with finding a reputable local engineer or other professional who can provide these services to take account of local conditions like seismic, flooding or other risks.

Quick Tip:  always ask for proof of insurance when engaging with builders/engineers.

 

32. What reports, schedules/lists and analyses are available for Opoplan house plans?

Opoplan includes schedules (lists) of rooms, area, components like windows and material lists in the builder information set, that help the builder begin sizing and costing the project and planning the construction.

 

33. May I copy or share my design?

No. Copying or sharing an Opoplan design plan contravenes the terms and conditions you agreed to when you created your Free Opoplan house plan.

 

34. What are Opoplan’s terms of service?

Our Terms of Service are available here