Scratchbuilding links?

Though I enjoy building from kits, you rarely find high quality suburban
housing kits available. I've done DPM and Walthers kits, even copied them from
scratch, but that's about it. I'm trying to put together a significant number
of houses - a neighborhood.
Anyone know of a source for drawings that can be used for scratchbuilding?
Doesn't have to be free, just reasonable.
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The real estate section of your local paper. Mine prints floor plans of newer homes that are featured for the week.
Find the style of house you want to build that's for sale. Stop by the house and grab the flyer the RE broker left there. That gives room sizes usually. Combine that with a rough sketch of the house using clues (below), and you can arrive at a reasonably close model of the house.
If you're looking for older homes, you can figure the floor layout without much trouble. Short windows high up on the wall are usually over a dining room hutch. Picture windows or ganged double-hungs usually denote a living or dining room. Check the roof for vents for location of the bathroom and kitchen. Glass block windows are almost always in the bathroom, if anywhere. Typical size for a 2-car garage is 20X25 feet. The typical 2-car garage door is 16 by 7 feet. The typical ranch home has a 4 or 5-in-12 pitch roof. Steeper gabled roofs may run 8-in-12 (vertical/horizontal measurements).
Why buy it if its free?
Jay CNS&M North Shore Line - "First and fastest"
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There are lots of house plan magazines at the grocery stores. They will most often only have a floor plan and a drawing or photo of the house but no elevations. Generally they have at least room dimensions or sq. feet so you can get some measurements and estimate the elevations. Don't know if any would fit your era but they might be adaptable.
I'm not sure about house design software being able to do elevations especially the stuff I've seen in the bargain bins but you might look into to that as well.
You can make use able plans with graph paper and a pencil. Take some quick measurements of a house with a tape and/or snap a few pictures. If you know the measurement of one thing like a door or window its easy enough to figure out the rest unless you are dead set in having an exact to the fraction of an inch replica.
You also might look in to the Model Railroad Structures and Scratch building groups at yahoogroups. Someone on those discussion groups may have or be able to direct you to a plan source.
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Bruce Favinger
Dover Publications has an amazing array of inexpensive paper covered books. Try this link:
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That page lists books of "100 Victorian House Plans", "100 Turn-of-the-Century House Plans", "100 1920's House Plans", etc., all priced at about $10 per book. Gary Q
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Go to any new subdivision and pick up the packet of models. They usually have the floor plan and pictures of two or three external elevations.
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Check model railroad magazines, especially older issues. Many had scale plans, materials lists, and directions on how to make the model. You should be able to check out the magazine article index at to find articles on almost any type of structure. I think the article description shows if there are plans included.
Been there, done that! I made a lumber yard from plans in an old Model Railroader article. It had plans in N scale, but were dimensioned so I could make my version in HO scale.
Bob Boudreau Canada
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