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Questions about Architectural Plans and Permits

What is a architectural plan?

When an architect is making plans for a building and includes written and graphic descriptions of any architectural elements of the building that they are building is called an architectural plan.

How can a person obtain the architectural plans for my home in Fairview, Pennsylvania?

The person would need to do a lot of detective work and review any records that may be on file for the house. The person would need to start with the tax assessor and property recorder that is located in Erie County, Pennsylvania, in which Fairview is located. The person can follow the link to find out more information; http://www.erie.gov/ecrpts/webprop.asp. The link may have the names of the architect or contractors that have worked on the property. The person would then need to follow up with all the listed architects and see if they have any plans on the property. Once the person goes through the recorder’s records he/she would then need to contact all the previous owners to see if they may have any plans on the house or if they might know who the architect or contractors might be. The person may also research the property at the library and see if there were any newspaper articles done on the development of the property.

In the state of California, if a person is planning architectural plans for a property and finds out that the neighbor has a fence on their side of the property line, what can he/she do so that they can move forward with their architectural plans?

According the CA Civil Code Section 325, a person has a very brief five year time frame to establish adverse possession. The requirement to prove this that the requirement is that the use of the property must be open and notorious. Since the fence is open use, then the criteria is more than likely met which means that it is being used without permission and obvious. If the fence is to be removed then the person would want to use this defense and contact a real estate lawyer to follow through with plans to have the fence removed so that the person can continue on with their architectural plans.

In the state of Texas, how does the court define a design/architect when a woodworker is trying to sue the architect and not the homeowner?

According to the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1051; “(7) "Practice of architecture" means a service or creative work applying the art and science of developing design concepts, planning for functional relationships and intended uses, and establishing the form, appearance, aesthetics, and construction details for the construction, enlargement, or alteration of a building or environs intended for human use or occupancy, the proper application of which requires education, training, and experience in those matters. The term includes: (A) establishing and documenting the form, aesthetics, materials, and construction technology for a building, group of buildings, or environs intended to be constructed or altered; (B) preparing, or supervising and controlling the preparation of, the architectural plans and specifications that include all integrated building systems and construction details, unless otherwise permitted under Section 1051.606(a)(4); (C) observing the construction, modification, or alteration of work to evaluate conformance with architectural plans and specifications described in Paragraph (B) for any building, group of buildings, or environs requiring an architect; (D) programming for construction projects, including identification of economic, legal, and natural constraints and determination of the scope and spatial relationship of functional elements; (E) recommending and overseeing appropriate construction project delivery systems; (F) consulting, investigating, and analyzing the design, form, aesthetics, materials, and construction technology used for the construction, enlargement, or alteration of a building or environs and providing expert opinion and testimony as necessary; (G) research to expand the knowledge base of the profession of architecture, including publishing or presenting findings in professional forums; and (H) teaching, administering, and developing pedagogical theory in academic settings offering architectural education.” With this being considered, the architect should file a dismissal of the charges due to the fact that he/she was not acting as a general contractor, therefore making the claim null and void.

If a person’s contract for architectural plans does not specify architectural fees, how would a person know the breakdown and what they owe for the contract?

The person would probably need to reach a settlement plan through the company and if the architect is in breach of the contract, then the person may not be responsible for the contract. The person would need to review the contract to see if there was any violation.

Architectural plans are what are drawn up when an architect is building or remodeling a home. The homeowner or architect may have questions regarding the laws regarding architectural plans or how the plans are set up. If you need clarification about any legal aspect of architectural plans, you should ask an Expert.
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