|VINTAGE HOME DESIGN
LOCATED IN ALAMO CALIFORNIA AND SERVING
SAN FRANSISCO BAY AREA
Q. Do I need to hire a licensed architect to design my new home or addition?
A. State laws regulate the practice of architecture and residential design.
Residential design is exempt from these laws and do not require a licensed
architect to design your home or addition. You should consider the qualifications
of your residential designer. Vintage Home design is a member of the AIBD a
nationally recognized association of residential building designers whose members
are required to follow a strict code of ethics set forth by it's governing body.
Q, I recently visited a friend's new home that I really like. Can I copy their plans
and build my own house with them?
A. Building plans are typically meant for one time use and are the intellectual
property of the individual or firm that prepared them. Unless you have
permission from the author or firm that prepared the building plans you would
be in violation of copy right laws that are in place to protect the author.
Q. I want to build an addition on the side of my house and my building department
has set back restrictions that will prevent me from building it as large as I would
like. Is there process to remedy this?
A. Typically we try to design within the building restrictions set forth by your
building authority. There are times when this cannot be achieved and your
improvements will require you to apply for a variance. For example, if your
property lot size is considered substandard in such a way that would prevent
you from building as others have in your neighborhood. You as a home owner
have the right to enjoy your property as would your neighbors enjoy their
property. We would have the burden to convince your building authority your
proposed project is not extraordinary in comparison to your neighborhood.
Surrounding properties will be given a chance to review and comment on your
Q. We waited until the winter was over and now ready to build our dream home or
addition. We called several contractors to give us a bid for construction on our house.
All of the contractors told us we need complete plans before they will bid on the job.
How long will this process take?
A. It is not uncommon for a home owner to under estimate the complexities of
the design, engineering and permitting process before the first shovel hits the
dirt. All projects are unique from each other. Smaller jobs may only take a
couple of months from design to building permit, larger jobs can take up to
eight months and sometimes longer. It does not prove a good value to the home
owner to rush the design and compromise the overall potential of your home.
Q. OK, now it is Spring and you have convinced me it will take much longer than
anticipated to start work. Do I need to wait until next Spring for construction to
A. Not necessarily, many times your contractor can get your house weather
tight and ready for interior finish during the rainy season with only a few rain
delays. (Winter of 2005/07 AND 2009/10 being the exception.)
Q. I have a design program I bought from my local home store. Can I do my own
design and have you finish the plans for permit approval?
There are some really good inexpensive and sometimes free (web based) design
programs a home owner can use to get the design process started. We prefer
to be your full service residential design company and provide you with building
plans from preliminary design to the finished construction documents. A good
resource to help you make this decision would be the AIBD.
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