Copyright Beware

I am reminded often of the number of people who do not understand copyright law pertaining to building plans.


In short, whosoever draweth the plans – owneth the plans.


If you have your house plans done by a registered Builder of a large Major Builder, even if you handed them your hand sketch, they own the copyright on the plans – YOU DO NOT!
You cannot use the plans they produce for you with any other builder without written copyright release. This may or may not be granted & could leave you with plans you have paid for, but cannot use.  At the very least it will cost you good money to release the copyright to you.


Use an Independent Building Designer


However, if you have your plans designed & drawn by an independent building designer, you can use those plans to request quotes from any number of builders & then select the one you like.  Whilst the copyright legally rests with the Building Designer, you are free to shop it around to any available builder for a quote without fear of any copyright issues.


Copyright Release


In some cases our clients request we release the copyright to them as part of our agreement.  We normally do not have any issues with this providing the design is only going to be used for the site we were engaged to design it on.  In all cases the ‘Revit’ file is always retained by the building designer.  This file contains intellectual property which cannot be shared with other designers or consultants.


Remember – always us a Registered Building Designer to maximise your future options.