Cedar Rapids Inaccurate or Incomplete Architectural Designs Attorneys

When you are planning to hire an architect to build or renovate your home or business, do your homework before selecting one for the job. Good first steps include referrals through word of mouth from other customers and checking the credentials of the architect you are considering for your project. For example, many licensed architects are members of the AIA, which has chapters throughout the United States and internationally.

Determining that your architect is a member of this organization or another professional architecture group helps to build your confidence in their capabilities. You can ask the architect or firm if they are licensed to practice architecture in your state. Viewing an architect’s online portfolio can also help you to make your decision.

An architect’s credentials and reputation are extremely important because their design plan should be accurate and complete. If it isn’t, your home or building could have flaws that may result in serious injury or death to you, your family, or others.

Unfortunately, even if the architect checks all of the boxes for professional licensure and experience, they can make design plan mistakes, or fail to provide a complete plan. This can result in an unsafe or poorly built home or building, and/or a devaluation of your property. Unfortunately, you may not be aware of structural flaws until someone is seriously injured or killed because of them, or when you learn that your property value has decreased.

If this has happened to you, don’t try to deal with the situation on your own. You need an experienced Cedar Rapids architect and design law attorney from Arenson Law Group, PC in your corner. Call us today at (319) 363-8199 to learn how we can help.

confused architect

What Can Happen if an Architect’s Design Plan is Inaccurate?

Inaccuracy in an architect’s design plan can compromise your project and result in liability for you if someone is injured while on the premises. Only about 80 percent of architectural design drawings are complete, so there is a 20 percent chance that your plan is inaccurate or missing some details. Let’s say that your architect’s drawing for the foundation of your new home shows a depth measurement that is too low for the amount of frost that usually occurs in your area. This may result in frost heave because water expands when it freezes, causing the foundation to erode. This can lead to floors buckling or caving in. If someone falls and is seriously injured when walking on your weakened floor, your architect’s foundation design could be at fault.

What Are Some Causes of Incomplete Design Plans?

Clients should always allow their architect enough time to create a complete design plan. When a client pressures an architect to provide a design plan in less time than they need, it usually results in a plan that is incomplete because it does not provide for every detail in the project. This can force the project manager to authorize change orders during construction, which actually causes more of a delay and added expense. The quality of the finished product may also be compromised.

When selecting an architect for your project, it is not always wise to hire the one who charges the lowest fee. With the amount of competition architects deal with in their profession, they may charge a client less money for the design plan just to get the job. An architect who agrees to a lower than standard fee for the type of project they are designing may allot fewer hours for preparing the design plan. In the end, this may have a negative impact on the completeness and quality of the plan. It may also result in higher costs overall if the contractor has to go back to the job to add details missing from the plan.

How to Ensure Your Plan Is Accurate and Complete Before Construction Takes Place

After you have met with your architect to discuss your idea for your renovation or building project, set up a meeting to go over the design plan. While you are hoping the plan is accurate and complete, use this meeting time to inspect the plan carefully for details that may have been left out of the plan, or inaccuracies that require revision. If you find any, meet with the architect a second time to ensure the missing details and inaccuracies have been addressed.

house design problems

Elements of a Sound Design Plan

Every design plan, whether for a house or building, should provide scaled drawings and information regarding every aspect of the planned construction. If the following elements are clearly illustrated in your architect’s plan, the plan should be accurate and complete.

  • Elevations: Elevations of the exterior of each side of the structure are drawn to scale. The slant of the roof, the heights of ceilings, outside finishes, chimney, and architectural details such as porches, decks, courtyards, and patios are pictured. Information about building permits is also listed.
  • Foundation Plans: Detailed plans and drawings regarding the dimensions and composition of the foundation and the placement, composition, and design of any required footings and supports are included.
  • Floor Plans: This drawing includes every room, along with its windows and doors. Also, appliances, cabinets, all built-in features, and framing, if applicable to the structure, are illustrated.
  • Roof Plan: This illustration shows the roof from the top of the structure, and, therefore, is a flat view. It is developed using a floor plan and outside elevations of a structure.
  • Electrical Plans: This rendering illustrates inside and outside walls, and all large units that use electricity, such as elevators, furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioning devices. Locations for the panel box, meters, electrical outlets, gas detectors, and alarm systems are also depicted. Electrical symbols are often used to depict various objects.

Why Do You Need an Architect and Design Law Attorney?

Ideally, you retained the services of a licensed architect to design your construction project plan, and you are completely satisfied with the end result. However, if a significant flaw in workmanship or a safety issue arises, you need the services of a knowledgeable and highly experienced legal team to help you recoup your losses due to someone else’s negligence.

The architect and design law attorneys at Arenson Law Group, PC understand the technical aspects of all types of renovation and building projects. We will work through every aspect of your claim to determine if the architect, the construction company, or both, are responsible for your losses. Whether you are facing a liability claim or a devaluation of your property, call (319) 363-8199 today for a consultation. You can also fax us, or fill out our contact form. Don’t delay. We can help.