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RE: duplication of plans

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I may not get any work done today since the email's been flying. But I
needed to say "a few" words on this subject.
Whether or not you hand your client your vellums, you are still covered by
Copyright Laws and your work can not be duplicated without your approval. In
some rural areas when a tract is developed, the local building official may
only require one or two sets of plans for each unique model. He may allow
the others to be built with only a stamped letter of approval from the EOR.
In one case, he did not require a stamp for subsequent projects where there
was no physical change in plans.
This client duplicated my design twenty times before I found out. I left
myself open for this since I thought it was only being used once and did not
make provisions in my contract for a "re-use" fee. Make sure your are very
clear on this up front to avoid confrontation later.
Subsequently, the client has built sixty more homes and I am receiving
$250.00 for each home duplicated off the original set. I do include
structural observation and spend a considerable amount of time on the site
to earn the reuse fee and assure that the home goes up as planned.
My example is of a 1300 square foot starter home in steel stud (one story)
where my initial design fee was reduced since it was government subsidized
low income residential. From past discussions it appears that the reuse fee
should be anywhere from 20-50% of the initial design fee to absorb the cost
of liability and the personal attention you should give the project.
Let's see what others say.

Dennis Wish PE

|-----Original Message-----
|From: Jessica Pemberton [mailto:jmpember(--nospam--at)]
|Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 1998 12:30 PM
|To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
|Subject: duplication of plans
|I have been doing lateral designs for over 3½ years and
|have noticed many changes in what's expected of our
|structural plans.  This has driven cost up and I have found
|that many developers are now more than ever rebuilding
|the same homes to remove the engineering cost.  Is there
|a standard for charging for duplication of plans or is the
|design itself considered the product and therefor not really
|subject to repeat charges?  More and more developers are
|asking for the orignals so they can make future sets.  Aren't
|future sets always required to be stamped and signed by the
|engineer of record?  I am pretty much kept out of the book-
|keeping portion of the company, but it sometimes worries
|me just how far the liability will carry over.  Any comments would
|be greatly appreciated.
|Mark Pemberton, P.E.