The reality is that most designs are not completely original and have been inspired by something the client has previously seen through various media (print, TV, internet, etc.) or viewed in person. In the event the desired plan is nearly identical in composition to the inspiration source plan, caution should be observed in duplicating a plan that is copyrighted by the original designer. Details on copyright laws as published by the Brown County Home Builders Association can be found here. When in doubt, consult directly with the original designer of the plans. In many cases, the original designer or copyright holder of the plans will sell rights to the plan for a one-time use fee.
In the event you have a completely original sketch of a house plan concept, by all means bring this to your preliminary design meeting with Bay Lakes for discussion. If you have source material from a website, magazine, or a built home seen during the Showcase or Parade of Homes events, proceed with caution. Incorporating certain individual aspects of layout or form found in multiple plans in to one unique and comprehensive whole may or may not be problematic. That said, a one-for-one reproduction (or a plan with so few modifications as to be considered derivative of the copyrighted plan) will certainly be a legal problem and nothing Bay Lakes Builders will be able to construct without prior consent from the original designer.
With respect to construction details, materials, or finishes - copyright laws are not usually of concern for most sources of inspiration. Therefore, inspiration images from popular resources such as Houzz, Pinterest, HGTV, etc. are highly encouraged to be brought to preliminary design meetings to be evaluated for inclusion in to the overall house design along with any other design ideas from traditional print media, photographs, or drawings.
Bay Lakes Builders offers a wide variety of their own original house plans as a starting point for further customization. Beyond this condensed library of house plans published online, Paul E. Soletski has designed thousands of other original home designs to draw on for inspiration. Paul is also adept at taking the various ideas furnished by the client and creating an entirely new house plan from scratch. There are many ways to arrive at the end goal, and the focus of the early design meeting(s) with Paul is plan development from the client's inspiration materials.
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Door County Office: 9352 Park Place, Fish Creek, WI 54212
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