It ties the concept of design to the details needed to erect a structure. They are most widely used by contractors to apply for building permits from the municipality where the construction is taking place. Once the blueprints have been filed by the contractor with the construction department of said municipality, they are public documents and technically attainable by anyone wanting to view them.
However, finding blueprints of a building is not always as easy as you might think. Not all documents are digitally stored and some files may not still exist, especially for older structures. Sometimes, the original may be in a box, in the depths of a storage device or in the cellar of a county clerk’s office. Fortunately, in the 21st century, physical blueprints aren’t the standard and drawings using CAD and 3D models and more likely.
In situations like those, the patterns of the original structure are essential. However, the question of how to locate building patterns is always coming up and the answer isn’t always straightforward. Whether you’re a building owner embarking on a build out or an architect looking to copy the design of a commercial construction, here are four ways to find those blueprints in your hands as fast as possible.
Find the Contractor who constructed the property
Begin your search with the contractor who originally assembled the property. If you don’t know who that individual is, the county clerk should have his/her information on file. It is likely that the county zoning board would also hold the initial building permit, which would have the contractor’s details on it. If you discover the contractor but he/she doesn’t have the blueprints, he might be able to direct you to someone who would.
The County Clerk retains the key (or record )
The other option is to start at the county clerk’s office. Each office functions differently, meaning the process to secure the license or record you need will be different. Some will charge a small fee to request access to original files, so be prepared when you request building blueprints.
Locate the original owners of the property
If the building was purchased from the same individuals who constructed it, they might have a copy of the patterns. If not and they secured a construction loan to fund the building, the first lender may have the blueprints on file or be able to direct you to the construction company or contractor.
Consider An Architectural Expert
Another option to find blueprints of a building is to get a replica of the blueprints. This would be done through an architect and is possibly the most cost prohibitive and time consuming. Ideally, use an architect with previous experience and familiarity either in the development of the property or type of structure being replicated.
The floor plan and’map’ of a building are crucial in the design and construction process, but not always straightforward to find. There are multiple ways to go about locating the blueprints, but it is somewhat of a guessing game on who has what. Fortunately, an increasing number of professionals in the industry are adopting technological tools to support online document retrieval. Soon , everyone will be able to geo-locate and request access to all blueprints through innovative cloud based tools.