Having spent some time living in Sweden I do admire their contemporary house designs.

I recently came across a contemporary bungalow design in plan form in a Swedish magazine where with a slight design change reducing the number of bedrooms and other requirements etc. it would suit our requirements.
My question is, In taking someone else’s design in principal and slightly modifying it, am I breaking any copyright laws etc. or is this perfectly acceptable?

  • Stuart Oliver

    no in a word- you would be in breach of copyright -contact the architect for his consent to use the design .my knowledge of this field comes from being involved in dozens of copyright cases – all won !

  • Mark Brinkley

    I’m not as convinced as Stuart. In theory his answer is correct but in practice many house designs are incredibly similar and Swedish houses in particular tend to follow a very simple form – rectangular in shape under a steeply pitched roof. There will probably be millions of country homes like this in Scandinavia and it’s virtually a generic form of housing over which no one could claim copyright.

    Having said that, as you will (presumably) be building in the UK, the house will have to satisfy a different set of rules and regs and you will still need an architect (or house designer) to draw up something to meet our standards. You would probably do best to hire someone local and start by showing them the plans you like (perfectly acceptable) and saying can you design something along these lines. Most people want to customise things like room layouts, so effectively you have a new design anyway.

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