Tag Archives: legal

10 years and still going

konstrukshon_logo_181108I received several emails via linkedin the last couple of days to say happy anniversary, seems I have been running Konstrukshon for 10 years, it does not seem like it,  there have been ups and downs, clients who don’t pay, site problems and time deadlines, but over all, I like working for myself, 10 years and still going.

Running your own company is something your not taught at college, I learned the hard way, and relied upon my years within practice and a large chemical company to survive, that and my membership to CIAT, without whom I don’t think I could have made it.

So for all you budding entrepreneur’s take heart, its hard work, but the end result is worth it. My best advise, get a god accountant, next make a plan, try to sort out who when and how your going to get work, money and pay your self. Next sort out your office, do not go for an expensive room somewhere, I have effectively worked out of a small bedroom for my last 10 years, all I needed was a good, fast, internet, I keep almost all of my paperwork as electronic, in fact, the biggest room taker in my office is my books.

Time management is the other biggy, here I have to be rigid, and keep to the plan, otherwise I don’t earn money, I tend to work early and finish not to late, which is the other big problem working from home and the reverse of not working, its the oh I’ll just do this and before you know it, its 10 in the evening and your in the bad books with your partner. Manage your time.

Put something away for the rainy day, big fees come in, don’t spend it all, some for you, some for the tax man and some for the unexpected, try to plan for the obvious expenditures, like your computer replacement, say every 5 years, thats how long mine seem to last. Holidays, plan well in advance, and please don’t take your laptop with you, just in case.

Thats it, a quick overview of running your business, it takes a lot more than this, believe me, but if you take one piece of advice its do it, but plan the path, you will not keep to it, but it will provide a life line to allow you to check, and if necessary, pull back inline or amend.    Have fun.

 

 

 

 

Architectural Technologist – Copyright

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I had planned to put up a detailed blog on Coptright this morning, but the more I look into it, the more I get confused. I have alway put a note on my drawings, that says “Copyright is vested in Konstrukshon Ltd, it must not be loaned, copied or otherwise communicated to a third Party without prior consent”, Would I invoke this, should I, its a big question, certainly if I was a major practice, I might do that, but me, and my small extensions, …. proberly not, in fact I might be pleased if some one copied my design, it would say something about it,.

So where does this leave me, I will still continue to add my note, but its use is well less than justified, I am a keen open source user, and regularly put my photos up for any one to use, just add my name as source, thats all I ask, pay me a small fee if you feel inclined, but its the thrill of being recognised as the author thats more inportant to me.

Is it fare to restrict the client, to asking my permission to use my drawings for his house, I always say in my contract, or articles of agreement, that the drawings are his to use, the note is merely to ward of other like companies from stealing my designs or details, but again I say its not worth my time to chase it up. I would, if I found out, drop a polite note to say they are my copyright, and he should know better, if fact I have been handed drawings from clients,  the first thing I do is write to the original designer telling him of the event, and I make it clear to the client I will do so. Its polite and the gentleman thing to do, manners are everything.

Big companies are hell bent on protecting their designs, or invention, is that right, well if you have spent years inventing a concept or product spending millions in the process, then you would be right hacked  if your competitor watched and copied, and beat you to market so in this respect, copyright should be invoked, and protected. The same goes for a book, if I write down my life story, and in this age its easy to copy, paste and re issue in a blink, some one does exactly that under there own name, then I’m all for protecting it.. The simple answer to all this is if you see something thats not yours , and you want to use it, ask, if they say no, fine, walk away, go to a source that does allow free use, I have and do use these sites, Flickr is one.

I am of the opinion that copyright is complicated, a legal brief might say otherwise, but they are steeped in the law and sometimes law is written for them not us, I still work on the gentleman thing, maners and morals are important, So if your a student looking to plagiarise, think again, its not worth it, generate your own work, good or bad, sleep well at night.

The CPd is vast on this subject, just put the word into Google or your search engine of choise, and see the list that appears, is huge, I’m claiming a good 30 mins, I gave up thinking its to much.

 

 

 

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Architectural Technologist – Party wall Act & the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

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I have just had to do some research onto the two above acts, re a repair job I’m currently involved in, I at first thought that I could send a Party wall act letter to the owner of an adjacent house so I could access their land to repair a wall, however, on spending some time researching the required letter, I suddenly realised that the Party Wall act was not the right way to go about this, and I should be looking at the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992, I found a nice site called sitesage that gave me plenty of background, and a site aptly called nfhib that had a useful text abstract that outlined the act. that gave me enough information so I could approach a surveyor and instruct him accordingly, he confirmed my findings and agreed to act for me. I have made a link to the site above, and a couple more that gave good grounding, enough to realise I needed to get external help. Most simple party wall act letters I can handle but in this case, it seems that unless a friendly letter to the owner asking for permission works, the courts are the only solution as there is no arbitration as in the Party Wall Act. As it happens a friendly letter has been sent, I await a reply before evoking the Act.

This is only applicable to England, from what I understand, Northern Ireland and Scotland do not have these act. I have added these links and my findings to my Party Wall Act  CPD notes for future reference.

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