You might think that, somewhere, the City of Los Angeles has plans for every structure erected in the city, at least since modern building permits came into use in the 1910s. You might think that, if you’re planning to renovate an old building, you can go down to some records room, pull the plans, and then begin work on designing your renovation.
You would be wrong on both counts. Here’s why:
- The city has very spotty records for plans going back before the early 1990s. Want to see plans for a 1920s building? Forget it.
- Even in the rare instances that the city has the plans, the rules require that you get written permission from the architect before the city will release them. Which is fine, except that, for a building built in 1960 by an architect aged 50, you’re trying to get written permission from someone who is 103 years old.
So, the first step of every single renovation project we do is to get “as-builts” drawn.
What are “as-builts”? They are detailed drawings done by an architect who measures every dimension of the building as it is in real life and puts it on paper.
Only then can you start messing around with putting together new layouts for your units.