INTERIOR DESIGN LAW

Helps answer questions as to the legal
definition of an Interior Designer, as
well as provide the latest Interior
Design law practices.

browse interior design law

SCROLL DOWN
to explore CLCID

LEGAL REFERENCES

CLCID is the leading organization for advocacy, influence, and support of Interior Designers in California.

The legal definition of an interior designer helps to clarify the role and scope of practice of an interior designer within the creative environment and as a part of a group of professionals who work in the design and building industry. The 2013 Amendments to the Interior Design Law covers the current certification of interior designers, and the Architects Practice Act details the scope of practice of interior designers and their interaction with architects.

A professional Interior Designer is defined as a person qualified by education, experience and examination to:

  1. Identify, research, and creatively solve problems pertaining to the function and quality of the interior environment;
  2. Perform services relative to interior spaces programming, design analysis, space planning and aesthetics — using specialized knowledge of interior construction elements, building codes, equipment, and furnishings;
  3. Prepare non-structural, non-seismic drawings and documents relative to the design of interior spaces in order to enhance and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

The Governor signed SB 308 (Lieu – Gordon) on September 23rd, 2013, which became law on January 1, 2014.

SB 308 stands as passed by the Assembly and the Senate with minimal amendments. The following amendments to the Certified Interior Designer Law are as follows:

  • Extends the certification statute to 2018.
  • Requires Certified Interior Designers to use written contracts when providing design services.
  • Requires the Interior Design Certification Board – CCIDC, to operate their board meetings in compliance with the Bagley Keene Open Meeting Act .
  • Clarifies that interior designer and interior decorator are not titles that are protected from use by non-certified individuals.
  • Codifies the use of the appellation “CID” to mean Certified Interior Designer.

We were not able to add the clarifying language to help building officials understand what we do. Unfortunately, in some jurisdictions, the building officials’ interpretation of Section 5800 of the Architects practice act will continue to be an impediment to designers’ ability to pull permits for their projects which causes undue inconvenience and additional costs to consumers. It is up to all of our members to continue to educate the building officials regarding the education, experience and examination needed to become a Certified Interior Designer.

ARCHITECTS PRACTICE ACT
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE
CHAPTER 3, DIVISION 3

5537 Exemptions; Dwellings, Garages, Agricultural and Ranch Buildings;

Supervision of Licensed Architect or Registered Engineer Required

(a) This chapter does not prohibit any person from preparing plans, drawings, or specifications for any of the following:

(1) Single-family dwellings of woodframe construction not more than two stories and basement in height.

(2) Multiple dwellings containing no more than four dwelling units of woodframe construction not more than two stories and basement in height. However, this paragraph shall not be construed as allowing an unlicensed person to design multiple clusters of up to four dwelling units each to form apartment or condominium complexes where the total exceeds four units on any lawfully divided lot.

(3) Garages or other structures appurtenant to buildings described under subdivision (a), of woodframe construction not more than two stories and basement in height.

(4) Agricultural and ranch buildings of woodframe construction, unless the building official having jurisdiction deems that an undue risk to the public health, safety, or welfare is involved.

(b) If any portion of any structure exempted by this section deviates from substantial compliance with conventional framing requirements for woodframe construction found in the most recent edition of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations or tables of limitation for woodframe construction, as defined by the applicable building code duly adopted by thelocal jurisdiction or the state, the building official having jurisdiction shall require the preparation of plans, drawings, specifications, or calculations for that portion by, or under the responsible control of, a licensed architect or registered engineer. The documents for that portion shall bear the stamp andsignature of the licensee who is responsible for their preparation. Substantial compliance for purposes of this section is not intended to restrict the ability of the building officials to approve plans pursuant to existing law and is only intended to clarify the intent of Chapter 405 of the Statutes of 1985.
§ 5537.1 Exemptions; Structural Engineer

A structural engineer, defined as a registered civil engineer who has been authorized to use the title structural engineer under the provisions of Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6700), insofar as he or she practices the profession for which he or she is registered, is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, except that a structural engineer may not use the title “architect,” unless he or she holds a license as required in this chapter.
§ 5537.2 Exemptions; Contractors

This chapter shall not be construed as authorizing a licensed contractor to perform design services beyond those described in Section 5537 or in Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000), unless those services are performed by or under the direct supervision of a person licensed to practice architecture under this chapter, or a professional or civil engineer licensed pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6700) of Division 3, insofar as the professional or civil engineer practices the profession for which he or she is registered under that chapter. However, this section does not prohibit a licensed contractor from performing any of the sendees permitted by Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 within the classification for which the license is issued. Those sendees may include the preparation of shop and field drawings for work which he or she has contracted or offered to perform, and designing systems and facilities which are necessary to the completion of contracting sendees which he or she has contracted or offered to perform.

However, a licensed contractor may not use the title “architect,” unless he or she holds a license as required in this chapter.
§ 5537.4 Exemptions; Professional Engineer

A professional engineer registered to practice engineering under the provisions of Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6700), insofar as he or she practices the profession for which he or she is registered, is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, except that a professional engineer may not use the title “architect,” unless he or she holds a license as required in this chapter.
§ 5537.5 Exemptions; Civil Engineer

A civil engineer authorized to use that title under the provisions of Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6700), insofar as he or she practices the profession for which he or she is registered, is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, except that a civil engineer may not use the title “architect,” unless he or she holds a license as required in this chapter.
§ 5537.6 Exemptions; Landscape Architect

A landscape architect registered under the provisions of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 5615), insofar as he or she practices the profession for which he or she is registered, is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, except that a landscape architect may not use the title “architect,” exclusive of the word “landscape,” unless he or she holds a license as required in this chapter.
§ 5537.7 Exemptions; Land Surveyor

A land surveyor licensed under the provisions of Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 8700) of Division 3, insofar as he or she practices the profession for which he or she is licensed under Chapter 15 of Division 3, is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, except that a land surveyor may not use the title “architect,” unless he or she holds a license as required in this chapter.
§ 5538 Planning or Design Affecting Safety of Building or Its Occupants;

Nonstructural Store Front or Interior Alterations or Additions

Excepted

This chapter does not prohibit any person from furnishing either alone or with contractors, if required by Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3, labor and materials, with or without plans, drawings, specifications, instruments of service, or other data covering such labor and materials to be used for any of the following:

(a) For nonstructural or nonseismic storefronts, interior alterations or additions, fixtures, cabinetwork, furniture, or other appliances or equipment.

(b) For any nonstructural or nonseismic work necessary to provide for their installation.

(c) For any nonstructural or nonseismic alterations or additions to any building necessary to or attendant upon the installation of those storefronts, interior alterations or additions, fixtures, cabinetwork, furniture, appliances, or equipment, provided those alterations do not change or affect the structural system or safety of the building.

SUPPORT CLCID

Our Benefactors and Sponsors play an important role in the activities and services provided by the California Legislative Coalition for Interior Designers. Help support the CLCID in our mission to protect each designer’s rights to practice.

Become a sponsor
CLCID Sponsors footer image

Join the Movement

Become a memberTake a class

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

©2017 California Legislative Coalition for Interior Design |  Design by Leads Ngin

CLCID 48860 Milmont Drive, Suite 101C Fremont, CA 94538 © Copyright 2016 California Legislative Coalition for Interior Design

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?