• Builders’ work revealed they could not read architectural plan
  • Builder had trouble even with easy-to-understand plan details
  • 4-foot by 7-foot window missed on plan
  • 4 or 5 windows? For top-left-of-page puzzle answer, see Windows page


We had no idea builders could not read an architect’s plan

Beau and Jim Rutherford, in initial discussions about building our home, said they wanted detailed architectural plans.

We provided them with initial plans months early to know the house and help with their bid. The plans, with minor changes, were finalized 2 months before the contract, 6 months before construction.

It wasn’t long after the contract was signed before both Beau and Jim Rutherford began complaining about the plans. Too many pages, too detailed. Jim Rutherford complained on three of our visits in a row. On the next visit, he proudly showed me what he called a 1-page building plan. I only wish I had photographed it.

Their 180-degree shift from asking for detail, to complaining about detail, was to change, however. After we filed our lawsuit, the Rutherfords began complaining that our plans weren’t detailed enough. Amazing; two 180-degree shifts over the plans.

Builders had trouble with easy-to-understand plan details

It became clear, too late, unfortunately, that our builders either could not read plans or ignored parts of them. Their lawyer helped us with that question, however. Here’s what they had their attorney ask in our architect’s deposition.

Architect David Richter, April 23, 2012, questioned by the Rutherford’s attorney:

Q: Are you aware of any changes made to the plans to accommodate a lack of knee space in the kitchen island?
A: I don’t remember any details on that.
Q: What do the plans call for? Do they call for knee space in the island?
A: Detail 12 says knee well.
Q: And on what side of the island?
A: On the side facing the living room.


Rutherford Custom Homes had trouble finding knee well on this plan.
Rutherford Custom Homes trouble reading architectural plans
Rutherford Custom Homes had trouble reading architectural plans' knee well
Rutherford Custom Homes failed to fix holes they left in concrete floor.
More Rutherford Custom Homes trouble reading these architectural plans

Rutherfords had lawyer ask our architect if there was knee space.

Beau Rutherford drew out a knee well after they ordered the cabinet without one.

Builders first try didn't leave floor space for their test bar stool and had to be redone.

Builder finally got the cabinet right, but left deep gouges in floor. (See their 9-month failed attempts to fix them.)

About builder screw-up, Rutherford lawyer asked our architect basically how an architect plan should have been read. Section of plan, lower left, shows living/dining room at left, kitchen at right. Click to Enlarge.

kitchen-island-Knee-Well thumbnail
knee-well-error-Ruthrford-Custom-Homes thumbnail
knee-well-try-again-32608-w- thumbnail
knee-well-and-patch thumbnail
dining_kitchen-island-graphic-copy thumbnail

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4-foot by 7-foot living/dining room window missed on plan

James W. Rutherford Jr. and architectural plans
James W. Rutherford Sr., (Jim Rutherford) and architectural plans
Jim Rutherford testimony on number of vents
Rutherford Custom Homes ordered plastic instead of cabinet glass

Builder had trouble using architectural plans. 4- x 7-ft. window was not framed out.

Of skewed valves, Jim Rutherford said plumber thought this was cabinet sink. (See top of page.)

Jim Rutherford testified there was 1 vent on plans.

Rutherford Custom Homes switched glass to plastic, despite plans, owners' requirements.

4-x-7-window-missed thumbnail
guest-sink-no-quality-control thumbnail
Rutherford-Custom-Homes-missed-vent thumbnail
builder-pulled-switch-to-plastic thumbnail

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