The Architect Practice Act defines exempt buildings or structure in Business and Profession Code Section 5537 as follows:
- This does not prohibit any person from preparing plans, drawing, or specifications for any of the following:
- Single-family dwellings of wood frame construction not more that two stories and basement in heights.
- Multiple dwellings containing no more than four dwelling units of wood frame construction not more that two stories and basement in heights. 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.
- Garages or other structure appurtenant to buildings, described under subdivision (a), of wood frame construction not more that two stories and basement in height.
- Agricultural and ranch building of wood frame construction, unless the building official having jurisdiction deems that an undue risk to the public health, safety or welfare is involved.
- If any portion of any structure exempted by this section deviates from substantial compliance with conventional framing requirements for wood frame construction found in the more recent edition of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulation or table of limitation for wood frame construction, as defined by the applicable building code duly adopted by the local jurisdiction or the state, the building official having jurisdiction shall require the preparation of plans, drawings, specification, or calculations for that portion by or under the direct supervision of, a licensed architect or registered engineer. The documents of that portion shall bear the stamp and signature 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.