Major Rehab - Architect - Posted by Chuck Perry - TX

Posted by Michael on November 05, 2000 at 14:39:59:

Mr. Murray,

“If he is not licensed, you will not be able to use his drawings for your building permit application.
Be careful,
Michael Murray”

It was this statement I thought was misleading, and the original post did refer to a house.

I apologize for coming across so blountly. I know there are alot of draftsmen/designers and probably a few architects that aren’t as capable as myself and my associate (currently enrolled in Architecture at Auburn Univ) at designing simple or complex structures. I have attained a degree in drafing, and I have taken several civil and structural engineering courses. I also have attained my Home Builders License and am looking forward to attaining a General Contractor’s License in the near future. I am currently running a successful, residential Design/Build firm, after spending five years at an engineering firm, working on large scale industrial projects.

Again, I apoligize for coming across so blountly, part of it to, was that I felt like I was being stereo- typed, with less proficient individuals. I am aware that there are alot of people out there who can start a project, but not near as many who can finish it. I also don’t mean to come across to arrogant, I know there’s a whole lot I don’t know, even with my accomplishments at the age of 28.

Michael Meeks

P.S. Sorry I stereotyped you as an arrogant Architect.

Major Rehab - Architect - Posted by Chuck Perry - TX

Posted by Chuck Perry - TX on November 03, 2000 at 02:00:27:

I have a major rehab lined up. Without getting too detailed, I have done an EXTENISIVE market analysis (got in a car with a broker/former-appraiser) and we drove 5-10 comps together.

Anyway, I think I may need an architect and he wants to charge a flat fee of $100 for the schematic design and $35/hr (not to exceed 30 hrs) for construction documents and permit set. I met the architect at the house and I liked what he saw in the house and his plans.

Is this a good deal? He’s a young guy who does commercial rehab work but is looking to moonlight.

Side note: The engineer has already given the house an OK structurally. He said it could withstand “gale force winds.” I got the house tied up on an exclusive option.


Seems a little too inexpensive (nt) - Posted by Rolfe Kurtyka

Posted by Rolfe Kurtyka on November 03, 2000 at 23:17:25:


$100 for schematics??? Hmmmmm - Posted by Michael Murray

Posted by Michael Murray on November 03, 2000 at 10:26:40:

Chuck, I am a licensed architect in Colorado. I don’t know what the going rate is in Texas, but I can tell you that you would not get the time of day for $100 from an architect here. The normal fee here is either 10% of construction costs plus contingencies, or a straight $75 or more per hour after an up-front retainer of $3,000 or more. Schematics should run about 1/3 of total time and costs. There is usually an extra surcharge for rehab work due to unknowns and it is doubtful that an adequate set of construction documents could be produced in 30 hours. I would question whether the person you have contacted is really an architect (meaning licensed in your state)or a designer/draftsman calling himself an architect, which is illegal in most states. If he is not licensed, you will not be able to use his drawings for your building permit application.
Be careful,
Michael Murray

Re: Major Rehab - Architect - Posted by jen-LA

Posted by jen-LA on November 03, 2000 at 10:13:40:

Chuck- if you are asking if the architect’s price is good, i would say yes. My husband (who’s named chuck!) is a young architect and bills out for $80 hr at work and does side work for 30-45 hr with a set limit. I don’t think he charges a schematic design fee though. At any rate, I think the price sounds fair.


Re: Major Rehab - Architect - Posted by Ben (OH)

Posted by Ben (OH) on November 03, 2000 at 04:35:18:

Ask for a fixed price with scope of work attached.

Re: Hmmmmm - Posted by Michael

Posted by Michael on November 04, 2000 at 05:40:01:

I am a designer/draftsman, and I agree that the fees are more in line with what I would charge, but I do new homes and rehabs, all the time, and never had a problem getting drawings approved and pulling permits. Code states that A, E, and I occupancies require an engineers or architects stamp. It specifically states that “Group R3 buildings, regardless of size, shall require neither a registered architect or engineer, nor a certification that an architect or engineer is not required.” 1997 Southern Building Code 104.2.3

Group R3 Construction: "Residential occupancies including the following: Child care facilities which accommodate five or less children of any age for any time period. One and two family dwelling where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature and not classified as R1, R2 or I. Rooming houses (transient)"
1997 Southern Building Code 311.2

R1: Transient residences, i.e. Hotels and Motels

R2: Multi-family housing, i.e. apartment buildings etc…

I don’t have a problem with architects, I’ve even had aspirations of being one, but I am offended that you are slandering my profession.

As far as the time frame on producing the working drawings, it’s extremely tight, the architect or draftsman probably miscalculated his time, but it’s his loss if he exceeds 30 hours, he’s the one that gave that gaurantee.

legal - Posted by rudy-austin, tx

Posted by rudy-austin, tx on November 03, 2000 at 06:05:06:

Don’t do any work on a house you don’t own unless you have a deed in escrow or some other protection like the Owner signing a renovation lien if they back out later.

Whoa! Back up the drafting board! - Posted by Michael Murray

Posted by Michael Murray on November 04, 2000 at 11:43:40:

Greetings, Michael,
I am saddened, but amazed that you interpreted what I said as a personal disparagement of your profession.

Every architect started out as a designer/draftsman. That is an honorable and very useful service which is allowed in smaller, simpler, low-impact building types. Nothing wrong with that. But, if you will re-read the original post from Chuck, you will understand what I was getting at. I will lift portions of his post here to illustrate. He begins his second paragraph with “Anyway, I think I may need an architect…” Right here the implication is that someone (perhaps the Building Department) may have told him that he would need an architect. I assumed that he was considering turning the house into an office or commercial building. Alarm bells go off when someone claims to be an architect yet is willing to work at draftsman wages. It is illegal to hold oneself out to be an architect if he is not licensed. Here is another red flag statement from Chuck’s post: “He’s a young guy who does commercial rehab work but is looking to moonlight.” If he is not licensed yet is moonlighting on commercial work, then it is likely he is employed by an architect or knows one who will ultimately stamp and sign his drawings. Again, if he calls himself an architect, but is not licensed, he is in violation of the law. One last questionable statement in Chuck’s post: “The engineer has already given the house an OK structurally.” A licensed architect has the education and certification to do his own engineering and will not likely call in an engineer to evaluate a house. For more complicated structures, he probably would.

So, you see, dear reader, I am not slandering yours or anyone else’s profession. You are correct that the codes used by your local municipality allow some building types to be designed by non-licensed practitioners. However, you cite the Southern Building Code which is used in but a small number of locations. Most of the rest of the U.S. uses the Uniform Building Code, which is more restrictive, and in the next few years, will be the ONLY code used in the U.S. and in many foreign countries as well. Also, each municipality has its own revisions and ordinances which can adopt or revise any portion of the code it chooses. Yes, I have worked in locations which require a licensed architect or engineer in all building design, even residential applications.

Be well, and know that I meant no offense,
Michael Murray