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the absurdity of having a license

awaiting_deletion

"See you pay me so that I can pay my insurance who pays the lawyer for when you decide to sue me over my actions you wanted me to do"

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Afterword rant and back story:

A recent unrelated inspection on a job where I was certain the building inspector had held the drawings upside down and decided the condensing unit on the roof wasn't in the right place and therefore didn't pass the work - who then got all giddy like a meter maid and started looking for trouble by finding cracks in a building that had crack meters and subsidence indicators installed on it due to adjacent new building construction - All giddy like a freshman at a Keg Party because in this area of Manhattan the Community Board has decided the Department of Buildings can only Inspect on Wednesdays! You must request hardship variance crap from Commisioner if you want any other day!  What fuckin' lawyer kissed who's ass made that happen (somewhere in Tribecca)...that set me off to make the above comment.

I made the statement above to a non-profit client I like for a job I've been paid fairly on.  The whole situation is classic NYC convoluted government agencies and backasswards departments being pushed in various directions by volunteer lawyers representing the clients.  The whole act of me signing my essentially as-Built drawings at this time is frankly political to fulfill a promise made by the lawyers multiple times in a request for a Letter of No Objections from the building department. .  That's right, you heard me correct, a letter that essentially states - so what if we didn't file this and that paperwork and finish this and that construction - please confirm we can open up shop and operate (this doesn't work for all occupancies or uses).  For a while the client said maybe we will move so let's hold off on amendments and proper filings.  and then ok let's now do it.  I have the drawings done, it's just a stamp and paperwork, so why am I getting paid again wondered the client? (see above statement)

 
Aug 6, 14 9:29 pm
curtkram

it's a great system.  that keeps money flowing between lawyers and insurance companies.  wouldn't have much of an economy without them.

Aug 6, 14 9:38 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

Until EIFS cases costs the insurance companies too much too pay the lawyers to defend a facade material made out of marshmellows that is cheap cheap cheap and can look like anything...then you pay more insurance or out of moral conviction and self-preservation never specify EIFS! More marshmellows, more lawsuits, more middle class Americans paying higher insurance premiums so that some rich twat can save a few grand by not installing stucco or real brick who by the way is a board member and huge stock holder of your insurance company and went to boarding school with the damn lawyers...

Aug 6, 14 9:47 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

I don't think my insurance covers EIFS systems... at least I know they do not cover me if I specify face-sealed only systems.

Aug 6, 14 10:00 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

I believe you are correct Non-Sequitur some companies won't.  The other big insurance premium killer are Condominiums - 85 units of the same lawsuit...

I got off the bus, walked through half paved suburbia and bought some beer...

The drawings in the background here were for a job where the 12' wall and single door cost the client $3,000 and the DOB, Condo Board, Professional fees, and Landmarks fees cost the client $10,000.

Yes, Landmarks because who knows what old lady who is the 3rd cousin of the former Standard Oil owners, who has never worked a day in here life, who is walking a Yorkie daily at 5pm, who will look up and through a window notice a new wall through the window on a Landmarked Façade!

I'm having a beer.

Aug 6, 14 10:34 pm  · 
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Apurimac

That's how things are in this town.  Just be glad your client actually had to call you for that 12' wall and door because in the vast majority of planning jurisdictions you don't need an RA or PE for that crap.  I think NYC is the only place I've ever been where you need an RA to so much as replace a toilet.  The condo and co-op building managers add a level of insanity that far outshines the madness that are the borough DOBs.

I always tell people in this game to check their brains in Jersey because once you're over the river or off the airport tarmac its complete bedlam. 
 

Aug 7, 14 12:48 am  · 
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awaiting_deletion

Apurimac - he called me because a friend recommended me and I said "for $500 I will put your friends drawings on a titleblock and send to management for review, but just so you know this is only the beginning. They are going to give you an Alteration Agreement and you will need to file stuff and your building is a landmark." Every step of the way I was the good guy blaming management, the DOB and we kept billing...his friends drawings from his native Italy were barely schematic - you need notes man, notes to cover the 100 things that have gone wrong in apartment construction because some knucklehead took a hammer to a plumbing riser once or dragged the garbage instead of putting in carts with rubber wheels....on and on...

Aug 7, 14 7:39 am  · 
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awaiting_deletion

If your trash cart has steel wheels it will scratch the resilient flooring and GC at own costs to replace and patch flooring. Read the damn drawings. But the board president who is a lawyer or something decides - lets take this opportunity to put in new ceramic tile flooring, because stone and terrazzo cost too much. So the owners and management beat up the GC since he scratched the floors no one liked anyway. The GC removes the tiles to discover more tiles that appear to be of the Asbestos era. Now we have an abatement job. The board president who is a lawyer gets all the angry co-op owners to pitch in....then they remove the tiles to find inadequate firestopping at slab and oh shit a piece of plywood where the slab use to be...and the whole time you are billing hourly and they do not want to pay because its not their fault they opened a can of worms....

Aug 7, 14 7:53 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

...and that is why I stay miles away from residential.

Aug 7, 14 8:25 am  · 
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toasteroven

 I think NYC is the only place I've ever been where you need an RA to so much as replace a toilet.

 

NYC - where you have to hire an expediter to stand in line to file paperwork to change a lightbulb.

Aug 7, 14 8:26 am  · 
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x-jla

NYC where they regulate African hair braiding and deregulate wallstreet trading...lol...fascism...

Aug 7, 14 12:47 pm  · 
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tintt

No kidding. You need a license to call out a grab bar on a set of plans but you don't need one to be a developer on a high rise. But remember, jla-x, it is all the young people's fault, because we think we are hot shots and we are lazy.

Aug 7, 14 1:02 pm  · 
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mightyaa

It's not really the lawyers... The insurance companies.  Big deep pockets.  As such, they understand risk extremely well and know the best way to avoid a payout is to have laws in place that limit whether or not they might be held accountable for writing that check.  So, the spend it, by the truckload, on lobbying for protections, limitations, etc.  They infiltrate the code, the building departments, your lawmakers, etc. spending money to influence.  It creates a whole bureaucracy that is there to support their industry.

Add to it the banks, and the contractors... more really deep pockets filled with lobbyist.  All of it is about limiting their own exposure.  And we have what?  The AIA, who sure seems to spend a lot of their time making award banquets like our profession is in a beauty pageant rather than a profession.  Even our huge firms can't compete with the likes of Pulte Homes, Chase Bank, or State Farm...  who do you think has the ears of the lawmakers?  So ya... they even sponsor our lovely banquets; How nice of them to keep us entertained in the pageantry instead of the business of design professionals.

Aug 7, 14 3:53 pm  · 
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accesskb

its run by the mafia

Aug 7, 14 6:20 pm  · 
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tintt

"The AIA, who sure seems to spend a lot of their time making award banquets like our profession is in a beauty pageant rather than a profession." Love it.

What a racket.

Aug 7, 14 6:35 pm  · 
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In response to mightyaa,

"The AIA, who sure seems to spend a lot of their time making award banquets like our profession is in a beauty pageant rather than a profession."

Because you're a 'slut'......

(meant as a joke and sarcasism of some young architects doing their services for free and willing to work for nothing)

Aug 7, 14 8:00 pm  · 
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mightyaa

@Richard...

I'm no young tart.  I am a old male business owner of the highest caliber! 

:Hikes up skirt a bit more and goes trolling for more work....:  :)

Aug 7, 14 8:06 pm  · 
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tintt

Now smile pretty and suck in your gut!

Aug 7, 14 8:09 pm  · 
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archanonymous

Can we get some lobbyists on our side already or what?

AIA dues are astronomical (compared with American Society of Civil Engineers or most other professional orgs.) My friend from school pays $300 for the state bar to license him as a lawyer and they have way better political representation.

 

RB, I think the young guys doing projects for free is going back out of style. I am seeing more and more of my peers asking for a MINIMUM of 10%, and usually getting it.

Aug 7, 14 9:07 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

at least the mafia is honest about what they do unlike insurance companies...

"The AIA, who sure seems to spend a lot of their time making award banquets like our profession is in a beauty pageant rather than a profession."

Aren't beauty pageants a Donald Trump thing.  The builder of crap NYC.  The whole damn Riverside South  of poorly sound insulated interior walls -you can hear your neighbors getting some...

beauty pageant of architecture

i'm sure insurance companies are just licking their chops waiting for the high-end cheap construction to start failing - look at all those buildings!

Aug 7, 14 9:14 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

If the Mafia wants to lobby for us Architects - I'll specify Concrete toilets!

Aug 7, 14 9:18 pm  · 
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archanonymous

@Olaf

Wait until the 3-8 meters of sea-level rise hit NYC.  I want to be a seawall building specialist transitioning to high-risk flood insurance and salvage.

Aug 7, 14 9:42 pm  · 
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mightyaa,

LOL.... keep the humor going.

Aug 7, 14 9:56 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

@archanonymous sounds like a new major at any of the major NYC universities "Seawall Engineering" with a minor in "Insurance"

Aug 7, 14 10:22 pm  · 
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