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Hired Architect won’t stamp drawings?

Lmartinezsf

I’m an architectural intern working for a construction company. Our client hired an independent licensed Architect for a flat fee but now the Architect refuses to sign off on the drawings even though she is designing them. 

This includes elevations, interior and furniture designs, lighting, and equipment placement for a commercial space. The architect is claiming she was only hired to design and that she would have charged more if she was going to stamp the drawings.

This poses a problem as we are a construction firm and do not have a licensed architect to stamp, and the architect has not only repeatedly overlooked ADA and fire code but also basic drawing and construction. This includes drawing elevations but not reflecting this in plan, not providing accessible entry,  designing elevations without accounting for framing or how it would actually be built, the list goes on.  I’ve had to address her designs and code every week, being left no choice to “fix” them for the permits as she will not. 

The architect stated she is not responsible and will not stamp. How can this be if they are her designs? 

 
Aug 21, 19 7:19 pm
tduds

"she would have charged more if she was going to stamp the drawings."

So pay her what she wants to stamp. 

Conversely, check your contract. If it's not in writing that she is to deliver stamped documents, she doesn't have to deliver stamped documents. Get a new contract.

Aug 21, 19 7:24 pm
Lmartinezsf

Hi, thank you for reply. The client hired the architect on her own so the contract is between client and architect.

tduds

Sorry I don't know why I assumed you were the client. Anyway, the contract is always between the client an the architect. What I said applies to the client. 

Non Sequitur

there is a reason why it’s not permitted for construction companies to have rubber stampers on staff. 


Pay the arch their full fee. 



Aug 21, 19 7:30 pm
Lmartinezsf

Hi, thank you for reply. The client hired the architect on her own and paid the architect directly.

Non Sequitur

Then that is your client’s problem. Looks like they cheaped out on service and fees.

b3tadine[sutures]

Not an architect.

Aug 21, 19 7:42 pm
Lmartinezsf

Hi, if they were an architect wouldn’t their design require their stamp? I wasn’t aware an architect charges seperately for the stamp.

Non Sequitur

Maybe, but someone needs to pay for that service. It’s very possible that the client hired that person for design docs and concept. If so, then a new contract and much higher fee will be required.

Lots of things not adding up here. What architect gives the contractor's intern chances to address the code and design flaws on a weekly basis? How are you fixing things for permit if you don't work for the architect? How is it even going to go in for permit without the architect's stamp? Does the project even require an architect (in some jurisdictions, based on the description, the project may be exempt)? Moreover, why are you even getting involved in a contractual dispute between the client and their architect? 

I'm just waiting to see how long before it comes out that the "architect" isn't really an architect but some type of interior design or architecture school dropout that is getting really close to that line of practicing architecture without a license.

Aug 21, 19 7:49 pm
Lmartinezsf

Hi I accompany our staff to city planning to apply for the permits but weekly there’s issues with drawings. I send the email stating all the issues and if I do notice them before going to Planning, point it out. The architect sends us the dwg file to print and due to timeing I have been asked to fix things to get permit drawings.

Lmartinezsf

Hi I accompany our staff to city planning to apply for the permits but weekly there’s issues with drawings. I send the email stating all the issues and if I do notice them before going to Planning, point it out. The architect sends us the dwg file to print and due to timeing I have been asked to fix things to get permit drawings.

Lmartinezsf

My boss did say the fixes the architect is having me to is not ok, cause she’s essentially reducing her workload on me. I was CC’d in an email from the architect today stating she would not stamp the drawings so I’m just asking here to try to understand, not get involved.

geezertect

If it's "not OK" for you to be fixing the drawings, why is your boss having you do it? Does your boss realize that by revising those drawings in house they are adding themselves to the chain of liability for any other design flaws which are later discovered? There is more to the story than you know or have relayed to us.

Steeplechase

Sounds like none of this should be your problem.

Aug 21, 19 8:16 pm
Lmartinezsf

Just trying to understand. I thought architects designs should have the architects stamp and never learned that the stamp should be additional fee.

Steeplechase

It depends on the scope of services for which the client hired the architect. You editing the architect’s files would also be an issue as you don’t work for the architect.

kjdt

It sounds like the architect was only hired for schematic or design development work - not for construction drawings - and now the owner is trying to submit those SD or DD drawings for permitting. There should be no expectation that SD or DD-level work would be comprehensive or code compliant - that's what CDs are for. Architects typically only stamp permit-ready construction documents - not SD or DD documents. If she wasn't hired to do the CDs, and if the project requires an architect's stamp for permitting, then the owner (or your boss, if the project converts to a design-build scenario) will need to hire her or another architect to do the CDs. 

On the fence

Check state laws.  Some states require that any drawings (any - like even a wood deck, patio or shed) by a licensed design professional are required to be accompanied by a stamp and signature.

Aug 22, 19 11:28 am
Threesleeve

That only applies to drawings submitted for permits, that were intended to be submitted for permits. In this case what seems to have happened is that the owner only paid for design development, and is trying to have the contractor tweak those DD drawings and submit them for permitting. If the owner's contract with that architect didn't include permit drawings then that architect has no obligation to stamp these drawings or to provide additional work on them. The owner should either hire and pay that architect to complete and stamp permit drawings, or hire another architect for it.

proto

why is the construction firm not just refusing to move forward without completed docs? why try to permit obviously incomplete work?

Aug 22, 19 5:42 pm

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