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No license... how much to pay licensed architect to stamp drawings?

234

Everyday your'e killing* me. Fantastic work.


*mteaphorically, with humor. After the week I've had literally dying of laughter sounds welcome.

Nov 20, 16 7:48 am  · 
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shellarchitect

Not sure if the question was ever answered, I believe it's 1000 and up depending on complexity

Nov 20, 16 12:28 pm  · 
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derrickpayne

It is not illegal for "anyone "to prepare design or construction documents if you are not an architect..anyone can legally prepare these documents. It is also not illegal for a licensed architect to sign and seal them providing they review and accept liability. Although there are several lawsuits that have drawn the designer and drafter into the suits as well. So just because a licensed professional seals them does not mean non-licensed individuals are exempt from law suits.

BTW an engineer can also seal architects drawings depending on the project genre and state and an architect can also seal an engineers drawings depending on the state.

As for the necessity of a seal most states do not require an architects or engineers seal on residential single and in some cases multi family dwellings and some small businesses occupancy types. In fact some counties in some states also allow drawings to slide through unsealed that do require seals. Florida is one of them that may require a seal on the foundation but not on the main house. I have 28 years of practice experience and have seen it all.

It is overly confusing ridiculously confusing and ALL of that nonsense is the fault of an institution called the AIA. The AIA would be better at serving its members by collating standards across the nation rather than spend gobs of money chasing wanna be architects.  And that frustration is why less than half of all graduates are licensed.

The association is ill equipped to promote its members services nor does it have the political strength to steer around developers and large contracting companies who like the status quo "because" they do not have to pay architects to prepare those documents in many of these states

Its about money money money.

Personally I don't care even though its my profession I am extremely talented and work very hard at doing the best I can. If you are good and provide anywhere near a decent service then that will become your branding and you should always be gainfully employed.

If you are bitching because some drafter is preparing house plans at less cost and you believe they are taking work away from you . Well guess what Donald Trump has lots of openings for entitled people.

Ugg this profession has the greatest amount of whiners, complainers and egos I have ever come across and also the one of the greatest divorce rates. Do you here engineers whining or lawyers and there are lots doing unlicensed worked as well.

Nov 29, 16 8:43 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur
^lots of whining.
Nov 29, 16 9:10 pm  · 
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^ And zero clue of what the AIA actually does, nor the differences between AIA and NCARB and individual state boards.

Funny how the people who complain the most about professional credentials are always the shining examples of why those credentials exist in the first place.

Nov 29, 16 9:51 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur
There never was any BS ricordia. Those vastly inferior "designers" take no piece of my pie. They can stick to backyard decks and undeserved illusions of grandeur. Now be a good sport and keep watch over my coffee while I ride the lift and go inspect the roof on this 20 story building.
Nov 30, 16 7:51 am  · 
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x-jla

I still don't understand why architects can't review and stamp like engineers do?  I thought they were trusted professionals.  

Nov 30, 16 4:07 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

^?

Totally can.

Nov 30, 16 4:09 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

It's part of the history of Title Law. Engineers wouldn't let Architects get away with it unless they got their own law and allowances were made for each to be able to stamp.

Nov 30, 16 4:11 pm  · 
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bryanjohnson

I'm going through this right now, and not sure what all the hum-drum is about. I have an architect that I would like to use who's one state over that I want to do a building in a city that sits on the border of 2 states, and my project is to be done on the state side he is not licensed on. For me it's simple, the guy has credentials in his state and is a great architect, but I need someone to stamp his work and look it over to make sure it's up to the 'other' state side code for a reasonable price. There are many reasons behind this, one is, my architect is also approved under another organization I need approval from and finding those whom are approved in the 'other' state is also a process of time and money - so there's no good two ways about it. I'd obviously prefer the guy I've used before and know his work to be solid.

So when people sit here and complain completely off the forum topic, it's a big pain in the rear to read pages of chatter. I for one do not CARE who rubber stamps it, I only care about price since it's the architect I trust that matters. From what I know, 5-10% is a reasonable charge to assume liability and double check drawings. I'm also working around this problem to be doubly safe by finding a mechanical engineer on the 'other' state side - mostly to save money and so they are in the area and can double check the current structure to save money in the long run.

It's very freaking expensive to do build things out and there is endless 'i don't get my fair share' talk. Those are the people I never EVER would hire and I've had plenty of those types I give a chance at employment and fire quickly. It's a childlike mindset and are always a problem in an organization.

The of risk, minimizing costs smartly should never be chastised - we all aren't huge organizations and 'the man.' I've done plenty of shopping around and bids, and firms that charge a lot do not ever guarantee a good job as my guy and cost a lot more. I have loans and stress associated with it and no guarantees things will ever work out.

he question originally posed is a very reasonable one, and the assumptions some make about his intentions show a level of ignorance that is beyond questionable, and totally off topic. I appreciate those staying on it and providing feedback, though none has helped me further than I've gotten after 30 minutes of conversations with 3 other parties.

Dec 6, 16 4:41 pm  · 
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tintt

You want a guarantee? On what? For cheap too. Wouldn't that be nice!

Nov 22, 17 8:53 am  · 
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tintt

I mean, sorry we couldn't help you figure it out. Try for more black and white things in the future. You just discovered building is a whole lot of grey and you can't handle it.

Nov 22, 17 8:55 am  · 
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x-jla

a legal way to prevent interstate commerce...

Dec 6, 16 5:06 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur
5 to 10% of what? Total Construction cost or of the amount your paying the other architect?

If it's the later, then you don't understand the risks very well.
Dec 6, 16 5:25 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

That Architect should have little difficulty getting reciprocity, as long as there are no extra exams.

Dec 6, 16 5:28 pm  · 
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Janosh

What Sneaky Pete said. Reciprocity for NCARB certificate holders is usually a matter of a week or two and maybe $1000.

Dec 7, 16 11:02 am  · 
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x-jla

Still don't understand why architects are not trusted to review and stamp plans?  

Dec 7, 16 11:33 am  · 
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x-jla

That would add another layer of checks imo.  There could be larger firms that specialize in plan analysis and carry the liability/insurance for projects that smaller firms can't.  It would allow talented but unlicensed designers to have their plans checked over by an independent entity, and modified as necessary. 

Dec 7, 16 12:00 pm  · 
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x-jla

Sounds like a good way to further specialization. 

Dec 7, 16 12:10 pm  · 
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Fivescore

A week or two for reciprocity?  That would be nice...   I've gotten reciprocity 4 times now - the fastest was in Massachusetts - it took a little less than a month.  The slowest, and most recent (2015), was in Connecticut - that took a little over 7 months.  I am an NCARB certificate holder, with a completely standard route to initial licensing (NAAB degree and IDP) and no history of any disciplinary actions or lapsed licenses or anything else.  NCARB has taken anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to transmit, and then the states that require a board vote for reciprocity sometimes don't get you onto their agenda for the soonest meeting once they do receive your NCARB file because they have their own paperwork back-log - and they only meet every 2 months... it all adds up to longer than some clients want to wait.

Dec 7, 16 12:29 pm  · 
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x-jla

That's a deal breaker for most clients.  

Dec 7, 16 12:36 pm  · 
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sueolivier

1.  you cannot legally  call your self an "architect" unless you are registered, which includes passing the local  exams, and getting a license to practice.

2.  you can call yourself a designer

3.  the registration and license are required for public safety and good design.  There is a reason an architect spends 4 to 6 years in university to get the degree.  An yes, it is unethical to stamp someone else's drawings. however, partnering a design architect with an architect of record is legitimate and done all over the world, especially if a very noteworthy architect from a different country wins a competition then he will team with a local architect of record to ensure the project meets local codes, etc. and typically there are local engineers on board as well. 

4. would you hire someone other that a licensed doctor who specializes in a field to do a specific medical procedure, or would you leave it to a nurse or chiropractor to perform heart surgery?  would you hire a lay person to defend you in a criminal action?  Would you have someone teach your children who is not a licensed teacher?  It just makes sense to use a professional for certain types of work.  Evan if you bring drawings to the local town and they get reviewed by a plan examiner, most examiners or inspections are NOT engineers or architects.  

Nov 19, 17 1:05 pm  · 
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kidomega

B*TCH PAY US WHAT WE'RE ASKING COS WE KNOW THE MEASURE OF OUR WORK AND WORTH. We've got bills to pay and living beings to feed, no to mention professional obligations that got dues attached to it like Trump's weave on his head! I hate having to negotiate with fees the most because some clients undervalue this profession so much and yet would pay a f*ck load straight out of their wallets for a f*cking phone that gets outdated in 2 years! JFC

Nov 19, 17 1:17 pm  · 
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s=r*(theta)

Also im thinking someone ^ who shall remain nameless needs to pay their therapist.

Nov 22, 17 10:15 am  · 
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MyDream

You know I have read a lot about how unlicensed designers are getting projects and getting them stamped by engineers and such, that architects design a small portion of home designs in America, I know about independent draftsman who work for other firms etc. I for the love of god can not get any thing going with business! :(

  I know I am going to be a great designer and I will eventually get some side work but it is daunting and damn near impossible. I have a engineer I am trying to work with reschedule a 12 30 pm meeting that was for today to next week...ouch. I think I need to find a willing partner. How does one get a partner?

Nov 21, 17 9:39 pm  · 
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MyDream

YouTube?

Nov 22, 17 5:49 pm  · 
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Volunteer

Isn't this what is being done every day in architecture firms - only it is the client who, in effect, pays the licensed architect to check thoroughly and then stamp the drawings of the unlicensed architect who did the work?  

Nov 22, 17 7:47 am  · 
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tintt

A firm I worked at called it Chiefs and Indians.

Nov 22, 17 8:33 am  · 
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tintt

The reason doctors say they are so expensive is because they pay insurance. At least they get to perform their  own work and not hand it off to two guys with learning disabilities, drug problems, and a truck. AND docs can only kill or maim one person at a time. 

Nov 22, 17 9:19 am  · 
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tintt

By that reasoning, architects ought to be far more expensive than we are.

Nov 22, 17 9:20 am  · 
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archi_dude

I was just thinking that the other day. At social gatherings people are always like “wow I wanted to be an architect but I knew I couldn’t learn so much math and physics.” But then when it comes to their own 2nd story addition they all of a sudden have no issue with letting you make a poche plan and having someone who dropped out of high school, maybe been to jail a few times “figure out” their addition and attempt to get no plan check in an earthquake State.

Nov 22, 17 9:33 am  · 
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archi_dude

I speak of shady contractors btw not drafters before I start that war.

Nov 22, 17 9:34 am  · 
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tintt

Good points. Thanks for laugh.

Nov 22, 17 9:46 am  · 
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tintt

I think we should all agree on no flippers or contractors as clients. It's like putting pre-schoolers in charge. Ignorance breeds confidence.

Nov 22, 17 11:16 am  · 
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wurdan freo

the doctor analogy is stupid and needs to go away. Would you hire a general practitioner to do heart surgery? Plus even surgeons have a team of people helping them. Many with access to wonderful chemicals. Many, independent contractors. You want to be a doctor go to medical school. You want to get paid better, go get it.

Nov 22, 17 12:21 pm  · 
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tintt

Not sure what you mean, architects do pay insurance premiums.

Nov 22, 17 2:40 pm  · 
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x-jla

Doctors deal with immediate life and death issues. Architects design things that get passed through engineers, city officials, consultants, other coworkers, contractors, code review, before it can pose a threat to safety. Big big difference.

Nov 22, 17 3:53 pm  · 
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tintt

My brother is a doctor but does not deal with immediate life and death situations.

Nov 22, 17 3:54 pm  · 
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x-jla

Horrible analogy. Plus, if archs operated business like lawyers and docs most firms would be out of business tomorrow. Law and medicine require a license to practice. Arch firms are staffed with many unlicensed peps practicing architecture while the principal is often out shaking hands.

Nov 22, 17 3:55 pm  · 
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x-jla

Therefore, a license is not always a precursor to the accumulation of professionals marketable skills/experience.

Nov 22, 17 3:57 pm  · 
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tintt

The point was lost. The point is when you ask someone to stamp you are asking them to pay insurance for your project. Hey will you pay Insurance on my project?

Nov 22, 17 4:20 pm  · 
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x-jla

That's a feature of business, not just architecture. Anyone can get insurance...anyone who does anything becomes liable.

Nov 22, 17 7:02 pm  · 
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x-jla

Contractors are licensed, bonded, and insured. So what.

Nov 22, 17 7:03 pm  · 
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tintt

Contractors > doctors.

Nov 22, 17 8:38 pm  · 
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tintt

I taught for three years without a license. Never asked a licensed teacher to pay my insurance. No one ever complained about the price or tried to get out of paying. If they couldn't afford it they did without.

Nov 22, 17 10:01 pm  · 
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tintt

Never did I sell teaching services to someone and then when they came to be taught never did I say I couldn't do that. How many designers design buildings for a fee and then the poor client has to hire someone else anyways?

Nov 22, 17 10:24 pm  · 
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moshikashiteropuno

why is that the draftsman is not recognize in the site or in the paper works of the architect??

Dec 3, 17 4:43 am  · 
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I would never stamp your plans....however, they do gamble at Rick's Place....


do you have a million? We can start there and I can fix all your little drawings.

Feb 20, 18 8:17 pm  · 
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jmcneely4

I saw a comment from hartacus venting about architects taking exams to fulfill their licensure requirements.  Let's be clear, attorneys do not take the Bar, they take the Bar Exam.  Doctors do not take their boards, they take the Medical Board Exam.  Architectural licensure tests are called Architectural Registration Exams.  If you want a cool name for it, call it whatever you want, something like the Registers.  To not call it an exam might actually lower it's integrity.

Apr 11, 18 1:47 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

cool story bro. Just keep in mind that architects are not equal to lawyers, and certainly not equal to doctors. Don't put our examination requirements on equal podiums.

Apr 11, 18 1:51 pm  · 
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jmcneely4

Across the world architects are generally on the same plateau as doctors or lawyers. The US is different in reference to it's high end pay scale, but it's important to remember that unemployment with attorney's is the highest of the 3 professions, and it's not even close. Let's also not forget that three professions care for the life, safety and wellness of society, architecture being of critical importance.

Furthermore, keep in mind that there are only 100,000 architects in the US.  While there are over 1,000,000 doctors, and 1,200,000 lawyers.

Apr 11, 18 2:09 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

hahaha. What a wanker. Nope, not even close. Glad you drank the Kool Aid your expensive school gave you.

Apr 11, 18 2:14 pm  · 
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jmcneely4

What's your deal exactly? If you're unhappy with the prospect of being an architect, then go back to school and be a doctor or a lawyer. You might want to consider medicine though, because 40% of law school graduates don't end up practicing law.

Apr 11, 18 2:24 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Oh, I have no issue but I am realistic and just find it hilarious when people equate doctors and lawyers with architects. It's not the same league and we're not special.

Apr 11, 18 3:33 pm  · 
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wynne1architect@gmail.com

How much you got buster? Gimme some of that moola!

Aug 17, 18 5:00 pm  · 
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RA stamp/review/site visit cost for small project: $1000-1500 I believe, but it depends.

Feb 6, 19 9:49 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

you're missing a zero in there

Feb 6, 19 10:02 am  · 
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Bench

Not to mention one of the AIA's code of ethics ...

Feb 6, 19 11:55 am  · 
1  · 
citizen

I'll do it for six hundred in Home Depot gift cards and a case of beer.  And you have to mow my lawn for eleven months.

Jan 23, 21 1:50 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

I laughed at the 11 months because my lawn is covered in snow for 4 to 5 of those months.

Jan 23, 21 3:15 pm  · 
1  · 
citizen

Nowhere did I specify continuous months. Could be 3-4 per year, until somebody gets fined under the Practice Act.

Jan 23, 21 3:32 pm  · 
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archeyarch

try craigslist

Jan 24, 21 1:42 pm  · 
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bottom of page 3 is the best of this thread

Jan 24, 21 1:58 pm  · 
2  · 
yuezhao1

Hi everyone,

Just wondering what if the company cropped the image of stamp w/ signature and then use it without architect's authorization for submissions of the other projects? It is happening to me at this moment? Want to know any possible protection against such unlawful conduct of the company, any suggestions? 

Oct 20, 21 6:34 pm  · 
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Almosthip

Is this the company you're employed by or another company entity using your stamp?

Oct 20, 21 6:44 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Lawyer up.

Oct 20, 21 7:04 pm  · 
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yuezhao1

Hi Almosthip,

I am working for this company on project basis remotely. I think it is not a kind of formal employment, we just communicated through emails. Not any formal offer letter from the employer. I have worked for the company for about 6 mon. During the early email exchanges, the owner asked: "do you mind stamp for the project? It may happen rarely". I replied: "it would be fine if I am in direct control of the specific project. "

Since they resubmitted the CD set without my review & QC by using cropped stamps without authorization, I asked the company to retract the submittal from the city to correct the mistake. They responded with an apology, but didn't take any action to retract the submittal. So right now I am really worrying about the possibility that they may use the cropped stamps on any other projects which I may not even be aware of. 

Oct 22, 21 1:58 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

submit a formal letter to the AHJ that the drawings were not authorized and lawyer up. Never have your stamp on something you don't have a stake in.

Oct 22, 21 2:01 pm  · 
2  · 
citizen

You're right to be worried. Also angry. In addition to the letter Non recommends, I'd also send one to the project's client. "Get out in front" of this, as the politicos say; being proactive will play much better during the depositions and trial.

Oct 22, 21 3:12 pm  · 
2  · 
z1111

Someone tell me if I am going off the rails here. I would compose the letter and cc this firm, the client, your llr, and their llr and walk it up the chain of command until I got action on it.

Oct 22, 21 3:44 pm  · 
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midlander

just to be clear what you have described would be a very clear case of fraud which is a serious crime. obviously get a lawyer don't rely on my opinion, but it is something to treat as a real problem. this doesn't sound like an accidental misunderstanding; they are just trying to do something illegal and hoping you will let them get away with it.

Oct 22, 21 7:43 pm  · 
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