Can unlicensed architect do residential "permit drawings" without (much) liability?

This is why the actual owner is on all my contracts.
Sep 10, 16 8:45 pm
wurdan freo

How much are you looking to lose on this deal? I call it tuition. You've been taken to school son. Question is, did you learn anything?

Sep 11, 16 12:08 am

 A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

If she was the "investor", then you were really stupid to front money on the deal.  That's her role.

Pay your dumb tax and move on.  The architect was dumb as well, so he should pay his dumb tax and move on, too.

Sep 11, 16 5:20 pm

Sorry sitedesign, looks like your thread was hijacked. I have done over 200 residential projects outside of the office. I agree with most of what has been said. You need to check with the AHJ. Every city has requirements and most of them are different. If I'm designing a house in town the foundation design is different from the town 20 miles away. You need to be familiar with what they require, including sealed drawing requirements. If they don't require a seal they you should be ok to do it but protect yourself as was suggested already. Also, make sure you learn from the crazy guy who got ripped off. If these people aren't family get paid, at least partially up front. I have never not been paid for a project because I do this. I also would like to say that there is no such thing as an unlicensed architect. If you have a degree in architecture but no license you still are not an architect. To say your a licensed architect also doesn't make sense. If you are an architect the license is understood to there. Before I was licensed I called myself  an intern not an architect.

Sep 12, 16 11:06 am

Just asking -.......I have seen my previous employers do work on an "if come" basis. Basically, they do upfront work hoping for a project. It sounds like you misled your architect into thinking there was a project an he should be paid. If he understood that he was taking risk by doing the work he shouldn't be upset if he doesn't get paid, most people write this off as marketing. I had a developer approach me wanting me to do conceptual work for a project. I told him I need a retainer to do the work and I never heard from him again. The reason was most likely because there was no project there to begin with and he wanted to waste my time. If the land owner really wanted this work she would have paid a reasonable retainer to have design work completed for the project. Just doing free work with no agreement or retainer is not grounds for a lawsuit when things don't work out how you want. I'm no lawyer, just my opinion. If someone wont pay a couple thousand dollars for a retainer on a project where millions of dollars are involved that should be red flag.

Sep 12, 16 11:24 am

Isn't this supposed to be where that guy Richard Balkins sheds a good light on this?

Sep 14, 16 2:40 pm
Non Sequitur

He who shall not be named is no longer among us.

Sep 14, 16 3:00 pm

No way! :D

Sep 15, 16 1:31 pm

  I am probably going to get ignored, but I have a question that many people here can answer. I am about to go out on my own here really soon like next week soon or I might wait till next year to get more examples up and I am having a problem resurface in my head repeatedly. That question is if I were to work for a builder and I were to say charge 1.6%-2% of construction cost which will be a blessing for me how will I be able to show what I can do? My portfolio does not show everything that I can do because of all the house designs that I have studied, they are not complete, they are sketches on vellum I have one federal/adam house that has moved on to AutoCAD not Revit :). I have an endless amount of example work on architectural visualization, building design, but I have no example work of the interior decoration projects, currently I have two homes that I am working on one  3049sqft home that I am working on for a building designer in Orlando and a another 3479 sqft home that I am working on that I plan on using for interior decoration examples. I can manage the construction, design the space and make the material selections.

So, how much should I show to a potential builder or small developer etc,? Do I need examples in all my capabilities like modern, Tudor, federal, French country? All these designs that I have been studied up on and have many examples are not completed they are sketches on vellum that have not made it to the computer more or less have complete working drawings.

Sep 15, 16 7:50 pm

i don't think they will care if you know modern, tudor, federal, or french country.  they want to make money.  if they hire you as an architect, it's because they think you can help them make money.

charge 7%, not 2%

Sep 15, 16 7:54 pm

Curtkram, thank you for your response I wish I could return the favor somehow.

  No builder will ever give me 7%..:)... I will be lucky if I get 2%, but what you said about them wanting to make money definitely is true and maybe they will hire me based off that. One more thing I am not an architect, I am a Building Designer/ Architectural Illustrator/ Interior Decorator who is desperately trying to stay in college, currently in a program that I do not need to be in because of my time at Valencia was cut short do to financial issues. I have a 3.14 gpa and a killer portfolio with professional work I could get into a number of architecture schools it is just that they are not in my area and I have no money. If I can get out on my own I will pay for my own college even if it means staying at home with my parent while I work and pay for school I DO NOT CARE. Anyways thanks for the response. :) 

Sep 15, 16 8:08 pm

Not sure about your state, but in NJ

Aug 29, 19 10:02 am

I was in the same position as you. I left the design profession and opened a real estate development firm in small scale. We draw our own permit drawings as architects and the structural engineer stamps his. its totally legal in Los Angeles. You could just go to your plan check counter at your city and ask if you need to be licensed to do an ADU 

Sep 9, 19 5:02 pm

Whether or not you are legally allowed to design certain buildings (exempt from requiring an architect license to design), you can ALWAYS face liability in the court. If you can potentially be sued and found guilty or otherwise ruled against in favor of the person suing you..... YOU HAVE LIABILITY until the statutes of repose of any legal action have passed. 

Sep 9, 19 8:40 pm

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