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Building Designer (Unlicensed) - "forum"

Discussion in 'Building Designers' started by RickAstoria, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. RickAstoria

    RickAstoria -------------------

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    This forum is for all designers who are unlicensed - (building designers, residential/home designers, interior designers, landscape designers).

    Feel free to discuss anything relating to the practice of building design, interior design, and landscape design as it relates to building design development. At some point, there might be a separate landscape design forum topic but for the moment, we could leave that here for now.
     
  2. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

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    Re: Building Designer (Unlicensed) - "forum"

    Rick - Just wanted to take a moment and wish you luck with this forum page. I hope it provides you with the outlet you are looking for... John D
     
  3. Quimby

    Quimby Guest

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    Hi John ,.

    You are right it is very informative forum to get useful and helpful stuff,.

    Keep stay here and take part in the discussion .,
     
  4. MyDream

    MyDream Registered User

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    This is a really old forum, but I would love to get some advice on starting a building design firm and talk about handling residential projects, I have a lot of questions and would love to keep the forum going.
     
  5. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Welcome

    Ask away
     
  6. MyDream

    MyDream Registered User

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    Well, straight and to the point I have some experience working in architecture firms and I have found myself not being able to support myself financially. There are a lot of people out there who cannot find jobs so on and so forth, so I started looking at starting a building design firm. Me, personally I study a lot on the matter and a lot on related fields and I feel I am very skilled, but I am hesitant because I might not be ready to go out on my own. How does one know you are read to go out on your own? How can I find out if I can handle a residential project? I know a lot: building codes I bought the FBC (residential) book and have been studying it and have been for quite some time, I have a AIA residential graphic standards book to help me get all my details write, I have a degree, and that is not any where near all that I know.

    Procrastination is seeming to be what I am doing. I even started studying the crap out of interior decorating starting with kitchen design: Farmhouse kitchens, rustic kitchens, modern, etc in order to post pone the building design in order to study up more(lol). I am somewhat of a mess, confident in my skills because my knowledge is extensive, and worried about failure. How does one know its time to start a sole proprietorship? Also any advice on my mental stability from all this work I have done would be great.........
     
  7. MyDream

    MyDream Registered User

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    As well, I have spoken to Richard in the past and he has given me some advice that has been very helpful so I thought this would be a great place to continue talking and trying to get advice. Maybe I can take some sort of test from this forum on if I can handle it before I show someone some home renderings I designed and get into a legal problem. I am not ready for the building designer exam.
     
  8. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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  9. MyDream

    MyDream Registered User

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    I am more than confident that I can make all of the needed plans I am in the process of designing a addition for my parent and things are going smoothly, but I study so much that I only spend an hour on it a day. Thanks for the reply keep em comin maybe I can find a weakness that I can work
     
  10. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    How can I find out if I can handle a residential project?

    Are you talking about a single family house ??

    If so have you done one?

    Not in your side of the fence.

    Where are you going to get clients from and how are you going to keep them coming??
     
  11. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    It is not easy making money doing these projects. Because you are not licensed you will likely have to accept less than a licensed architect thus making it difficult to make money.

    Without errors and omissions insurance you are one bad project away from bankruptcy.
     
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  12. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    So are you married. As in do you have only yourself to support??

    If not married, clear the calendar and work on one side job in the evening and weekend


    It is good you are reading the books

    Hard part is taking that black and white and making it a code compliant building
     
    JBI likes this.
  13. MyDream

    MyDream Registered User

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    I plan on only working on single family residences and I have not done one on my own. I have done many in an architects office, again I am working on an addition for my parent and it is going smoothly except for that fact that I only work on it for an hour or so Mon-Fri because I study so much on so many things my time is limited, lately I have been spilt a days work into two days. Getting clients is going to be a very difficult thing, but I am going to start by creating a free wix website that will be only kitchen and bath designing I will design 3 options of 12 different kitchen styles and bath styles. After I get that up I will buy some business cards and use word of mouth and here's a secrete, Craig's list to market until I can get projects in kitchen and bath. When I feel comfortable I will start offering design services and I am confident that a SFR project will come along with patience, it can't be any worse than post my resume over and over until something comes up, I will get a home project I JUST KNOW IT 1 ;)

    I plan on charging 5% of construction cost I will pay for the SE (I will not charge a client for structural engineering I want to work with the engineer closely) because I want the client to have a pleasurable one stop shop and I will also bid the project. It is almost impossible to tell everything I know but I know I can go thru schematic design, design development, construction documents, procurement and I will provide contract administration.
     
  14. MyDream

    MyDream Registered User

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    I am hitting those books so hard my eyes are about to bleed. I have MANY books and most of them came from my degree, I just kept all my books from my degree and I am restudying all of them. Some of them were brought out of college like the Cdt exam, which shows you everything about project conception, project delivery, design, construction documents, procurement, construction, and facility management. This is how I was able to find out how to put together a set of bid documents and have it all in master format (the project manual). Also because I study construction estimation from my degrees' class(construction estimating) I have been able to really see how important csi's page format, unit format and master format can help you estimate and create specifications. Specifications are shown in the AIA residential graphic standards so I have a good Idea of how it should be done.
     
  15. MyDream

    MyDream Registered User

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    I am not married or anything, just me no kids tons of studying and a overwhelming drive to succeed.
     
  16. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Sounds good

    You will fall into something you like, may not be the fortune you seek!!!!
     
  17. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    I am at Lake Arrowhead today. I picked up a few real estate magazines. There are hundreds of dwelling designs from a condo to the one I want which has a 23 car garage.....and you can bet that it's air-conditioned.

    I see designer plans daily. Mostly additions of little consequence. Boxes that are 200 to 1200 soft. The successful designer is first, a good salesperson and second, thorough but concise with the drawings.

    Charging 5% on a 20k project for design and drawings, structural engineering, collecting bids, procurement and construction management is about right. As the project cost rises 5% gets out of bounds fast. All of the activities that's you list as your offering sounds like a general contractor at work. Were I a contractor in your neck of the jungle I would consider you to be a competitor and I wouldn't hire you.

    If you produce a quality set of plans that is all steak and no sizzle at a fair price.....consider how long it takes you to generate plans for the typical addition....is it all day.....half a day.....two hours at a computer? How much do you value your time? Google the average wage for the job.
     
    #18 ICE, Jul 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  18. MyDream

    MyDream Registered User

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    Honestly, I am not exactly sure how long it will take all by myself, but if I get the project I will work on it 24/7 until it is done. Regardless of how long it takes my price should remain firm, but I will be no longer or shorter than any other architect or building designer. This will also give me time to work on other projects. Thank you for the reply it really gives me confidence to see that I am seeming to hold up just fine. I think that I should just keep doing what I am doing until I decide to jump in with both feet.

    My plans will be of adequate complexity using checklists that I have found of the internet and using the building codes and permit checklists to get what is needed on the plans. I have a architectural drafting book that I got from an architectural drawing course that I took in a degree program that provides checklists that are appropriate for real life projects. I also have worked at architecture firms so I know what is needed on the plans.
     
  19. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    You will likely find that in your state, that if you are not licensed that you cannot contract directly with the structural engineer. In addition many structural engineers would not want to work directly for you because the courts might find that they will be responsible for your mistakes since they are the only licensed individual on the project.

    While checklists are important I get this vibe that you are not ready to go on your own. At the same time I suspect that you will ignore this advice.
     

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