Post off topic threads here.
#75295 by Ted B
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:55 pm
Never heard of it.

Here in New Jersey you are required to have an Architect, unless you are building it yourself....for yourself under "self certification" with restrictions to prevent build-n-flip. And you may still need a PE to review and sign-off on the structure. Most jurisdictions require a design professional in either case..

Now some states like Delaware and in the South don't consider house design as part of the regulated "Practice of Architecture", ...but don't call yourself an Architect unless you're licensed. Bloodgood Associates out of Atlanta and other "Residential Designers" sold thousands of house plans to southern builders and developers. Most of those plans came without structural design, since that would be regulated Engineering in some jurisdictions.

Just like those plan books at your local Barnes&Noble, many typically have intentional errors built-in so you have to buy expensive "detailed plans" from them directly. Or they have omissions and mistakes since they're churned-out without competent review. I've had a few clients who brought me "book plans", and they were terrible quality-wise. One ...the first and second floors didn't line up, nor match the elevations properly.
#75296 by Ted B
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:20 am
And is it really a "Custom Home", or just a modified and regurgitated production home from a design someone has already used before? "Luxury" is also relative. Is $150/sf really "luxury"? ...$200/sf? ...$300/sf? ...Drywall construction and components from Home Depot? Custom Luxury Home is the most abused phrase in Real Estate and residential development, the point it's meaningless and even pejorative.

#75302 by David Porter
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:25 pm
I have been the architect consultant to the Garlinghouse Company for the past 29 years. They are one of the largest stock home plans companies in the US. They also own Cool House Plans. About 10 years ago, they had me research the Architect's Laws in all 50 states. My findings were that NY requires an architect, even if one wants to build a dog house in a back yard, so yes, that includes houses whether for yourself or others. NJ, as already pointed out, requires an architect (or engineer) for house plans unless the house is for you. But, I have had plenty of NJ building inspectors put up a big fuss when unsealed, stock plans are presented to them for a permit by an owner building for him/herself. CA, I believe, requires an architect or engineer to design the seismic aspects of the structure. I think that's about the extent of the restrictions for single-family homes. In FL, where I am at, anyone can put together a set of house plans, whether they are for yourself or others. They just have to be prepared well enough that the building inspector will accept them. That includes specifying all of the wood connectors and calculating the wind pressures to prevent the house from becoming neighborhood property after a hurricane blows through. My findings showed that all other states exempt an architect's or engineer's seal on house plans.

With my long term experience with Garlinghouse, there is pretty consistent, nationwide resistance, against house plans that don't come with an architect's or engineer's seal on them. I have found that most inspectors want someone else, with a license, to take responsibility for the plans, instead of them being the only supposedly knowledgeable professional, looking over the plans.
#75305 by MtnArch
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:35 pm
Also (at least in California) most "stock" plans that you can buy (online or otherwise) do not even come close to including what is expected here, and in most cases won't be accepted for plan check without ALL of the missing items (details, call-outs, etc). By the time the hapless owners find someone who knows what has to be done it would have been cheaper and faster to have gone the local architect (or drafter) route to start.
#75306 by Ted B
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:16 am
Nick Sonder -- who does the Sketchup presentations and writes about using SU Pro -- commented that they have a 200-psf ground snow load where he's at near Lake Tahoe...and Seismic design. Try THAT with bought plans...

Here in New Jersey, I have a hard enough time getting the Contractors to take seriously the Hurricane design issues along the Jersey Shore. "Tie-downs, what tie-downs? Oh, ...those on the drawings. We didn't install them, we never do. We need a letter for the Bldg. Inspector, he failed us..."
#75320 by Robert Scott
Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:23 pm
I'm not an architect (but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night).
I'm all for MORE plans, specs, calculations, and let's throw in 3D modeling and renderings as a requirement...keeps the dog fed and the wife happy :)

Seriously, I've designed 100's of tract homes over the years for builders. A know a lot of solid residential designers that take on work that no architect wants for a fraction of the cost.
Most are very skilled at small affordable dwellings and have solid knowledge of how a small structure should be built. Structural is sized by engineers or provided by the lumber yard.
Back when I was building custom homes the inside joke was we would add 10% to licensed architect plans when bidding :)

For your Saturday viewing enjoyment:

Plenty of work to go around.

#75322 by Ted B
Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:42 pm
Only 10-percent? ...No wonder my bank account is whining. [/snark off]

Actually that's a sore subject. Lot's of licensed Architects have no clue how to do wood-frame residential. I've always been a residential specialist, but the number of totally inept "Architect's construction documents" that I've been asked by contractors and homeowners to fix or translate is professionally embarrassing. They spend their internships drawing hospital stair-towers at some big firm, get their seal, and start moonlighting beach houses on the side; and then wonder why so many civilians have negative attitudes towards 'Architects".

Or, they 'whore" their seal to local contractors without even looking at the drawings...

Or, the merchant builders who have in-house "Architecture Depts." and hire 2-year Assoc. degree'd Autocad draftsmen out of Devry Univ. trade school ...and call them "Assoc. Architects" when they go out in the field. WTF....!! Their bosses think the computer software will do the heavy lifting, "...who needs real Architects?".

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