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I have a small residential construction company in Oregon focused on about 80/20 remodeling/new construction. Part of our work has been doing design/build projects in the last few years.

Until now, I have handled these small projects (most were less than $100,000) with a combination of hand drafting and my remedial knowledge of Home Designer Pro.

We have some larger remodel projects coming up that will be too much work for me to handle alone (I am running the company, selling, and managing jobs as well.)

While I want to maintain control of of our designs I need someone (drafter/designer, probably not an Architect) that would be interested in collaborating on designs and drafting all of the construction docs. With HD Pro I can do 3D presentations of plans drafted in Chief Architect so that would be the ideal platform.

Is this a common relationship for a design/build firm to have? I envision my company name being on the plans (?). Is this realistic and/or desirable? How do I go about searching for a "partner" in this. I can't see a good reason why the drafter/designer needs to be local.

Any insight would be helpful.

Thank for the help
 

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I have a small residential construction company in Oregon focused on about 80/20 remodeling/new construction. Part of our work has been doing design/build projects in the last few years.

Until now, I have handled these small projects (most were less than $100,000) with a combination of hand drafting and my remedial knowledge of Home Designer Pro.

We have some larger remodel projects coming up that will be too much work for me to handle alone (I am running the company, selling, and managing jobs as well.)

While I want to maintain control of of our designs I need someone (drafter/designer, probably not an Architect) that would be interested in collaborating on designs and drafting all of the construction docs. With HD Pro I can do 3D presentations of plans drafted in Chief Architect so that would be the ideal platform.

Is this a common relationship for a design/build firm to have? I envision my company name being on the plans (?). Is this realistic and/or desirable? How do I go about searching for a "partner" in this. I can't see a good reason why the drafter/designer needs to be local.

Any insight would be helpful.

Thank for the help
I've been drawing plans as a design build remodeler and home builder for 30 years. At this point I must turn over some of this to guys who can do the wind loading and other structural items needed for the 09 IRC. I find it easiest for me to sell to the customer my floor plan and roofline knowledge with a preliminary CAD drawing and let these guys finish up the plans. The last few jobs I quoted the job but added a clause for unknowns when plans were finished. This worked best to educate the customer on what these products and requirements may be beforehand. I think a lot of the full time draftsman sometimes don't mind being left out of the design process with additions since there is a potential of too much hand holding.
 

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Talking Head
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I have an architect that will collaborate on designs with me. It's very reasonable as I contract with her for an hourly rate and just tell her exactly how much, or little, I want. I do most of the drafting off her concept sketches so I can change things as the job progresses without having to involve her for technical changes. If you're doing large projects then I think you'd want an archi to be involved so you can leave it up to them and avoid having to get E&O insurance.

The real benefit, for me, of having an archi is bringing her to the design meetings and sitting apart from me. She's there as part of my team but it gives me two opportunities to handle customer objections or concerns not to mention that she can offer upsells in materials or design while I "stick to the budget". Two person sales meetings are very effective.

If you just want a draftsperson then you can outsource it. Try contacting Andy on this forum, his handle is Scipio Africanus(sp?).
 

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Are you set on having all your design work done in house? There's some benefit to subbing out your designers. They can refer you more work, they might give you ideas that you haven't thought of.

If you only have a couple large jobs coming up, you might have a problem hiring a full time designer. As soon as those jobs are done you may not have any use for him. You can sub out the design for all your jobs until you get enough work to where you can hire a full time designer.
 

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...The real benefit, for me, of having an archi is bringing her to the design meetings and sitting apart from me. She's there as part of my team but it gives me two opportunities to handle customer objections or concerns not to mention that she can offer upsells in materials or design while I "stick to the budget".
What he said.
 
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