Looking for a Draftsman in Atlanta for as-built floorplans

23 Replies

Does anyone know or use a draftsman in Atlanta? I just need someone that can prepare as-built floor plans in CADD. I'd rather not pay an architect for this since I don't need any design consulting. 2-3 projects/month

Most of the time a draftsman drafts. They won't necessarily be the ones to go and take measurements. 

Also, in Atlanta, you will need both as is and as proposed floor plans for permitting. (Along with site plans and, potentially, green infrastructure plans if you are changing GLA or adding to the structure.) 

... so if your plan is to use a draftsman to do that, good luck finding one that knows how to prepare the plans correctly that doesn't charge just as much as a real architect. 

Thank, Aaron

It could be true that what I'm looking for will be hard to find, and maybe labeling this person as a draftsman is not correct. I'm looking for a person that has the ability to take measurements and draw an as-built floor plan in CADD; a scale drawing I can use as a visual tool for creating a game plan before I commit to a higher priced architect... that is, if the resulting game plan requires extensive planning and permitting. Perhaps an architecture student or someone with the necessary skills but not the high overhead of a big office and staff. I'm posting on here because I know I can't just search Google for what I'm looking for. 

I understand your thinking. The temptation to try and make a minimal investment in a project at the onset is powerful, especially when an architect is likely to charge at least a thousand dollars to go and measure a house. 

Something to consider, though. If you do end up hiring an architect to do the plans, most architects will want their own as is measurements for liability reasons. Also, they will need to do elevations and sectional views for permitting... so there is a huge probability that you will end up paying for the house to be measured twice. 

While you are going through your due diligence you should strongly consider lead and asbestos testing. Many older atlanta homes contain these contaminants and the cost of remediation can be shocking to many investors. 

Additionally, if you are going to be adding GLA or any kind of foot print change, you should have a survey done. Many times investors are surprised to discover that the house they bought does not conform to the Zoning of the lot and that changes are therefore legally difficult to make. 

Do you have an architect that you can recommend? I just got a quote for $6k to do a very simple 700 SF addition... I used to get full sets of plans for custom homes for that price... granted that was 7 years ago in Arizona.

I use a draftsman to do that same thing, I was on the same page and had to pay the architect the second measure, after 4-5 times, i made a deal with him to charge less or i will be moving on to the next one, glad he accepted my offer, he doesn't measure stuff anymore, just takes my drawings and stamps them.

Thanks, Manolo

That's exactly the kind of rhythm i"d like to get into. An inexpensive draftsman to do the measuring/drawings and an architect that's willing to work with that and get me through permitting. Anyone in Atlanta that has any contacts they can share, I'd be in your debt.  

Originally posted by @Brian Wysel :

Do you have an architect that you can recommend? I just got a quote for $6k to do a very simple 700 SF addition... I used to get full sets of plans for custom homes for that price... granted that was 7 years ago in Arizona.

 That pricing is only slightly on the high side. City of atlanta submission requirements are extremely robust, so generating a compliant plan set is very involved. So much so that I know several architects and design build firms. that have stopped doing work in the city entirely. 

I don't know any architects that will be willing to do what you want done. Not to be a downer, but to get one that will do it is going to require hiring someone with low standards and questionable business practices... certainly I can't imagine a licensed architect ever wanting to do it. 

If you want some recommendations for reputable architects or design build firms that can do what you want, I can make some suggestions but candidly you aren't going to like the pricing. 

Thanks, I know that LA is very tough too, which is where Manolo is operating. Not too concerned with "best practice" when it comes to architecture... just trying to work my way around the red tape. 

The only difference between @Aaron McGinnis and me is, I don't really pass the burden of the architect because i carry the liability under my license. The only way that it could work is a freelance/boutique size architect, they might not have the best practices, but i make sure they do not cut corners. I don't know the Atlanta market but 2k is the most money I paid for a plan review and stamp, but I have a worker that can do legwork, I spent money to update himself with the most stringent codes and commercial codes though.

Technically, it is not legal for an architect or engineer to just "stamp" drawings that they have not created or supervised over, and they could loose their professional license if caught.  All of the work is required to be done under their supervision, and they are risking their licence and professional insurance.

That is not to say it does not happen. 

Now if you have a long standing relationship with the architect, such that they can come to terms with the work and they believe that it was done under their supervision (which kinda sounds like what @Manolo D. is doing), then it might be OK.

Just don't ask reputable architects and engineers to just "stamp" drawings, that's not how it should happen.  I know this, as I am a licensed professional engineer in my state (licensed architect requirements are basically the same).

@Mike Wood Yes, I had to call them before any critical construction such as epoxy injections or before we
close walls, 5-15 min inspections. We had to do regular route on the first 3 until they are confident I'm not cutting corners. Which I can't really because the client has their own third party architect to pop up once in a while. It is all about relationships and doing things right. They are more than welcome anytime to pop up anytime they wish if i have their stamp, which they sometimes do.

This is all very helpful, guys. Thank you. Most of my projects are just opening, adding or rearranging a couple interior walls, and if we're not doing anything structural I shy away from permitting altogether. I'd still like to find that person that can draw up a basic floorplan for me for planning (and even marketing) purposes on those smaller projects.

I actually got a PM from a guy in CO that said all he would need is a couple measurements and a bunch of pictures. I'd rather have someone local but I suppose with all the technology these days, outsourcing is becoming more possible for stuff like this.

Originally posted by @Brian Wysel :

This is all very helpful, guys. Thank you. Most of my projects are just opening, adding or rearranging a couple interior walls, and if we're not doing anything structural I shy away from permitting altogether. I'd still like to find that person that can draw up a basic floorplan for me for planning (and even marketing) purposes on those smaller projects.

 Please bear in mind that "shying away from permitting" for the project you just described is illegal (especially in Atlanta) and opens you up to liability. It also indicates that your contractor is likely unlicensed, as few licensed and legit contractors will open themselves up to the liability of an unpermitted job. 

Yes, I am a total legal beagle. I've become this way because I have seen what can happen if you don't do it the right way... it isn't pretty. 

Ga Tech has an architecture school so you can probably contact the dean's office. You can also post on Facebook or Craigslist. 

But Aaron is giving you good advice because getting red tagged on a project will add delays and costs that would otherwise be avoided if you used a licensed architect from the beginning. If you are planning on doing 2-3 projects per month then you are likely going to be in "active" areas, which mean the inspectors are also very active.

Depending on the areas I know an architect who might be suited to the as-built projects you need done. PM me.

Thanks,

Beth

@Brian Wysel I have an unlicensed architect on-call, charges $250/page. Go to somewhere like wegolook.com for those pictures. 700 for as-builts/existing floor plan (maybe 2 pages at 250 & 200 for say 30 pictures) isn't that bad.

Thank you, Beth
I will PM you when I can figure out how... Working from the app so might need to do that from the computer.

A little bit on me since I'm new:
From the responses I'm getting I would assume you all think, since I'm posting from AZ, I'm a newbie to the Atlanta market. That is half true. I've been intimately involved with buying, renting and selling hundreds (arguably thousands) of homes in Atlanta metro; so I do have a good idea of what kind of small projects do, and do not, require permitting. However, I recently started flipping as opposed to renting so I'm going through that learning curve and thought these forums would help with that process.

Taking all your comments to heart and appreciate the input.

@Brian Wysel They just try to steer you away from legal/costly implications. We all know what we need to do in one way or the other but need filling some holes. Just weed of those advice you don't need after giving it some thought. BP is full of newbies, and others volunteer time and effort to give advice, some bad, some top notch, you just need to know which is which., or which one fits what you are looking for.

@Brian Wysel Let's start with coffee and we go from there, I'll be in downtown tomorrow to look at some plans, I'm also free on Saturday, not sure which part of LA you will be at. My email is at my signature, I'll look you up in the morning. :)