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OUR STORY

H Design Co started serving clients in the Wenatchee Valley (State of Washington). Today, service clients in the State of Arizona, State of California and State of Washington. 

 

H Design Co has collective experience in Residential Design, Construction Assemblies, International Residential Code, International Building Code, Washington State Energy Code and local zoning and building codes (see home page for city/counties we have worked in). We are constantly learning new design concepts and code interpretations to be able to assist our clients with building permits.

 

Clients tend to hire us for the following reasons:

1. fees are less than a licensed architect firm,

2. we are constantly learning and keeping up with code changes and,

3. we successfully help obtain building permits so clients can legally build.

 

H Design Co strives to serve property owners, developers and investors with the best quality service in a timely fashion.

 

Our goal is your success.

We have pride in helping property owners obtain building permits in Seattle, King County, Auburn, Tukwila, Renton, Tacoma, Des Moines, Bellevue, Kitsap County, Kittitas County, Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Douglas County, Chelan County, Grant County, Entiat, Rock Island, Chelan, Moses Lake, Quincy, Brewster, Prescott Valley Arizona and many more... 

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Many people wonder, what's the difference between an Architect, Architectural Designer and Draftsman?

Architect 

An Architect posses a state professional license and can legally stamp and seal a building project that takes on the liability of the life safety and wellness of that building.

 

For example, in the State of Washington RCW 18.08.320 defines (3) "Architect" means an individual who is registered under this chapter to practice architecture. The Architect may work in an architecture firm, design firm, design and build company; even a architecture/engineering firm. Some Architects may also  work as Sole Proprietors, Limited Liability Company "LLC" Members, Partnership (with others), S-Corp or C-Corp entrepreneurs that run their own solo-firm, small firm, medium firm or large firm. Some Architects run their own Architecture and Construction business. Some are even Real Estate Developers with an Architect Stamp.

 

Many Architects rely on licensed Professional Engineers for the structural integrity of the buildings they design. Many require professional engineers that specialize in civil infrastructure for the site improvements of the projects. Most large commercial projects require an Architect and all the Professional Engineers in the book to make them a reality: Structural, Civil, Geotechnical, Electrical, Mechanical, Marine, etc. 

Historically, Architects take pride in their advanced academic success and understand the responsibility they hold when they design a building project, stamp and seal the safety of that building and the habitants using them; that is why they tend to have higher service fees. Some charge by the SQFT, some through an hourly rate, some by project. Clients of Architects in recent years have been complaining of the high costs of Architects and are aggressively trying to keep project costs down, as the developer and/or builder is looking at the total project cost at hand: to include professional fees. 

Architectural Designer 

An architectural designer is a design professional that has experience in Architecture but does not possess a state professional license as an Architect and cannot legally stamp and seal a project as an Architect. Historically, the architectural designer works under the direct supervision of a licensed Architect; that is where they gain practical work experience. Further one may possess an advanced degree and others do not, but do possess years of physical work experience in the field of Architecture. In recent years with the innovations of hardware and software systems that allow any average person to quickly learn how to design a building from scratch to 100% completion, the desire of those wanting to become architectural designers has exponentially grown. Some come from construction backgrounds, others come from within architect firms, others from lumber yard companies, etc. Architect firms are hiring anybody with actual design experience and then train from within the firm. Design and Build companies also are recruiting those that have experience with a design software or can learn quickly to keep the supply and demand of housing and commercial projects competitive. 

Legally, many local governments: politicians and building permit offices have been relaxing the requirement of having every project be stamped and sealed by an Architect. This allows other design professionals such as Architectural Designers to work as the primary project designers and ultimately certify the life safety and wellness of the building projects. For example: City of Wenatchee Permit Application has a section named Architect/Designer; though the city does say that any structure over 4,000SQFT must be created, stamped and sealed by a licensed Architect... so the opportunity for the Architectural Designer in the City of Wenatchee would be any residential or light commercial project less than 4,000 SQFT. In Douglas County, an Architectural Designer can be the primary designer for most large luxury residential projects if the designer collaborates with a licensed Professional Engineer (structural) for the life safety and wellness of the building project. The City of Des Moines has a similar approach: (1) Architectural Designer (2) Professional Engineer on that one project. Many governments allow the Architectural Designer to be the primary designer and applicant (agent) on behalf of the client (property owner(s)) in the permit applications up to 4,000 SQFT without needing Professional Engineer on the projects. 

An Architectural Designer fees are typically a fraction of an Architect . Depending on the local market (of course), one can say 25%  - 50% less than an Architect.  Many Real Estate Developers/Investors and Builders know this and try to capitalize on this professional service at a lower price tag. 

What about quality, compared to an Architect? Quality is completely contingent on that Architect or Architectural Designer. I have seen great quality from both. I have also seen poor quality from established Architect Firms with all the Stamps and Seals. Then again, I have seen poor quality from Architectural Designers. Its people dependent and ever person has a different experience level and way of producing their set of plans; that is the beauty of the Arts, one can make the construction plans as he/she envisions his art. 

Now, if the Architectural Designer cannot legally stamp or seal a project, how can they hold responsibility for the safety of the project? Isn't that what we are paying for: drawing plus building safety? The answer is yes and no. The Architect liability is governed differently than an Architectural Designer. The Architect when in question, must go to the Washington State Board of Architects for any disputes related to the deficiency or errors or omissions of the project and their Professional Insurance company, as they are required to have one to keep their license active. An Architectural Designer is not required to have Professional Liability Insurance, but it's definitely encouraged.  Some Architectural Designers if they work for themselves are simply Sole Proprietors, others have corporation structures: Limited Liability Company "LLC", S-Corp or C-Corp (as do anyone running a legit business in America). The type of legal structure is important for any business: Architect Firm, Design Firm and any type of business frankly. The Architectural Designer will hold responsibility for the consultations, plans they created and competency of the services they provided you for a monetary compensation. The disputes will go to Small Claims Court or other Courts depending on the amount of the claim in question. With that, no design professional wants to end up in court, so it is the Architectural Designers duty to be competent in his/her consultations, architectural design services and assurance they can obtain building permits for the projects they are being hired to do. 

 

Now H-Design-Co is not a licensed Attorney, so please don't take this Blog as legal advice; it's primary purpose is for education and awareness only. 

Draftsman

North Seattle College has two programs for drafters: Architectural and Civil. A Draftsman or Draftswoman is a person who has a basic understanding of Computer-Aided Design software such as AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, Chief Architect Software, Civil 3D, etc. Draftsman or woman are usually the bottom line of an Architect firm and its the basic tasks of an Architect or Architectural Designer. The draftsman or woman does not have competency or knowledge in the life safety or building science of what they are drafting and typically do not have the experience to consult on obtaining a building permit. 

Without drafters, you don't' get anything done. Drafters are super important in an Architect Firm and Design Firm. 

There are many companies who sell drafting services to Architectural Designs and Architects. These are considered contract drafters, 1099 independent workers. The drafters who have spent a lot of hours mastering CAD software can bring a lot of efficiency to an Architect or Architectural Designer project flow. 

 

Many drafters have a desire to rank up to Project Designers, Architectural Designers and even have ambition to become licensed Architects. Everybody starts as a drafter. 

Meet The Team

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Jack Jackson
Nilesh Peterson

Drafting Technical

jack@h-design-co.com

Drafting Technical

nilesh@h-design-co.com

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