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Chief Architect: Drawing Floorplans As Side Income

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Bert Craytor

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Some appraisers are listing drawing of floorplans as a second service, where they may charge $200 - $275 for floor plans. I have no idea how good they are, but I doubt they are that good, since the ones I've seen say nothing about ANSI measurement compliance.

I would suggest looking at the Chief Architect website for more information and ideas. They have a forum for designers offering services.

https://chieftalk.chiefarchitect.com/forum/16-offering-services/

Some draw complete house plans and sell them for $.50- $1.25/sf. So, maybe $1000-$2250 for a complete house plan. But for that you would have to know building codes and be fairly competent, actually having gone through planning approval and construction. It might make sense to get hold of a contractor or two, once you have acquired a certain degree of competence.

The smartest residential appraisers should be able to do complete floor plans of existing homes and handle partial remodeling designs, perhaps complete house plans - starting out tepidly and getting approval and eventual construction on some. You can hand off the plans to someone more experienced if and when you get to that state.

On the link above, you can also find second hand copies for Chief Architect at a discount. But to start out, all you need is their Home Designer Pro.
 

Bert Craytor

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Being a "drafter", you can work with contractors or home owners to create plans that can be submitted to architects or structural engineers for approval. The profession overlaps and is synergistic to appraisal, in that the knowledge of each will enhance the other.

What happens if you go to a company like https://www.pacificremodelinganddesign.com/, is that they will have a "drafter" talk to you (as the home owner) and come up with a design. THEN, once you know what you want, those plans will be submitted to an architect and structural engineer for approval. That "drafter" does not have to be licensed - but he does have to be competent in the eyes of the architect, structural engineer and contractor. A "drafter" with a lot of experience working with contractors and engineers is worth more than some lousy architect for sure - and I remember starting off in college as an architect major, then going into math, because going through an initial 1-2 years of art courses wasn't my thing. And that is what you kind of get with an architect - an artist. Well, much of that art can nowadays be generated by programs like Chief Architect.

And so here you go. Drafters with programs like Chief Architect are doing much of the work that Architects used to do.

Don't feel bad about being a residential appraiser. Many professions, including physicians, are getting shoved to the side by increasing technology. You just have to adapt. - And also don't leave it up to others to architect the world; otherwise it will never be a better place.
 

glenn walker

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California
I can do basic floor plans but have not been architecturally trained and there have been some monster houses over the years, especially on those 6,000 to10,000 square feet custom homes with different levels, round rooms, all sorts of issues. I have no idea on some of these SO I employ my nephew who is an-architect and he charges me about $200.00 to measure the house and draw the sketch.

I had one were I had a copy of a prior appraisal and the sketch was very professional looking and I was impressed UNTIL we inspected the house and my architect found the previous sketch had missed two rooms and was off by more than 600 Sq.Ft. **

Anyway not bad mouthing the original appraiser I got lost in the house and I was never any good even in basic drafting so I only accept these monsters if I am being paid enough to pay the $200 buck to the architect. Imagine a lawsuit by a rich buyer or seller on 600 square feet of custom home construction ? $200 bucks is cheap insurance.
 

Bert Craytor

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I can do basic floor plans but have not been architecturally trained and there have been some monster houses over the years, especially on those 6,000 to10,000 square feet custom homes with different levels, round rooms, all sorts of issues. I have no idea on some of these SO I employ my nephew who is an-architect and he charges me about $200.00 to measure the house and draw the sketch.

I had one were I had a copy of a prior appraisal and the sketch was very professional looking and I was impressed UNTIL we inspected the house and my architect found the previous sketch had missed two rooms and was off by more than 600 Sq.Ft. **

Anyway not bad mouthing the original appraiser I got lost in the house and I was never any good even in basic drafting so I only accept these monsters if I am being paid enough to pay the $200 buck to the architect. Imagine a lawsuit by a rich buyer or seller on 600 square feet of custom home construction ? $200 bucks is cheap insurance.

Well I've done some retail/office and community shopping centers/strip malls that large (5,000 - 12,000+ sf, non-complex layouts) with Chief Architect ... but a custom house with with umpteen small rooms ... no, - too much work and for a house that size you would think there would be plans. I have never run into one that large. But without good plans, I just wouldn't appraise it. On the other hand, maybe I would bite the bullet and do it. I know it wouldn't be any fun.
 
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Rick Stillman

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Jan 19, 2014
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Colorado
I can do basic floor plans but have not been architecturally trained and there have been some monster houses over the years, especially on those 6,000 to10,000 square feet custom homes with different levels, round rooms, all sorts of issues. I have no idea on some of these SO I employ my nephew who is an-architect and he charges me about $200.00 to measure the house and draw the sketch.

I had one were I had a copy of a prior appraisal and the sketch was very professional looking and I was impressed UNTIL we inspected the house and my architect found the previous sketch had missed two rooms and was off by more than 600 Sq.Ft. **

Anyway not bad mouthing the original appraiser I got lost in the house and I was never any good even in basic drafting so I only accept these monsters if I am being paid enough to pay the $200 buck to the architect. Imagine a lawsuit by a rich buyer or seller on 600 square feet of custom home construction ? $200 bucks is cheap insurance.
Nahhhhh.... Below is my "sketch" of a home, and a previous one done by an appraiser that deals out slop. That's being kind, by the way. The prior appraisal was supplied to me by the homeowner, who was actually happy with it and proud to share it with me in order to "help" me do my work. Any homeowner dumb enough to appreciate this level of... deserves what they get. I have nieces and nephews that would recognize slop if they saw it, and they are under 10. Never underestimate a third grader.

I don't know what I disrespect more - the fact that some idiot can't measure a house, or the fact that they actually put their name on this and turn in such pathetic garbage. They think, who's ever going to know? Right...

Side by.JPG
 
D

Deleted member 128537

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Yes, I just remeasured a house done by a previous appraiser. The previous appraiser completely messed up the second floor sketch. Was an SRA and Certified General...Hmmmm. Not a complicated house either.

But recently I did a 9,000sf home. I wouldn’t do it unless I had the plans. Just too complicated. Thankfully they had the plans.
 

gregb

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Yes, I just remeasured a house done by a previous appraiser. The previous appraiser completely messed up the second floor sketch. Was an SRA and Certified General...Hmmmm. Not a complicated house either.

But recently I did a 9,000sf home. I wouldn’t do it unless I had the plans. Just too complicated. Thankfully they had the plans.
Yeah, the SRA and CG, probably had never seen an uncomplicated two story residence before...:)
 

TRESinc

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Dec 1, 2011
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
Yes, I just remeasured a house done by a previous appraiser. The previous appraiser completely messed up the second floor sketch. Was an SRA and Certified General...Hmmmm. Not a complicated house either.

But recently I did a 9,000sf home. I wouldn’t do it unless I had the plans. Just too complicated. Thankfully they had the plans.
send 10 appraisers out to measure a house and you will get at least 8 different results :)
 

Overimprovement

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May 31, 2017
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Kentucky
Are there any good videos or other help out there for measuring the more complicated homes? I get 3 or 4 a year that strain my ability some. :) Wouldn't mind at least being faster on these monsters...
 
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