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My 2-person firm is also still drawing with pencils on vellum. I can get PDF's made at the print shop for any jurisdiction that prefers electronic copies. At 73, we are only taking new work from the 3 "F's": friends, family and former clients, and the now-grown children thereof, who were newborns when we started.
You are right about retiring! They will have to pry my cold, dead hands off my drafting board.
Judith Wasserman, AIA
Well, I'm 71, and after teaching myself Autocad, Autocad Architecture, and then Revit, whenever I start taping a sheet of paper onto my drawing board, I find myself slapping myself up alongside my head exclaiming "What the heck am I doing ? This would be a lot easier on the computer !" I could never produce as much as I currently do if I were drawings manually - and I'd never be able to generate the building sections, elevations and 3d color renderings I can with Revit. I guess I've gone over to the "other side" !
I have tried all kinds of CAD classes and it just won't go in my head right, plus you need to practice...a lot. I was licensed in 1980. My practice is 100% manual..BUT...I ONLY do schematic design, and have numerous contract Architects, Engineers, Building designers and draftspeople that work with me to put in CAD format, be it Revit, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, etc. Plus I have a few illustration modeling companies that do modeling and illustrations. Specialize in facilitating design charrettes, masterplans and schematic design enough to start entitlement work. This is for ALL kinds of projects. Masterplanned communities, casinos, Hotels, house, offices, Apartments, (No condos) Retail, Institutional..you name it. I do not seem to be short of work over the last 30 years. Ever. I do wish i could do some CAD/Sketchup plans, but...I do not have time to learn..too busy drawing...and clients love my ability to do that in front of them, and in collaborative meetings. (public or private.) I used to be in and owned larger firms..but it was maddening to deal with the ups and downs in order to keep good people. When I was in a large firm, and brought in work, I had to give the client a fixed fee, based on estimates from staff. But..when the timesheet came in over budget...it was a problem. Not the clients problem. ..mine. No more. Tripled my income when I left. A good Schematic design gets a good scope and fixed contract. I need to check them thoroughly, , but....It seems to be the path I am on. You have to be a good fast draw-er, of course... so..yes..some people still hand draw. But not CD's. Unless something small for a friend..or my own house, in my spare time. Ahh..the Tailer's son has no shoes....I am hiring some contract VR dudes now....from my hand sketches... The world can change around me and i will contract out as needed. We'll...see...
LOL. $7.50 per strip, or 12 for the Low Low price of $80.76
Wishing you prosperity in 2017
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Lisa Stacholy, NCARB, LEED ap BD+C
LKS Architects, Inc.
1848 Independence Square, Suite D
Dunwoody, Georgia 30338
ph 770-393-1125, fax 509-461-0053, Cell 404-247-3335