January, February, and March were famine months this year. Glad my wife works, pretty much sums it up.
So as a one man office just how much stuff do I handle? We all eventually fall into our niche. Based on the type of work you do has a direct bearing on how many projects you can handle because of their scope and size. As stated before I appreciate people like Mark LePage (do I need to write "Mark R LePage?) for openly sharing so much information. I will list what projects I am currently involved in so that maybe a younger architect thinking about starting his own office will have some understanding of one possibility of what might occur if he goes out on his own. I'll be generic as I think it will be easier to explain. Remember, I usually provide permit drawings, so it is not as complex as a set of bid documents. It makes drafting much quicker and easier. I do most of my work for contractors and developers. If you work for clients who are not involved in the construction industry, your projects will take much longer, be much more involved, so you would not be able to handle the same volume as I do.
Project 1 - I am friends with a local contractor who asked if I could help with some drawings for a bathroom addition for the upstairs of an existing house. I said sure.
All he wanted was permit drawings. This was a very simple design. Currently being reviewed by the owners.
Project 2) Alteration to an existing office space in a medical facility. Just adjusting office / conference / break room space. About 1,900 SF involved in alteration
Project 3) Looking into a possible Restaurant upfit. Potential client first wants a plan drawn up to take to the health department. I was sent link to a "plan" drawn on a web base CAD program. I was sent verbal descriptions of the dimensions, such as "from the back left corner behind the window to the front left wall by the left hand door is 12'-3" Needless to say we aren't making much progress. I sent what I thought the fee would be for A/E for a permit set. Have not heard back (and may never?)
Project 4) Laid out a 50' x 400' flex building for a regular paying client. It is in pricing right now. Waiting for a start date.
Project 5) Have been asked to start working of a face lift for an older shopping center. Currently I am out field measuring the existing building so we have a base plan to work with.
Project 6) Working on converting part of an old 58,000 SF distribution / warehouse to "conditioned storage". The old warehouse part is tall enough to get two stories of storage and the front of the building was previously offices and we are adding new office space across the entire front (250') of the building
Project 7) Working on a free standing restaurant. I think we are kinda doing this one "ass backwards", as the kitchen layout should be done first, but I have laid out everything but the kitchen. Owners are indecisive about what they want. A meeting in the future to resolve this issue is imminent.
Project 8) A rural fire department building I designed several years ago had left their crew room unfinished. They have come back to get the drawings for the crew room (kitchen, bathroom and several bed rooms) completed so they can get a permit and finish the building.
Project 9) An attorney upfit I had done several years ago has decided they need a couple more offices and an additional conference room. I am looking into the expansion options for them.
Project 10) New contractor that I have just met has a client who wants to expand the existing men's toilet room by adding a couple more toilet fixtures. We are looking at relocating the existing urinals and installing two new stalls.
I have a couple more projects "in the wings" some are imminent and some are possibilities. They range from a free standing toilet building on a golf course and a dental upfit to a 25,000 SF shell office building. Some of these projects are small and some take time, but trying to juggle multiple projects at the same time can be stressful. Then you add on top of that the phone calls "Can you come to the job site, we have something we need your help on to resolve? and people wonder why I tell them "I work 24/7 and weekends too!"
It would be nice to have a steady flow of constant work, but if you want to hang your shingle and get in the main stream of this profession, sit back and grab on to your seat!
Rarely is self employment in the architectural profession boring or dull!