Editor's note: This is the first in a two-part series. In this do-it-yourself era, can you also be your own architect? The answer is yes ... and no. Though it's not widely known, you don't need an architect's license to draw plans for a wood-framed building, as long as it's no more than two stories high over a crawlspace. Since the lion's share of residential work falls into this category, this means pretty much anyone can draw their own house plans, or can hire another unlicensed person to do it for them. Considering that architects customarily charge a commission fee of between 10 and 15 percent of the project budget for residential work, the do-it-yourself route may seem pretty appealing, especially in these challenging times. After all, the cash you'd save would probably buy ...
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