pazzfam

Drawing for a living

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This is probably not the right forum. I have been a builder my whole life.  I do not know how to quit. I am as busy as I can be but the customers have gotten crazy

I work in a Horse community the richest in the country and building multi million dollar barns and houses.  I am partners and we make money. But the stress is killing me. If I have to deal with another decorator I will shoot myself. I am way stressed out and customer rep / decorator just left my office. I have commitments and a partner.  Big decision. I am 64 years old probably need to work till I am 70 for max SS (with no regrets). My question can you make money drawing plans only and I know a lot of the guys on the forum are builders and former builders. With all the stress of building I am having a lot trouble quitting I know the only thing I enjoy  drawing of the plans But I still get a kick out of scheduling building all the things that go into building BUT THE STRESS  is killing me. If you were a builder were you happy and satisfied quitting and designing only

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2 minutes ago, pazzfam said:

This is probably not the right forum

 

You are correct.

 

Please try Chatroom.

 

You may delete this thread via Moderator Actions near the top of the page.

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Pazzfam:

 

I understand your need for less stress

 

yes, you can make a living doing designs

 

will it be less stressful ?

 

I found clients want the designs tomorrow, if not yesterday

 

soon I started saying "I have a two week backlog" even if I had nothing to work on

 

one client looks at me on Sat after saying that and says "can I have it by Wed ?"

I repeated my line and he says - by next Monday ?

 

so I said "well, we are waiting for a client to respond about his design changes, so maybe I can get it started some"

 

we have had to fire clients because they were too demanding

 

I lived outside DC and was heading to Buffalo for Labor Day weekend

I tell new client I am leaving that evening and won't be back till Tuesday

 

He says "can you guarantee to have it done by Labor Day"

I said sorry "can't help, you'll have to find someone else"

this after he had verbally agreed to my contract and my spending 4 hrs getting started on the project

then coming in and complaining that my contract excluded this and that

I said but you agreed to the contract and price - "Nah, I didn't read it"

 

another builder client was backlogged due to surgery and wanted us to straighten out the framing layouts

the plan was a mess with a zillion layersets as he didn't understand them

we fix the framing layout views 

 

I drive 45 minutes to deliver the plan and tell him its a draft and he needs to review it

He calls later that day pissed off because he spent $200+ at the printers

and then his guy took the plans to the building permit office and they red flagged a zillion issues

most of them on the parts of the Layout we didn't touch

 

I said, "why did you print all those copies" without reviewing our work ?

so we hurry and fix our 3 issues plus all of his other issues

and I drive again to deliver the layout - he hands the jumpstick to his secretary and says get this printed and get down to the permit office

I said "wait, that is a draft, you need to review all the changes, etc."

 

so I went home and added a clause to my contract that by printing the layout they agree that it was reviewed and found acceptable

 

I could go on - but I think you get the idea

 

Lew

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I know a thing or two about construction stress, design / drafting stress and life stress! And I feel for you @pazzfam, especially when I read some of your phrasing. You make it clear that you may be at or near your limit!  The stress in drafting design is certainly no less than that of building, but of course the newness of a different occupation could feel like a reprieve for some, though I doubt that would last for long. I find that when work is too stressful, it's usually not the actual work, but rather my tolerance has decreased and that is often based on other factors that affect quality of life, like relationships, exercise, nutrition, community involvement, etc.  I'm also a big believer in identifying stress factors in our lives and removing or mitigating those causes as quickly and simply as possible.

Without going too far down that train of thought, drafting and design work may be satisfying and low-stress for you if you can keep to smaller projects, a wider variety of projects, and a limited number of projects. At 64, I'd be focusing on quality of life over earning potential, and I'd remove any expense in my life that enslaved me.

While the stress of being too busy is real, it's nothing compared to the stress of having no work at all. And speaking for myself, I'm at my best as a father and husband and friend when my earnings go down to a level that affords food on the table, some money in the bank, free time for myself and availability for my family.

I also really hope you have a great friend(s) or other resource (not spouse or partner:) that you can at least vent to. I'd love to hear how you make out, what kind of decisions you take to help reduce the stress and if I can't offer anything else, I hope it makes you feel a bit better to know you're not alone!

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Thanks for the advice appreciated I know it was the wrong place to post

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Any chance you can adjust your business model to design/build? You have a little more control over both processes that way and perhaps relieve some of that stress by keeping more decision making under 1 roof.

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That is what I do 50% I draw some I bid. I have never been good at delegating and drawing at night  and trying to get paid yada yada yada I waas just thinking that drawing ( I know is stressful) But it is just me, not every sub, inspector, customer, and decorator.  I appreciate the comments and advice and I will  get over it and get back to work

 

Thank You

ps 

 

I remember the great recession I would rather be working than not I am blessed and should not complain

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