QUESTIONS FROM CLIENTS
Traditional firms are often inefficient and they mark up their employees hourly rate about 3-5x. With Graphite, since we use remote freelance architects, we’ve eliminated the overhead costs. Also, we have established hourly rates for each category of freelancers based on experience level, credentials, and projects completed on the platform
Graphite handles everything from small drafting and renovation projects to larger scale commercial projects. We enable our freelancers to build teams so they can complete larger, more complex projects. However, we do not accept projects with a budget under $2,000 for architecture services.
California and many other states require drawings to be stamped by EITHER a licensed architect OR engineer. Most projects will require a structural engineer based on the scope of work, therefore, many projects don’t need a licensed architect. Regardless of licensure, there are many talented unlicensed pros out there, and using one for your project could save you lots of money!
In most cases, yes, a project will need a local professional familiar with the local codes, be able to submit materials to the building department, and to visit the project site. Therefore, each project will have a local member of the team to coordinate those items. This is how we can manage a project if you have a remote architect doing the design work along with a local freelancer for coordination.
When an architect applies to be on our platform, they give us their education and licensure credentials and well as prior work they’ve done and examples of their drawings. We validate the credentials and review their work for quality. We also conduct a personal interview, and select on the best talent that’s the right fit.
Not only do we take special care to only let the best and most trusted professionals onto the platform, we monitor the project through the entire process to make sure your architect is providing you the best service. We understand trust is a large factor when selecting an architect so we set the architect’s rates on our platform based on credentials, years of experience in the field as well as on the platform. The more successful projects they complete on Graphite with happy clients, the more we will raise their rate.
Once you have signed the contract with your architect, you will be required to submit a $1000 retainer which will be held in Graphite’s account. When your architect begins to track hours on the project, you will receive an invoice from Graphite every 2 weeks. Once you approve the work on the invoice, the payment will be given to the freelancer.
Graphite acts as a neutral 3rd party in the relationship between you and your architect. If you do not feel as though your architect has not provided with you with the services or quality of work they promised, you can dispute the payment invoice and we will review it. If we are not able to assist in settling the dispute, the course of action will follow the terms in the service contract signed with your architect.
Once you’ve given us your project details, we automatically match you with the top 3-5 freelancers that are the best fit for your project. You’ll be able to view their profiles and see past projects they’ve worked on, read testimonials and ratings from past clients, and you’ll be allowed to conduct your own interview to select your favorite one.
Within the project tracking tool we give you, you will be able to directly communicate with your architect, share files, and see up to date information on what the architect has completed and what step they are working on currently.
Graphite wants to become your one stop shop for all your construction project needs. As we grow we will be including other professionals that other roles on a typical project team, such as an interior designer, structural engineer, or landscape architects. This way, you’ll be able to find, access, and hire the whole team in one spot.
Contracts for services are entered into directly with the client and architect. The reason for this is that architects are the professionals doing the work and can control what clauses they put in their contracts based on personal preferences around liability. Once a project is underway Graphite acts as a middle man to supervise the project and the payment processing.
We take a 20% transaction fee from the amount that is paid to the architect for their services.
We understand that selecting an architect can be overwhelming. Also, some clients have a very straightforward project, that is unnecessary for them to spend a lot of time choosing their own architect. That is why we offer to select the best architect for you for an additional fee of $500.
Graphite eliminates the need for spending hours on the internet trying to find and select the right architect for you with the best credentials. You don’t have to worry about comparing hourly rates because we establish set rates for each level of architect based on credentials and experience in the field and on the platform. Our platform organizes the process for you in one simply place.
QUESTIONS FROM ARCHITECTS
Professional liability remains the responsibility of the architect. And contracts for service are held directly with clients, not through Graphite. Should any issues arise, Graphite will serve as a neutral 3rd party to help settle disputes, and then further procedures will be according to the contract.
Graphite freelancers get paid by direct deposit to their bank account info they provide from Graphite’s account once work has been approved by the client. Each freelancers is a standard 1099 contractor.
Freelancers bill their work on the project hourly. Based on the freelancer’s credentials, level of experience in the field, and amount of successful projects completed on Graphite, we determine a set hourly rate for all the freelancers of that level. We do this to build credibility into the platform. the more successful projects you complete on Graphite, the higher your rate will go.
When a potential client enters details about their project on Graphite, we take into account factors such as location, scope, and budget. We let them know up front if their goals and their budget are not aligned. We want to educate the clients on what architects do and what the process entails, before a project even gets to you. They are also given the opportunity to have a one on one call with one of our reps to talk about their project in more detail.
We provide them guides on how to select and work with an architect. This includes an in depth explanation of what an architect does at each phase.
Within the terms of service that a freelancer and client agree to when they sign up on Graphite, this is not allowed. We also have implemented systems that can track if this is being done. If a Graphite freelancer and client engage in services off of the platform, fines will be imposed as a consequence.
The platform provides the tools for communicating, file sharing, and more easily managing the project and the team. We do not provide access to architectural software such as Revit, AutoCAD or Archicad, but we are hoping to partner with them in the future.
As a freelancer on Graphite, you’ll have access to the database of freelancers on the platform and their credentials. Contact Graphite directly to get matched with additional freelancers for your job. Once they agree to join, they will added to the project team on all the collaboration tools. They will track hours the same, and their rate will be set. Those hours will then get included on the bi-weekly invoice to the client.
Based on the freelancer’s credentials, level of experience in the field, and amount of successful projects completed on Graphite, we determine a set hourly rate for all the freelancers of that level. The more successful projects you complete on Graphite, the higher your rate will go.
We take a 20% fee from the amount paid for services. However, the rate given to the freelancer in the original terms agreement is the amount they take home. The fees are added into the rate billed to the client on top of the freelancer’s rate.
As with any type of freelance work, you only get paid for the jobs that you get contracted to do. As the platform grows there will be more and more jobs available for work. Our profile system is based on performance, so the more great work you do, the more job opportunities you’ll get.
You get to work wherever you want, whenever you want. As long as you get your tasks completed in the expected time, how and when you get that done is up to you. You also get the opportunity to work on a variety of different types of projects with different people around the world, at the same time. Graphite provides a community of experienced architects around the world that you can reach out to for advice. You don’t have to hassle with the marketing or sales of freelancing on your own, Graphite does that for you. And Graphite makes sure your clients pay in full and on time. Guaranteed payouts on time. Fully managed with the project manager who is the single point of contact with the client, the working setup is built for remote teams.
Currently at this time we are not able to offer those benefits.
Graphite’s goal is to make architectural services more accessible to a wider community and make the process of hiring one easier. But we also want to give architects an opportunity to provide their skills and service in a freelance manner that allows them to earn more money and live a more flexible lifestyle. We give clients a way to find and hire the architects and manage their project. Our platform could be considered a kind of digital architecture firm. Architects are still providing the service without having the overhead costs and other obligations that come with a traditional firm. This enables the architect to take home more money for their services.
The project manager must upload a reference construction drawing set to which the other freelancers on the project must draw to the standard of. The project manager will clearly state any graphic requirements, fonts, or special characteristics that they are expecting. If the architect has a template in the software for which the drawings will be drawn, they may share the template.
The majority of freelancers on the platform are licensed. However, unlicensed professionals are often needed in a supporting role on projects so considersations will be made to allow unlicensed individuals to join based on their experience and other credentials.
We provide the tools for communication, file sharing, and progress tracking and scheduling. We help the project management and communication run more smoothly. We are also working on architecture specific tool partnerships such as code check software, drawing markup tools, and even drawing software license access.
Based on the project details we entered, Graphite narrows the eligible professionals down to the top 3-5 that are the best fit for the particular project needs. The client then can see the profiles of those architects and choose which to reach out to for more info or even an interview. If the client has elected to let Graphite select an architect for them, for an additional $500 fee, our team will contact the architect we think would be a good fit. If that architect agrees to take the project, we will automatically match the client with that architect.
We take time to learn about the details of a potential client’s project and budget to see if the project makes sense for our freelancers. We also receive their payments into our escrow account before the work begins so you are guaranteed payment for the work you’ve done.
The more you are able to tell us about your specific skills the better we can fit you to the right projects.
Each project will have one architect that is the project manager. This professional is the one directly with the contract signed with the client. They are responsible for the work and the drawings and seeing that the project gets through all the regulatory requirements. Other freelancers hired onto the project will be selected by the project manager based on the need of the project and the project manager is responsible for managing their work.