Exempt services and structures: Architects
State laws and rules recognize that certain areas of expertise are common to professionals other than architects. They provide the following exemptions in:
- RCW 18.08.410: Application of chapter
- WAC 308-12-340: How do I apply the exemptions in RCW 18.08.410?
Naval architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering
Application of the law doesn't prevent the practice of naval architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, space planning, or interior design services not affecting public health or safety.
Application of the law doesn't prevent registered contractors, or superintendents employed by contractors, to construct, alter, or supervise the construction of buildings or structures, or to prepare shop drawings connected to the project.
Supervising a construction project
Application of the law doesn't prevent owners or registered contractors from engaging individuals who aren't architects to observe and supervise construction of a project.
Residential design work
Application of the law doesn't prevent any person from doing design work, including preparing construction contract documents and administering the contract, for the erection, enlargement, repair, or alteration of a structure or any appurtenance to a structure, regardless of size, if the structure is to be used for a:
- Residential building of up to and including 4 dwelling units.
- Farm building.
- Structure used in connection with or auxiliary to the residential building or farm building, such as a garage, barn, shed, or shelter for animals or machinery.
Design work up to 4,000 square feet for occupancies other than Residential
Application of the law doesn't prevent any person from doing design work, including preparing construction contract documents and administering the contract, for the construction , erection, enlargement, alteration, or repairs of or to a building of any occupancy, up to a total building size of 4,000 square feet or less.
Design work in an area up to 4,000 square feet in structures greater than 4,000 square feet for occupancies other than Residential
Application of the law doesn't prevent any person from doing design work, including preparing construction contract documents and administering the contract, for alteration of or repairs to a building when:
- The project size is not more than 4,000 square feet in a building greater than 4,000 square feet. (The combined square footage of simultaneous projects may not exceed 4,000 square feet.)
- The work contemplated in the design doesn't affect the life safety or structural systems of the building.
For the purpose of this exemption:
- Project size is defined as the cumulative square footage of all spaces that contain altered construction in the design under consideration.
- Simultaneous projects are projects that have an open permit in the same building, designed or prepared by non-architects, the total of which may not exceed 4,000 square feet.
- Life safety is affected if the work contemplated includes, but isn't limited to alteration of:
- Any fire rated construction.
- Any means of egress including barrier free provisions defined by the building codes.
- A building so the number of occupants in the affected spaces would be increased.
Questions? Need help?
Email us: DFCcompliance@dol.wa.gov