OT, that time again

mightyanvilApril 8, 2008

This is the place for Off-Topic posts so they won't disrupt the Building a House Forum.

After providing architectural service to building owners for 40 years I tend not to qualify statements with "in my opinion", "others may disagree", or "I may be wrong", but instead get to the point, since my clients naturally expect me to give them advice without wavering.

I have also been hired by architectural firms to review their work; taught design detailing and contract administration to would-be architects; written design manuals for fed. agencies; and was trained long ago to be a light weapons infantry instructor where a lecture begins with "In the following 50 minutes you will learn..."

But there seems to be two distinctly different reactions to direct free advice when given to homeowners on a public forum: either they are appreciative or offended. I don't expect the appreciative ones to thank me but it does upset me when the offended ones lash out and characterize me unkindly.

After my experience on the Remodeling Forum, I intend to stop offering free advice to anyone who asks which will make my wife happy. But after the Garden Web, the next to get taken off the list is her brother.

I will try to respond to those who post here but my payment will be that you keep personal characterizations or criticisms to yourself. If that price is not acceptable you can hire an architect.

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I haven't posted here a lot, only because we haven't broken ground on our build yet... However, I have read a lot of posts and with that comes a lot of different opinions, views, design tastes, etc. I think that it is truely unfortunate that a few ungrateful, close minded, and just plain rude people can ruin this invaluable tool for everyone else.

I am sorry that you were offended to the point of not wanting to be here anymore. You were part of what made this site so helpful and not having your professional "opinion" here is a loss.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 1:50PM
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I continue to be amazed by the entitlement attitude that some members of online communities seem to have. Not only do some folks seem to feel entitled to an answer, they seem to feel entitled to an answerer that they like. The ones that want an answer without providing context clearly have not learned the proverb about the devil being in the details.

It is the mix of professional and non-professional posters that draw me back to these forums. Sometimes the tone of your responses rubs me the wrong way (it could be a Engineer / Architect thing), but I would hate to not hear your voice. I respect your training and experience, but that doesn't mean that I will always agree with you. I am a child of the 60's and it is in my DNA to question any "authority", but I would be a fool not to listen to your opinions and treat you with respect.

Thank you for the time you put into these forums. I hope that you will continue to participate.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 2:03PM
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I'm not on the site often enough to know what transpired, but I'm pretty sure it was your professional opinion that made me feel mortified last year to the point that I stopped posting pictures of our house on the BAH forum.

I've seen you offer some invaluable advice to some members...but when I posted asking a very general question last year (I think it was something like "should we go with dormers--or without dormers?) I think it was you who responded telling me what a horrible plan we'd chosen from an architectural standpoint. I think I offended you with our craftsman style porch colums and useless transoms above porch windows. There were many negative comments that you brought up about our house (which, as I stated in the post back then, we'd already broken ground on).

I agree that the BAH forum will suffer without your advice, but I just wanted to let you know that not everyone posting here is looking for an architect--maybe just a sounding board from a group of diverse people.

You shouldn't stop posting because of a few nasty people.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 8:07PM
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I have to chime in again, after reading what actually transpired...

When people come on here and ask for other people's opinions whether about their contract, house plans, paint colors, or whatever - they need to expect to hear HONEST OPINIONS as responses. That is the beauty of this site isn't it?? If others love your house then great! If someone doesn't, then maybe their constructive critisism will point out something that hasn't ever been noticed. And unless a poster states otherwise, I think that all responses should be written assuming that the original poster doesn't know exactly what every professional contruction term means, or how contracts work, or how and why an architect draws plans, etc.

Again MA I am very sorry that you were treated so horribly for simply answering a vague question.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 1:23PM
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I decided to wander over there to see what the hub-bub is. At the ripe old age of 40, I can tell you that there are far fewer conversations I'm willing to get involved in than I used to. If I do contribute, and suspect my thoughts were mis-interpreted, I will try to clear things up. But, if someone simply wants to shoot me down on a forum, they can have it. I'm perfectly content with letting folks work through their problems without my assistance.

I don't believe the "new home" area has the type of problems you experienced over in remodeling. That was pretty bizarre. I just don't think it's worth the effort and would likely walk away, too.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 11:05PM
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