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 May 2015

"Don't Buy Necklaces for Your Clients!"

The retail shopping experience continues to evolve, be it "brick and mortar", online, or maybe a personal shopper like David Burstein, PE, talks about in this article.  Learn how retail shopping relates to design fees and construction costs.  David is a PSMJ Consultant and Seminar Leader.  This article first appeared on May 18, 2015 in "Pulse" for the Professional Services Management Journal. 

Last week, a client was visiting my office.  When we went for lunch, we passed a jewelry store and he saw a necklace that he wanted to buy for his wife.  Unfortunately, the store was closed, so I offered to buy the necklace the next day and bring it to him at a visit we'd scheduled for the following week.  When I went back to the jewelry store, I found that the necklace cost $4,400.  I almost bought it but then wondered if he knew the cost.  I called him and asked what he expected to pay.  "Around $500 or less," he responded.  When I informed him of the price, he thanked me for letting him know before I bought it, and told me to forget about it. 

This experience got me thinking about how we deal with our clients on issues relating to costs.  Clients often ask us for enhancements to their projects without really understanding the cost implications of those requests - on the construction cost and on the design fee.  And we want to be responsive to their requests, so we just comply.  It's only later, after we have done the redesign, that they realize the cost implications and we get into arguments about who should pay for them.  It's as if I would have bought the necklace (as my client requested), then delivered it to him with a bill for $4,400.  In that case, I probably could have returned the necklace for a refund.  Unfortunately, when redesigns are done, there is no "jewelry store" available to return the design to its previous condition before the cost-increasing enhancements were made.  So the client views us as the "jewelry store" and expects satisfaction. 

The moral of this story is this:  don't buy necklaces (i.e. make design enhancements) for your clients without first explaining the cost implications (on both construction cost and design fee) and getting an agreement that the enhancements are worth the costs.  

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Big changes Coming to this summer!



Delaware Architect License
Expiration Date Change

May 2013 the State of Delaware Board of Architects approved a rule change concerning continuing education requirements to conform to NCARB model law. 

Implemented as of April 2015

*  Active Architect licenses are provided an extension for license renewal from 7/31/15 to 1/31/16.

*  November 2015 each active licensee will receive a renewal notice for 1/31/16 expiration.

*  Continuing education requirements attestation:
12 hours continuing education completed 2013
12 hours continuing education completed 2014
12 hours continuing education completed 2015

*  For each two year period beginning 2018 active licensee must attest to 12 hours continuing education completed for each calendar year. 


A business that provides or offers to provide architecture in Delaware is required to file an application for Delaware Certificate of Authorization depends on the classification of the business.

If the business is a.....

"S" Corporation
"C" Corporation
Limited Liability Company
Limited Liability Partnership

*  One or more of the officers, partners, members or managers who is a licensed architect must be designated as responsible for any architecture services on behalf of the business entity.

*All personnel of the business who act in its behalf as architects in Delaware or for clients located in Delaware must be registered architects

Certificate of Authorization renewal date change:  as of January 2016 every two years. 

Delaware Association of Professional Engineers
Continuing Professional Competency (CPC)Guidelines

Continuing Education Requirements include 24 Professional Development Hours for the biennial renewal period as of 2016.  Completion of 12 PDHs per year is required.  Of 24 PDHs, each licensee must complete no less than 3 PDHs  and no more than 6 PDHs of Ethics education, no more than 9 PDHs shall be related to business or project management. The balance of PDHs shall be related to the licensee's area of technical practice. 

*A maximum of 12 PDHs may be carried forward into the subsequent renewal period.

*Initial period for meeting these requirements shall be 2014-2016 - approved by Council of Delaware Association of Professional Engineers 04/08/15. 

License Renewal Dates

Architects: Jurisdiction License Renewal Due Date 


Arkansas (7/1), Georgia,
Iowa (last name initial L-Z),
Kansas (last name initial M-Z), Kentucky, Maine, Montana,
North Dakota, Oklahoma,
Oregon (odd license number), Pennsylvania,
South Carolina,
West Virginia

Engineers: Jurisdiction License Renewal Due Date


Kentucky (last name initial A-K),
Oregon (last name initial G-K),
Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia

Landscape Architects: Jurisdiction
License Renewal Due Date


Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nevada,
New Mexico,
North Carolina (7/1), North Dakota, Oklahoma,
Rhode Island,

West Virginia (7/1)

If your license renews on your date of birth this month, or by state requirement when your license origination occurred, it's time to renew. 

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