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Mojo20

I Need The Wisdom of The Huddle

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My wife and I are going to have an addition put on our house (roughly 1000 sq ft, remod kitchen, bath, laundry room, and living room). We are going through the very early stages. We've come up with some ideas on what we would like done and now have to consult an Architect. Here's my question:

 

What are the average costs for someone to design and draft some blueprints? I want to get an idea before we talk to these guys in order to know if we are getting swindled. In addition, anyone have any recommendations for a good architect/designer that may be in the Cleveland area?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Mojo20

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Check with your builder first if ya have one......

 

I'll meet with people and they usually have a layout started

We talk over changes and i get it the way it needs to be........spending time outside too....... to show them how it's all gonna lay in

I bid it with all materials and labor discussed

For pullin the permit i just do my own drawings of the floor plan and the setbacks off the Lot lines and a wall cross section......

My bid explains everything from excavation to roof ridge that i also submit with the plans to get a permit

Usually that's it for an addition

Sometimes on additions and always on my Houses i just use a Dude that does Auto Cad........depends on changes but $250-$900 for him

Just so the people have a clear idea of what they're gettin and how it looks is important.........all the Building is in my head and i only look at a plan for layin out walls

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It really depends on what you want the architect to do. Do you want him/her to just draw a floor plan? Do you wan them to specify the materials used, down to hardware and fixtures? Do you want them to do progress inspections and authorize billing? There are different levels of service, and as you would expect, the more service you desire, the more it will cost you. If you are just looking to get a rough floor plan, then I wouldn't use an architect, unless your municipality requires an architects stamp for a permit. If that is not required, and all you are looking for is a floor plan, have a builder come out, discuss what you want, and have him submit a plan with a budget price. Have several builders do this, then when you figure out which one you are going to use, refine it. Make sure going in you know what materials / finishes you want, and what type of hardware and fixtures you want, so that the builder doesn't try to hit you up for extras. If you do this thoroughly you shouldn't have any extras with the possible exception of unforeseen circumstances. Unforeseen circumstances are items that are either buried or in the walls that there was no way of knowing they were there until the area was disturbed.

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No way would I hire an architect for a simple add-on. Check out your local Craigslist or better yet, contact a local community college and find a well-trained CAD designer.

 

Perch and nuke provide good info, above.

Edited by darin3

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Depending upon what you are doing and your local building codes, you may have no choice but to hire an architecht or engineer. If you are doing something that is nonprescriptive to the building code, it usually will need to be sealed by a design professional. Again, it depends upon the codes where you are located. I have at least one person a week call and ask us to seal a plan that a draftsman prepared because they can't obtain a building permit with it. I would suggest that you check with the code officials in your municipality before you get started.

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You need Steel Bunz. :tup:

Thanks SB.....but...nah. I'm more of a renovator/remodeler....not so much a new build. Addition or otherwise. :D If I move walls...I get a good structural engineer and run everything by my electrician, HVAC guy and plumber if necessary. Nuke and Perch have more experience with new builds than I do. :D

 

My best advice, however, is to make sure you get the BEST general contractor you can afford. Do some major research on this ahead of time. Take bids (after you have some drawings and ideas of what specifically you want) but don't just go "look" at their reference jobs.......TALK to the homeowners about how the job was accomplished. Did he hire great subs? Was the work done in a timely manner? Have they run into any problems and did the GC fix them? Did he keep coming back with cost overruns insisting on more money than he/she originally bid? Did they keep the homeowners in the loop.....show them the progression and why they were doing a certain job a certain way? Or did the homeowners just come home one day to drywall without any inkling of whether a wall was properly insulated and vapor barriored?

 

And be realistic on the cost. The lowest bid probably won't be the way to go.....but don't assume the highest bidder is the best either. :clap:

 

If you or your wife can't be there every day....ask for pictures of each day's work AS it's happening throught the day. A good GC is proud of the work his/her people do and will gladly share knowledge of the process with you.

 

Most importantly, don't take the GC's word about permits. You want to see them....and the inspectors. Generally speaking....minimum code isn't good enough, BUT it should AT LEAST be minimum code and documented along the way. And don't just hand money over. Parcel the project and pay accordingly at each step. Make sure his subs and suppliers are getting paid and the supplies he buys for that leg of the project are truly bought and paid for and AT your house ready for installation or on order and paid for.

 

My favorite show these days is Holmes On Homes on the DiscoveryHome channel. :doh: Start watching it.....LOL. It'll be eye-opening as to how badly things can go awry. Sad thing is....most of these people DID do their homework and still got ripped off. :D These days, part of homeowning is educating yourself on how things are supposed to work in your home.....how repairs should be done (even if you hire someone else to do them). It's amazing how any Tom, Dick or Harriet can hang a shingle and call themselves GCs, get away with bilking homeowners with relatively little recourse while sending you into potential bankruptcy.

 

Like I said.....Perch and Nuke have more experience in this. Personally though.....for a project the size you are talking about, I'd hire an architect to at least come up with detailed drawings and work with the GC for at least the structure and basic interior layout. For details such as interior finishes? Nah....you probably have a good idea of which flooring you'd like to have....which cabinets for your kitchen.....etc. Or.....you should.....even before you get an architect involved. These decisions and details take a lot of thought and time from a homeowner. So keep that in mind. You can't just say, "I want an addition here," and expect it to go into autopilot and get done the way you want it. :D

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