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Posted: 6/23/2003 6:58:06 PM EDT
We would like to explore the cost efficiencies (or lack thereof) in adding a bedroom above our garage and a 4 season living room/porch behind our house. I've never been down this road before, so maybe some of you can steer me in the right direction. Do I go to a carpenter, general contractor, or architect for the initial "is it possible" assessment?? Is an architect necessary for this project, or can a good carpenter or general contractor take what I'm looking for and build it? If this project is worth it (that cost/benefit thing), we'll obviously have it done along with new siding and a new roof. So I'm presuming that whoever is the general contractor will have to outsource certain aspects of the project. Is an architect necessary here? I can pretty much sit down and tell someone what I want and where I want it. Really, it's as simple as adding a second story to my garage. The doorway would even work very well with our current floorplan, so this is less about "design" and more about how to structurally do it. But then again, I really don't know whether architects and carpenters/general contractors have any overlap in their work (i.e., does the latter require an architects structural design?). Also, if we decide to stick more money into this house (verus moving) we'd be putting in a new driveway. I presume it should wait until after any construction (to avoid damage). I'd guess that whoever we consult with on the construction can let us know whether or not we should wait. If I'm confusing terms or not properly understanding what architects, etc. do, I apologize. I've never done anything like this before and just don't want to call some fancy design architectural firm to bill me $10K for something a general contractor could have done for much less. I don't need fancy ideas, just someone to tell me if it's possible and around how much it will cost. Cost is an issue -- if it costs too much we'll simply move to a larger house. We like where we're at right now, which is why we're considering remodeling. TIA
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 7:56:24 PM EDT
Are you planning to any of the work yourself? Can you do any of the work yourself? The easiest option would be to get quotes from several general contractors. I don't see why you would need an architect unless you had a specific look you were going for. Then you would want the architect to draw that up for your first so the general contractor could give you a quote. If you are just adding a room that fits in with the rest of the house the general contractor should be able to handle everything. If you are planning to do some of the work yourself, such as the wiring, drywall, painting...ect, then you wouldn't even need the general contractor, you could just go straight to the carpenter, tell them what you want and have them frame it up. Just remember that in most cases of renovation you will not be able to get back 100% of what you put into the property. That is unless you do some of the work yourself and don't consider the cost of your time for doing it.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 8:17:17 PM EDT
Speaking as a GC, a well-established, reputable contractor will be able to handle your project just fine without the expense of hiring an architect. Having said that, you mention that cost is an issue. Never hire a contractor based on price alone. Check their license, insurance, and references and go with the one who strikes a better balance between cost quality.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:34:39 AM EDT
You don't want to be the best and biggest house in the neighborhood. GunLvr
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 8:44:55 AM EDT
Never hire the lowest bidder. Whether or not you'll need an architect depends largely on local codes, and whether you're altering the structure of the house. The bedroom above the garage thing is a good example of this. If you can find a good GC that does remodels (they are few and far between)they will be better able to advise you as to whether or not you need an architect in your locale. Don't let anyone so much as turn a shovel in your yard without making sure they first have a building permit.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 10:47:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SWIRE: Are you planning to any of the work yourself? Can you do any of the work yourself? ....
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No, other than maybe breaking up a moving concrete, etc.
Originally Posted By Cougar8045: ... Having said that, you mention that cost is an issue. Never hire a contractor based on price alone. Check their license, insurance, and references and go with the one who strikes a better balance between cost quality.
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Originally Posted By norman74: Never hire the lowest bidder. ....
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Roger that. I'm trying to keep the investment on par with the current house value. But I will not do it half-assed.
Whether or not you'll need an architect depends largely on local codes, and whether you're altering the structure of the house. The bedroom above the garage thing is a good example of this. If you can find a good GC that does remodels (they are few and far between)they will be better able to advise you as to whether or not you need an architect in your locale.
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We're not altering the basic structure, so you're confirming what I was initially thinking.
Don't let anyone so much as turn a shovel in your yard without making sure they first have a building permit.
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I'm all over that. Our local building committee also requires an agreement that we bury all phone/power/etc. lines before approving any project over $20K. So I'm well aware of the building permit requirements.
Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD: You don't want to be the best and biggest house in the neighborhood.
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Yup. Which is why we're not touching the kitchen, bathrooms and existing windows. We have a dollar amount that would be acceptable for remodeling this current house. Beyond that we'll just be shopping for a new house. Thanks everyone for the responses.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 11:02:14 AM EDT
We replaced the roof and added a four season porch recently. We went with a fellow we knew from church. He was a REALLY good carpenter, and a general contractor as well. IMO, no architect necessary for this size project( Unless you have money to burn) But this is very important - We were able to see SEVERAL jobs he had done, that they were quality, and we were friends with both him and one of his lead capenters. I would NEVER allow some schmuck du jour I picked out of the yellow pages to do that type of work on my house.
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