Please help me determine if an architect is necessary, and if so find one
July 13, 2009 9:16 AM Subscribe
Would it be a good idea to hire an architect for this job? Can you recommend one in my northern New England area, or can you recommend ways to find a good one? Any thoughts on how much the job should cost?
posted by Herkimer to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We live in a house that was built in 1980 and that has been added on to twice. As a result of the additions it has a kind of funky/atraditional interior structure and there are some spaces that are just strange shapes. Also, it was originally built to be passive solar, so a large part of a major internal wall is concrete (to act as heat-retaining thermal mass), and most of the house sits on a very thick concrete slab, which complicates interior renovations.
My husband and I would like to put in a third bath, upstairs laundry room (there is a laundry, but it's currently downstairs), and renovate the main bath. We would do most to all of the work ourselves, spaced out over time; we can't afford it otherwise. But, due to the funky interior, as well as the complications associated with running water lines or ducts (because of all that concrete), I think it could be helpful to hire an architect as a consultant. I envision him/her helping us plan the work: where to place fixtures and storage, where to run water/ducts, and so on. I don't think we would even need drawings; I would just like a professional's input on how we can make the best use of our space and address the challenges it presents.
We tried hiring a contractor for a similar job back when we owned another house, and I was not at all happy with the results; he didn't tell us anything we didn't know already. However, I believe an architect is much more trained in this kind of question.
I don't know anyone in the area who has hired an architect, and there are no recommendations on Angie's List.
1) Is this something an architect would indeed do?
1a) If not, who would?
2) Can you recommend one in my area?*
3) Or can you recommend any ways to find a good one?
4) I know the specifics of the job will affect the cost to a great degree, but I am interested in any thoughts on how long the job should take, how much it should cost (per hour), and/or how much it should cost total?
5) Have you done anything similar yourself? Is this a strange request or a common one? Anything else we should consider that I haven't thought about? Is there a different way we should approach the problem?
* My approximate location should be visible to MeFi members. Please let me know if it's not.