Can you recommend a Seattle architect?
March 23, 2008 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend an architect in the Seattle area? I'm hoping to have a second story put on my ranch house, and need professional advice. (I'll also happily take recommendations for contractors.)
posted by The corpse in the library to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
For an architect, David Coleman may be more than you think you want or need, but I don't think that he'd disappoint in the least.
posted by vers at 4:09 PM on March 23, 2008

Unless you have things that you definitely want an architect for, you may not need one for the type of work you're doing. Many contractors that do the standard second story addition thing have their own drafters and permit pulling services--at least here in CA, one doesn't need an architect for minor residential work. Even major residential work may only require the work of a structural engineer.

If you do end up finding a decent contractor, you could ask them for a recommendation on an architect as well. Of course, their recommendation will be for someone that's easy for them to work with, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure whatever architect you end up with is willing to do something in the neighborhood of what you want. They'll probably come up with other suggestions for how to do things, but you're not required to go along with them if you don't want to.
posted by LionIndex at 9:32 AM on March 24, 2008

My former next-door neighbors didn't use an architect when they put a second story on their square house. They drew up some basic plans and the builder went from there. They've had no issues five years in.

I can get you in touch with their contractor is you'd like.
posted by dw at 8:16 PM on March 27, 2008

Response by poster: I think I already have the contractor, but I'd appreciate the contact, dw -- it can't hurt to talk to several.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:53 PM on March 28, 2008

I'm an architect so I'm slightly biased on this, but I recommend at least talking to some architects - it partly depends how sensitive you are to good or bad design. Many people are perfectly happy with design that is a little clunky and awkward - many good builders can help in that regard without an architect. But if you have any design sense it might be worth a look.
The Seattle AIA office is, I think in Belltown (I'm in Portland, so I'm not all that connected to Seattle), and do a pretty good job of keeping promotional materials on their members - wander down there and take a look. Many younger smaller firms are not AIA members but digging them up is hard, other than spending some time on the web. Many people find architects just by asking around, the same way they find doctors and lawyers - this can be both good and bad. Good luck!
posted by tecton at 7:04 AM on April 9, 2008

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