House plans similar to this layout? and architect question

mountmerkelApril 19, 2012

Hello,

I'm a lurker here but have been reading all the great information on this board in anticipation of building our home this fall/winter. My aunt and uncle have a home with a layout that we absolutely love and want to copy. Unfortunately they don't have the original plans for the house and I have been unable to find anything similar online. Is anyone familiar with a plan similar to this layout (excuse my amateur graphics)?

Since we haven't been able to find similar plans, I've assumed we would have to use an architect to translate our layout ideas into a buildable plan. Plus, I would love to use an architect because I think they can really make the home look special. However, I spoke to one today and had some sticker shock on the price. Since we are basically copying an existing house (with a few small tweaks), do you think we would be better off measuring all the rooms in my aunt and uncle's house and providing that info and the layout drawing to a designer or drafter? Again, I would love to use an architect because I think they add a lot of value, but I can foresee my husband's argument on the matter! Thanks in advance for your advice.

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kirkhall

I think you could go with a drafter/designer. Find a good one.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 3:17PM
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renovator8

Check the building department before assuming there are no drawings.

If you measure and draw the house to scale on large sheets of graph paper (1/4" = 1'-0") and include lots of photographs, an architect could do the work but he/she should be a sole-practitioner instead of an employee of an architectural firm.

Where is the project located? I assume in the South if you plan to build in the winter.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 6:59AM
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Mom23Es

We LOVE our architect. We didn't understand the home building process at all when we started out, so we just interviewed builders based on their floor plans. It wasn't until after we decided on a builder and had worked out a customized house plan of one of their stock plans that we learned about hiring a private architect. Our attorney advised us to find an architect to represent us during the build process. So, we didn't actually pay our architect a full house design since we only have her to advise and inspect. We are paying her an hourly fee instead. However, she did AMAZING things to our floor plan. Just moving things a little bit here and there has made a big difference... at least we think it will. We haven't started framing yet so I guess all floor plan decisions are yet to be tested.

After our incredible experience with an architect, I would highly recommend finding someone. She really understood our needs and wishes with our house and found inexpensive ways to get us more. DH found ours by reading reviews on Angie's List.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 1:39PM
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renovator8

Angie's List is difficult for an architect to get listed on. Only paying members can write reviews and none of my clients has ever joined.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 2:37PM
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mountmerkel

Renovator8, that's a good tip about checking the building department. I hadn't thought of that. We're building in Pennsylvania and the architect I spoke to assured me that they will build through the winter, even digging a basement! I was surprised, but I guess he knows what he's talking about.

We may just need to talk to a few more architects to see if we can scale back the level of service to something that fits into our budget.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:44PM
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