Residential Designer vs. Plan Modifier

petesmomMay 18, 2012

I have posted before that we have a plan that mostly fits our needs. I contacted a architect/residential designer and we discussed the changes. He then sent an email with a estimate of services cost. He wanted $3500 as a down payment for a $7k-$10k plan. This seems ridiculous to me!! This did come with a 3D virtual tour of the plan.

I then contacted the owner of the plan about modifications. The total to own the plan and make the changes was about half of the down payment.

Is there something I am missing? I understand that I am not getting the 3D walk through, but I cant figure out why I would pay over $6k for it.

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Supply and demand.

The designer I'm dealing with wants $3,300 down on an $18K plan de novo. Plus there's a 13% tax on the whole thing.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 7:52PM
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I would say that the estimate would be well worth the money if I all I had was an idea of what I want.

I sent him a link to a floor plan with minor changes like switching a utility/laundry room and a bathroom, removing a wall and closet between two rooms with adding a pocket door instead,and taking porches off.

I feel like he was trying to take advantage of me. $10,000.00 when I handed him a floor plan!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 8:11PM
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First off, your not comparing equal items.

You would have to ask the architect what it would cost without the 3D walkthrough. 3D rendering can be quite costly and time consuming to produce.

If he has a $10,000 fee, and say his hourly rate is $100, that's only 100 hours of billing time.

Were you planning on having him produce drawings based on a plan you found, or were you going to buy the set of drawings and hand over to him? It's one thing to make changes to drawings you have in hand, but another to have to recreate drawings all together.

Bottom line, ask the architect to clarify his fee and what he's charging you for.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 12:06AM
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petesmom-The biggest difference is the designer is will have to draw the whole thing from scratch where the original designer/architect already has the plan drawn and likely in a CAD program where he can easily make the changes you need. If you don't want to go through the original designer for the modifications, you may be able to buy the CAD version of the plans that will allow modifications to be made locally. Usually, the plans will cost a little more to purchase from the original designer this way + you still have to pay your local guy to do the mods.

From experience, I will tell you to either go with the original designer and let him/her do the mods for you or buy the CAD program to modify locally. One big advantage to these two options is that you & the designer won't be making educated guesses on different aspects of the plan (like when my designer told me the roofline I was requesting & was on the original plan simply could not be done as drawn on that original plan....and I had to show her photos of the original plan built in 8 different states with the exact same rooflines-- I spent at least an hour just arguing that aspect of the plan for the designer to finally say, "Oh, that's what you mean!") In the end, using the original designer/architect or getting the modifiable CAD plans will save you lots of time, frustration & $$$$.

Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 9:32AM
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