So disappointed..

ILoveRedOctober 15, 2013

We finally made the decision to hire an architect. Called him 8 wks ago, met with him 6 wks ago,. Nothing. DH has called him twice. Starting this week, really busy, etc. As far as I know he hasn't walked our property yet.

He told us after the initial mtg that he would give us a fixed price. Nothing.

Really discouraged.maybe I'm expecting too much. Feel like I just blew 2 months.

We really want to start on the house next spring. Not feeling good about things. I guess I just needed to vent.

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It looks like you haven't signed the contract with the architect yet. Is it possible for you to start looking for someone else?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 12:30PM
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If he's this unreliable, better to find out now...not during construction. Hopefully, you'll find a new person by the end of the month and be showing your plans to family, during the holidays :)

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 12:45PM
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What sort of time table did he give you when you met with him? Is he an individual or part of a larger company?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 12:53PM
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Yes, I am sure you are right. But, we live in a smallish town and I am not exaggerating when I say that he is the only architect here. We really wanted to shop locally for lack of a better phrase and give him the job.

I know he can do good work. I have seen it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Mill--he is an individual. He was part of a group, but they went under and split up. There were some personal issues I think that have since been resolved.

When we left the meeting, he basically said I'll be in touch soon. He seemed happy to have the job. Our mistake. We should have set a date on the calendar for another meeting. But I had no idea....

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:00PM
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Tell him what you told us - that you want to keep your business local, but it seems he doesn't have time to devote to your project. Ask him if this is a temporary condition, or if you should start looking elsewhere.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:06PM
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Jeff-no, no contract. I can definitely look elsewhere if I choose.

LL-you are always so encouraging.

Ann--yes, good advice. I think dh and I will discuss it tonight and try to make a decision.

No wonder people buy the damn stock plans and have them modified. What an exercise in frustration.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 3:56PM
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What Annkh said. And after telling him that, if you both still want to make this work, schedule an appointment in "X" amount of time, and if he doesn't have something to show you at that time, drop him.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 5:49PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I don't know why they just can't say they're not interested, but they never do...they just give you no reply. Time to move on...

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:18PM
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I am from a smallish town myself. If we had a local architect, which we don't, I would have given him/her my business. Chances are, we would know them personally as well. I love to support hometown businesses but not if it costs me dearly. Sounds like its time to make an "I'm fed up" phonecall to his office and get his butt in gear.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:45PM
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I applaud you for trying to shop local.

My concern at this point would be responsiveness moving forward.

You could certainly try one more phone call to light a fire.....but I would worry if he is this non-responsive right now, is it just going to get worse once you're almost in too deep to back out?

This post was edited by patriceny on Wed, Oct 16, 13 at 11:27

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Don't ask him if he's interested...they always say they are, but their responsiveness typically doesn't change. We are going through that now with excavators. It's such a pain. They are all interested, then they disappear.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 11:49AM
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red_lover-sigh, this was parallel to our initial meeting with our house designer and this is how it played out. We talk about this often. He was more experienced than the other genteman that we interviewed and that weighed heavily with us as we are doing our own gcing and felt he would be sure to give us a good/well marked plan leaving no questions for using as construction drawings. He had previously also been a build site manager.

I really wish he would have just said I am sorry, I am just too busy to do it.

Initial meeting in February. He was busy very busy but interested and said he should (flag 1) be freed up by the end of April/May which we thought would work fine so we decided to stick with him and wait. So we met again the beginning of May after we prompted him (flag 2) for a meeting. He said we'd have a preliminary by the first week of June and nothing. We contacted him 3 weeks after the date he said he'd have something and he hadn't even started. I was sure he was at least working on it but no.

So that got him going and we got a plan a week later. It was close-ish to what we wanted in main floor layout but looked rush - i.e. not the right structure (ranch with bonus room above garage when we'd asked for a 1 1/2 story NO bonus room), etc. So we met and discussed the changes we wanted. We didn't make many and he didn't offer too much in terms of suggestions which I thought we'd get more of as we posed our questions/issues - he apologized that he hadn't slowed down like he had anticipated. That is no one's fault but we paid the price. Within a week from that point we were set with what we wanted for revisions and he was so busy he thought it might take another 2 weeks which by then we didn't really have to get quotes and get boxed in before winter. We asked if there was anything he could do to speed up the revision - next thing we knew it was not only revised but finalized. Okay.......... So that was our plan.

Then we had it priced out - which he had our budget from the get go and thought it was doable - it priced out about 20 grand over what we were hoping for and we are DIYing A LOT. :(

So - if I had a do over. I'd have went with the other guy who was available without strings attached. The other guy also said - hey price it out and if it's out of budget we re-design no extra cost. I thought the guy we chose with more experience was more tapped in to cost and he just wasn't.

Lessons learned is all. I still think he's a very talented guy - I just don't feel like we got our moneys worth in thoughtful plan adjustments and time and service and ended up with a plan that was more expensive to build than we wanted.

It will be a nice home, it just didn't play out at all like we had expected and it's costing more than we really wanted to spend.

Foundation is poured so onward we go. No turning back now. So I commisserate with your "I can see why people by stock plans comment". ...

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 12:50PM
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Sigh... Thanks for all of the commiseration. Hard to understand why people don't just say, I don't have time....or not calling back at all, as Annie says.

Time to quit feeling sorry for myself, but it did help to read your responses. Especially yours Autumn. I would love to see your plans.

Just talked to dh. He is going to call our pal and ask him if he has made any progress. If he says no but he is going to soon, he is going to tell him we are going another direction.

I ordered all 4 of Jack Arnold's plan books today. They are backed up until after the holidays if any modifications are needed.

If we have any hope of building with any of the 3-4 good builders in the spring, we have to move on it. They are not slow in our area.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Oh, those are nice! I like this picture...have fun with your plan books. Such fun to see everything decorated for Christmas :) From TV kitchens

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:23PM
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LL-eee gads! I am not quite ready for Christmas talk yet! But that is lovely and I wish I was curled up in front of that fire right now!

red-I have posted bits and pieces of our plan. I guess I'm kind of gun shy now that it's all settled, it is what it is and cannot be changed! I'll post a couple pics though. The area that I really found to be a challenge was the laundry/master bath that I wanted connected. I got some feedback here on GW and drew up several different iterations and he really didn't take the time to make suggestions or massage it. He just drew exactly what I showed him which I had offered as 'something sort of like this but what are your ideas'. He said oh yes that will work and plunked it right in there just like that. Anyhow we wanted the 2 windows in the front together and not separate and that caused an issue with the way he had originally drawn it.

Front elevation:

Main Floor:

Second Floor:

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Autumn- Your plan is so the kitchen :)

Okay, we'll start with Halloween first, but Christmas is coming! LOL

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:26PM
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Autumn...Nice. Love your mom office and adore your pantry.

What are you putting behind the laundry room door in the laundry room? If you have the door swing out against that wall it will make that space more flexible.

Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 8:57PM
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Don't assume a sole-practitioner architect knows from one day to the next how much time he/she has for anything. All it takes is bad news from a client, a building inspector or a historic commission to overwhelm him/her.

What is likely to happen is that one or more of the architect's projects will get into so much trouble that it will be postponed until the spring and he will have time for your project.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 5:15AM
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Reno-yes for sure. And that is exactly part of it. That said though - he was busy from the get go and thought he'd slow up and didn't. Not his fault and not ours either but in the end I feel like we go the short stick. He provided a plan and was paid the same as if he'd had plenty of time to ponder it and put it together and we got a plan that was rushed or so it felt. His delays caused us to feel rushed and we should have lingered longer over some things and didn't feel we had time to. Just was a bummer feeling-an experience that was nothing like what I thought it was going to be. I was sharing my experience, not to bash architects and house designers - just to be ware that if they are already super busy - doubtful it is going to go smoothly within your time-frame. You are kind of behind the 8 ball from the get go in that scenario.

In our case one of his projects that was just about final went from a ranch to a 2 story and then larger yet. So we sat. At any rate - still think he should have said he couldn't meet our timing when he realized it.

LL-I enjoy your pictures! They are all so homey and cozy.

Red-thanks. I have never had a pantry before let alone one that size. I am looking forward to having our chest freezer just steps away instead of in the basement. Maybe then I'll remember all that I've got in there better!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:01AM
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Redlover - great minds think alike...I too have a Mom office near my pantry! Your house is very more on the building forum!!!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Did the thread go off the tracks? Are we discussing another project?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Renovator- No, I don't think so. Red asked Autumn to post her plan, which she did. Of course, she's going to get some nice comments, but that's to be expected when you post a plan for someone.

Red- Hope things go well with your plan! Whatever you decide, maybe try to include some fun little nooks and cozy areas, like in Redhead's plan :)

Autumn- Excited to see your progress, too!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:12PM
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R8--thanks for the comments. Yes, he is a sole practitioner and I really do think if we can get moving here he will do a good job for me. You have given tme the incentive to give it a couple of more weeks and see what happens.

Thanks for another perspective. I respect your opinion.

I did ask Autumn to post her plans :-)

LL--Yes! I have already requested a small mom office, a drop zone, and a separate side entrance that doesn't pass through any room. I think that is why I am frustrated. Now that we finally made these decisions I am excited to get started. I'm ready to sell this house and move on. Thank you.....

Spotty--love your house too.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Not really different than most any other business, where the first rule is "never turn down business." (You may be able to do it and if you can't, so be it.) It's nothing you did. It's the way of the world. Good luck with another architect!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:46PM
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