Possible to get a plan through a POA review without architect?

ctnchprs_daughterOctober 4, 2012

Just got a guesstimate from an architect to combine two plans into one we like and provide elevation views for the Property Owners Association to approve. He wants, at minimum, $10,000 for a 2000 square foot house. Um, no thank you!

So, is it possible to go it alone or do POA's typically only want a professional's drawings? If it is possible, got any tips?

Thanks

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dpusa

Try a local college for architecture students?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:39PM
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kirkhall

Ask your HOA how much detail they need.
And, maybe try a designer.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:45PM
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ctnchprs_daughter

They want lots of detail. Elevations, placement on lot, interior and exterior designs.

I have an appointment with a designer next week but I am afraid his prices will be about the same.

Thanks for the local college idea. Will look into that.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 8:33PM
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chispa

lots of detail = not cheap or free

If you can keep it at $10k it is a good price. In my area architects charge about $1/sq.ft.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 10:54PM
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renovator8

The price might be high or it might be low; there's no way to know. You didn't describe the scope of the work very well or say if the architect is a member of a firm or is a sole practitioner or if you are in an urban area or in the country or in what part of the world you live.

Threads like this attract endless stories about unrelated projects.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:07AM
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gaonmymind

Interior designs? Like they want to know decor choices for your interior? Or do they just want a floor plan?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 4:34PM
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athensmomof3

If you are just combining plans, I am not sure you need an architect. Our architect charged by the heated square foot - but significantly more than the 1.00 a square foot posted above! It was a completely custom home and he is very well known so I am sure we paid for reputation too. However, his attention to architecturally correct detail was very important to us and although our house doesn't fit into a particular style, it is very classic and the architectural details are correct.

I would check out a draft person as well. They come at all sorts of skill levels. I would think you would be able to come under the 10k figure with them. I would worry about the school angle because I presume the board will hold you to what you submit. This is the time to get the plans right.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:38PM
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ctnchprs_daughter

@Gaonmymind: From what I can tell, they just want a floor plan. Most likely because they have a minimum square ft on the main floor. They do, however, state they want to make sure the home complies "with aesthetic standards" of the community. After dealing with the POA for our current home, I have become cynical.

Thanks for the info. Right now we are hoping the designer/drafter we are meeting Monday is the (less expensive) answer.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:44PM
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beaglesdoitbetter1

We had to have our house plan approved by an HOA and the architect of our neighborhood. We didn't have an architect for our house. A residential designer who worked for our builder modified our floor plan based on changes that I came up w/ and that the builder came up w/- the price would have been $3,000 but it was rolled into the cost of our build w/ our custom builder (our builder does custom homes but he had a book of about 100 floor plans and we happened to really like one, with some additions and changes).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:12PM
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dekeoboe

They want lots of detail. Elevations, placement on lot, interior and exterior designs.

You are probably going to need the same information in order to get a building permit, so might not need more detailed that you would need before getting your permit (or your construction loan). You might consider putting together the documents you will need for the building permit and asking the POA if they require anything more.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:26PM
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virgilcarter

The poster of the thread said, "...They do, however, state they want to make sure the home complies "with aesthetic standards" of the community..."

There is simply no way that anyone can determine, much less evaluate, aesthetics from only a floor plan. No way--none!

Aesthetics has to do with what is beautiful, pleasureable and/or pleasing. Can anyone determine that from a 2-D floor plan? I think not!

If the purpose of the review is simply to assess the area of the building's footprint, than a simple floor plan executed by any competent draftsperson will suffice.

If the purpose of the review is aesthetics and architectural review, then one better put forward one's best professional effort. In most cases this will benefit from architectural knowledge and experience.

This is a case where less is not more!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:41PM
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stinkytiger

Hi,

Do you own the property now? If not and you are thinking of buying it then I think a resaonable rendering by an architectural student should be OK if the POA wants some idea of how it will look.

The downside of using a non architect is that if the final house is not quite like what you presented. Then it is a case of you said it would look like this, and it now looks like this when it is built, and it was *not* a licensed architect who drew it.

Thinking ahead, eventually you will need either an architect or structural engineer to sign off on the designs to present to your local town for a building permit. You need an architect or engineer to sign off for a building permit. Again it is liability issue. The local town inspector does not want responsibility if the house fall down. So to build, at some point you will need to get a State/Town/County sign off on the plans anyway.

Best, Mike.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:31AM
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Sophie Wheeler

"JUST" merging plans isn't cutting paper dollhouses in half and glueing them at the join. It's anything BUT "just". It involves completely re-engineering every single system in the home from the foundation through the roof. Every single system. That would have to be one hell of an architectural student to be able to create that! There's no way you're going to be able to build halvesies of two plans and have it work together structurally (or even stylistically!) without a draftsman with more than the usual level of competence redrawing the entire structure plus having it re-engineered, and entirely re-spec'd, or else have an actual architect involved to do that.

This is a case where being penny wise and pound foolish can come to haunt you pretty badly.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:51AM
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brickeyee

"interior and exterior designs."

Exterior is at least somewhat understandable, but interior?

I would NEVER have purchased under those conditions, and would be having an attorney review the covenants with a VERY fine tooth comb.

Do they have a say over interior paint colors?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:20PM
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still_waters

We are working on plans that will soon be submitted to our POA. They do not require plans that are done by an architect, but we need to have them at the point where we list the GC, subs, their and a copy of the county building permit.

They require elevations, materials used, colors in order for the design and colors to blend into their mountain community. We need to have plans for the inside and for future basement plans if the basement is not going to be finished out right away. They primarily need to be aware of the number of current/future bedrooms because the septic permit dictates the number of bedrooms allowed on the property.

Their approval is somewhat loose with options and opinions varying between who is on the "Environmental Committee." Not a whole lot is written in stone...but it's stone that will be approved, not brick. They've also made a recent rule against white soffits, gutters, and downspouts. They want a woodsy look and not stucco unless it is on a foundation or basement wall.

That being said, we are now on our third draftsperson. The first was an architect who totally missed some major stuff in her first draft with us and stressed her hourly fee. The second was a draftswoman/designer/builder who about nickel and dimed us to death every time we switched a closet around; she also wanted our plan to fall into one of her computer program's preset designs.

We finally are using our foundations man. He is a civil engineer who changed to ICF building. He put his kids through college drafting plans for builders/owners. Before he offered to do the job for us, he'd priced out an architect and a draftsman he'd worked with before and would recommend. I don't remember what the architect was going to charge, but the draftsman was $6000 with us already supplying the finished floor plans that just needed to be put in blueprint form. I have consulted with an interior designer; she also has a flair for exterior aesthetics and interior flow.

Bil is a building inspector/plan reviewer. He has told us that when we submit our plans to Inspections for the building permit, we can ask for a plan review; they can catch things that a draftsman and architect miss. He watches an architect just as close as he watches draftsman's plans. He also recommends an engineer seal the plans too.

Surveyor has set the corners of the house; it was needed for the perc test. House placement on lot is necessary for building permit also.

And what hollysprings said is true. Every time we made a major change, it was reflected on all floors of the plans and on the elevations. He would start over again, consult with his truss guy, recalculate the load, and redraw. Change of window placement affected the elevations and window placement on all 3 floors too. We are really close, but we have been close for a long time!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 6:38PM
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brickeyee

You should have run the other way before getting involved with this bunch of bozos.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:41PM
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virgilcarter

I just wonder what's the driving force here. To build a new house, one must:

--Have detailed plans and specifications to get a construction loan;
--Have detailed plans and specifications in order to get a contract price to build;
--Have detailed plans and specifications in order to get a building permit;
--Have detailed plans and specifications in order to know what options/allowances the home owner must plan for and choices to make for appliances, equipment, finishes and furnishings, etc.

The best and most reliable way to do all of this is to have complete architectural drawings and specifications that have been developed between you and your architect.

It's not clear what's happening here. Are you not understanding how the building and approval process works?

Are you trying to build something for nothing?

As it stands, it appears to me that you are heading for a major disaster before long somewhere in the building process.

There are no shortcuts for a quality and predictable outcome. Anything less is full of risks at your expense.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:57PM
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renovator8

You should not rely on a building inspector to correct the errors of your designer or builder; they have no obligation or responsibility to do so.

A building inspector might review the drawings and might find an error but the responsibility for building the house to code minimums and good practice is yours alone. You can hire designers and builders to deliver that level of quality but they are responsible only to you and you are still responsible to the city/state and the inspector has no responsibility to you.

Designing a house well is not rocket science but it is surprising how many errors are made by builders and building inspectors not that architects are much better. But the advantage that an architect has is the ability to document the work and to therefore allow others to review it. And the use of standard details, schedules and specification adds another level of quality control.

I have corrected many errors on a building site after the building inspector has signed off on it. And I use a structural engineer who always finds a problem everyone has missed. Everyone should be able to understand the structural drawings but in the field things can get complicated so you want the engineer of record making the final inspection not the building inspector.

So, if the project is not well documented when it reaches the building inspector and you do not have independent construction quality control, what you saved in services won't go very far if there is a serious problem later.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 8:56AM
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brickeyee

"To build a new house, one must:

--Have detailed plans and specifications to get a construction loan;
--Have detailed plans and specifications in order to get a contract price to build;
--Have detailed plans and specifications in order to get a building permit;
--Have detailed plans and specifications in order to know what options/allowances the home owner must plan for and choices to make for appliances, equipment, finishes and furnishings, etc. "

Maybe in your nightmare of a location.

Many folks manage without a whole lot of "detailed plans."

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:27PM
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renovator8

Are you saying the plans are not detailed or they don't use plans? Do they make it up as they build? That would explain why so many houses look as if the builder got half way finished and said, "oops, this isn't working out like I thought it would".

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:38PM
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virgilcarter

If one likes uncertainty about what is going on during construction, unpredictable change orders, extra (unexpected) expenses, time delays for new materials and/or equipment, and construction results that may be in error or simply unsatisfactory (not to mention the remedial efforts), then everyone can easily "manage without a whole lot of "detailed plans".

This forum is full of such threads and requests for advice.

The purpose of architectural plans and specifications is to incorporate the owner's wants and needs, accomodate local terrain and climate condditions, illustrate what one gets for their money, while also meeting any applicable health, safety and welfare regulations.

Good luck with whatever works best for you!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 5:14PM
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gaonmymind

We had to have full architectural and site plans for EVERYTHING! The HOA, the city, county, and the financing. Not only that but additional septic, and engineering plans had to be submitted to the city. I don't know how one will get past that.

For the hoa we also have to submit a sample board of our materials with the colors. But they don't need that stuff until later and we will submit that next week. We are already sheathed in. However, the plans had to be approved before we broke ground.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:37AM
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virgilcarter

The original poster asked if it's possible to get a plan through HOA review without an architect.

There's been lots of helpful comments here. I hope they have been useful.

It occurs to me that it may be useful to take this question to its next logical level:

--Is it possible to repair a cavity and extract a wisdom tooth without a dentist?
--Is it possible to deal with sinusitis without an allergist?
--Is it possible to to contest a propery line dispute without an attorney?
--Is it possible to borrow for a mortgage without a bank, savings and loan, credit union or trust organization?

What's next that's not needed for us to do what we want to do?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 10:28PM
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galore2112

--Is it possible to write on a forum without a ghost-writer?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 9:13AM
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brickeyee

"Are you saying the plans are not detailed or they don't use plans? Do they make it up as they build? That would explain why so many houses look as if the builder got half way finished and said, "oops, this isn't working out like I thought it would".'

In numerous places residential houses are built with nothing much besides a floor plan.

Not every one needs to hemorrhage money to designers and architects so they can try and estimate how many 2x4 studs a build is going to take.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 11:35AM
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