anyone had experience with an architect?

blackcats13February 15, 2010

We have a lot of ideas on what could maybe make our old house work better. There's nothing special about it and there is a lot of wasted space. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to get an architect to come in and work over ideas or make better ones or tell us if something is a bad idea. However, like many here, we aren't going to have a contractor come in and gut the whole floor, etc etc. We'll be going 1 room at a time, much of the work ourselves. At this point we don't need detailed drawings ready for inspection, we just need ideas that could make our house work better. Will architects do this, paid of course. I took a look at Angies list but all the reviews there were for much more work then we are looking to do.

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macv

You could contact the nearest local chapter of the AIA and get a list of sole practitioners.

You can also find the hungry ones on Craigslist.

In what part of the world are you?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 1:22PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Why the heck would someone want a "hungry" architect? for any reason, but for a very particular job dealing with a master plan for a slow room by room renovation to a vintage building, it seems a bad way of operating;I hope macv is just being sarcastic or facetious.
It's really hard to find an architect who is experienced in historic preservation issues. Networking would probably be best. Find local projects that you know of; contact local preservation groups; State preservation offices should keep lists of architects and contractors they have worked with.
I'm lucky enough to be able to recommend 3 or 4 architects and one structural engineer that I personally work with, but I have been in this area for 20 years. I also have a second list of ones to steer clear of!
Casey

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 2:18PM
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macv

In the 40 years that I have been providing these kind of services I have found that DIY projects are not usually of much interest to architectural firms especially if all that is desired are design suggestions therefore sole practitioners are often the best candidates. But times are very lean for small firms so some might be interested. There's nothing sarcastic or facetious about pointing out the obvious.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 3:23PM
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Billl

I'm sure you could find an architect to help you with your project - provided you are willing to pay enough.

Before you do though, you might contact your state historic preservation society and see if they have an resources to help you along.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 4:03PM
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macv

Work was slow enough a year ago that I looked on Craigslist and found an ad requesting proposals from local architects for design assistance for a small 2-family house renovation project. The request emphasized the need for experience with the local building department as well as the zoning and preservation boards. The owner got something like 230 responses from five states.

Without knowing where the OP lives it is not possible to know if Craigslist would be appropriate but you can be sure it would get responses.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 5:51PM
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blackcats13

Thanks everyone for the responses so far! I will definitely contact the resources in my area, which is Chicago, so there are plenty of resources ;) Today I even thought about the Chicago bungalow association, or whatever they are called now. Since I didn't get a bungalow I didn't keep up with them, but I'll check there too. And there is an annual 'bungalow expo' that I expect would also be useful for anyone with an old house, though I think that's in the fall. We have a pretty active Craigslist as well. I might give that a try too after getting an idea of appropriate experience/education levels to check for. Thanks again for all the ideas!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 9:49PM
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patser

We live in greater Chicago and used an architect from the Twin Cities, whom we knew and whose work we knew. He made one site visit to our home and from that point on, all communication was handled by phone and email. Drawings transferred just fine that way.

We followed his designs to a T, GC'd it ourselves, did alot of the work ourselves yet hired some out. We are super pleased with the results.

There are a few architects who advertise in American Bungalow magazine and I know they are good "old house" architects as well.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 6:03AM
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macv

Here is the Chicago chapter of the AIA web page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicago AIA

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 6:43AM
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ionized_gw

I was intimately involved with one for several years. Does that count?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 2:47PM
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