Xpost: Still in an architect quandry

navi_jenJune 5, 2013


This is a cross post from remodeling, given that so much of my renovation is kitchen related....

I had a wacky weekend. Given travel, I did not send out the chosen architect's contract and deposit. Over the weekend, my brother really pushed me on my decision to plan long term and to spend money on an architect now. He really pushed me to think about....given the cost of phase 1 (boiler/electric/kitchen renovation & bath renovation @ $100k) AND the garage/family/master BD addition (another $150k)....will I ever build the addition if I am solo? And if I am not solo, will my DH or DB really want to stay here? And to be honest, he is probably right...the garage portion of Phase 2 is a priority (along with maybe extending the side entry & converting it to a half bath)...but the family room & master suite is probably pretty unlikely unless I find Mister Right and he wants to stay here.

So now I'm in a quandary. So is it worth spending money on an architect for Phase 2 now...given that it may never happen?

All 3 architects I had come out to the house agreed with my overall vision and my basic kitchen layout. And that my Phase 1 vision would fit with the eventual addition. So I know I am thinking of the right things.

On one hand, there is probably limited value to the architect in phase 1. They will not do the kitchen/bath plumbing layout, the electrical plans or the detailed kitchen and bath design (and those 4 items are exactly what would change in Phase 1). But, where they might be helpful with the following Phase 1 details:

1.Moving the DR built-in to the corner
2.Removing the chimney and moving the DR to KT door to where the chimney is
3.Closing off an existing KT doorway to the outside and converting a kitchen window to replace that window (1-3 are to improve flow in my small 10x11 kitchen)
4.Adding a few period appropriate windows to the kitchen
5.Expanding the single doorway between the LR and DR to a period appropriate double doorway (with French doors)
6. Someone to bounce ideas off of....I am prone to analysis paralysis.

However, the $10k I put towards an architect could be used for the renovation and/or to repaint the house trim. Or, if my budget stretches enough, I could extend the side entry 3 feet to convert the side entry to a first floor half bath. And I think an independent Kitchen and Bath designer would be extremely helpful to help me plan out the kitchen cabinets...which could be tricky given I want to find some vintage wood cabinets (if at all possible) and reuse them. And my bathroom is a bit of a funky layout, so they could be helpful there.

I do agree it would absolutely be necessary to hire an architect for Phase 2.

But now I'm wondering if I can forgo the architect for Phase 1 and perhaps rely my trusty Home Designer Software, a kitchen and bath designer, and a good GC. Or get an architect who is also a kitchen and bath designer and have them focus on the kitchen & bath...but maybe use them as needed for the more 'architect-y' stuff.

I am a perfectionist, so it would likely drive me nuts of a doorway isn't centered correctly or if the windows aren't the right style. But I am really torn here....is the investment right now worth it...given that Phase 2 may never get built..and given that my budget is probably pretty tight.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here, I could get away with doing all of those things without an inspection and without permits. So I could do it without an architect, just using the GC I trust. What permits will you need to pull? Will you need architectural drawings for the city engineer to look at in order to get the permits? I think that will answer your question.

In some parts of the country, someone buying an existing home will want to know that any changes to the home were done with permits and inspections. In those areas, you had better be able to show the prospective buyer that the city inspector signed off on improvements. Here, as long as you are not adding something new, you can get away with making changes to your home as you like.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:29AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
"Ledge" sinks and accessories -- do you use them?
I'm considering an undermount stainless sink that has...
What do you think of leathered surfaces? and why?
So I did my first foray into a granite yard today....
Can you look at my kitchen layout and tell me what I'm missing?
Sorry I posted this once previously, but I wanted to...
Kitchen sink: Help me find the right one!
This should not be as hard as signing in and finding...
Alma Williams
WAC vs. Seagull vs. Kichler or what else - "best" LED UCL
can someone please help/advise i feel like a fish out...
Sponsored Products
California Umbrella Patio Umbrellas 9 ft. Aluminum Collar Tilt Patio Umbrella
Home Depot
Hudson Rectangular Dining Table - Licorice - 525-152
$628.00 | Hayneedle
Torrence Sofa - CREAM
$2,799.00 | Horchow
Melrose International 22 in. Metalic Grape and Pine Wreath - 40676
$36.99 | Hayneedle
Coleen Elegance Wine Glass
$80.00 | Horchow
Key Lime Sofa
$849.99 | Dot & Bo
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™