Cost of plans & drawings

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What do you think would be a reasonable cost of having an architect draw plans for remodeling a 54 sq. ft. bathroom to replace a bathtub with a threshold-free shower, elevated toilet and a sink that I can wheel under? I want as little alteration to the non-tub part of the floor as practical. The shower will have a "lip" to hold the water in. One contractor has said he can build a small movable ramp for my wheelchair to cut down on how much "sloping" of the floor needs doing. I like that idea.
What are some phrases that a bad or sloppy architect might use in a preliminary review? What questions can I ask him to test his mettle? I've already found two in good standing with the AIA and the state licensing board. I'm in Seattle. Thanks
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*Regardless of the experience and quality work of the architect you should not rely on his or her plans entirely. They are only a place to start from. You should also get feedback from contractors and suppliers as to what may suit your needs. Do research on your own to determine what you like and what you need before you hire someone to put it on paper. You may be able to find a contractor who also does design work.
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I do not touch anyone without first checking the state licensing web site and will not commit to anything orally and will agree to the work only after checking real business references. I got the plans from a designer who then tried to bilk me for a $1k retainer. He's gone but I do have the floor plans.
Many insurance companies will not insure a contractor to work in a condo and some of the ones who were here didn't know that, but I got an idea or two out of them.
Proof of insurance must come to me directly from the contractor's insurance company.
In the beginning I had estimates ranging from $15k for a wet room to $45k for a castle. I ruled the first guy out based on his attitude and the last on his price,
I wised up and went to Tub Cove, http://www.tubcove.com /, a place about 20 blocks away that specializes in bathrooms. That estimate was $10k with the work taking about a week.
The Homeowner's Club http://www.homeownersclub.org/on/overview.html here in Seattle sent a guy who also said $10k. He, too, said about one week. I pay them, not the contractor, and they pay him if I'm satisfied. If I'm not satisfied, they "make me whole." We've used them for a couple of $200 repairs and they've been fine.
An architect for TubCove was here yesterday, looked over the place as I explained what I needed and said it shouldn't cost more than $10k. The Home Owners Club architect will be here Dec 3.
Lowe's, Home Depot and Best Plumbing, http://www.bestplumbing.com / are the next places I'll visit. They'll mostly have equipment, but HD will have contractors' lists so I can get some more input for free.
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Look up in the Yellow Pages professional associations, find out which architects" prof. assoc. functions where you live, and ask there.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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have you considered a bathroom addition? might be less disruptive and only cost a little more.
provided you have the space......
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wrote:

have you considered a bathroom addition? might be less disruptive and only cost a little more.
provided you have the space...... -------
Thanks, but I don't have the space.
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This is a difficult project on which to give an absolute opinion and more difficult to give an opinion at at distance. If only the things you note need to be done, a contractor can do that work with your help in setting heights and clearances.
I'm a practicing architect with 40 years experience and I'm not a member of the AIA. These questions come to mind: Will there be adequate space for a wheel chair? Will the door swing cause problems with moving a wheel chair? (Will door handles and latches be accessible?) If things (fixtures, walls, or doors) have to be moved around, find an architect or designer. T
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wrote:

This is a difficult project on which to give an absolute opinion and more difficult to give an opinion at at distance. If only the things you note need to be done, a contractor can do that work with your help in setting heights and clearances.
I'm a practicing architect with 40 years experience and I'm not a member of the AIA. These questions come to mind: Will there be adequate space for a wheel chair? Will the door swing cause problems with moving a wheel chair? (Will door handles and latches be accessible?) If things (fixtures, walls, or doors) have to be moved around, find an architect or designer. T ----------- We don't need the door so it will be replaced by a heavy duty thick cloth curtain hung from solid grab bar thick rods.
I'm sizing commode chairs to get the dimension needs nailed down
The only handles and latches that will be left will be on mirrored medicine cabinets that my wife will use.
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Info wrote:

My city has lots of online drawings for the standards they use for city facilities - everything from seawalls to curbs. The city permit office would be a good place to start.......there have to be lots of modifications made to all kinds of residences, with the owner name/address, architect, contractor, etc. Seems it would be a good way to find features you like. With the right approach, the owner might even let you see the work and could point you to architects. Or ask the building dept. for projects your architects have been involved in and contact the owners for references and tips.
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One can get projects, owners, and contact info from the architects. Building Departments do not usually hand out project info.
General standards are available from a search for ADAAG.
T
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wrote:

One can get projects, owners, and contact info from the architects. Building Departments do not usually hand out project info.
General standards are available from a search for ADAAG.
T ----------------
I'll see what I can get form ADAAG, but I don't need to meet ADA standards. This is not commercial property. Strictly a residence. Resale value is irrelevant.
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I have the floor plans from the Planning & Development dept. The condo's building management company didn't have those. I hadn't thought of using the planning and development department as a check on architects' work. Thanks.
The permit website is http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Permits/FAQ/the_basics/default.asp#questionthree The "do I need a permit" answer is number three. You'll have to scroll down to it because the page is a little kerflooky. The guy fro Tub Cove, see prior post, said he read it and it didn't look to him as though I needed a permit.
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If you were going to build a new dwelling, or make a major renovation to an existing one, I'd recommend an architect. However, since your remodel is small, a good licensed contractor would know the relevant codes, and so long as you are not moving a bearing wall, I should think that the inspector would be agreeable to ADA compliant measurements, whoever provides them. I would bet you a five dollar bill that if you called said inspector ahead of time, he would work with you and the contractor so that everything would work out to the best.
Steve
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"Info" wrote

I have no idea.

I dont think though you need an actual architect for this but a contractor who knows ADA access standards. You do not need to go with the exact ones for public bathrooms but sounds like you want something 'close as you can get' and functional for you.
Yes, the slope can be worked. It's easiest if the bathroom is on slab construction actually. The same stuff people use to 'level a floor' before adding tile to the top, can be gently graded to create that slope to the shower drain. You will not need much slope.
The sink is easy. You just need a pedistal sort (sorry, I do not spell well). The toilet isnt that hard either unless you need it moved. They just use an extender for the pipe trap and raise it up. You'll need to add grab-bars but havent given enough information on the layout to tell just what would be needed there. Normally toilets in houses though are flush at one side to the wall so you add one there, then may need one on the other side depending on the layout (by the sink perchance?).
In some ways, what you want is what I had in my apartment in Japan. The 'bathroom' was a walled enclosure about 5x7ft with a drain in the center and a tub at one end. The shower fixture was to the side of the tub (since there, you soap up and shower down before you get in the tub to soak). It was a shower massage sort of spigot with 3 holder heights you could hang it on (one way up, one middle zone, and one for toddlers or perhaps pets, that was about 3 ft up).
I am contemplating shifting my main bath this way though not so as to roll a wheelchair into the shower. I can get a wheelchair in (thinline sort, not the monster 36 inch sort) but the sink enclosure has to go. A pedistal sink would make enough room and a grab bar along the wall of the toilet would do it.
I have a progressive sort of DDD and have been looking at future needs. Most of my home just by accident is pretty much accessable with very minor adaptions and it would take little to make the master 1/2 bath wheelchair friendly. The tub/shower combo we had put in last year has rails and the shower head has a massage sort of thing with a holder down in reach from a wheelchair from outside. Spec'ed out a floor drain in the center with a slope and it's do-able here for not too much but have to replace all the lovely wooded siding in the room with something tile to make it safe and replace the lights over the sink incase they got sprayed (only electrical in there is the lights over the sink, no outlets).
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I agree on the former writer, you don't need an architect or designer but a contractor who knows ADA requirements and can give you a quality job. Please get 3 to 4 bids with a full description of the work that they will do and do not give any more then 10% as a deposit. Check your contractors out to make sure that they have a license and good track record. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. I will not charge you for any advice.
I was a contractor and I know all of the stories they use to get more money.
Good luck
--
Anthony Ippolito
Providing Architectural Drafting & Design
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"Anthony" wrote

Absolutely. Also I'd add to my earlier post, what is adaptive for one person, can be detrimental for another.
Simple case in point. I'm 5ft1 tall ;-) so 'handicap accessable toilets' are too high for me. (Plenty of ladies rooms with only 1 toilet so it was made wheelchair accessable). I also have prgressive DDD (back problems, not whining, just explaining). Mobile now, and a too low toilet can be a problem but it's equally hard to have one as tall as ADA makes them. While mobile now, arm rails in *reach* on both sides would be good for me.

Agree.
And check the sub-contractors they use too. My sunroom is lovely and well done, but we got left with some huge piles of clay mud the subcontractor never picked up.
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I think I'll do better with a wall-mounted sink. A pedestal sink will get in the way of my feet.

We're not going move the drain if possible. It's an unnecessary cost and the water will drain quickly enough since I'm not going to have the shower on fort very long and when I'm not hosing myself off, whoever's with me can point the hose to the drain. The water won't back up.

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Perhaps you have already done this, but my suggestion would be to find a local hospital and find who on their staff, possibly a rehabilitation tech or a social worker, who has some knowledge of adaptive housing. They may advise you themselves, or possibly refer you to some organization that had knowledge in this area. I suggest you do this because they may have knowledge of the types of techniques and equipment needed in your situation, and of what contractors have experience in this area. For example, I'm wondering if there is some kind of combined shower/sink that could save you some valuable maneuvering space in a small bathroom. I rebuilt a bathroom (non-handicapped) and the contractor was able to handle the whole package without an architect.
Info wrote:

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I'm asking the MDA Clinic at the Univ of Washinton and Harborview's Rehab Medicine people for their input.

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I agree with the others; you need to find a contractor who's familiar with WC accessibility rather than spending your money on an architect. You can get a lot of ideas/info on message boards from WC user sites such as: newmobility.com wheelchairjunkie.com carecure
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