Help!!

I need to remodel a bathroom to accomodate my wheelchair and received this from a designer. He's been doing thois work for twenty years. This is the unformatted version. My apologies if the format doesn't translate properly to your newsreader. I tested it on alt.test with Outlook Express and it looks OK.
I don't even know what questions to ask about what this means. He sent this "offer" Friday and it is good for 5 days. I'm sure that I can get an extension and we need someone to keep the contractor on the up & up.
May I please have your comments, translations, whatever about what questions to ask? The building management company has no plans for the design and construction of our condo. It's a former apartment building that was built before the present management company was retained. That management company is not likely to help us at.
He & I are on the same page about what physical results we need, but I don't know what I'd be getting into with this. He came well-recommended and since we're only going to have one shot at this. Three contractors have seen the place and their bids and ideas are all over the map. I have another contractor coming on Nov 3 who did some work for a long-time and sensible friend and another designer coming on Nov 10. This guy & I are the closest to the desired physical layout and the first to even mention existing plans. We have copies.
Thanks again.
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After visiting your site, residence and discussing the scope of work you would like to implement, I believe that DMH DESIGN can fully assist you in as an integral team member, helping you to design and plan your remodel/alteration to the main floor Master bathroom and Minor Kitchen work relating to cabinetry and shelving (All components to be verified with owner provided site survey and Seattle DPD Building and Planning criteria, as necessary)
This remodel may require that the owners retain a structural engineer to verify any alterations to the existing structure, in the event this is deemed necessary. This proposal is based on non invasive field reconnaissance, any work required to modify and/or update existing conditions to current codes is not included. Approval from the HOA may be required. Any work relating to this end will be billed hourly, in addition to the amount quoted in Phase I.
Design
Feasibilty Study Only (Phase I) 16 hours (Remodel/Alteration) $1520.00
Code research, schematic design required for zoning and building issues relative to remodel/alteration of existing 3rd story condo residence Mstr. Bath. Construct as-built floor plans, elevations and sections, based upon existing 1995/2005 plans from DPD, as necessary. HOA Approval Coordination drawings will be additional, billed hourly and not included. Owner to provide current site plan/survey and title report are required in order to completely answer all zoning and land use questions for the project prior to beginning phase 2, as necessary:
1. Building Code/Zoning/Permit requirement research
2. Coordination with surveyor in order to meet Seattle DPD criteria, if req'd
3. Coordinate with owner, and consultants (structural engineer only) if req'd
4. Create as-built ACad Plans; Develop sketches for floor plans/interior.elevs.
5. Introduction and up to 3 hrs coordination time with potential contractor(s)
Preliminary Design (Phase II) __hours (Remodel/Alteratiion) N.I.C (Fut) $____.00
Hourly Preliminary design based upon the results of the feasibility study, including:
1. Development of land use site plan (based on ACad or Terra Cad survey)
2. Proposed floor plans,
3. Proposed building elevations, as required
4. Proposed building sections and details, as required.
Plans
Permit Plans (Phase III) __hours N.I.C. (Fut.) $____.00
Fixed fee based upon scope of work completed in phases I/II. Prepare or cause to have prepared all drafting of plans containing required information for City of Seattle bldg. permit; Any required consultants drawings and calculations (N.I.C./under separate contract with owners, see page 3 "Project Consultants"), as follows:
1. Site Plan at 1/8", 1"' or 1" ' (per City standards, based on ACad survey)
2. Foundation/Basement Plan at 1/4"
3. Floor plan at 1 /4"
4. Floor and Roof Framing plans at 1 /4"
5. Building section at 1 /4"
6. Energy code compliance worksheet
Additional Services (hourly) Not in Contract unless bold
q Engineer supervised drafting of Struct. plans & details; revs add'l.)
q Coordination with City req'd. engineers (any related drafting time not included)
q Coordination with interior designer
q Plan permit submittal
q On-site coordination with the general contractor
q Coordination with the landscape architect
q Drafting/Design/Shop drawing review for project specific weather proof detailing
Hourly Rates, Project Retainer and Billing
All the fees in each of the categories above are based on an hourly rate of $95/hr. I ask for a $ 1000.00 retainer of the total proposed fee, upon my receipt of this signed proposal at the project inception ($244 previously paid by check number 5440. 28 Oct. 08) $756 Bal.
Project billing occurs incrementally upon substantial completion of each phase of the project, and is due within 10 days of receipt. Balances unpaid for 30 days or longer will be subject to a 1.5%/month interest charge. The outstanding balance of the fee proposal will be paid to DMH Design prior to release of the documents for permit application. Additional Services will be billed hourly @ $95/hr. Requested revisions beyond the scope of the owner's signature approved preliminary design will be billed hourly @ $95/hr. Owner_____.
Reimbursable Expenses
All printing expenses are the responsibility of the owner(s) and not included in the fee ` proposal. Reimbursable printing will be billed to the owner(s) at cost + 15%. Owner____.
Auto mileage associated with the design/plan/permit phase of this project will be billed at 55 cents per mile. Mileage associated and related to the construction of this project will be included in the hourly rate related to any related "additional services" invoices. Owner____.
Ownership of the Documents
Under the provisions of the U.S. Copyright act of 1990, title 17 U.S.C. 102a, all information appearing on the documents is copyrighted by, and shall remain the property of DMH Design. The copyright shall include the overall form as well as the arrangement of spaces and elements in the design, but does not include individual standard features.
Furthermore: The documents are an instrument of service. As instruments of service, the plans and specifications for a given project may not be used on future projects without prior written consent from and appropriate compensation given to the designer.Owner__.
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Are you sure this guy is a designer? This was obviously written by a lawyer and has more loopholes than my grandmother's knitting. There are an awful lot of open ended opportunities to bill for services, needed or not. Given that this is a re-model, do you need all those plans and permits?
For a business to be ADA compliant there are some stringent rules, but for a personal re-model, it only has to suite you. Basic needs are a wide enough door opening, correct height toilet with grab bars, accessible sink. Any builder and/or plumber that has done one or two knows exactly what is needed.
I'd be afraid to contract this guy. Too many variables.
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I agree with Ed, this whole thing is bullshit. Let me clarify, this is for a set of building permit plans, only, for a bathroom and kitchen remodel, right? As long as there are no structural alterations or changes to the exterior of the building the whole drawing process shouldn't cost more than say $1000 -$1500 and it should be completed in 1 to 2 weeks, max. If you were local, here, I would do it as a *cash job* and it would be done in just a few days. For that matter, if the whole thing is interior only, I'd just go ahead and do all the work and not bother with any sort of permit, I mean, it is YOUR property, right?
Don't let people make mountains out of molehills unless you want to spend a bunch of money needlessly. Take charge of the situation, run the job don't let the job run you.
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wrote:

I agree with Ed, this whole thing is bullshit. Let me clarify, this is for a set of building permit plans, only, for a bathroom and kitchen remodel, right? As long as there are no structural alterations or changes to the exterior of the building the whole drawing process shouldn't cost more than say $1000 -$1500 and it should be completed in 1 to 2 weeks, max. If you were local, here, I would do it as a *cash job* and it would be done in just a few days. For that matter, if the whole thing is interior only, I'd just go ahead and do all the work and not bother with any sort of permit, I mean, it is YOUR property, right?
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It appears that we do need a permit, see question three at http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Permits/FAQ/the_basics /. I'm going to talk to them in person.
The guy here today said custom modeled laminate would be as good as tile. Watcha think of that? Whatever we use, it won't be before we check all kinds of websites. I think fiberglass would be better and last longer, but it will probably be more expensive.
He also estimated a one to two werek total work time. Everyone else has said three weeks. He's specializes in bathrooms, been in business for 50 years. http://www.tubcove.com/ I went to his office and they gave me their insurance, bond number and business number without any hesitation. He wasn't pushy at all.
As we've progressed through this process, the estimates have gone done but the quality of work we think we'll get hasn't lessened one bit. If anything, it's improved. There's a place in Seattle, http://www.homeownersclub.org /, that uses contractors who've been "approved" by it's members. They guarranty the project even if the contractor who does the work goes out of business. We've used them for a couple of very very light work around the place and they've been fine. They'll be here Monday and I have another outfit coming today.
The "designer" that gave us the above brought plans and no one else even mentioned that so that's helped us weed out some people at the outset. A couple of them didn't know that the fact that their insurance companies might not let them work in a condo. --------
Don't let people make mountains out of molehills unless you want to spend a bunch of money needlessly. Take charge of the situation, run the job don't let the job run you.
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