Architect services to build an addition

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I asked very specific question, what type of services an architect provides and what I can do myself to save money on this service. It has nothing to do with my experience, who will be doing work, who will be GC, etc.
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wrote:

I asked very specific question, what type of services an architect provides and what I can do myself to save money on this service. It has nothing to do with my experience, who will be doing work, who will be GC, etc.
Reply: We've tried to answer some questions, but as of yet, seem to not satisfied you. Can you put in 25 words or less what it is you want, other than a cheap architect who is licensed?
Steve
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No, you didn't try to answer any of my questions. I suggest you read them again. Instead of asking them if you can answer them at all you started attacking me with "wanting pay penny for quality job" (which I never said) and pushing me on my building skills, how I going to pay for the project, who will be GC etc. which all are completely irrelevant to questions I asked. I am interested in someone's opinion who worked with an architect or some reliable knowledge.
There is also nothing wrong trying to save money by doing some service that I can do. I did survey of all underground lines. It took me three trips to sewage department and water supply to do so. Obviously if an architect or his stuff had to do this it would cost me more money with the same results. Applying for permit also involves staying in line for an hour at least in our building department and then coming back in three or more weeks to pick up the permit, staying in a line again. Again obviously I can do this myself saving money.
To give you some analogy to what I want to know. When 8 years ago we have one first child born I went to a financial advisor to get some help setup 529 plan for him. We sat for an hour and he explained to me all laws covering 529 plans, and gave professional opinion on what plans are best for me taking into account my time horizon, investment style level of comfort with investments. He admitted I was not typical type of client, for most of them they have ongoing relationship involving wealth management. But he was completely fine with what I asked for and provided me with services exactly as I requested. I paid him $300 and never talked or saw him again.
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"ls02" wrote "SteveB" wrote:

Personally, not going to bother. You've been asked nicely to clarify them.

SteveB didnt deserve that return from you. He said none of those things. If you do not like the advice he has tried to give, just ignore it. In fact, SteveB gives very good advice.
What you seem to want is to know where you can cost cut the process, but that isn't going to be answerable because we have no clue where you are or what state rules or local ones may apply.
Things I can see you have said: Plans have to be certified/stamped by an architect in your area. The rest is related to 'thigs you have done' one of which is interesting but not legal in my area.
In *my* area while you are welcome to survey for pipes and other underground things, it *has* to be validated by the city. You can not proceed after your own investigation, no matter how well it is done.
For cost cutting: If the architect will do the plans, then expect you to get your own contractors etc, the contractors once notified can spec out the prices and you can ask them to not charge the 50$ or whatever for obtaining the permit. That may not be an option in your area as the contractor may be required to use their own company for it. My area, I can get a permit for anything i want to do myself, but the moment a contractor is used, the permit *must* be done by one authorized in name to do it for them. You'd save nothing by paying for the power of attorney vice their fee. In fact, probably cost more. In other areas of the USA, only a certified electrician can pull a permit for electrical work.
There is a reason why people are asking for more details. They are trying to help.
And in the end, what it sounds to me like you actually need, is a structural engineer. They will handle any of the architect issues your area requires. In my area, the type of work you have described ends up being least expensive if you start with the structural engineer. If you start with the architect, he has to contact one of them and adds their price to yours. It works out cheaper to start the other way *here*. Also note, my area makes a distinction between the 2. Yours may not? I live in Virginia, you might be in YellowKnife Canada for all I can tell. Makes it *real hard* to give you a decent answer to what cost cutting measures might be possible.
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No he didn't. But I don't want to start the argument, it was not the reason for my post.

All surveies were done by town departments, not by me diggin the ground. I had to visit them several times to get offical survey.

Either a homeowner, an architect or a contractor can get permits. I obtained several permits over several years and very much familiar with both the process and the beurocracy. Anyone can get electrical permit and I got two. As I said I upgraded 50% of wiring in my house including installing sub-panel, running numerous 110 V and 220 V lines. Only main service from the street must be done by a licensed electrician.

I will find out about structural engineer.
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"ls02" wrote "cshenk" wrote:

With answers, he's pretty good.

Grin, doesdnt matter or I used the wrong language for you to understand what i meant. It doesnt matter if they have old surveys where I am. They have to physically come out and validate they are accurate and you are *not* allowed to do that for them. No matter of your own work can remove this in my area.

So, you narrowed in a lot but seem to not grasp what was asked. Ok, in your area you can do all the electrical. Did you catch that it was a sample of how areas differ? Se have some folks who arent even allowed to replace a toilet without a permit and a check by a local certified plummer.

Please don't get upset but we dont even know what *country* you are in, much less state. Without country and state, your question is almost impossible to answer in even the most general of terms.
Oh, here's another item of specifics, best as I can do for you. Many houses in my local area, within 2 miles, have added a 2nd floor over the years. All of them are stable but the codes changed so to do it now, you have to have a slab upgrade and I don't mean just the footer. This is due to code changes in my local city. They want the slab 6 inches deeper now? You'd have to lift the house somehow and repour so no one has added a second story in some 10-15 years here. My experience there comes from owner of the house across from us who asked about it. The slabs of 1960 (our general build era) are no longer rated for this. I don't know why it changed, only that it did.
I'll add we have really good 'grandfathering' rules here for repairs if not adding an extension. If it's minor, we can do just about anything ourselves. Lots of major stuff we can do too with a local permit.
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This is correct. But you know all this stuff, right, Is02? And have a general ready to supervise the project or write a spendy letter for you?
Steve
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I am financing everying out of my pocket. I also do not have any mortgage on my house so this is not a problem.
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wrote:

I am financing everying out of my pocket. I also do not have any mortgage on my house so this is not a problem.
Reply: Well, then, you're good to go. All the money you need, and you know everything there is. Good luck. This should be interesting.
Steve
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At one extreme an architect can simply bless off some existing plans that you already have and put their seal on them.
At the other, they could:
Perform an analysis of the structure and review the plans, if available. Come up with several different ideas of how you could add on to it in ways that they think would work best for maximum aesthetics, functionality and value added. Meet with you to discuss those options. After you select one of those ideas and with your input prepare detailed plans Meet with you again, review plans, make any changes you may want, etc. Work with you to decide on finish materials, help find suppliers for any special materials, fixtures, etc Recommend contractors that they have worked with to perfrom the work. Supervise the project with scheduled visits to make sure it is being built correctly and the contractors are doing what they are supposed to.
Where in the spectrum you want and need to be is entirely up to you.
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On Sep 27, 12:24pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Thank you. This is valuable advise I got here so far.
I have relatively clear idea what we want to do. I discussed them with my BIL architect when they were visiting us and he confirmed all our plans are reasonable. Putting an addition is very straightforward in my case from architect perspective. As I said almost all my neighbors did it. Enclosed porch is a bit more creative. Though we have neighbors not far from us who did it and we like more or less their design. so it can be used as starting point. If necessary I probably can ask them to for their architectural plans. I prepared myself CAD plans of both the addition and the porch. There are some open issues that I want to discuss with the architect, where his or her professional experience and advice would be helpful. For instance we want to put a sauna in the addition and his input on how to best do it would be certainly helpful. And we are fully prepared to pay for this.
As I said we have limited resources and we need to carefully judge what services we truly need and cannot reasonably do ourselves.
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Let me say this about that, then I'm done with this conversation.
First, writing in to this forum and asking vague questions and getting them answered for free is worth ten times what it costs. Second, writing into this forum and asking vague questions is like asking what the weather is going to be tomorrow.............. different if you live in Phoenix, Virginia, or Yellow Knife Alaska. Third, you are seeking validation for conclusions and plans you have already made and not for any real advice, for when anything goes against your "idea", you don't like it.
You harken back to the architecht. My experience is, if you are going to build a large complicated house, hire one. If you are going to build an off the rack house, stamped house plans are available everywhere. If you need anything structural, you will need a stamped set of engineering prints, or your project will be red flagged no matter how smart YOU are, and how much you know and what you've done in the past. In my experience, structural engineers are a very educated lot of professionals, and they charge the going rate. I would imagine you could get a cheap one, and have him sign off in a sober (or not so) moment, but you get what you pay for. All the inspectors know all the engineers, and word is out on who does good work and who they need to pick apart.
But NO, you insist on doing it your way in this forum. Tell it to the inspectors, and engineers and building permit people. You don't need to convince anyone here.
Localities vary from very strict to non-existant codes.
So, the answer is yes, no, definitely, and maybe. Ask them what they want and give it to them. That's the way it's going to go anyway. But then, that's just what us commoners would do.
Steve
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