how much for an architect?

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We should be closing on our new/first home in a few weeks. 1950's ranch in upstate NY. I was thinking it could be a good idea to have an architect draw up plans for remodeling/additions, as sort of a master plan we could chip away at over the years, and also to avoid making changes then realizing we should have done A differently in order to accommodate B, etc. Any idea how much that kind of thing would cost?
-Karen-
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Why not call one and ask. Could be $500 to $50,000 depending on what you want him to do.
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Ed, it never ceases to amaze me that people can't figure basic strategy shit like this on their own. What idiots.
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Abe wrote:

Hi, Maybe one who can't walk and chew gum at the same time?, LOL! When I did one reno. on my last house, I went to a structural engineer for his OK and then I went to a draftman for blue print, with it I got a building permit for my contractor who understood exactly what we wanted and expected. Result? 100% satisfaction! From there we had this house built. Only one like this in the whole neighborhood. Very functional, very customized. Very very energy effcient.
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Around here, one could probably get a few local architects to come take a look at the house free and describe some possible changes.

Wow. Very very. Where is it, and what's the yearly heating bill?
Nick
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dkhedmo wrote:

Hi, Depends, if you go to real pro for lots of work, upto 20% of total project cost. He could carry out the project management as well. Nice to have many professionals in the family. Engineer, Architect, Lawyer, Doctor. My family is missing one, architect, LOL!
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Would your family adopt me please?
Seriously, the family pro thing is great as long as relations are good. My doctor brother-in-law is great, has saved me tons of money, and made it easy for me to get elective things fixed that insurance would never cover. On the other hand, I'd rather pay through the nose than ever go to my real estate lawyer brother for any help again. Nice guy, but a total shithead when practicing law.
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It depends on many variables. Call a couple and ask. If you then have questions about what various architects have told you, THEN, MAYBE, we can be of some help.
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If you are planning on doing that much remodeling, then you have made a bad purchase. The house will cost you twice as much as it should have in the long run. It will probably also be too expensive for the neighborhood, and will have poor resale value. Good luck.
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Not always true. It depends on the house and the neighborhood.
I bought the crappiest house in a very good neighborhood for a VERY good price at the time (it was a shithole when I bought it, but had the basic floorplan that I liked). I did the demo mostly myself, and put alot of sweat equity into the update/remodel. For $46k I got a $135k remodel, and now the house is slightly above par to the rest of the block.
If I ever sell, that strategy will result in an extra 89k straight in my pocket.

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Abe wrote:

Hi, Rarely it happens like that. It reminds me of saying, "Small house in good neighborhood is better than big house in bad neighborhood. House with view is worth lot more, location, location, location!"
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You're going about this all wrong.
Take a pencil and paper, and draw out what you like. Look at it every so often, make your changes. A few years later you'll have a pretty good idea of what you want and by then you'll be ready to do it.
Then bring it to an architect. He'll do the things you don't know how to. Like plan the wiring, plumbing, and HVAC lines. Because you don't know about those and many other things, your plans will be different than what you expected. Make some adjustments over the next couple of years, and then start construction.
Then, halfway through, you'll start to see all the things you wish you did differently.
S
(been there, doing that)
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Oh, the price. Should be $3000 - $10,000. Expect it to be at the higher end if you tell him he's drawing plans that you won't use until the next decade.
S
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That is just such useless and possibly misleading information. You can't possibly even make a ballpark estimate without knowing MUCH more information.
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dkhedmo wrote: Any idea how much that kind of thing would cost?
Well let's see.... how much money do you have??
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Whoa, Your first house and you haven't even moved in yet. Trust me, the home inspector will leave you with months of projects and it won't cost several thousand dollars minimum. Don't do anything extreme for at least a few months until you get a good feel for the property
An architect will have to spend hours drafting your house plan into a CAD program and that task alone can take 8-40 hours or more depending on the detail required which depends on the scope of the project. Which you don't even know yet.
You could end up with a plan to add a second story and a pool house if you don't define what you want. An architect is not necessarily a designer in the sense of style, but more in a technical / drafting sense. (sure some are great designers too)
Start with a plain old interior/exterior designer or a firm with several designers. If their plan requires detailed plans then you hire the architect and if that plan requires major changes, you may also need to hire an engineer to calculate the parameters (load, size of beam etc)
If you consider any changes to the exterior of the house, then familiarize yourself with your city rules like setbacks, height limits, style restrictions, fence location and height etc so you don't go down a road the city ultimately blocks. Inside the house you can do almost anything but most things require permits (unless you don't tell anyone)
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pipedown wrote:

Hi, No wonder I always had my house custom built from scratch. Pick a lot, design, execute. After 5 times(not counting cabin) still haven't got 100% perfect(satisfaction). Now I maybe moving out to acerage to try one more time before I get too old, LOL! Never lived in a second hand house.
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pipedown wrote:

Thank you for giving a reasonable, informative, helpful response. We do have a few things from the inspection to deal with right off, nothing too difficult or overly expensive. (The interior is a bit dated, but mechanics are all 5 years or less, incl 30 year roof.) Some electrical work and some ventilation for the attic, and we plan to put in some fencing. Other than that, basic decorating, some flooring, maybe adding a door or opening a up closet here and there will be the extent of things for the first couple years.
We have some general ideas of the parameter of what we'd be looking to do. Financially we'd be waiting probably about 3 yrs before being able to begin anything truly major. We've got a good sized lot and would be looking to add on at the back of the house.
The town we're moving to has a few neighborhoods done by the same firm back in the early '50's; there are two basic versions of the same house all over town, and as these houses are the ones in our current price range, we've seen quite a few of them and seen the possibilities of what others have done with theirs over the years. Our place already has a 4-season sunroom at the back, which is a good start.
Our house is currently in the lower third of the price range on these places, so we have a way to go before pricing the place out of the neighborhood. The only ones right now that are cheaper are the ones where the old folks have recently died, the place hasn't been updated in 20+ years, and the estate is selling it off as is. We love the way the property itself is situated, and we love the neighborhood and the many things it's convenient to, so we may very well want to stay in this house for the duration and we would therefore reap the enjoyment and use of the expense we may end up putting in over the years.
I've looked over the information on the town website and the way things stand now I think we'd be in well within limitations.
Thanks for the idea of starting with designers first, that hadn't occurred to me as I didn't really want help picking paint colors and window coverings!
Thanks again for a response more helpful than "buy a different house."
-Karen-
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(info, mostly good, snipped)
Is an actual Architect required for residential work in your town/county? Some do, some don't. Many areas have residential designers that are more than qualified to design residental remodels and new construction, at a much lower price point. Unless a house is real strange, odds are what you want has been done before, so a previous design or a book on the shelf will provide the engineering numbers needed. You want somebody with the ability to think in 3d, and willing to meet with you enough times to boil down the design elements that work for you and your family. Ask friends and co-workers who have had remodels and new houses, and see who they have used, with preference to those who used local custom builders, not a chain. I guarantee, the same 3-4 names will keep popping up. A long-term master plan like you describe is an excellent idea, and will not be a problem for a good designer.
How do I know all the above? That is the business my father has been in for 50+ years, and he has all the business he can handle, just from word of mouth. Doctors are his specialty- he does one, the others come over for cocktails or whatever, and pretty soon he has done new houses or remodels for half the doctors in town.
aem sends.....
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dkhedmo wrote:

Your idea is a sound one. Architects love doing the initial design stuff, and a master plan will be money well spent in the long run. The initial design work, commonly called schematics, is almost play time for an architect. Banging out the construction documents (blueprints and specs) is the part that most abhor. For that reason alone you'll probably find that there will be some whose fees will be especially sweet.
You need to also clarify with the architect whether they will be expecting to get future work out of the project over the years or whether you're just looking for the master plan and expect to have someone else work up the permit sets of plans.
No one that hasn't seen your house and spoken with you about your plans can provide anything more than a wild assed guess about the design fees involved. You need to start interviewing architects and locate someone that you feel you can work with and is on the same page with you esthetically.
R
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