Remodel Question

I am looking to remodel both my kitchen and bathroom. For both of these rooms we anticipate some major renovations. The bathroom will be more complicated as we intend to make the room larger and moving the tub/toilet to different locations than their current locations. For this type of remodeling where do you usually start? Is this something that a remodeling company would help design or is this something that would need to be started with an architect?
Amy
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Amy L wrote:

I would start with some rough sketches of existing and proposed and talk to the local building inspector. That will be free and could save you a lot of money down the road.
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RayV wrote:

What information do you expect the O.P. to gain from the inspector? Building department in my town would ask for completed drawings. TB
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

Sure they want completed drawings to issue a permit but if you can clearly explain what your plan is the inspector may tell you that can't be done. A lot better to find out before you hire an architect to draw up plans that you have to throw away.
An experienced inspector may also be able to give you insight on potential problems espescially if your house is part of a development where many houses are the same as yours.
You're going to have to deal with the inspector anyway, better to find out what they are concerned about before you start shelling out money to pros that have no idea what the inspector is going to want.
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Wrong.
--
Steve


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In addition to the previous reply, all that talking to the building inspector would prove is to make him aware you're doing modifications. Best they be left OUT of the loop.
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Steve


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Steve Barker LT wrote:

Steve, are you suggesting that building permits are unnecessary and should be skipped altogether?
I guess that is OK if you can absolutely guarantee that nobody will see the contractors and delivery trucks at your house. Maybe the deliveries can be made in the middle of the night. I suppose the contractors could also park in the OP's underground parking lot. The OP's insurance company will also not care if the unpermitted work causes damage to the home, they'll just happily pay the claim. When the town does find out I'm sure they'll understand and won't assess back taxes or fines. They like it when people ignore the law to save $100 permit fee on a $20,000 remodel job.
Great advice.
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In remodeling, yes. If a person wants to remodel an old house, then he has to bring the electrical and plumbing up to code. Perhaps he's not even touching the electrical or pluming but would be required to completely rewire and such. I'll pass
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Steve
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Amy L wrote:

The suggestion to do rough sketches is a good one. Drawings of existing conditions to the nearest inch would be a good place to start. Do overlays of different schemes to see what kind of changes are required. Enlarging rooms and moving fixtures produces a ripple effect in other spaces. Once you feel comfortable with the rough arrangements, I'd find someone to check them. A building inspector might tell you if have an illegal arrangement. That's free. A contractor with experience and knowledge can tell you if you have technical problems. He might want a fee or a contract to do the work. An architect should be able to make suggestions about the arrangement and work out the details. The first meeting is probably free, and then there will be fees. TB
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Since it dosen't sound like you want to go the DIY route. I would start with companies listed specifically as kitchen and bathroom remodeling contractors. Second I would go to kitchen and bath showrooms and ask for refferals or maybe they have a contractor bulletinboard with cards tacked on it. Also check the ads in the local design magazine (see waiting room at the showroom).
Don't be surprised if they want a fee to measure your space as part of quoting. Some may charge some may not.
If you wanted to do anything to make it easier for them to quote, you might start by figuring out where the plumbing is inside the walls. Aside from moving walls and the obvious expense of the finish materials (which can vary wildly in $), replumbing will be the most technical and expensive single part of the project so knowing what you have before you open the wall could make the estimate more relaible.
It is also very likely that you will need to upgrade your breaker box if you cannot get AFCI breakers for it or if you end up needing more slots than you currently have. If you have a modern home with 200A then you are probably OK there.
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You should start buy coming up with some ideas on your own. Write down what you don't like about the rooms and what you don't want. Then maybe go to some model homes and get ideas Even take some pictures. Home remodel shows have a lot to offer. Then when all you leg work is done then call a Architect or a home designer ( I believe there cheaper) Or you can find a contractor you like they work with architects and designers. The main thing is take your time, most important any one you hire make sure you feel comfortable with them. A always check Insurance, License, Workman's comp. And most of all your going to spend more than you thought, But get what you want don't cut corners it your house.
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Start by making sure you have another functioning bathroom to use.
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