Where to start? Addition (Chicken/Egg)

We've got a story and a half cape cod brick veneer home. We need more room and because we like our lot we're thinking of an addition. We're looking to add a bedroom and bath. We're wondering where to start? We need to borrow money for the project and we need to settle on a design. Do we go to the bank first? Do we hire an architect? Do we need a structural engineer or can most reputable builders handle these tasks? Any suggestions appreciated. Snappa
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<< Do we hire an architect? >>
Absolutely. The best projects have the best plans. They define what you are going to do and must be presented to your bank and to the municipal building oversight people. They are essential if you want bids from a contractor. A good architect can get you through the plan stage and help you avoid costly mistakes or clumsy designs that can eat up your construction loan in a hurry. You have the right to be picky about your architect, so if the first interview doesn't come off too well, find a firm that you feel comfortable with. HTH
Joe
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If you're sure you'll qualify for the loan, I'd start with an architect. If not, then I'd come up with an upper end estimate and talk with lenders for a pre-qual to make sure you can get a loan for that much.
I'd also carefully evaluate how much your going to spend vs how much it will increase the value of your home. In many cases, the better solution can be to find another house.
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Thanks for the tip. What should I expect to pay for a good architectural plan?
Snappa
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Yes and no. Yes go to both the bank and find an architect, usually these can be done together to help save time, and overlap the waiting periods. Hopefully, you have some idea of what you want, a single room, or a major addition.
No, a reputable builder can not handle all the details of a from scratch building. Something like opening up the size of a window or door, yes, but not a new addition. The architect will tell you if you need an engineer for the major structure.
Talk to both the bank, and architect, they should be able to give you an idea of where your going, with only general ideas in mind. Your looking for how many $Ks you can borrow, and $$ per sq ft in building costs.
And find out from the village/town what their requirements are, and what permits and inspections are required.
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Thanks John, Good info.
Snappa
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