Have any of you come across plans or know where I could start searching for
plans for a house very close to this:
The style is victorian/second empire. I would want the house to be around
2800 to 3600 sq-ft total.
I am guessing if I had to get this designed from scratch it would be many
tens of thousands of dollars? I am hoping that maybe someone already has a
similar plan done that could be purchased for somewhat less.
You do not want to short change yourself on using an architect because
that plan will be site specific, take into consideration your personal
tastes and needs (For example, I have a proprietory method for
extracting design specific issues that takes into consideration things
you might never thought of before a line gets drawn or an item gets
speced.), use today's technology as well as replica or salvaged historic
materials, be environmentally safer than the original and allow you to
lead a normal life and/or family life within it and have a flexible
enough design that some spaces can potentially fulfill various
frunctions or needs - all while meeting local and other applicable codes
and standards and other standards you might want to impose on YOUR
building/house (ex. living Green, lower energy cost strategies,
multi-use) and a whole buncha other things including thinking outside
the Victorian or Las Vegas mentality.
You will save money in the long run using a professional. But I'm not
going even get into that at this time.
Yes and no, It is absurd that people willing to spend a couple hundred
thou plus on a house or office building or whatever assume they can just
forego the normal design process and actually come ontoa newsgroup of
mostly professionals and ask how they can cheap out. I figure different
people on the newsgroup could take turns stating the obvious once in a
while. Figured it was my turn. Of course, I coulda spelled checked for
the typos, but then, for someone who wants to cheap out on an architect.....
I really should have been a little clearer. We plan to be on site during
construction and do most of the finish and detail work ourselves. I don't
know how this would fit in with the normal 10% to 15% fee that an architect
needs for a new design.
What you pay for isn't just drawings. It's the experience that goes
along with those drawings. Knowing which details go where. And, here's
the kicker, knowing how to design and detail so that the various
elements can withstand the ravages of mother nature. It's the
experience knowing to properly proportion the various elements. It's
the ability to give you the feel of an historic style with the elements
required for a 21st century lifestyle (you're not going to have a parlor
, a sitting room, the kitchen for servants only, right?).
And...for the record, I'd love to get 15% for a fee. But in our neck of
the woods it doesn't happen. If you want custom design, find somebody
who has experience in that kind of design.
Put yourself in your own clients shoes... if somebody wanted you to
design something very unique, detailed and intricate, how much would you
Using his analogy, if a client wanted you to design a supercomputer to do a
very specific task, would you still send them to Costco or Dell (and I put
together computers myself, I would never send someone to either of those
places). If you want a Dell for a house, I am sure there is plenty of tract
housing where you live, go buy one of those.
Ah, so you put together computers yourself and yet are an architect? How
dare I try and put together building plans as a EE!
I don't want some portfolio carrying architect designing me some artsy
fartsy new age block house with stainless steel toilets. I want to take an
existing design from the late 19th century and modify it a bit, bringing it
up to today's standards in safety and building materials. This is the part
I figured I would need to pay an architect to help out with. I realize they
have experience calculating loads for modern construction materials and the
epensive software to assist them in doing this. I could probably learn all
of this myself but I doubt it would be worth my time unless I really got
into it and enjoyed it.
So what I was asking for was a copy of existing plans that might have been
drawn up 30, 50 or even 100 years ago. I didn't really know where to find
such plans..most of the online plan sites you detest so much steer more
toward modern practical cookie cutter houses.
Anyway, obviously I am not going to get any ideas or help from this
newsgroup so sorry to bother you and hope you had a good flame fest.
Why are you so offended? You asked for info, we've given it to you.
You started out by offending those who you seek to get help from.
Look, do some of your own research. Google it. Amazon it. There are
books out there. If you came to me with this type of project, it's the
first thing I'd do, if I already didn't have something in my library.
After some research, I'd then start designing.
There aren't any "stock" plans for what you want. You're going to have
to go to historical design books...not plan books. This is a research
project, then a design project. There aren't shortcuts for what you
want. Either do some of the up-front work yourself, or find an
architect who specializes in historic structures (they exist). Somebody
like that won't design you a glass box you don't want.
You've made far to many assumptions about architects and how they work.
Check them and start over. An lighten up... You're far to grumpy.
Another satisfied customer! Dover has a few pattern books. Beyond the
'pattern books' there wasn't a lot of drawing for dwellings in those days.
The details were almost always worked out by the trades and "a verbal", and
that's what really makes this stuff. No we'd have to reverse engineer the
I used to traditional dwellings a lot, and one style I was never asked to
and would love to research is something that might be called "Queen Ann" in
brick, stone and tile, or "Shavian", after Norman Shaw, like this one:
Toronto had a couple of good practitioners in this style, and the 'Annex'
neighborhood is still pretty much in tact with it. See this just for the
I almost said I build computers, but it wouldn't really be the truth. I
said I put together, practically cobble them together from off the shelf
parts, I do no engineering whatsoever, and never claimed I did. I respect
what our consultants do, but most of the time they have little respect for
what we do.
As for the architect, you are HIS client, if he is not going to give you
what you want, then take your money elsewhere. If you are clear and concise
about what you want, and it sounds like you have a good idea of what you
want, then he will tell you up front if he will do it or not. On top of
that there are architects that specialize in this sort of thing that would
give you exactly what you want, AND make it to modern codes (not 50 or 100
year old codes). And yes you are overestimating what we make.
Again your analogy to a computer is weak, and I just pointed it out for you.
A house is much more than just a sum of parts, the computers I put together
are nothing more than parts any guy with some info can put together, which
is why I can do it, but I can't for the life of me put together a rickety
old chair. You are comparing apples to oranges. One simple example for
you, the plans you will buy pre-made will have no bearing whatsoever to the
site, climate, and local codes of your property.
Like others have said, we are being honest and trying to be helpful, but you
are taking it as an insult, while at the same time you come in here and
reduce OUR profession to nothing more than a google search (which if you
would have done one you could have just simply avoided all this mess in the
first place). Take the advice as you will, but just remember us when you
need to find an architect to modify your perfect plans.
After all the BS - one eng to another.
Everything depends on your site, climate (AK, CO or TN), views or lack
Besides yourself you must satisfy the local building dept!!!
Assuming you have all the $$ you need.
You can determine exactly what you want through std research.
You then go to a LOCAL "designer" - (need not be an AIA or even
licensed in most cases) to prepare a set of "code" plans for permit
Then get a LOCAL civil eng to review and prepare calcs as needed.
Do any revisions and start looking for contractors. You may then do
more revisions <grin>.
Lots of luck and keep the faith.
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