My wife and I are currently living in a great neighbourhood with a very very
large back yard, therefore we have no intention of selling and moving. So
instead we thought we'd take our 35 year old home and see if we could update
the exterior, this includes new windows, doors, brick/stucco?, landscaping
and driveway. What professional could help me with designing an updated look
for the outside of my house. Would an archatech help design the driveway and
Architect for the house and landscape architect for the driveway and
landscape. Though I'd start with the regular architect, as if you are
considering changing the driveway, entrance approach, etc, they have
expertise in that area. Also, some firms have both under one roof.
There must be homes in the neighborhood with elements that you like,
although the whole property isn't designed like you want your updated
home to be. Look for features you like and talk them up with the owners
- repl. windows, etc. Be sure you know, by enlarging the home, your
present heat/ac probably won't be adequate. As Tony said, you have to
know what you want to add/change, as a builder or architect will sell
anything you want to pay for. Check with your city code dept. for
setback requirements. If changing drainage (slope, etc) it should not
be an issue that creates problems on another part of the property or the
neighbor's. And if you really plan to stay forever, make it a plan that
is comfortable if/when limited physical capacity comes along.
The issues I see often on ahr are: double pane windows that leak, roof
tie ins that leak, heat/ac systems no longer adequate, cracked/leaky
foundations and basements, attics that aren't insulated or vented
properly. You need to know what you want to accomplish before you see
an architect, and I would have a good heating contractor sign off on the
plan before you sign any contracts. Home shows would be a good place to
get ideas, but you really need to research big ticket items.
Thanks for all of the help. What I have now is a nice "Rectangle - Suburban
Ranch" I want to give is some more character. THe brick is a wierd yelow
colour and the windows, doors and roof will be replaced in the next 5 years.
I don't want to expand the house as it is already large enough. I just want
to update the look and feel from the curb. I'm not sure what to do with the
brick. I could put on siding or try doing some sort of stucco treatment.
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