Andrew writes: I hired an architect who drafted plans for a loft in our townhouse. My contractor brought the plans to the city and was denied a building permit because the plans didn't fit the building code. Now the architect is re-doing the plans, and billing me for this cost and for the time required to meet with the building and planning department to sort out the … [Read more...] about Architect’s Plans Don’t Meet Code
Q: If a ceramic-tile floor is failing in our less than 10-year-old home, does the builder have an obligation to replace it if it was not installed properly? Are there minimum requirements that have to be met when installing a ceramic floor in new construction? — Sheila A: There are well-established industry standards for setting ceramic tile, published by the Tile Council of … [Read more...] about Warranties and New-Home Defects
Mark writes: I own a Cape-style house built in 1945 and worry about a leak developing in the iron water lines when I am not at home to shut off the water at the mains. Is there a reason not to use PEX or PVC rather than copper pipe? Is there any way to get an independent idea of what a plumber should charge to do this? I live in a small town and we seem to be largely at the … [Read more...] about PEX vs. Copper Plumbing
Bryn asks: On a cost-plus bid, what be an average to high-average markup to expect from a contractor with a strong reputation for doing good work? What is the highest percentage one might expect? Are there other factors in comparing bids? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: There is no industry standard for markup percentage and the numbers vary a lot depending on … [Read more...] about Cost-Plus: How Much Markup?
Egbert writes: I have paid an architect in full ($7,000) for plans to an addition that measures 18x30 ft. The plan was declined by the zoning board, which later approved a revised plan for a smaller addition of 18x20 ft. When I asked him for the CAD files, the architect refused to give them to me. Kindly advise whether I have the right to own the CAD files? Also, should I be … [Read more...] about Who Owns an Architect’s Plans & CAD Files?