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
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?
Vicki writes: What are the most crucial parts of designing a beach house? Does the weather or any environmental changes have big impacts on beach houses? How can an architect design a house that will limit those impacts? What shapes or building styles are suitable for beaches? How long does it take to come up with a design? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com responds: The … [Read more...] about Durable Beach House Construction
Elisha writes: Thank you for the insight you have provided into what it means to build a house. We are planning to build in the Poconos. Given a total budget of about $200K, I'm assuming we should go with a Design-Builder to help us with siting and designing the house, and with project management and construction. Is this the best approach? Steve Bliss, of … [Read more...] about Design-Build on a Tight Budget
Terry writes: I have talked to many contractors and they mention that a home designer or adviser is able to work on layouts, provide plans, and file permits for the customer at less cost than architects. Do you know of any in the Dallas area I can contact? For the most part I'm trying to find an organization that offers these options. I have already picked a plan that I want … [Read more...] about Finding a Designer to Modify Plans
John writes: I thought that I got a good deal on a sloping lot near Austin, TX. Now, it turns out that the cost for just the slab foundation would be more than $100K, which I could not afford. I am considering hiring an excavator to clear the site and to reduce the slope, hoping that will lower the foundation cost. Do you think this is a good approach to cutting down … [Read more...] about Steep-Site Building Costs
Barbara asks: We had to build a new basement under our home and hired an architect to develop plans. The job included enlarging our downstairs bedroom and adding a garage off the bedroom. The former back entrance was a split-level (you either walked up 5 stairs to the main floor, or down 7 stairs to the basement). The exposed foundation wall at the entrance was about 2-1/2 … [Read more...] about Who Pays for Architect’s Mistake?
Gina writes: I am a self taught decorator who has recently been asked to assemble a specification book for an architect on a project he is working on. I need a template for this information, any suggestions? Steve Bliss of BuildingAdvisor.com responds: I suggest you start by reading the section on specifications if you haven't already. A widely software package widely … [Read more...] about Where to Find Residential Construction Specifications