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?
Alex asks: Our contractor wants us to take out the building permit for an addition under our name and says that is standard procedure. Does it matter whether the owner or contractor takes out the building permit? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: In general, you are better off having the contractor take out the permit. If you take out the permit in your (the … [Read more...] about Who Applies for Building Permit?
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
Terence writes: How would you recommend paying a project manager? Would it be a percentage of the building cost or a daily or hourly rate? What would the rate be? Steve Bliss of BuildingAdvisor.com responds: Construction management is still primarily used on large commercial projects, but is gaining in popularity in residential work as it promises to reduce costs and give … [Read more...] about Hiring a Construction Manager
Budd writes: I am building an addition to my home. My contractor is charging me a 22% markup, which is fine. However, in his contract, he states that if I find someone outside his business to do part of the work (like put in flooring, for example), he will still charge me 22% of what the flooring guy is charging me, since he says he is still in control of the entire … [Read more...] about Owner-Supplied Labor for Part of a Job?
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