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Home addition #5130179 06/10/19 10:33 AM
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Chester11 Offline OP
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Hi guys:

I think I posted before. But a bit of a rant here - I'm working with a guy to plan an addition to my house - basically a 12 ft expansion on the back of the house - mainly kitchen and master bath above. (2 stories).

The process is terrible. The kitchen guy can't seem to understand that we want an island for added prep / eating space. (After they botched the measurements).

The guy designing the bedroom and bath layout can't seem to get back to us.

I was hoping to at least start getting permits this summer and start in the fall / winter. At this pace, this will be a 10 year process.

I even called an architect, he said to just work with a builder since an architect will not want to sign up to the liability for designing a "small" residential addition.

Who helps with room layout (walls / flow) - the designer, or the contractor? I assumed an architect would do this?

Can anyone give me some tips here? We keep trying to explain what we want to do - but what comes back is just hosed up.

Re: Home addition [Re: Chester11] #5130183 06/10/19 10:40 AM
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WyrTwister Offline
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This is just residential , it is not rocket science . ( Most of our work is commercial . )

You have any co-workers , friends , relatives , acquiescent that have had successful add-ons ?


Wyr
God bless
Re: Home addition [Re: Chester11] #5130186 06/10/19 10:45 AM
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BMWTurboDzl Offline
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Find an architect or contractor who specializes in remodeling. Sometimes the contractor will have a designer on staff.


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Re: Home addition [Re: WyrTwister] #5130209 06/10/19 11:07 AM
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Chester11 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by WyrTwister
This is just residential , it is not rocket science . ( Most of our work is commercial . )

You have any co-workers , friends , relatives , acquiescent that have had successful add-ons ?


Unfortunately no - we are relatively new to the area, and found a contractor through a friend. We are working with the folks he uses. (He does a mix of residential and commercial and did some nice work on a project I couldn't even get others to quote). There is a bit of a building boom going on in town, and everyone is busy (too busy to even return calls).

It not being rocket science keep running through my head as well. Maybe I'm just impatient...I was hoping to have something on paper by now I could look at and review.

Re: Home addition [Re: Chester11] #5130213 06/10/19 11:14 AM
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Wolf359 Online Content
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Originally Posted by Chester11
I even called an architect, he said to just work with a builder since an architect will not want to sign up to the liability for designing a "small" residential addition.


Try another architect. Sounds like the one you called doesn't do residential stuff. I've had builders use architects for small residential jobs, just a couple hundred for a quick drawing to file with the permit. But I've known architects that work at big firms and they wouldn't touch a small job like that.

Re: Home addition [Re: Chester11] #5130224 06/10/19 11:27 AM
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Kozman011 Offline
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I don't want to put all contractors in the same basket, because I KNOW there are good guys out there. But, if I ever, ever, did I say ever, need anything "upgraded" on my house, I'll just buy a new one. I had the kitchen and floors done by one outfit, master bath by another who came highly recommended, and I absolutely hate the outcome on the majority of it. Nothing to do with aesthetics, but the quality. People say, well, have them fix it, wrong, just get out of my house. Just ranting here as I'm in the middle of this as we speak. Next house will be brand new from the ground up and I'll hire ANOTHER contractor to watch over the building contractor.

Re: Home addition [Re: Chester11] #5130236 06/10/19 11:38 AM
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Virtus_Probi Offline
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If you are not happy with the people you've been working with, fire them and keep trying until you find ones you feel confident will be a good job.
We added a sunroom when the economy was good (like it is now) and ended up hiring somebody we didn't feel 100% about....he did an addition for my wife's ex-boss and they claimed they were happy, although when we all met at his house he and his wife kept reminding the builder to come back and fix some obvious problems that were left hanging. Looking back, I think they were hoping that bringing him business would make the come actually come back and fix/finish their project. The builder seemed to be somewhat intoxicated the first time we met him...so few contractors were even returning our calls and we wanted the new room for our little daughter to enjoy, so we ended up holding our noses and signing him on. There was so much work out there with owners flush with cash that we felt lucky at the time to have somebody, but not for long!
To make a long story short, we had nonstop issues and the project was delayed several months. The roof leaked like crazy and the builder told us it was our fault...I kept it barely under control until last year when we had our entire roof replaced and the roofers showed us the stuff that was totally screwed up on the sunroom. We have had decay problems all around the structure and I'm pretty sure that the flashing everywhere was installed incorrectly after taking a close look at it...

RUN AWAY if you don't feel right, you don't want the project to get done maybe a little sooner but be a disaster!


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Re: Home addition [Re: Chester11] #5130241 06/10/19 11:42 AM
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Dave9 Offline
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You need a well written contract with great detail about your requirements, expectations, time frame, penalties for breaching it, etc.

You may also need to find someone more attentive to project completion.

Re: Home addition [Re: Kozman011] #5130246 06/10/19 11:50 AM
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maxdustington Offline
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You should find someone to draw it up if you haven't already. I see that you spoke with an architect, but you should really pursue that further. Once you get the plans then it might make it easier for people to understand. You have to realize, what you say you want now might not be what you want when the demo is done, or when the framing or drywall is complete. It goes without saying there are many changes during a construction project, but having drawings current or not gives contractors an idea of what you want and something they can price.

Originally Posted by Kozman011
I don't want to put all contractors in the same basket, because I KNOW there are good guys out there. But, if I ever, ever, did I say ever, need anything "upgraded" on my house, I'll just buy a new one. I had the kitchen and floors done by one outfit, master bath by another who came highly recommended, and I absolutely hate the outcome on the majority of it. Nothing to do with aesthetics, but the quality. People say, well, have them fix it, wrong, just get out of my house. Just ranting here as I'm in the middle of this as we speak. Next house will be brand new from the ground up and I'll hire ANOTHER contractor to watch over the building contractor.
It sounds like you need to find a contractor who you can trust and leave them to run the job. My Dad is a residential contractor and I've worked with him over the years. Back in the day you hired someone to wrench on your house and let them pick the subs and manage the project. Now-a-days people are more likely to pick their own subs, which is fine until they start whining about them. However, contractors hold more power over subs and can usually get a better quality of work faster and a happier job site.

When my Dad uses his subs, the customer is usually happier and the job goes smoother. Most of his really old clients trust him enough and just let him handle the entire job. He takes responsibility for everything so his clients don't have to deal with the headache of renovating their house, like you are doing now lol.


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Re: Home addition [Re: Wolf359] #5130290 06/10/19 12:29 PM
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Chester11 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Wolf359
Originally Posted by Chester11
I even called an architect, he said to just work with a builder since an architect will not want to sign up to the liability for designing a "small" residential addition.


Try another architect. Sounds like the one you called doesn't do residential stuff. I've had builders use architects for small residential jobs, just a couple hundred for a quick drawing to file with the permit. But I've known architects that work at big firms and they wouldn't touch a small job like that.



That's the odd thing - I knew plans would be needed, so I called an Engineering firm probably 7or 8 times, and they kept transferring me to their architect, who never called back. (They did work for the prior owner, and some testing for us when we moved in, so I assumed they would point me in the right direction - even if they didn't want the work.) The second guy (small one person firm near the house) actually picked up the phone, and basically said don't bother with an architect.

I'm already frustrated and have not had to deal with the township yet....

Re: Home addition [Re: Chester11] #5130675 06/10/19 06:16 PM
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I can't speak for your area, but around here builders/contractors are so busy that they're turning away a lot of business. Not only busy, but with the tight labor market they can't get enough qualified workers. A friend of mine does landscaping-he's been trying to hire additional laborers at $22/hour. They have to pass a drug and background test, and most of the applicants who are young enough to do the work can't pass.

He estimates that he turns away $10,000-$20,000/month in potential business because he has all that he can handle. And he's been going gangbusters with his existing crew.


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