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Old 08-31-2011, 12:01 PM
 
Location: NYC
1,723 posts, read 3,806,122 times
Reputation: 2891

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I need an architect to draw up plans to convert my first floor level apt and the garage into nice living space. I need an architect to do this but I have no idea what they charge or what I'm supposed to be looking for in hiring one. I'm in Staten Island..

any suggestions or help you can give is much appreciated.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:14 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,851 posts, read 72,988,165 times
Reputation: 38691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauriedeee View Post
I need an architect to draw up plans to convert my first floor level apt and the garage into nice living space.
I need an architect to do this...
On what basis do you use the word "need"?

Quote:
but I have no idea what they charge or what I'm supposed to be looking for in hiring one.
Like most professionals... they'll charge by the hour.
The number of hours will depend on the nature of what you want (or need) them to do.

A superficial concept sketch that shows the bath and kitchen in the corner where the plumbing already exists and how not framing in the bedroom allows you to avoid having to put in an egress window at the deep end of the foundation?
Things like that?

Or (perhaps) you are being forced to have a full on engineering study done with load calculations
and all the mechanicals scheduled out like on a commercial job?

hth
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:19 PM
 
102 posts, read 573,397 times
Reputation: 148
For starters, being licensed in your state should be a start. Membership in the AIA would be nice. If you could take a look at their work, that would also probably help in your decision making as well.

I'm not sure how they do it up in NY, but in the DC area, the ones I talked to charged a fee for the drawings/consultations, plus a percentage of construction costs.

Perhaps some of the architects on this board would be willing to chime in.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: northern Alabama
936 posts, read 1,053,386 times
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I hope they do chime in. I would like to build a retirement home. Everyone says to talk to someone who has built a home in the area. Don't know anyone!

I am still figuring out the difference between an architect, a draftsman, and a house designer (other than a college degree).
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: NYC
1,723 posts, read 3,806,122 times
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MrRational.. I need an architect to find out if taking over the attached garage space is legal. I spoke to a few architects and they all said that in order to use the garage, in NY we have to 'replace' that parking space. I don't have to build another garage, but my property is so oddly shaped that I'd have to figure out where to put in another driveway.
I haven't even gotten to the point where I'm designing the inside of the house yet, We need to find out if it's even legal yet.
For an architect to go down to the bldgs dept and check into that I've gotten estimates around $400.00 just to find out if it's legal.. and that 400 would come off whatever the architect charges me. That's why I'm looking for an architect.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: NYC
1,723 posts, read 3,806,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countrysue View Post
I hope they do chime in. I would like to build a retirement home. Everyone says to talk to someone who has built a home in the area. Don't know anyone!

I am still figuring out the difference between an architect, a draftsman, and a house designer (other than a college degree).

I hope they do chime in too. I'd like to know the difference also.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,851 posts, read 72,988,165 times
Reputation: 38691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauriedeee View Post
MrRational.. I need an architect to find out if taking over the attached garage space is legal. I spoke to a few architects and they all said that in order to use the garage, in NY we have to 'replace' that parking space.

May I suggest then that you find a good local real estate attorney to address these legal and zoning questions rather than an architect.

hth
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:50 PM
 
Location: New York
41 posts, read 121,051 times
Reputation: 49
Hi Laurie,
We were emailing a week or two ago, did you decide against doing an addition to the house?
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,489 posts, read 71,251,483 times
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If aesthetics ae important to you then you need to find a creative and talented architect. they are very very hard to find and usually expensive. If you just want some plans like every other set of plans, then all you need is a guy (or gal) with a license. If you have particular space usage issues or needs, then you need someone with proven experience in space planning and good examples and references.

Usually you just need someone who can make a decent set of plans for something simple. If you are adding on and want it to match the style of your house, then you will have to be more careful.

Figure out what you need then start asking around. Ask local contractors or custom home builders. get references and check out work performed to their design on past projects. Check the references, don't just get some.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 11,970,110 times
Reputation: 8956
What I would personally look for:

1) A good personality - flexible, accommodating, friendly, personable
2) A good track record in the type of work you are looking to do . . .lots of experience
3) An artistic flair - not strictly nuts and bolts, but very creative and thinking outside the box . . . on the cutting edge, etc.
4) Interested in innovation and considering alternatives
5) Conversant in recycling materials - someone who understands "green"
6) Someone who appreciates making the most out of small spaces
7) Someone whose aesthetic I like - review portfolios and chose from aesthetics that appeal to you
8) Someone who designers and contractors like to work with . . .
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