Saturday, April 27, 2013


Hiring an Architect
The next item on our list was to hire an architect. We asked around for recommendations and started working with a really good one. (I may add names later, but for now will leave them off). He first went over to the house and measured and listened to an overview of our ideas. After a series of meetings and discussions about bedrooms and bathrooms and a kitchen and so on (he was more patient than I could have ever been) he drew up some draft plans. And then we made changes and he drew up new plans. Once we were happy with the draft, and truth be told we were very happy, the architect suggested that we go builder shopping. The idea was to obtain some preliminary costs to ensure we weren’t out of our budget. It was a good idea. One thing I learned is while architects can give you ball park numbers, only a builder can give you more exacting numbers. They are out in the field and are quoting numbers all day long.

And this is where we learned that like other building terms, double doors, double windows, double sinks, double mirrors we now had, double costs.
The magical morphing building costs wand gets waved again.

Hiring a Builder
Now that our plans were well along the way, it was time to find out what it was going to cost to do all of this. Admittedly, the plans morphed as well. We decided to move the kitchen next to the new garage and change some rooms around. We asked friends for recommendations for builders. Boy did we get some opinions. It seems that customers can have a love hate relationship with their builder. We found folks either loved or hated their builder. And builders can range from those that do general maintenance to framing only to those that will build a house from the ground up. We settled on three and had them give us prices based on the preliminary drawings. I would have to say that all three were great and having to choose one was not easy. Our decision was based on relevant experience, company size, availability, and of course price being a major factor.  By now though, the price (and the project) had doubled over what we had planned when we first were considering buying.

Funny how that happens.