Last year we bought a house with a very large unfinished walk out basement. We would like to start working on it, but of course need a layout. Who do we hire to do this? a contractor, designer, architech? I"ve asked around and no one seems to know! Once I know I can research the best person to hire for this large task! Thanks for any advice!
Any of the above. Different people have different opinions.
My opinion is that you do not need an architect since you are not changing the walls, etc. But some would use them for the space planning.
Do you know anyone who has done this sort of thing... or maybe a neighbor you don't even know? They can give you some ideas.
We did our own planning, based upon what we wanted. The plans changed as we continued because of code restrictions and our changing needs/wants. We got a bid from a respected contractor and thought it was outrageous, so we did most of our own work. However it turns out his bid was reasonable after all. Unfortunately as we went along on the building we added a lot of features and upgrades that would have added to the contractor's bid.
The building dept here accepted our hand drawn plans (to 1/4" scale) without a whimper, but some places require an architect to sign off on the plans. Realize that the plans will have to include electrical, heating/cooling, ventilation, lighting, egress windows, etc. And code requirements vary from area to area.
You sound as if you do not feel capable of doing the planning. For that reason I suggest an architect. He/she will know the code and will understand your wants. Some contractors are capable of doing this, but some think they can do more than they actually can, in terms of customer satisfaction.
A good architect will know a contractor or two they can recommend. Some architects like to charge for the plans and then also want to act as the general contractor. That adds a level of expense you may not need with a good contractor doing the work.
Designers and interior designers MAY do a good job, but I don't think they are usually qualified, and they do not always have the basic construction knowledge.
Realize that if you act as your own general contractor, you may not have the qualifications. Also, it takes a lot of time, every day. For that reason you may want to use a general contractor for the work, even though that adds some to the cost. For example, a GC will be able to schedule the various trades in a sensible plan.
Added: I speak from the vantage of a retired GC. I did some of all the above on various projects, mostly in industrial buildings.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bob Fleming,
Bob --- while my husband and his dad are capable of doing the work, I dont want them too. But before we even get to the work part we need the plan. The basement is at least 2300sq ft so dividing up the space is what we would like someone to do. We know what we WANT down there, but where and what makes sense and of course code.... I have been asking around and no one seems to know. The best I have gotten is a guy who works on basements..... I have no problem with an architech, I just wasnt sure if that was the way to go. I did go to our county office and got the paperwork to start....its quite hefty on the info they want. Your information was very helpful, thank you!
|Powered by Social Strata|