Seeking design help with my home renovation


DesignMC
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Hi! We are doing a fairly large home renovation and we are really close to getting started. However, I am not 100% sold on the plans we have from our architect and want to get a 2nd opinion of sorts to accomplish the changes we want on the 2nd floor. I was thinking of trying to do it myself with software until I came across this forum. Is this something someone here does well? If so, what is your hourly rate? I need a quick turn around as we are trying to get permits submitted this month and would need to discuss with our contractor prior to that. I would rather not go back to the architect at this point. I live in a colonial in northern NJ if that makes a difference. 

Thanks!

MC

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If you want a 3D visualization then Chief Architect is a great tool for that. If you already have stamped plans created by an Architect licensed in your State, I doubt anyone here (other than an Architect licensed to create plans in your State) can further help you. Chief is for creating both a virtual 3D model for visual evaluation and also for creating 2D plans for permitting and submittals. You say you have plans, is it that you are not satisfied with what the current plans portend or is it something else?

 

Foundations should be designed by a State Licensed Structural Engineer, period (not an Architect, no me or you).

 

I charge $75.00 per hour but that means little without understanding what, exactly is to be done and why for us both. What I am suggesting is that it may not be as simple to legally and correctly do what you want to do with just another draftsperson, you still need to obtain building permits based upon your plans. Your plans must meet certain criteria demanded by your local Building Permit authority and other Governmental Agencies. I am suggesting you find out more about the ramifications of what you wish to do before doing it.

 

DJP

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Hi David,

 

Thanks for post. You are right. I am not quite satisfied with the plans and want other layout options. Whenever I as an amateur try to come up with a plan it doesn't work out for this reason or another (you need this much space to allow for door clearance, etc). I tried discussing with my architect and always felt like there was a communication block. So we have construction documents on a plan that I reluctantly accepted. Which may be the best option under our current circumstances, but I can't help but wonder if someone else would have come up with a better solution. I don't want to have to start from scratch with another architect if not necessary. I'm hoping to come up with an acceptable option that I like and then I'm ok taking it back to the architect to incorporate it into the documents before the permits are filed. If you suggest a different way to go about it now that you know more background please let me know. 

 

Thanks!

MC

 

 

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2 hours ago, DavidJPotter said:

Foundations should be designed by a State Licensed Structural Engineer, period (not an Architect, no me or you).

With all due respect David, that blanket statement simply doesn't apply to everyone. I have been doing this a long time, and have never hired an engineer to design a foundation. In fact, I'm not sure where to even find an engineer that would bother with a task like that, unless it's for a large building downtown. Residential home design and construction is not the rocket science some make it out to be. 

 

@DesignMC Do you have the plans in PDF version? If so, I will take a look and shoot you back a price or a couple ideas to get you moving in the right direction. My email is joeymdp@gmail.com, it's also in my signature.

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I thought the idea of using the IRC/IBC codes was to "avoid" the need for engineering etc

 

as my code teacher (and code creator) said numerous times the IRC/IBC is like taking over the counter meds

you are self diagnosing - self treating

 

when you need a prescription then you see an architect or engineer

 

Lew

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  • 3 weeks later...
Hello,
 
I have an experience of over 3 years with 3D modeling and rendering.
 
Attached are the links to my work
 
Interior rendering: 
 
Exterior Rendering
 
Let me know your thoughts on the same.
 
Looking forward to working with you! :)
 
Regards!
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  • 1 year later...
On 10/10/2018 at 9:24 AM, joey_martin said:

With all due respect David, that blanket statement simply doesn't apply to everyone. I have been doing this a long time, and have never hired an engineer to design a foundation. In fact, I'm not sure where to even find an engineer that would bother with a task like that, unless it's for a large building downtown. Residential home design and construction is not the rocket science some make it out to be. 

 

@DesignMC Do you have the plans in PDF version? If so, I will take a look and shoot you back a price or a couple ideas to get you moving in the right direction. My email is joeymdp@gmail.com, it's also in my signature.

I'm sure it varies in areas but in Houston, TX, all new foundations whether new construction or remodels are required to have an engineering stamp. For that matter here, any new roof, load bearing walls that are moved, and any opening over 10' wide, or any engineered beam whether wood or steel needs to be signed off by an engineer to get a permit from The City Of Houston.

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On 7/1/2020 at 9:21 AM, tommy1 said:

I'm sure it varies in areas but in Houston, TX, all new foundations whether new construction or remodels are required to have an engineering stamp. For that matter here, any new roof, load bearing walls that are moved, and any opening over 10' wide, or any engineered beam whether wood or steel needs to be signed off by an engineer to get a permit from The City Of Houston.

Yikes!  I guess I don’t know how good we have it here in the still somewhat free state of Indiana.  

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On 10/10/2018 at 9:24 AM, joey_martin said:

With all due respect David, that blanket statement simply doesn't apply to everyone.

 

What Joey says is true but think about this, the foundation and structural members of a home must be designed to withstand the local geology, weather stresses and wind loads that it will have to withstand through out its lifetime. Would you invest thousands and thousands of your hard earned or borrowed dollars against those odds based on "two guys with a pick up" or someone who went to university, obtained an engineering degree which includes geology, topography, weather stresses, wind and dead loading, strengths of materials etc, then worked for an engineering company as a yeoman or apprentice, then took the State Examination for certification as a State Licensed Engineer to protect your family and your investment? You are free to decide for yourself, anything in Life is a gamble. You can design the space and look of your addition or custom home. You can share your plans with financial institutions for financial help. You can use your plans to gain bids from General Contractors and Sub Contractors. But you should also depend upon those fully trained and licensed to design the foundation that holds your families Dreams and your families safety into the future.

 

DJP  

 

 

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Good morning all. Yes the original posting is further back and many have added fresh new comments. Many of the comments are correct and many are in the "shady/grey" area. 

 

Fact 1: The IRC/IBC code is not designed simply as a code for "DIY" people. The code was written for anyone who wants to build BUT it is the MINIMUM STANDARD REQUIRED to construct a building in order to provide for the safety of the inhabits of the structure, whether it be a residential or commercial structure. ANY construction above and beyond the minimum code is always  acceptable and in some cases often recommended.

 

Fact 2: A licensed Architect/Engineer is one who is willing to bear the responsibility aka  "cost" of a mistake in the preparation of the plans if it accidentally causes a failure in the structure leading to  substantial loss, whether it be damage to the building or loss or life due to the structural problem.  Even if one is not willing to become a licensed architect/engineer but still wants to design, my recommendation is that you at least have E & O insurance or have a contract that you have the client sign that would release you for any responsibility of a failure.

 

Example 1: Recent client I have comes to me to re-design certain aspects of a 15,000 sf custom home that was designed by an architect. The original architect made several dimension mistakes and didn't design to the client specifications on the way it was supposed to look...contractor built by the plans...structure now leaks, hallways do not align, and foundation (not design by PE) sank in one area causing the interior balcony and subsequent roof area to fracture and numerous other errors. She is suing BOTH the architect and the contractor for MILLIONS.

 

Example 2: I recently  completed a design for a client, a remodel-complete gut job. I myself have an engineering degree and am a Certified Professional Building Designer with my own seal, my husband  is a licensed Mechanical & Structural PE with his own seal. We did the design & engineering for the house, the foundation, truss work for the new elevated roof, and other aspects. We both spent hours designing and ensuring everything would work out right. He especially put a lot of time in the calculations for the new roof and the footings etc. To get the loading  right and prevent: racking, sheering etc. etc. Everything was good until he went for a site visit. Contractor and his  framers took it upon themselves to ignore the calculations and  use smaller lumber, they  took it upon themselves to relocate the position of the collar ties,  they took it upon themselves  not to follow the prints for numerous things because it might save a few bucks. My husband came back and re-did the calculations based on what they did.  The result is that what they did will be a failure. Their response: "we've done it this way for years" and nothing has happened yet and the client wants it." That little word "YET" has  big consequences when it does happen and who do you think the client will turn to for compensation? We do not follow specific charts, tables and guidelines and mathematical calculations for construction materials just for kicks. We design & calculate to avoid the "yet". As the Engineer of Record, Legally my husband can walk down to the building/planning office and fill out a form and tell the building inspector  to post a stop work order. They  will have  to completely stop the construction, tear it all down and start over and built it to print, which will be COSTLY. However, since he is a fairly decent fellow, he does more calculations and comes up with another solution. They have to add in additional lumber, follow the proper bolt size and pattern to make up the difference. Not as expensive as a complete redo but it will cost more now than if they had followed the prints in the first place. Now, unfortunately, we're going to have a CTJ meeting with them this afternoon about following prints and engineered guidelines. If they fail to adhere to the the design and engineered specifications-we walk. Not a good situation for the client as they have  to start all over.

 

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