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Local Articles in Bucks County

Why Hire an Architect?

Hiring an architect will help make any remodeling or building project successful.

Architects

If you’ve got grand designs for your home remodel, consider investing in the building materials and design expertise, and artistry, a licensed architect can provide.

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Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.

Paul Pogue
Architects & Building Design

Angie's List to create 1,000 new jobs in the biggest expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters. The growth is partially funded by city and state incentives.

Residents of Wolf Creek Lodge meet three to five times a week for a shared meal. (Photo courtesy of Bob Miller)
Architects & Building Design, Builders - Homes, Real Estate Agents

A grassroots movement in neighborhood building, called cohousing, presents seniors with another option to stay connected and age in place in their own home.

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Consider your home's layout to decide if an existing space can be converted into a game room or if you'll need to add on.

Inspiration & Ideas

granite countertop and backsplash
bathroom remodel with granite countertop and backsplash
bathroom mosaic tiles
bathroom remodel with glass-front shower and marble tiles
bathroom remodel with double vessel sinks and garden tub
bathroom remodel with double vessel sinks

Angie's Answers

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Assuming this is new single family residential

makes the answer more simple.

Small towns = small fees and ability to trunkate the voulme of plans required to insure a good job.  It's from this perspective I'll attempt to corral these wild horses, answers architect have given prior.

 

Always attempt to get a by-the-hour rate, never a $/sf - they know how to play the game better than you in the latter and the former honesty is guaranteed by their state license board.

 

Never accept draftsmen to be placed in charge of your project, regardless of architect, engineer, surveyor, etc. even though rates may be charged lower, the product quality is even less than these charges with plenty of errors/omissions/oversights in planning when the licensed overseeer gets busy on other projects.

 

If you like the projects produced, obtain favorable references, then the hourly rate should be $60-120/hr small town.  No, you don't associate cost vs quality.  Look at overhead, employees ... if pronounced, then your fees go to pay for all these = less money/time devoted to your project.

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Architect first - for around $1000 typically you will get site consultation, a few sketches showing what you said you wanted, and a preliminary (by the book) cost estimate - that you can use to figure if your budget or scope of work needs major adjustment. Then, if you go ahead, typically about 10-20% of total project cost for complete plans and specs (including above cost), depending on complexity and level of interior design detail, and if construction inspection services are included.

 


 
 
Generally, nothing is free with an architect - unlike a contractor where a bit of consultation and a rough estimate is a lead-in to the actual work he hopes to get (the construction/repair) and part of his bidding cost, an architect (and engineer) makes his living giving advice and consultation and developing designs and cost estimates - so giving it away for free is sort of like a dentist doing sample fillings for free. Some will come to your house to discuss your concepts for 15-20 minutes for free, basically to see if they want to take you on as a client or feel your job is the type or size they want, but you should expect little or nothing in the way of a design or cost estimate for free - the most you might get would be an opinion on whether it sounds, off the cuff, like your budget is roughly in line with your desired scope of the project.
 
 
On more complex or up-scale remodels, it is not unusual to contact several architecture firms and request proposals - where they basically come see the site, then give you a sketch or few or more common today, computer-generated altered photos of your place, showing conceptually what they can do for you, then you choose the one you like the most and go with that one for final design. Typically $500-1000 range fee (each) to get that done for small jobs, larger jobs will typically be no charge but that assumes probably $25-50,000 plus anticipated fees if they get the job.
 
 
Bear in mind in the latter scenario you cannot pick and choose betweenthe best parts of each proposal - the architect owns the design and it is copyrighted, so while you can choose bui9lding elements (dormers, bay windows, etc) from any of the proposals, specific design or color combinations are copyrighted by the proposer.
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Architects in Bucks County, PA

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