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Old 08-06-2005, 01:54 AM   #1
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Architect or Remodeling contractor?


I am planning to remodel my kitchen and mud room in the next 2 years and my thoughts are leaning toward some structural changes such as removing part of a wall, removing one doorway entirely, and taking out an old laundry area that was built into the kitchen and uses bifold doors to close it off.

Can you tell me if a good remodeler can help plan these type of changes or do I need to get an architect to draw up some plans?

I think the changes are fairly minor structurally - but then again I have no clue which are load bearing walls etc.

Thanks
Carol

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Old 08-06-2005, 09:04 AM   #2
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Architect or Remodeling contractor?


A reputable licensed remodeling contractor will be able to help you out with this and most probably save you a bundle over hiring architect.

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Old 08-06-2005, 11:45 PM   #3
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Architect or Remodeling contractor?


Housedocs, I'm going to have to override you on this one.

First you have to establish if any wall is load bearing wall. An architect or PE can help you with this. It will cost you but not as much as having it done wrong. I'm a Residential Contractor and frequently bring in these people when there are questions. I'm also an engineer, but things have to pass through specific channels to pass inspections.
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:33 PM   #4
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I have met a couple of excellent remodeling contractors and would trust their judgement but I also live in a town where the rules are pretty stringent about changes to your own property.

I haven't checked into it yet but I suspect I will have to pull permits anyway - so that may be the deciding factor on hiring a PE or architect.

I'll keep in touch though - thanks for your help

Carol.
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Old 09-05-2005, 02:44 PM   #5
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Architect or Remodeling contractor?


Carol,

You be the architect. Show a reputable contractor what you have in mind and he/she, will be able to determine if walls are load beariring or not. They will apply established codes for framing new openings etc. Now, having said that, your first check should be with the local permit people to see exactly what you need to provide in the way of documentation. I've seen some pretty amateur sketches submitted and accepted. In most areas, residential changes do not require a PE's stamp. If the changes are dramatic and professional advice is reccommended, make sure the person is a Structural Engineer and not an Architect. There is a big difference.
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Old 10-05-2005, 06:22 PM   #6
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Architect or Remodeling contractor?


I'll admit I have a bias since I am an architect.

I have found many excellent contractors who did not fully understand certain structural issues, especially lateral bracing and connections. I have also found some architects who were not as good as they should be with these issues.

The bottom line is if you need to add a structural element that is not covered by the girder and joist tables in the building code, you will need a structrual engineer to design and stamp the drawings, although sometimes a manufacturer will provide that service (TrussJoist, etc.) A steel beam will always require an engineer's stamp.

It can sometimes be difficult to find an engineer who will bother with designing and documenting one beam. Hiring an architect gives you access to the engineers that he/she works with on a regular basis although a contractor might also work with a structural engineer.
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housedocs
A reputable licensed remodeling contractor will be able to help you out with this and most probably save you a bundle over hiring architect.
If they are reputable, licensed, insured, members of local building associations & chambers of commerce, and have been around for a while, I'd talk to a remodeling contractor. If they are all of the above, they'll let you know if they can't do it.
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Old 12-18-2005, 11:35 AM   #8
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Architect or Remodeling contractor?


Thank you for all your help and sorry it took me so long to reply.

Andyman - thanks for your encouragement. Over the last 10 years I have tackled numerous small home improvement projects and with time I do believe I have become pretty good at accomplishing the desired result both correctly and profficiently - maybe that is because I am also a perfectionist. LOL. So once I find my dream contractor I think we could work out and plan this project together.

Thank goodness for friends and relatives though because I do have access to an architect and plan to pick his brains for a few ideas and suggestions first. The suggestion of the structural engineer also made sense to me and I will also contact the gentleman that inspected my house for a recent problem I thought I was having and see what kind of contacts he has as far as general contractors.

Ultimately I do believe I need to get a plan solidified and put on paper so I can quit chopping and changing my mind! LOL

Thanks again
Carol.
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:05 PM   #9
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Architect or Remodeling contractor?


Carol, Off the subject, but with your user name and nc are you related to my favorite musician?? Of course I understand if you don't care to answer that. HS.

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