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Am i being unreasonable with my expectations that these architectural fees are out of whack?
Basically we just purchased an adjoining studio in our building and are going to gut renovate it to turn this space into a master bedroom/walk in closet/ensuite.
We've renovated previously so have a fairly good idea on costs with an expectation that the costs for this renovation will be about $42,500
We decided we might want to work with a different architect this time around as we found someone local to brooklyn on Houzz.com and met with him onsite (no i dont think its appropriate to name them so i wont be).
We'd already reviewed his porfolio online and liked what we saw so when he came over for a 30-40min sit down and a walk through for the space we were happy when he said his time was billed at $140 per hour and that he needed a $4k retainer to get started.
Pretty much after the meeting we decided we were going to engage him but there was one question we forgot to ask so sent a followup which lead to 3 or 4 emails quickly going back and forth which quickly lead us to the resolution that there was no way we could afford this architect.
Although the hourly rate was only $140 the architects expectation was they would spend 30 hours in the "design and concept stage" and a further 60-65 hours taking this design and turning it into a plan ready to submit to DOB/Landmarks
So just to get to the stage of applying to the city we would already be at $13,300 just to get to application stage.
Expiditor fees + landmark/dob fees + asbestos testing fees would be in addition to this. Plus of course on site hours with GC and for final inspection would be in addition again.
Basically we are looking at $19-20k in "fees" just for adding a second bedroom on a $40k budget.
So i wanted to test the water with my fellow streeteasy buddies, Am i being unreasonable? Is this a case of manhattanitis or am i being cheap?
A few quick questions: are you adding/moving plumbing? I assume you will need to remove the kitchen from the studio (or the existing place?) And is the "breakthrough" going to involve any bearing walls?
I agree that the fees sound high but I also know (from our own renovation) that the minute you start piling on electrical/plumbing/structural permits the cost explodes.
that's crazy high for turining next door studio into a master suite.
You should be able to find one for under 5k at the most.
We're converting a 1 bedroom into a two by putting in a wall and taking down a wall. Also adding a bathroom. Architect's fee was $11k including expediter's fee.
deanc, part of the architect's estimation of the time involved might be because the studio is downstairs rather than the next-door combo you did before. Then, you were just punching through a wall.
With the downstairs combo, there'll be structural issues to work out, like where the stairs go, cutting the joists for them, and so on.
It could also be just crazy high, so you might want to run it by some other architects just to see what the range might be.
It is probably a little high but not too high if you're going that way (design, drafting, structural etc).
What I usually do if you have design in mind is have my Engineer make the drawings, professionally certify them and then have the expediter get the permits, It cost much cheaper and no DOB inspection required.
not too high at all... the architect has lots of issues in the design phase and lots of permits, filings etc. Plus which, what do you know about the building's review process -- they may run your architect through the hoops.
Is the studio downstairs?
It probably would be a good idea to meet with several architectural firms. I would call Gary at BuiltInstudio 862-432-7362
This just sounds ridiculous -
If you want another architect- Martin Sarfran, AIA - 718 949 2244
95 hours sounds like an extreme over estimation on hours. The DOB/LPC set should not take very long at all and could be done for about $5k as a minimum cost without design. This would not include any structural design if necessary or if its a Condo and requires a change of CofO. Design hours do tend to add up and depending on the complexity could be about another $5k. I'd be happy to discuss the details and can put together a proposal for you.
Gary Eisner, BuiltIn studio
I had build out my office (1800sqf) with 5 rooms (electrical/plumbing/walls/drop ceiling/etc)
Everything was designed, filed and completed within a week.
Meet with several and try and get a fixed rate for the workload. Any surprise areas during construction can then be billed at an hourly rate, normally $100-200ph. E-mail me if you would like some BK architects who would want to meet. email@example.com
@NWT...I think the description of "breaking through next door last time" is a bit of an understatement, there is actually less work this time around and only about half the square footage.
Thanks for everyone in the reality check, will chase around some other GC's/architects to get someone who is more inline with our budget, was just a bit of a shock compared to the $5-6k we paid last time.
My fear of duplexing and messing with floor joists was showing, and I got absorbed in how the combo would work rather than the issue of architects' fees.
Since you have the whole 4th floor and half the 3rd, ideally you could take over the building stairwell and not have to put in a staircase.