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I'm a newbie to renovation, so I don't know if this is normal or if I should be concerned. I bought a studio loft and hired an architect to help redesign the existing sleeping loft area and bedroom space below it: close up the bedroom; reconfigure the stairs so they make more sense; add storage; maximize the efficency of the space, that sort of thing.
It took him about four weeks to send the initial sketches of three proposed configurations--just basic floor plans (bedroom wall here; door here; desk here; new stairs here...). I gave him feedback, asking for only minor changes to one of his proposals. It took him another week to send me his revised sketch.
At this point, I also noticed that many of his dimensions were off. For example, he had the living room length off by two feet, the width off by a foot; one bedroom wall off by two feet; and more. I don't know how much an inch or two off in dimensions matter on construction proposals, but this strikes me as ridiculous. What makes things worse is that the whole time, he was doing his schemes based on these wrong dimensions. When I pointed out the discrepancies, he did not volunteer to go back to my apartment himself and remeasure everything, but is now basing things on my measurements, which weren't done to precision (e.g., I didn't bother noting 1/2 inches in differences, since isn't that what I hired a professional for?).
Now I feel like I need to double-check all his other dimensions and his work in general. The whole point in hiring him was so that I didn't have to do all this oversight and pay attention to every detail.
I had also hired him to handle the construction bids and project manage the gut reno of the kitchen and bath, which I designed myself to save on his fees, so he didn't have to design that part of it. When it became clear how long he was taking on the living area, I suggested to him that we at least send the kitchen and bathroom details to the contractors for bidding, so at least that part of the reno could get under way, especially since kitchens and baths can take a long time to renovate and reveal unexpected problems. Then he could take his sweet time designing the living area. He made the point that contractors prefer to get all drawings at once, so deferred to him.
But it's now been almost 1.5 months since I hired him, and we still have not submitted anything to the contractors for bidding. I know it'll take time for them to submit bids, then back and forth negotiating a contract, then submitting to the co-op board for approval, etc. At this rate, I feel like a hammer won't be swung until the end of October, if I'm lucky.
It's upsetting because I am currently still living in my old rental and had to extend my lease longer than I thought I would due to this architect. So I am paying double living costs for much longer than I had anticipated.
I guess I am wondering if it usually take an architect this long to come up with drawings for this type of project? And should I be upset that he got so many of the dimensions wrong? I totally understand we're human, and I should add that he is a very nice guy, but this gives me great pause. And what makes me also concerned is that due to the wrong dimensions, not only do I not have a workable basic plan yet, I still have no idea of the details: e.g., what will the stairs be made of, the railing, the closet door, etc. I can only imagine how long it will take for him to figure that out.
By the way, his fee is 10% of the total construction costs of the entire apartment (living/loft area and kitchen/bath reno). I thought that seemed very reasonable and was hoping I was going about my first reno the "right" way by hiring an architect to save me headaches and money in the long run. I'm on a budget and only want to sink so much into a studio, but also don't mind spending it where the details matter most. Now I'm not so sure and worry that he will actually end up costing me a lot more due to his delays and mistakes.
Sorry for the long post. I'm just frustrated and inexperienced and don't know if I just need to chill or are my fears valid?
Thanks for any advice or reality check you guys can provide.
Just saw this post and I'm wondering if you received any advice?
I'm a contractor/project manager and I believe that unless you are moving walls, adding or moving plumbing fixtures you don't need an architect.
That said, if you are still seeking guidance, feel free to contact me.
I think that it probably was a good idea to hire an architect as I would assume with the loft area your building might have required you to do so. Unfortunately you might not have hired the right architect. It should not take that long to get drawings for such a small projects and there is no excuse to have the measurements off. I think perhaps since it is a small project he might not be putting you as a priority, I would call him and be honest with him about how you feel. It is very important to trust the person who is working on your home. The 10% fee is very reasonable