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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Help me with a Remodeling Issue

Soooooo. We called the contractor who did our modest kitchen remodel. He came over right on time and said my mad idea would work. And, while it would be expensive for a cheapo like me, it would be modest in the grand scheme of the bathroom remodel.

However, since the mad idea involves a bump-out of the existing bathroom, we need to call in an architect to do pictures for a permit.

How to pick an architect? Well, we once used an eminent local fellow, who overcharged us so much (he billed us for thirty hours of drawing a complete scale model of our house including all furniture!! all for a rectangular addition off the side of the house) that we would never use him again. Note: when we protested, he reduced the bill by half within 10 seconds. Not enough though.

Then there are other locals who are connected in one way or another. Problem is that even though these fellows look good (starched shirts and khakis--same as eminent fellow above) and have attractive websites, I've seen some of the awful things they have done: huge houses with no light, a beautiful old cottage like mine with a large hideous excrescence (aka double garage) hanging off the side, etc. I called one of these guys in for a consultation (after speaking to eminent architect above) and he suggested the same thing Mr. FS thought of and rejected as too ugly and ungainly!

We asked wonderful contractor for a recommendation and were happy to take the name. Then I looked at the guy's website.

Would you hire an architect who presented himself to the public this way?

Any suggestions?

An even more eminent architect than the vile one above has a beautiful office downtown. His name is Ken Tate and he has been in Architectural Digest.


Suzy said...

well you could aways talk hunting I guess! Would he have to spell anything?

Revanche said...

I could not possibly hire someone whose job centered around DESIGN and presented himself on his website like that. Granted you don't actually need him to design anything in this case, but it just makes me wonder how sloppy he is in other areas of his profession if he falls down on this part of it. Perhaps I misunderstand the requirements of architecture but not a single architect friend I know would tolerate poor presentation and I presume it comes from their professional training.

It's just like how I would not hire an editor who submitted a poorly written or edited cover letter, or a hair stylist with bad hair.

If it's your business to execute that job, you had better be able to do it for yourself astonishingly well!

But I am picky that way.

Shelley said...

I think Holly Thompson has some share in the blame for that. I wouldn't discard him out of hand as it may be that he is very good with other details and too busy to think about the website. Shame about that. I did always think that architects had to do loads of educational qualifications and one would think spelling would be part of that...then again I know some really sharp doctors who can't spell worth a damn... Still, you want a builder who understands the importance of details. My X number 2 once put in a new shower surround (cringe) that was brown with blue flowers on. In a bathroom with black, white and pink floor tiles. All the bouquest of flowers were upside down. That's just one of a long list of reasons I wouldn't let him take all my money and build us a house.

I'd contact the licensing agency for architects in your area and ask for half a dozen names. Then I'd contact those names and ask each for at least three references from people they'd done work for. And I'd check those references. I did that when I looked for a new rental manager once and the Oklahoma Bar Association once put me in touch with a lovely old man who took care of a title issue for me. The British system doesn't allow for references at all and I think it's a real shame.

If you talk to that guy, you might mention that his website doesn't do him any favours...

Good luck!

Frugal Scholar said...

@Suzy--Everyone hunts here!

@Revanche--Ergh. Don't know what to do. The aesthetes design ugly houses.

@Shelley--That bathroom sounds pretty bad! It's more the easthetic than the spelling--but architects need to be detail-oriented.