Okay, so as I'm writing about architects and contractors, I have to admit we are halfway through the project. I'm a techno-idiot and I didn't think it would take me this long to get the blog up and running. So, I'm going to move quickly through these next few posts to get you up to speed.
We started interviewing architects, all of whom came to us by word of mouth, in April. Three architects to be exact. All seemed very competent. One was more interested in throwing his ideas into the mix rather than listen to what we wanted. One was easy to talk to, got what we were looking for and seemed like a good fit. Then we met our architect, who immediately sat down and starting sketching during the interview everything we were talking about and added a few ideas of his own so we could actually visualize. We were sold - Bob got the job. It didn't hurt that his rate seemed much more reasonable than the other two, but truly, it didn't matter what he was charging (not totally true) we liked him the best. Of course, when it all shook out, he brought on a structural engineer for some of the heavy lifting, so when we added that into the mix, the cost wasn't too much cheaper than Architect #2.
When it came time to interview contractors, Bob gave us some helpful tips, along with the name of two contractors whom we called along with two other contractors that we knew. Bob is a marvelous architect, but his two picks were duds. Our two, were both very good, but one stood out way above the rest. They looked at the schematics that Bob put together and listened to what our vision was for the project. Then they scheduled every tradesman that would be touching our project and had them come within a two hour window to get costs so that their bid would be as close to accurate as possible.
The thoroughness of the bid accounted for everything right down to the cleaning service at the end. He attached a booklet filled with references and comments from previous clients and when we checked on a few, they all said that this builder was dependable, on-time and stayed within budget. We were sold, so Bill got the job.
We knew we made the right choice when Bill and Bob met to go over the final schematics before Bob did the final drawings for the permit set and they both seemed to work very well together.
The whole process took us into September. Final drawings were submitted the first of October and we broke ground (literally) on October 22nd.
I have to say that both the architect and contractor had some scheduling issues that pushed the project back probably four weeks, but they both were worth the wait!