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Bathroom Addition-Need Architect?

4 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Aug 6 2003

Hi,
I've spent about an hour reading posts on this site res remodels, additions, options, contractors, architects, etc. I need 2 things. Recommendations of some local (Palo Alto) architects to do the design, but in reading I gathered that somehow this is not "allowed" on the web site which is really a bummer.
Confirm, anyone?

Second, I am thinking the additional cost for an architect to do the drawings is worth it. (The other option is that I have a contractor/friend do the drawings; I've walked through my ideas with him and he seems to think he can handle this aspect himself.) I would in this case then try to find a good bathroom interior designer to work on this piece. I somehow think the added cost of the architect is worth it if he/she can better translate my ideas about the consistency of the design flow and materials. I'm thinking this might add an additional 10K to the total? I'm expecting the total cost of the bathroom to be around 75K. I'm looking for a super spa bathroom although I probably can only give up 12x12 sq feet of my back yard. Any input or advice welcomed!

Lynne

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

I am a G.C.; I've done dozens of bath remodels on Eichlers, all Medium-High to High end, and I really don't believe that an a set of Arch. drawings is necessary for a bath remodel; unless you are adding square footage or otherwise changing the footprint of your floorplan. There are a number of very tile designers on the Peninsula who specialize in contempo or modern bath design that is suitable for Eichler owners. Further since Palo Alto issues over the counter permits for Kitchen and Bath remodels; a Full set of drawings is an un-needed expense that is money better spent on fixtures and finish material. However, if you still feel better served by an architect, I'd be happy to refer you to one (or a good bath designer, if you don't have one) reply to -Good Luck!!!

-Jon Cooke, Renaissance Man Construction

renman

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Hi Lynne,

A clarification: while you can't post recommendations on the site, there is no problem I'm aware of in asking for recommendations. Simply say you wish people to email their recommendations/suggestions to you direct and give them an email address to do so.

As for renovations, I'm no expert. Having said that, I do however have some opinions... :-)

In regards to a bathroom renovation where you are expecting to spend $50,000+, I would definitely get an interior designer who specializes in bathrooms *and* who has done a number of Eichlers as Eichler bathrooms present special challenges. Don't just look at the after pictures, ask for the names and phone numbers of owners of Eichler bathrooms the designer has done *and call them*.

In regards to the services of an architect, others will hopefully chime in with their thoughts, but I think any place you are changing the current structure, you should get an architect's input--even if it's just to review what you have and raise any concerns or suggestions. Interior designers can design, construction companies can construct, but a architect bridges the two to ensure the best of both.

Just by 2 cents.
jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Aug 28 2003

An architect recently built an Eichler from scratch in a neighborhood near us. We watched it go up and love the results--imagine a brand new Eichler with state of the art wiring etc, air conditioning. Please contact me directly at leslie@fitchdesign.com for the company's name and contact info.

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Hi Lynn:

Will you be moving any walls or plumbing? If not, you may want to consider hiring a designer. Even if you are moving some walls, a trained designer can help with this as well. While the boundary between when to hire an architect versus a designer can be pretty blurry at times, several of the architects I have interviewed have indicated that you would be well advised to use one if:

-you are adding a room (either by going out or up)
-reconfiguring a large space, such as a kitchen; or say, creating a new master suite by annexing extra space, say, from an adjoining bedroom or closet

Of course, there are many other possible examples as well.

Given the small size of Eichler baths, it can be hard to find enough to do with them to make it worth hiring an architect (just my opinion from experience.) Hubby and I are facing the same issue currently with our master bath. I basically want to upgrade all the materials and possibly reduce one wall to a half wall. Not moving any fixtures, though. What is bugging me the most is "how in the heck to I make sure to pick the right materials and colors for the space?"

At a minimum, I would consider stopping by Sue Olson's new showroom in Menlo Park. If you don't know her, it is well worth it. She does wonderful design work, from kitchens, to baths, to entire houses and is one of the designers most tuned in to Eichlers that I have ever met. Her career spans >30 years. We are thinking of engaging her for our bath remodel, even though such a job would be an under-challenge....

Good luck in your quest!

Cathye

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