REMODELS, REHABILITATIONS, MODERNIZATIONS & ADDITIONS FAQ
Hidden/ Unknown factors
There normally is a solution for problems that crop up during construction and typically your design/ build professional should be able to solve it. It's important to maintain a good working relationship between the contractor, architect, structural engineer or any consultant required for a project.
By working together, a good design solution can be achieved. Another way of looking at an unknown/ hidden situations that emerge during the course of construction is that by fixing it, you now have a safer and better home. Which in turn provides you with a sense of security and peace of mind, not to mention a better return on investment.
Many people are surprised by the costs of construction or the design fees for a home addition or renovation. As stated before, remodels carry a lot of risks and unknown factors that can drive costs up. In some cases, home additions are so ambitious (i.e. basements, lofts, new walkable roof decks, additional floors, etc.) that they actually become more complex than a building a new home. A client needs to take these into consideration when deciding between a home addition or a new home.
When designing a new home, the architect or designer has the advantage of starting with a clean slate. They can use the site to design a home that will fit well in it's environment. A remodel or addition on the other hand will always be hampered by the existing facility. Depending on how old a building is, building codes may sometimes require a seismic retrofit. If you are adding on a second floor, the existing foundation may not be sufficiently strong to support the new loads. This requires quite a bit of engineering to solve. The same applies to adding new basements (where none existed before). You have to excavate below the existing home, shore and support it to ensure it does not fail during construction. It's a difficult design and construction exercise.
An attic fit out (assuming there is sufficient head room) will require investigating the ability of the existing ceiling joist to support the weight required by code. The foundations would have to be investigated too. Usually requiring beefing them up structurally. Architectural fees reflect the amount of work, risks and difficulty within the scope of the project.