View Full Version : Architect referall

01-02-2009, 09:19 PM
I am looking to generate plans for a garage shop that I want to build. Anyone know a responsive and reasonable Architect that could draw up plans for a 30x30 shop building?

01-02-2009, 10:37 PM

Run Away!

My wife and I interviewed 8 architects before selecting one for a major remodel two years ago. Overall the experience was horrible. Most of the design ideas came from us and in the end (after paying more than $12K to the architect) I fired the architect.

The next time I do a major renovation I will hire a designer/drafter and a structural engineer to assist where needed and sign off on the plans.


01-02-2009, 11:30 PM
I just went through this, and suggest you pass on the architect. Figure out what you want, review it a few thousand times, and let a good builder figure out how to turn your wishes into reality.

I did my design in Visio, for free.

When it comes time to get a builder, contact me. I can tell you who *not* to choose.


01-04-2009, 10:19 PM
I am an Architect, and would be glad to offer my assistance for your shop/shed building, but I doubt that you even need an Architect.

Depending upon where you live, the Authority Having Jurisdiction, typically a city or county building department will have different requirements and regulations for new structures.

For a shop type building to be located on a site with an existing residence, it is not likely that drawings stamped by either an Engineer or Architect will be required.

In some jurisdictions, you may have the right as owner of the property to submit your own drawings, and draw your own building permit, but again will vary by location.

Depending upon your expectations and the AHJ's requirements, I would be glad to assist with producing drawings for a building permit. Feel free to PM back if interested.

Cheers and Happy New Year. :cheers:

01-05-2009, 10:42 AM
Any good builder can draw up a shop or garage and get it through Building and Zoning. If you use trusses, included with the truss design (from the manufacturer) is the engineering stamp. In our jurisdiction, the foundation was straightforward. You don't need an architect, I designed the rough appearance of our garage and the builder had the truss vendor flesh it out and engineer it.

That said, for a home, I would not NOT use an architect (unless you want something cookie cutter). We had a great experience using one, and he saved us from a lot of snafus and had good advice - in part because he was also a licensed contractor in several trades and knew the hands-on realities. We designed it as a team. He kept us consistent in architectural "language" of the home, which was important, as we were redoing a 1911 Prairie Bungalow and wanted to fit into the neighborhood while having modern living space - and NOT look modern.

We've gotten a lot of comments about our success at doing so, and none of them negative. I chalk it up to Kurt Schwartz' expertise and my wife's superb artistic eye, and I suppose I had a comment or two in the design phase.

01-05-2009, 11:35 AM
The best place to start is you local planning and zoning office. Walk in, tell them "I want to build a shop, what do I need to do?" and they will hand you all the info you need right there. You may even find that all the "engineering" you really need is already in your local building code... something like 2x6 stud walls spaced 24" OC, and 4x12 roof pitch using trusts spaced 24" OC, pressure treated lumber for the bottom of the stud walls, etc. My experience has been for all the important stuff they already know what they want, they'll tell you exactly what to do, then you return to the office with a drawing that shows you're going to do it and they sell you a permit.

You'll probably need a plot map that shows you're not too close to property borders, and a design that shows what you're going to do what you said you'd do, and what materials you're going to use. But if you plan on building this yourself, it shouldn't be any more complicated than that. :beer:

01-05-2009, 12:09 PM
Tim is right, the codes define most of what you need. That's why there are exemption for owner generated plans. As long as plans are done from the code and they are drawn to correct scale and plotted at the right size, the board is often happy.
In some cases, as long as you demonstrate that you are within setbacks etc. you can even get away with looser requirements than that (what they are really after is a well-built building, not pretty prints). For our fencing, for instance, a hand drawn drawing on a rough site plan was all that was needed.

Your inspector will often bend over backwards to educate you on what needs to be done, even swing by for an in-process look-see to point out things you might not have thought about. At least they do in Littleton where the kewl kids live. Did I mention that? But seriously, Littleton Building and Zoning have been a delight to work with.

01-05-2009, 12:28 PM
Same with Broomfield Bill, you can walk in and be like "I know nothing, but I want to build a deck." and they'll say "great, let me help you design it.. "

Jeffco, OTOH, hasn't been quite as easy.. but they've got quite a bit more to contend with down there at the Taj..