We’re back again for the second visit to this historic home remodel project in Chula Vista. As the architect of record, I periodically visit all my project sites at various times during construction. I don’t perform project management, but I do have a vested interest in my work, and in my clients, the homeowners, and the general contractors they hire to do the home remodeling construction. When I keep an eye on the work as it progresses, I can see things in advance of their appearance, and many times I can foresee a problem and proposed a solution before it gets beyond repair.
In this case, the progress is a little slower than I would have anticipated. However, it seems to be coming along okay. In the video today I want to point out a common condition in most home remodeling project, by a draftsman or by an architect. Namely, the “field change”. The homeowner will typically spend several hours in the preliminary design phase of the drawings. We cover many different aspects of the design, i.e. Floor Plan with adjacent rooms, fixtures, bathrooms, kitchen, appliances, windows, and doors, all to varying degrees of detail.
The plan gets approved by the owner. Then I, as the architect, complete the drawings with the assistance of a Title 24 Energy Analyst, a Structural Engineer (if required), Soil Engineer, and occasionally Electrical, Mechanical, and Plumbing designers. Once we complete the architectural drawings, we get them to the local municipality, the City of Chula Vista in this case, for review and permit issuance. Then the fun really begins.
Today I discovered that the owner has been busy changing her mind. She’s been moving walls, doors, and windows, without notifying the architect. She has consulted with the contractor, and he would give her costs for labor and material, but in all fairness to him, he doesn’t know the Building Code like the architect does, and he has no idea what other consultants will be affected by the change requested by the owner. After our site visit today, I find out that windows have been removed, a sliding glass door has been enlarged, and some structural walls have been modified. All that to say, when the City Inspector shows up, it’s quite likely that they will fail inspection. Then guess who gets a phone call? Yes sir, that would be me. Because the city inspector will tell the contractor, ” Do 1 of 2 things; either change the building to match the plans, or change the plans to match the building.” Simple, right?! Not so quick there partner…
To process a “Plan Change” takes time, effort, and money, none of which the owner considered when she requested the changes. In this case, it’s very possible, I will have to re-draw portions of the plans, send the plans back to the Title 24 analyst for a re-run ($$$), and send them back to the structural engineer to re-evaluate the lateral analysis ($$$), and I will have to re-coordinate the plans & documents for an Over-The-Counter re-check at the City of Chula Vista ($$$ for me & $$$ for the City). The owner thinks that she saved about $800 on the window and door adjustments, but she will in fact lose $1,800 on processing and approving those changes.
Don’t let this be you! All this can be avoided with good planning from the start, and good communication along the way. Please do yourself a favor and buy my book, CUT THE CHAOS – The Ultimate Guide to Residential Remodeling. It’s available right now at http://TimPJones.com, on Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble. In fact, you can get a Kindle version for just 99 cents. Of course, after you buy the book, please read it… and read it BEFORE you start planning you home remodeling project. It’s an easy read, and there is so much that I share with you, that will fully prepare you for what is about to occur inside you home. I would also like to give you a gift. You can get a FREE audio interview conducted with me where we discussed “How To Take The Fear Out of Remodeling”. It’s yours now, click this link & enter your email address; http://AuthorTimPJones.com. Follow me in social media; Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and of course subscribe to my channel here on You Tube.
Thanks for spending your valuable time with me, I trust you enjoyed the time we spent together. Until next time… Be Wise-Build Well.