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Author Topic: Gameroom/Theater [Construction is Finished!]  (Read 16176 times)

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orion

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I Hate The Bank - MORE RANTING!
« Reply #80 on: November 15, 2010, 07:11:10 pm »
The appraisers are supposedly more regulated now after the housing crisis. The banks are now picking the appraisers and you can't go with an independent. As I said we had to have two separate appraisals done to refinance a few years ago. We deal with a mortgage broker. It is the morgage brokers who shop around and do all the dealing with the banks for you. Ours told us we could refinance at a specific amount, no problem and wouldn't have to pay PMI based on what our equity should be. At first she tried to get us a loan with the bank we had been dealing with previously. However their appraiser came in and completely low balled us based on a drive though. I even had added 400 square ft to the house by finishing off an unfinished room and the guy wouldn't even budge or agree to do a walk though, he basically called me a liar questioning rather or not we had an additional 400 square ft. Needless to say we got pretty pissed off and told the mortgage broker that if she couldn't get us a loan without having to pay PMI we were done, as we would be paying more had we gone though with it. Furthermore we let her know that we also weren't willing to pay for the appraisal as the guy wouldn't even appraise it based on the appropriate square footage. She started the whole process over again using another bank she deals with. The second bank appraised the house close to what it had appraised for previously, and the refinance went though. Also she ate the cost of the second appraisal. The point of the story is, give a mortgage broker a try.

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I Hate The Bank - MORE RANTING!
« Reply #81 on: November 16, 2010, 06:23:15 pm »
I'm going to look into it, make some phone calls, etc.

We "officially" started - we sent the first payment to the architect for her time spent putting together a term sheet of the project and walking through the house, etc.  The only thing that will stop us now is if she looks at our budget and says there's no way we can accomplish what we want to do in the stated dollar amount (I think it should be enough based on the fact that it is almost double the final cost of the addition my neighbors got last year and the only thing we want that is different is a full basement instead of a crawlspace.  I'm excited but I'm sure this will be one giant headache.   :cheers:

orion

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #82 on: November 17, 2010, 01:53:41 am »
Cool! I look forward to following your progress :)

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #83 on: November 17, 2010, 12:04:04 pm »
Cool - looking forward to progress pics!

eds1275

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #84 on: November 17, 2010, 03:12:26 pm »
You might be able to save some money doing [some of?] the demos yourself. That's the fun part!

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #85 on: November 18, 2010, 09:16:35 am »
Thanks guys - I'll start posting pics once things get going.  I'm sure this is going to be spread out over a year but I'll treat it like any other project and take tons of pics.

You might be able to save some money doing [some of?] the demos yourself. That's the fun part!

I would love to if I had the time.  I don't know how much demo there will be though since they are basically adding a box to the back of my house - the only thing to take down would be the back wall although I'm sure it would be fun to have a go at it with a sledgehammer.   >:D

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #86 on: November 18, 2010, 09:20:13 am »
I use to work as 'labor' for a construction company when I was a teenager.  My job?  Demoing walls with a sledgehammer...  great fun, especially in old houses where the interior walls were lath and plaster! 

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #87 on: November 19, 2010, 11:50:49 am »
I use to work as 'labor' for a construction company when I was a teenager.  My job?  Demoing walls with a sledgehammer...  great fun, especially in old houses where the interior walls were lath and plaster! 

That does sound like fun.  I was a laborer one summer and we had to demo the entire interior of a house.  They had a washer and dryer on the second floor and while they were on vacation a pipe burst and water continously ran all over the place for over a week.  Ruined everything.  Wet carpets are HEAVY.

There is going to be a huge mess in the basement of my house since they are digging down about 4 feet to make 8.5' finished ceilings down there (for the arcade/bar/theater, of course!).  I can't wait.

We just hired a surveyor ($800!) and the architect is sending her crew out to the house on Tuesday to measure everything.  We are already out $1,500 and NOTHING has happened yet.  Scary.  I'm really excited and I can't believe we are actually going forward.

pinballwizard79

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #88 on: November 19, 2010, 05:21:17 pm »
Ive worked in lending for 8 years.

Trust me on this one, Stop borrowing money now!

Congrats on the new man land though, I am ready for pics  ;D
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javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #89 on: November 22, 2010, 09:57:01 am »
Ive worked in lending for 8 years.

Trust me on this one, Stop borrowing money now!

Congrats on the new man land though, I am ready for pics  ;D

I know, I know - everyone says I shouldn't be borrowing but since we refinanced our existing mortgage we have some spare cash to spend every month so the loan won't really hurt us relative to where we were a year ago.  Plus, now that the bank has told us to buzz off we are going to be paying for over 1/2 of this thing with savings.  So this is going to be more like buying 2 really expensive cars (spread out over 30 years).   ;D

I am also ready for some pics!  Maybe I'll snap a couple of "before" shots although it is going to be horrifying.  The architect is coming tomorrow to measure everything - I'm hopeful we can have the plans drawn up by Christmas although I don't really have any idea how long this stuff takes...

DirtyDachshunds

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #90 on: November 22, 2010, 12:08:37 pm »
Yes!  I love threads like this!

I am also doing the same thing.  Here are my basement plans for my 'Mantopia'.....the name is still in the works but I'll be following this for sure!  I will hopefully be starting mid-next year.

The blank space is unfinished storage, And on a side note, I want to try to stick in a racing arcade as well, but I can't find the room for it.  If you have any opinions, I'm all ears.

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #91 on: November 22, 2010, 12:18:17 pm »
Looks a little tight for a pool table.... how much space are you going to have around the edges?

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #92 on: November 22, 2010, 02:28:21 pm »
Yes!  I love threads like this!

I am also doing the same thing.  Here are my basement plans for my 'Mantopia'.....the name is still in the works but I'll be following this for sure!  I will hopefully be starting mid-next year.

The blank space is unfinished storage, And on a side note, I want to try to stick in a racing arcade as well, but I can't find the room for it.  If you have any opinions, I'm all ears.

Wow - looks great.  I'm jealous of all the space you will have!  I really like the look of your kitchenette - I want something similar, I think... definitely a sink and a place to keep the beer cold.  I wouldn't ever use a poker table or a pool table but I'd love to have room for a regular table for puzzles and games and space for a 12' shuffleboard table.  One of my concerns with the theater area is being able to accommodate a bunch of people to watch a football game or movie.  I want to be able to have a group of 10 or so people over for the Super Bowl and have enough space for everyone to see the game - this is why I have more of an open design instead of a dedicated room for it...

DirtyDachshunds

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #93 on: November 22, 2010, 03:21:26 pm »
I know exactly what you mean, I want the same thing.  Here is a design I had before which would accommodate more people, but, like everything there are tradeoffs.  With the open design, sound and light are harder to isolate and control for the audiophiles, and it isn't a "true" theater atmosphere.  But I love open designs!  They are so much better for entertaining etc. 

I go back and forth between what I like better.

Keep us posted!  I'll probably make a thread when I start as well.

@pinballjim
The room is 14'x16', it should be able to fit an 8' table with enough space.  I originally wanted the pool table where the poker table is, but quickly realized I won't have enough room there.

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #94 on: November 22, 2010, 04:16:23 pm »
I kind of like your old design better!  I'm definitely no audiophile though.  If the bass thumps and it and sounds good that's OK by me.  I love the idea of the dedicated theater but in reality, I think it would be a mistake for my house and the type of use we are envisioning.  Even with a kick-ass HDTV set-up on the main floor of my house, in 7 years I don't think we've watched a single movie with company over.  We are usually playing games and drinking and the TV isn't really even on most of the time when we entertain.  Also, since the kids are young, my wife has made it clear that she won't sit down in a basement with sound blasting while the kids sleep 2 stories above us - makes sense to me.  Maybe that will change over time but we have a solid 10 years before we would think about it (we aren't done having kids).  We have run into plenty of situations though where we wish we could sit more people in front of the TV for football or baseball or whatever.  Right now there is a 3 seater couch and a side chair and no room for anything else (literally - the room is 7.5' wide).  A wide open media/rec room with a 120" screen will be great!

I'm getting ready to do a redesign using sketch-up but I'd like the architect to give me a better idea of exactly how much space I'll have to work with.  She is coming to the house on Tuesday with her crew to measure the entire thing.  I'm really hoping we have a set of plans by Christmas.  I'm really getting excited but I hope there is enough space for everything!

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #95 on: November 23, 2010, 12:56:34 pm »
Well, the architect's crew just finished measuring my house - it took them about 3.5 hours according to my wife.  She said it didn't look like they were being 100% precise but we will see what they come up with.

I also had my buddy measure his dedicated theater room - his is 12'2" x 18'3".  His room is a nice size - 106" screen (but only 7 foot ceilings).  He doesn't really have any seating other than two old recliners in the middle of the room but there is plenty of space for 2 rows of seats and you could easily fit 3 seats (and maybe 4) in each row.  This gives me a bit of comfort that I'll be able to set aside a similar sized space in my new basement.  I think I might even be able to rotate the theater 90 degrees from how I have it pictured in my sketch-up drawing - this would free up a lot more space for the kitchenette/bar area and maybe even allow me to squeeze in that shuffle board table!

Any of you aspiring architects out there want to take a crack at the layout?   ;D

DirtyDachshunds

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #96 on: November 23, 2010, 02:02:36 pm »
With that amount of space, your layout is about the best option I can think of for a theater, bar and gameroom without it feeling overly crampted?

Have you tried integrating the 'counter for extra seating' in with the bar somehow?  I don't know if there is a practical way to do it, but that could give you a really big bar and tie everything together in the room. 

Can't wait to see how it turns out  :cheers:

eds1275

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #97 on: November 24, 2010, 03:09:28 pm »
Also, have you considered theatre-style seating? There's a place near me [www.demxx.com] that deconstructs buildings and sells off the guts. They had a few hundred theatre style seats in there, the kind that spring up [and out of the way] when you get out of them. Not as comfortable as a luxurious couch, but good for a back row. I mean, as long as you and the wife get the good seats, the others can just be glad the rest of them weren't taken!

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #98 on: November 24, 2010, 03:42:06 pm »
Also, have you considered theatre-style seating? There's a place near me [www.demxx.com] that deconstructs buildings and sells off the guts. They had a few hundred theatre style seats in there, the kind that spring up [and out of the way] when you get out of them. Not as comfortable as a luxurious couch, but good for a back row. I mean, as long as you and the wife get the good seats, the others can just be glad the rest of them weren't taken!

I am definitely considering it now that I have a better handle on the space.  I'll probably go with 2 rows of seats with the second row on a riser.  I'm probably going to get some berklines - recliners of course.  I'm tempted to go with some large couches with recliners on the ends in case I want to lay down or cram more people in the seats but as of right now I'm leaning towards the individual berklines.  I'm thinking maybe 2 rows of something like this:




Benevolance

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #99 on: November 24, 2010, 08:25:37 pm »
I think that's a good idea.

In my experience, guests don't want to cram onto couches together. So even if there is room for 3 or 4 on a couch, you're lucky to get 2 people to share it. Everyone else just hovers and says, "No, it's cool. I don't mind standing..." until an individual seat opens up and then they steal it. Better to just go with individual seating. :)

Individual seating is also more versatile, if you need to shake up the layout for any reason.

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #100 on: November 24, 2010, 08:57:03 pm »
Individual seating is also more versatile

Unless you piss off your wife and have to sleep in there.
But wasn't it fun to think you won the lottery, just for a second there???

Endaar

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #101 on: November 25, 2010, 09:33:21 am »
With respect to the theater, I think as much as the open layout works better for entertaining, I'd have to stick with the enclosed one. As you note, the open space makes it difficult to configure surround sound properly, and given that you're creating this from scratch, that would be a shame. That said, I do consider myself a bit of an audiophile - at least when it comes to surround - so I am probably pickier than most. (And honestly a bit jealous since I don't have the space for a dedicated theater!)

What I don't see in either layout is room for speakers and a subwoofer. You're working with a pretty large space and a huge screen. Tiny wall mounted speakers are not going to do the room justice, so even if the budget doesn't allow for anything too substantial right away, you should plan (and wire) for what you might want to do at a later time.

Endaar

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #102 on: November 25, 2010, 10:43:44 am »
The sub and front speakers are usually behind the screen.  In my layout, I allotted space for that.

The side and back speakers I was thinking about putting in wood pillars that are not shown on my layout.
As for javeryh, with his open layout, I think wall mounted speakers will be fine as he isn't an audiophile anyway.

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #103 on: November 25, 2010, 11:47:19 am »
With respect to the theater, I think as much as the open layout works better for entertaining, I'd have to stick with the enclosed one. As you note, the open space makes it difficult to configure surround sound properly, and given that you're creating this from scratch, that would be a shame. That said, I do consider myself a bit of an audiophile - at least when it comes to surround - so I am probably pickier than most. (And honestly a bit jealous since I don't have the space for a dedicated theater!)

What I don't see in either layout is room for speakers and a subwoofer. You're working with a pretty large space and a huge screen. Tiny wall mounted speakers are not going to do the room justice, so even if the budget doesn't allow for anything too substantial right away, you should plan (and wire) for what you might want to do at a later time.

Endaar

I know what you mean but I'm afraid if I enclose the theater space I'll be the only one who will ever use it.  I could maybe designate the theater area somehow with 1/2 walls and columns for the speakers - that might help but it won't solve the problem.  I do like DirtyDachshunds alternative layout where the back of the theater is open to the rest of the basement but I don't know if I have the layout for that. 

I will primarily be using the projector for TV (sports), video games and movies - probably in that order although I think I'll be watching a lot more movies once I have the capabilities.  I envision having a group of 8-10 people over on a regular basis (with wives and kids, etc.) and I don't want 1/2 the group to be inside a separate room watching football while everyone else is just hanging out.  I don't know - I mean I wish I had a mansion where I could have a dedicated theater AND a gameroom/bar with a 50" TV and this wouldn't be an issue but... 

I need to get better at sketch-up.  DirtyDachshunds model is really detailed.

orion

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - I'm Going For It!
« Reply #104 on: November 26, 2010, 08:50:09 am »
If you want a true home theater you need to enclose the space. If not you should plan on a media room. That way you could also open up your bar and even have more room for arcade machines in there :) If you simply go with the largest sized LCD you can afford it could be a nice setup. Also you will save a ton of money by not having to sound proof ect. If your not an audio file and you don't watch movies you probably wouldn't enjoy a dedicated home theater as much as someone who is /does. I could have set up my media room as a theater, but I much prefer having a more diverse space. My shelf bought surround sound speakers suit me just fine.

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Re: Anyone put an addition on their house? My head is spinning!
« Reply #105 on: December 06, 2010, 10:09:54 pm »
James, it looks to me like you need to hire a contractor. You will spend more money that way but they will handle everything for you, just stay with them to make sure they do it like you want.
There are codes you have to go by, and you want it done right, since you have to plan on living with it forever.
A good contractor (experienced one that is), should know everything involved.
Good luck, and post some pics of this project as it comes along.

I totally agree with this. Since a bathroom is involved, really do some legwork before you hire a contractor.
If they half-ass your plumbing you will be suffering with it for way longer than it takes to find a good guy.

Your not kidding.

in the house i live now, if i am in the shower and someone decides to do some dishes in the kitchen sink, the sink will suck away every drop of hot water from that shower. no lukewarm. picture this. its dead of winter, cold shower.

you definately do not want a fly by night doing your plumbing.

this house was built in the 70s, and apparently everyone who has lived here before me had to deal with the shower from hell.

i have found a solution to this hard to correct problem though. for about a hundred bucks, and if you know how to solder, you can get a small 3 gallon Booster water heater.

so basically, when moron downstairs turns the sink on to wash their hands, the booster heater will make up for it.


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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - First Plans from Architect
« Reply #106 on: December 22, 2010, 12:57:59 pm »
OK... last night we got the first draft of the house plans (which don't include the basement, unfortunately).  I'm not blown away but it is a good starting point I guess.  I mean, it's a basic addition so I don't know what I was expecting.  She did send two different proposals.  

I think I like the "Alternate" version the best even though there's no walk-in closet in the master bedroom for my wife.  The "Alternate" plans reduce the size of my existing bathroom on the second floor which I think is a necessity - it is 1/4 of the second floor right now!  Way too much wasted space in a small house.  I also like how she proposes to incorporate the sun room (where we currently watch TV) into the dining room because once we get the back room the sun room will be kind of useless.  Any thoughts?

(sorry for the crappy photos)

« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 01:01:02 pm by javeryh »

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - First Plans from Architect (PICS!)
« Reply #107 on: December 24, 2010, 04:45:07 pm »
Ok...  I've had some time to let the designs sink in and the "alternate" plans are growing on me.  I think that with a little tweaking it could be something that we really end up liking.  The big room in the back would be completely usable for my basement space and it is actually quite large at 25'4" x 17' and this doesn't even take the existing basement into consideration.

  I think that the actual basement outfit will take a while because it is going to be quite expensive to just do the first and second floor!

The plan is to think about exactly what we want over the next week and then set up an appointment with the architect after the new year to get a better idea on how much this is going to cost.  It's scary but exciting...

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - First Plans from Architect (PICS!)
« Reply #108 on: January 06, 2011, 02:26:24 pm »
I just set up an appointment for next week with the architect to sit down with her and go over all of the plans and expected costs, timing, etc. - basically everything.  Is there anything I should be specifically concerned with?  I don't know what to expect and I'm kind of counting on (and trusting) her to guide me in the right direction and be as cost-effective as possible. 

The more I look at the "alternate" design, the more I'm definitely convinced that is is the more costly of the two designs.  In order to turn the dining room 90 degrees and incorporate part of the existing sun room, we will have to deal with issues on the floor and on the ceiling.  The dining room has original hardwood floors and 9 foot ceilings.  The sun room has a plywood base with carpeting for the floor and 8 foot ceilings.  Not to mention we will be relocating the bathtub and sink on the second floor.  Money money money!!!! 

javeryh

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - First Plans from Architect (PICS!)
« Reply #109 on: January 13, 2011, 03:19:18 pm »
Ugh.  I had the meeting yesterday and I'm really disappointed.  Her best guess based on the design she provided is that it will exceed our budget by $50,000 - $100,000!!!  I was like "you knew our budget - why did you bother designing something so outrageous?"  She didn't really have an answer but I got the impression that she thinks money grows on trees or something - I mean, now I'm not going to go with the "lesser" design because it will still be a crapload of money and I don't want to always be wishing I had something else.   The architect is reaching out to some contractors to get them to give a loose estimate on costs (without bidding it out because we only have a floor plan at this point) and see where they end up.  The worst part is that we have to demo our 2 car garage to meet code requirements and build a new one car garage in its place and that is going to be $25,000 alone for something I don't want to do.  We might have to put this on hold for 5 years or so and try saving or just forget about it all together.

 :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - First Plans from Architect (PICS!)
« Reply #110 on: January 13, 2011, 03:30:07 pm »
As an architect, or at least one who works for architects... We hear this all the time.  Did she not design what YOU wanted?  It is YOUR prerogative to tell her NO, do it another way.  But if the design is really cool and you cant live with anything lesser than that...  Is it REALLY over budget, or did you just not expect the costs to be so high.  But that much over budget seems outrageous on her end...  Keep us posted... 

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - First Plans from Architect (PICS!)
« Reply #111 on: January 13, 2011, 04:24:07 pm »
She should have told them up front that her alternative designs would be over budget.  If I hire a contractor and give him/her a budget and they provide me plans without saying anything.  I would think they made them with my budget in mind.  It's wrong of her come decision time to then say oh by the way it's another 100k.  That seems wrong.

and javeryh, I hate to say it, but I would pull the plug on this.  Paying $25k to DECREASE your garage size on top of the cost of the addition, which wouldn't even be the addition you really want???? 

Why not look for another bigger development close to where you live?

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - First Plans from Architect (PICS!)
« Reply #112 on: January 13, 2011, 05:51:16 pm »
As an architect, or at least one who works for architects... We hear this all the time.  Did she not design what YOU wanted?  It is YOUR prerogative to tell her NO, do it another way.  But if the design is really cool and you cant live with anything lesser than that...  Is it REALLY over budget, or did you just not expect the costs to be so high.  But that much over budget seems outrageous on her end...  Keep us posted... 

She asked us to provide a "hopeful" budget and then a "drop-dead-do-not-go-over-by-one-cent" budget so we did and she came back with 2 designs - one that sucked and would be "probably" within our budget and one that we really really like that is WAY over budget.  Based on another addition in the neighborhood on a house exactly like ours we thought we were in the ball park with our max budget (ours budget was almost double what our neighbors paid) so her estimates are quite a shock to us.

She should have told them up front that her alternative designs would be over budget.  If I hire a contractor and give him/her a budget and they provide me plans without saying anything.  I would think they made them with my budget in mind.  It's wrong of her come decision time to then say oh by the way it's another 100k.  That seems wrong.

That's what we thought - I assumed that after providing her a budget she would design within the budget we gave her.  Makes sense to me.  Now, I can understand if she thought it would be 10-15% over and we'd have to stretch but she was almost off by 50%.  It's not a matter of not wanting to spend the money at that point - we just don't have it.

and javeryh, I hate to say it, but I would pull the plug on this.  Paying $25k to DECREASE your garage size on top of the cost of the addition, which wouldn't even be the addition you really want???? 

Why not look for another bigger development close to where you live?

yeah... I am going to see what she says tomorrow after she gets some feedback from contractors but there's no way we are going to pay for something we don't absolutely want.  We can't relocate in town due to the high prices of houses in my area and we live here specifically for the schools.  We can sell high but we'd have to buy high too - believe me, I'm on realtor.com all the time looking around for something with no luck yet.   :(

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - Stupid Architect (Over Before Starting?)
« Reply #113 on: January 13, 2011, 10:30:24 pm »
I read a story about a famous author who had a house designed, and built, and when he finally sat down in his new office, he looked around and thought, '.....this seems a lot bigger than the plans....'  He called the architect, who said, 'You said you wanted this, but you really needed this. Does it feel right?' The author admitted it did.
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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - Stupid Architect (Over Before Starting?)
« Reply #114 on: January 14, 2011, 10:57:37 pm »
javeryh,

Be happy with the design / cost you have to live with it and pay for it.

As far as an architect goes, bypass them and just do it on your own.

Go to a Vocational school/college and have one of the class students design something for you. Doesnt cost anything to make changes and their time is free and its their grade!

Go to a Home Depot/Lowes/ building center and see what materials will cost on a retail level. That way you know if your being over charged for materials.

Do some of the work yourself: like painting, after construction clean up & materials purchasing.

Some of the above things will save you $$$$$$$

I wouldnt worry too much about what the other homes in your neighborhood are selling for. All homes in the U.S.A. are worth less today than 3 years ago. Banks/Investment groups propped up prices to get you to pay more. You see where that got them! I have never looked at my home as an investment. I look at it as the box I live in, so Im gonna make it comfortable for my family and I.

My $.02
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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - Stupid Architect (Over Before Starting?)
« Reply #115 on: January 15, 2011, 01:59:01 pm »
I look at it as the box I live in, so Im gonna make it comfortable for my family and I.
Fordman

That is exactly how I feel! But if you don't have the money, you don't have it. $50k plus is a big chunk o change, especially to be over budget. I'd tell her to redo those plans within the budget you specified - after all, if you're going to pay her, she better do her job. I suspect she may be feeling you out for cash, to see what you really have. I mean, it's definitely in her best interests, and you can't blame her really... every business is out to make money. But she needs a good sit-down and make her understand.

   I personally would give her the plans you like and say... "I like this. Now make it work within our budget." Even if it means leaving out the bar - plumb it and add it later. Ask them to install conduit for you but not add the wiring for your fancy stuff. I find that I get stuff cheap if I buy it, but ask a professional to put some wire in the cost jumps like 1000%. Maybe go shopping and provide the stuff they need and have them install it. I was in a fancy lighting store the other day - wall sconce, $180... same wall sconce @ home depot, $35. I ended up going to the deconstruction place, buying a wall sconce from the 80's and repainting it - for $4.


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Re: Anyone put an addition on their house? My head is spinning!
« Reply #116 on: January 15, 2011, 05:15:35 pm »

For example, the 20'x25' space on the second floor for the master bathroom and bath seems HUGE.  We are going to also add a nice walk-in closet but even after that it still seems like we have a lot of wasted space. 
 

Sorry if this has been addressed, but why not make some of that space a big outdoor terrace with a hot tub?
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Re: Anyone put an addition on their house? My head is spinning!
« Reply #117 on: April 14, 2011, 03:37:57 pm »
I look at it as the box I live in, so Im gonna make it comfortable for my family and I.
Fordman

That is exactly how I feel! But if you don't have the money, you don't have it. $50k plus is a big chunk o change, especially to be over budget. I'd tell her to redo those plans within the budget you specified - after all, if you're going to pay her, she better do her job. I suspect she may be feeling you out for cash, to see what you really have. I mean, it's definitely in her best interests, and you can't blame her really... every business is out to make money. But she needs a good sit-down and make her understand.

   I personally would give her the plans you like and say... "I like this. Now make it work within our budget." Even if it means leaving out the bar - plumb it and add it later. Ask them to install conduit for you but not add the wiring for your fancy stuff. I find that I get stuff cheap if I buy it, but ask a professional to put some wire in the cost jumps like 1000%. Maybe go shopping and provide the stuff they need and have them install it. I was in a fancy lighting store the other day - wall sconce, $180... same wall sconce @ home depot, $35. I ended up going to the deconstruction place, buying a wall sconce from the 80's and repainting it - for $4.



We told her to completely stop working on our project.  Hopefully she will get the hint that we just don't have money coming out of our asses.  I would tell her to do it over but I don't want to incur one more cent on the design until we have a better handle on everything. 

I'm definitely open to doing what you have suggested - put in the plumbing for a master bathroom but maybe not finish it for a few years and use it as a closet in the meantime - same thing with the basement bar, etc.  Anything we can do to just get the physical space now.  We have plenty of time to make it "nice" over the next 30+ years or however long we stay.


For example, the 20'x25' space on the second floor for the master bathroom and bath seems HUGE.  We are going to also add a nice walk-in closet but even after that it still seems like we have a lot of wasted space. 
 

Sorry if this has been addressed, but why not make some of that space a big outdoor terrace with a hot tub?

I don't think there is that much room!  Also, I would never use a hot tub and my wife would probably use it less than me.  An outdoor terrace is an interesting idea though.  I'd probably just need room for a chair and I'd sit out there all the time.

Anyway, we have been doing some saving since November and we are thinking that we are going to explore going forward with everything.  The lead time to even start is 9 months (we need a variance) and assuming neither of us lose our jobs, if the build takes another 6-9 months from the starting point we are at the end of 2012 and by that time we will be able to save up the difference... although I am not sure how I feel about spending so much in general but I'm sure I'll love the extra space.  We have decided to go with these plans with maybe a few small tweaks (the new rooms are off the back of the house (top of the drawings)):





Additional items:

- convert separate 2 car garage into 1 car garage
- new basement in addition area/excavate existing basement 2-3 ft. to level of new basement
- basement will be completely unfinished other than plumbing (cinderblock/slab)
- Second floor bathroom will be redone to be much smaller than existing

After tax season ends on Monday we will begin getting estimates from various contractors.  I'm nervous but excited.

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - Stupid Architect (Over Before Starting?)
« Reply #118 on: April 14, 2011, 05:44:12 pm »
I know a lot is up in the air with your addition from reading your thread, however there are two glaring things I think you should consider.

1) The half bath location right in the kitchen is a very poor location. No one wants to be cooking a meal while (insert your buddy's name) is taking a nasty dump. I would seriously consider moving this, or changing the entrance to another side.

2) The seating bar needs to go. There is no way to access the kitchen from the living room through this location. You need to walk all the way through the dining area to get to the sink. I would make the stove area an island with the bar on the other side, or even a cutout opening overlooking the dining room. You can then make a cut through next to the sink to access the kitchen from two sides. I would also consider moving the sink in a different location so you aren't looking at the front door.

3) Since you don't have an enclosed media room anyway and the space is fairly small to begin with, I would keep the dining and living area completely open to each other. This will make the area feel much larger. You can always get by with enclosed speakers on floorstands that will knock your socks off.

Just some things to think about. I can imagine you have been doing a lot of that lately. As for Architects and General Contractors, unfortunately there are 10 terrible ones out there for every decent one you can find. Get references and talk to a lot of their customers.

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Re: Gameroom/Theater/Bar - Stupid Architect (Over Before Starting?)
« Reply #119 on: April 14, 2011, 06:21:44 pm »
I know a lot is up in the air with your addition from reading your thread, however there are two glaring things I think you should consider.

Awesome - this is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for when I started this thread.   :cheers:

1) The half bath location right in the kitchen is a very poor location. No one wants to be cooking a meal while (insert your buddy's name) is taking a nasty dump. I would seriously consider moving this, or changing the entrance to another side.

I know.  The bathroom was there when we moved in.  It is actually underneath the stairs and is very tiny.  I don't know where else we could put it.  We actually have a "no crapping" policy in the house with regards to that bathroom - if you have to take a dump you go upstairs.  I'm all for finding a solution but I think relocating the bathroom will be very expensive and we already are going to be stretched on this project.  The good news is that a second renovation in 5, 7 or 10 years (whenever) can accomplish this with hopefully not affecting the current design.

2) The seating bar needs to go. There is no way to access the kitchen from the living room through this location. You need to walk all the way through the dining area to get to the sink. I would make the stove area an island with the bar on the other side, or even a cutout opening overlooking the dining room. You can then make a cut through next to the sink to access the kitchen from two sides. I would also consider moving the sink in a different location so you aren't looking at the front door.

Yes!  You are right and this is something that we struggled with but I don't think there is a (non-expensive) solution here.  The architect wanted to effectively rotate the entire layout of the kitchen 90 degrees counterclockwise and make a doorway to the right of the sink but she indicated that this would be VERY expensive.  Again, it is something that we can revisit down the road hopefully not affecting the current design (we are going to redo the kitchen eventually - we hate the paint and the tile).

Very interesting idea about the stove/island.  I'm going to play with that one.

3) Since you don't have an enclosed media room anyway and the space is fairly small to begin with, I would keep the dining and living area completely open to each other. This will make the area feel much larger. You can always get by with enclosed speakers on floorstands that will knock your socks off.

I agree completely here.  There is (another) cost issue regarding the opening between the new room and the dining room.  There are posts showing in the drawing which wouldn't need to be there if they installed a steel beam in the ceiling - again - this is added cost.  We were thinking about maybe a 1/2 wall or something on the sides of the posts - I hate freestanding posts.  This is still up in the air and maybe this is something we just have to suck up and spend the extra money on.

Also, our enclosed media room where we would watch movies and play games will be the new basement when I get that set up!

Just some things to think about. I can imagine you have been doing a lot of that lately. As for Architects and General Contractors, unfortunately there are 10 terrible ones out there for every decent one you can find. Get references and talk to a lot of their customers.

It is tough - I really don't know where to begin other than the phonebook.  The architect has a few people she regularly uses but I kind of feel like I need some outside perspective on this.  She charged a TON just for these plans and she is saying the addition will be around $100k over our budget which seems INSANE to me.  I need to get a second or third or fourth opinion so I can compare.

Thanks for the feedback - I'm open to any and all suggestions/criticisms on these plans.

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 06:23:26 pm by javeryh »

  
 

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