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Home > Possible Project I may NOT Pursue

Possible Project I may NOT Pursue

July 16th, 2014 at 07:22 pm

Right now I have enough work; in 8 months or so I may not, but here's the thing: the long term future is not a reason to take a project I don't have any time for right now, and it's definitely not a reason to take a project that looks like it could be awful.

I got a call from a woman (who knows a friend of mine) about a possible project. She's talked to some other architects but didn't feel like it was a "fit." She's bought an old house (1940s) that is in a borderline commercial area (zoned for commercial), and already done some demo (like taken out the heaters - something I wouldn't have done right away - winter isn't THAT far away). She wants to turn it into a restaurant.

I told her I'd come look at it, but let her know that I am going on vacation soon and my priority is the projects I'm currently working on. I told her I couldn't really devote more than a site visit until I return.

The house is a maze of rooms, and she wants to "open it all up." (This means replacing structural walls with beams, etc.) I talked to my engineer, and he said she needs to know that the roof load requirement for a commercial space is more than double a residence. And then there's the fire suppression system for a commercial kitchen...

And its an old house, and I'm sure there are lots of surprises in there that she won't even find out about until they start work. Oh - and did I mention that they have fixed up a few houses and want to do some of the work themselves? I honestly have no idea how much she should budget, no idea how much I would charge (given all of the unknowns).

I'm either going to tell her the timing isn't good for me, or give her a price that (if she were to accept it) would make the project definitely worth my time.

7 Responses to “Possible Project I may NOT Pursue”

  1. Amber Says:

    Wow tough decision but I'm sure you'll make the right choice. Good luck

  2. CB in the City Says:

    Sounds like a TV show!

  3. Buendia Says:

    That's hysterical - it totally does! I think there might be a hidden camera or something!

  4. SecretarySaving Says:

    I definitely agree with you that this should wait until you get back from vacation. With them wanting to do some of the work them selves that is going to be a lot of hand holding and will take longer to complete. I'd bid high due to hassle factor and knowing that they will take your bid and deduct what they are planning on doing on their own. It sounds like a lot of work. If anything you could get them a project pipeline of things to do on their own and start the job next spring.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    Oh geesh. I work a lot with restaurant owners and converting a place that has never been a restaurant into a restaurant and having it up to current code is incredibly expensive and time consuming. She might need a reality check.

  6. Buendia Says:

    I spoke to her today to tell her I couldn't even think about this project as even a remote possibility until I return since my attention needs to be on current projects. I told her that I didn't think anyone could help her establish a budget if she didn't have a scope or a scope if she doesn't have a budget in mind. She said she's thinking $60k (I told her prob. not enough). And I gave her some names/numbers to call to get a clearer idea of what might be required by code (she should do the research herself I think). When I get back, I'll think about it, but I think my fee will be too high for her.

  7. rob62521 Says:

    Sounds like she is more in love with the idea than actually having to plan things out.

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