There are many facets to consider when remodeling or rebuilding a cabin. Depending on which path you decide to take will require different measures.One crucial step is assembling a team of qualified professional consultants and trade-related contractors. They play a vital role in any successful project.
As with any design, cost and budget are significant factors affecting the scope of the project. They not only impact the quantity, i.e. (size of the project), but the quality (types of materials) related to the project. It’s often a challenge to align the budget with actual construction costs. The architect working with consultants and a general contractor early in the design phase can help to maintain costs in line with budget constraints.
In nearly all instances, the structural engineer is involved with the project as a consultant to the architect. Our previous article, “Our Cabin-Remodel or Rebuild,” we discussed one of the initial stages is to assess the condition of the existing cabin structure, “the bones.” What type of foundation does the cabin rest on, and what condition is it in? Does the cabin need updating to meet current codes and construction methods, and can it support modifications or an addition? And with any remodeling or new construction project, a soil analysis will be required to determine if conditions are suitable to support the loads or weight imposed on them. Along with the general contractor, they can help identify early in the design process cost considerations as it relates to structural elements.
Determining what phase of the process to assemble other members of the project team is essential. The scope of the plumbing, electrical, or heating systems might significantly impact cost, and determining what those costs are early in the design process helps maintain the budget. Working with a reputable general contractor, they typically have a list of trades that they would recommend.
Mechanical engineering is the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and sometimes plumbing of the building. These disciplines are handled in two ways: On smaller projects, especially most residences, they are through a design-build process (HVAC contractor designs or retains an engineer). HVAC is under contract with the general contractor and coordinates his work with the architect. Plumbing is usually done on a design-build basis, similar to HVAC. For larger, more complex projects, especially those requiring licensed certification, mechanical engineering is usually done as a consultant service and part of the architect’s contract with the owner.
Many other disciplines can contribute to the cabin’s design, usually as consultants to the architect. Civil engineers design utilities such as sewer and water, site grading, drainage, and roads and drives. Landscape architects can be engaged in the design of outdoor spaces. Plant materials, paving, and earth sculpting can contribute significantly to the aesthetic of a site. Just as the architect designs spaces in a building, the landscape architect designs exterior spaces to complement the architecture.
Interior designers complement inside spaces by designing textures and colors of floors, walls and ceilings, and their furnishings. These, too, can be under contract with the architect or directly by the owner.
Any successful project requires a great deal of planning and scheduling. The time of year you start the design process will impact the construction start date. Also, the complexity and size of the project can influence the duration of the design phase. A smaller project or an internal rearrangement can be accomplished year-round. However, additions and new construction can have a limit window of opportunity when considering seasonality.
There are many variables in play, teaming up with the right players is a key to the project’s success.
The Tap Architecture Team