Last week, Ron, our draftsman at Here’s The Plan, dropped off our final set of plans. We met with Ron several times over the winter and spring. He came to the house about four times and we went to his home office once.
We decided to hire a draftsman with extensive building experience because an architect was substantially more, more than double.
John found out about Ron from a framer who had worked with him. We initially contacted Ron last August before we had a key to Brick House 319 and he came over to take a look, measure the exterior, and give us a quote for drawing up plans as well as a price for permits.
Without a key, we weren’t able to show him the hoard in the house but he did see the 1000 bins/buckets in the backyard along with the hoard hidden under tarps behind the house. While he was walking around the property he was probably thinking, “What did you two get yourselves into.” If he had seen the inside, he probably would have run for his life. At least everyone who stopped by the house would comment on the fact that it’s a nice area.
At our first meeting, John and I had in mind that we wanted to turn the split level design into a classic colonial. John expressed that he wanted to raise the pitch of the roof to include a shed dormer in front. Ron said that in raising the roof, it would create a third floor on the west side of the house (the higher side). He said it would look like a big box and not to scale. At this early stage, we explained to Ron that we had a lot of work ahead of us with removing the colossal volume of hoarded stuff and that we would get back to him when we were ready.
It was February when we called Ron back. By this time 75% of the hoard was gone and Ron could now get inside the house to measure and see the layout. He chuckled at seeing the last remnants of junk, wires, and the remaining bin hoard in the backyard.
I had gone on the Houzz website and printed some ideas out on how we would like the exterior to look. It was actually difficult to find split level houses that had been transformed into classic colonials. I found only three. By now I really wanted the attic on the west side of the house to be a loft master bedroom with a full bath and walk-in closets, but Ron was against it for design reasons. He reiterated what he said during our first meeting–that it would create a third floor and be too high, boxy, and not to scale. John and I thought a shed dormer would offset it, but Ron still advised against it. The existing windows would be an issue as well.
In the meantime, in March, a modest brick ranch house about three miles from brick house 319 had been bought and a builder transformed it into a pretty Dutch colonial with shed dormers. The moment I saw it, I told John about it and we looked at it together. We both have always liked Dutch colonials so the next time Ron came over, we showed him the newly renovated house as well.
We now knew that we wanted a Dutch design.