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Help to decide on floor plan

Mike Golokolosenko

Hi everyone!

I'm not an architect but I'm a big fun. So much in fact that decided to play with the apartment that I got on my own not in order to save money but rather because I love it. I've tried to get advices from architects but non wanted to help maybe somebody will be willing to help here?

Feel free to send me to a book or something like that if my questions/ideas seem obviously stupid and I just need to learn something.

The floor plan I originally had in mind is like this (it includes placement of ventilation and drain). Sizing is in metric system, big square is 1meterX1meter (approx 3.3'X3.3'):

However, there are number of things I don't like about it with biggest one being enterance to the master bathroom (the bottom one) is placed right near the appartment entrance and I would have to walk through the hall all the time passing entrance door. Another thing I don't like is not having a good walk-in closet but having a huge bedroom which I think shouldn't be that big as it is probably just a place where I will sleep.

As a result I came up with few other layout which I will put down here.

 

1. This layout has same issue with entrance but at least I can utilize it better and have a big walk-in-closet. Also the master bedroom is now on top and the one near entrance is guest/kids (in the future :) However, I get a weird corridor near the entrance which I'm not sure whether it is ok and I'm still not sure about room entrance being near appartment entrance from the hall.

 

2. So  I came accross another lay out (above): having entrance to the master-bedroom from the kitchen/living room. I liked it because I sorta have a walk-in-closet serving as a corridor at the same time however it is fairly long (13') but not very wide (3') which I think is suboptimal.

3. Then I got this one. I liked it more because I have a stand alone walk-in-closet and the corridor although still long (13') got a bit wider (5'). Downside is completely wasted corridor.

4. Then I thought maybe I don't need 2 bathrooms? maybe I can make a Jack and Jill bathroom style? And I got this. In such way I get walk-through closet and wide enough corridor which gets a bit shorter too (10').

The very last dilemma I have is whether to have a real wooden fireplace in the middle of the living room like on this last picture (that's the only place I can have it because only there ventilation channel is up to fireplace requirements). Or I can forget the real fireplace and have a bio-fireplace in the wall at the end of the living/dining (picture before last).

Please let me know what you think as I broke my brain trying to come up with the best solution. If you have something completely out of my options I'm really open to hear your ideas.

 
Nov 3, 15 11:38 am
Non Sequitur

Why is it that no other architect wanted to help you? Is it perhaps because you're looking for free advice from professionals?

Consulting starts @ $300/hr with $2k retainer upfront. Travel expenses are extra.

Nov 3, 15 11:44 am  · 
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Thank you Non Seq. And IMO this thread can now die.

Nov 3, 15 11:54 am  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

Non Sequitur — Nope, I was actually willing to pay for consultancy but people were either willing to do everything start to finish or not willing to help at all where I was looking for something like hourly guidance and would be even willing to have some sort of deposit.

Also your comment seems to be a bit offensive. If a student would ask a professional for advise would you treat it as he is looking for free service? Why not to treat it like that? I'm not asking anybody to do anything instead of me for free, I'm just looking for an advice and thought this is a place to ask for it. I apologize if I was wrong.

Nov 3, 15 12:17 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

^ yes. We have students and laymen alike everyday who post here looking for free advice. Everyone gets the same treatment.

My free advice: Hire a local architect and write the contract that suits your anticipated level of involvement in the design process. Bonus point, it's guaranteed they know more than you, so don't discount their expertise if they appear to do their jobs and take control of the project. Extra bonus points if you can convince what ever condo/building committee that you can flip plumbing and vent stacks all willy-nilly.

Nov 3, 15 12:26 pm  · 
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tduds

If a student would ask a professional for advise would you treat it as he is looking for free service?

Students pay tuition.

Nov 3, 15 12:30 pm  · 
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null pointer

Nope, I was actually willing to pay for consultancy but people were either willing to do everything start to finish or not willing to help at all where I was looking for something like hourly guidance and would be even willing to have some sort of deposit.

 

that's because in all likelihood you will fuck shit up.

Nov 3, 15 12:40 pm  · 
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no_form
Mike Golokolosenko, what do you do for a livelihood?
Nov 3, 15 12:45 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

OK, I'm going to reply to Non Sequitur only because he/she is the only one who speaks constructive here, to the rest—I'm sorry.

Thanks for your advice:
1. I think I explained why it didn't work out, I'd like to be more involved with the project and was seeking for some guidance rather than just somebody doing it for me. 
2. It is not guaranteed simply because 80% of "professionals" suck in every profession and that is why it is so hard to hire people. So how do I even know whether I get good or bad local architect? What if he is great with interior but terrible with floor plan design. Or what if he does something which looks great on pictures but not great for living there because he works for the portfolio rather than customer. I assume that good professional would be great though and that is why I was willing to pay for the service but none of architects was even willing to show sketches without downpayment and contract for the whole project so how in the world I even decide whether I would be willing to work with the person? 
3. Not an issue. The building is not finished yet and what I thought of doing is possible to do.

 

Nov 3, 15 1:05 pm  · 
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JeromeS

but people were either willing to do everything start to finish or not willing to help at all where I was looking for something like hourly guidance and would be even willing to have some sort of deposit.

Where is that fee chart, based on client involvement?  Can somebody post that for Mike?

Nov 3, 15 1:20 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

"2. It is not guaranteed simply because 80% of "professionals" suck in every profession and that is why it is so hard to hire people. "

This is incorrect. Pure and simple. Perhaps one reason many professionals choose not to work with clients such as yourself is that you think you know better. News flash, you don't. I'd reject you as a customer immediately. Most don't need unnecessary drama nor have the urge to educate immature clients any further.

You want to test to see if a certain architect is the right fit? Pay them for their time at a real rate (200-300 USD/hr) for a design consultation then they will take you seriously as a client. If they are shit as you're already predisposed to assume, move on to the next guy until you find a match.

Like no_form asked above, what is your profession?

Nov 3, 15 1:21 pm  · 
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tduds

none of architects was even willing to show sketches without downpayment and contract for the whole project so how in the world I even decide whether I would be willing to work with the person? 

Look at their portfolio, interview multiple architects, find someone whose work you appreciate and who you sense you get along with. This is how it's done. I agree with Non Sequitur, you're probably having trouble finding an architect because they're getting the sense you'd be a difficult client, and the economy is good enough right now that they can afford to say no.

Nobody with any sense of professional self-respect is going to draw up a free "concept" for you without a guarantee that you won't take that concept to another, cheaper designer or attempt to work it out yourself and avoid paying us our due.

Are we jaded? Yes. Is it warranted? Yes. Everybody has either been burned before or knows a colleague who has.

Nov 3, 15 1:29 pm  · 
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I totally agree with Non Seq and tduds above. Also, you likely know some people - friends, coworkers, inlaws, parents of your kids' friends, your dentist, your accountant - who have worked with an architect before; ask for a recommendation to find one who doesn't suck.

But as tduds said the architecture economy is going like gangbusters right now. No one is hungry for work.

Nov 3, 15 1:38 pm  · 
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no_form

Mike Golokolosenko, what is your profession?  you clearly are part of the exceptional 20% that doesn't suck.  If I require your services I want to go to you.  But first I'll proffer up my own ideas about what you are a trained expert in and expect you to listen attentively, offer constructive feedback, provide me with books and literature all at no cost.  Then I'll walk out of your office without so much as a thank you.  

Nov 3, 15 1:41 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

Guys, something I should have clarified from the beginning: I'm from Ukraine and prices here are far below $200-300/hr. However, it is also a lot harder to find true professional here with the contemporary points of view as most people are designing things as they were still in the Soviet era. To clarify: I can get the whole project for $1500-2500 completely done by the architect and I was willing to pay up to a $1000 just for consultancy so I don't agree with you that this is an attempt to get something for free. I like it and I mean it. I'd be willing to get advise and learn a bit about it and I suggested to pay upfront like hourly to at least get a sense of what people would suggest and see their way of thinking but they don't they want downpayment and guiding whole project. The only one whose portfolio I really liked didn't even care to reply to my request or say "this will cost X" which I would be fine, he simply ignored me and I didn't play hard customer with him.

Non Sequitur— everything makes sense except as I mentioned nobody was willing to discuss hourly consultancy so what do I do then? Sign up with somebody who I'm not sure will do a great job for me and get stuck with him because I already payed like 50% of the whole thing? I'm also surprised you disagree that not everybody is a true professionals and are you telling to me that you would ask any of the architects you ever met to design something for you because they all were equally good? 

Nov 3, 15 1:45 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

no_form — as I mentioned: I was willing to pay for consultancy but nobody wanted to consult hourly. 

To everybody on this thread:
It seems I asked something that offended a lot of people although I didn't mean to as I thought it is a valid question to ask at the forum. It seems it wasn't. I will keep searching for the local architect and wish everybody a good day and great business! Sorry once again. 

Nov 3, 15 1:50 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

https://img0.etsystatic.com/013/0/5657657/il_170x135.436406536_e7e9.jpg

A wise man once said something about the Ukraine.

Sorry, could not resist.

Also, you're asking for a lot of work and headaches from professionals for a measly $1500. I don't blame any of them for skipping over you. You're not looking for design input of construction administrations, you're looking for someone to validate your hobby. Bring your drawings to whomever is building your unit and take it from there. None of your sketches are better than the others, so it'll be the same in the end.

Nov 3, 15 1:54 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

Non Sequitur — that is the local market I'm not asking for it that is a market price and I was willing to pay about as much just for consultancy is there anything wrong with that? The construction administration is also not providing a valuable feedback as their sketches are good samples of Soviet design as I pointed above. Yes, it is a hobby, I agree but I don't understand why I can't pay for getting advice from somebody who is a professional and even more I don't understand why I got so much hate just for asking a question at the forum. Don't you have a hobby? Do you ask other people questions about it? Do they hate you for just asking?

Nov 3, 15 2:03 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

My hobbies are not other people's professions.

Perhaps you're barking up the from tree here. Switch your sights on interior design offices. All they do is fluff-up interior spaces, they might have a better fee structure to fit your expected results.

Nov 3, 15 2:07 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

I assume if it would—you wouldn't ask questions? :) 

And your comment about Ukraine: I thought better of you but that was just rude. You said you wouldn't work with me as a customer, I wonder whether you talk to all your customers like that? I guess it is easy to be rude hiding behind not a real name.

Nov 3, 15 2:15 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

I'm actually quite tired of hearing nothing better than offense here, is here a moderator who could delete this thread?

Nov 3, 15 2:17 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

You did not like my Seinfeld Risk reference? It's a classic.

I would not want to work with a client who believes they know better then I and assumes all/most professionals are shit. Pretty simple.

Nov 3, 15 2:27 pm  · 
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tduds

Don't take it personally Mike. Spend a while around these forums and you'll notice there are 3-4 of these types of threads every week. Eventually the regulars just get tired of responding non-sarcastically.

This website is much more geared towards discussion and debate within the industry and as a result can seem a little hostile to those coming from outside the industry and either asking overly simplified questions or misguidedly looking for help.

Nov 3, 15 2:28 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

>You did not like my Seinfeld Risk reference? It's a classic.
Maybe I misunderstood you but I thought you are referencing to "Ukraine is week" joke, no?

I'm not assuming all/most professionals are shit I actually believe in the opposite the challenge is to find the professional and I believe it is a challenge for any occupation. I also don't think I know better, would I ask for an advice if I would think so? I was rather trying to get an advice from a reputable source so I at least would have a benchmark for a local architect to see whether he has right way of thinking. Believe you or not but it is a challenge to find a good one here. Somebody above has suggested to ask friends, the thing is most of the people don't hire architects at all here so there is nobody even to ask. I understand this was probably wrong place to ask.

tduds — I agree I probably have chosen a wrong place to ask this question but I hope you will also understand I didn't expect such reaction, I thought question is just questions and there is nothing wrong to advice something somebody if you want or just pass if you don't. 

Nov 3, 15 2:37 pm  · 
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JeromeS

Yes- Ukraine is weak!  Didn't you say this: but I'm a big fun

I heard something on the radio that the average monthly salary in Ukraine is, like, $45.  If that's true, $1500 is a princely sum.

Nov 3, 15 2:39 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

Well, right now the average is probably $120-150 but as you pointed out yes —1500 is a significant amount here.

Nov 3, 15 2:42 pm  · 
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Why isn't everyone falling all over themselves to give poor Mike free design advice?

You guys are just being mean.

Nov 3, 15 2:42 pm  · 
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JeromeS

Don't worry RWCB-PBD will be along shortly with advice and an invoice...

Nov 3, 15 2:51 pm  · 
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no_form

Mike - check out http://archinect.com/talentfinder.  it's a great feature on this website that will help you find someone who will advise you on your plans for a flat fee of $1500 (U.S. dollars).  

RWCB-PBD may not take the bait.  He wasn't willing to chase down that guy from Sri Lanka for his internet forum based consulting services.

Nov 3, 15 3:03 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

Ok, I checked RWCB-PBD posts. I got the point: why teach somebody if he will do it on his own? I agree, but I didn't come to his office demanding advices for free. I came to a public forum and asked question. Willing to help—help, not so much — ignore the question. Why being rude and offend people and where they are from? Would you like a signed contract and a downpayment from me just for saying which option you think is best? What to get paid? How much would you charge for just that? $200x5 mins=$17? If that's the price for which I got so much shit on me I'm ready to pay, where do I send the payment?

Nov 3, 15 3:05 pm  · 
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Mike Golokolosenko

no_form — that's actually a very helpful advice, thanks a lot! I'll definitely check that out.

Nov 3, 15 3:06 pm  · 
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Carrera

 “When we ask for advice we are usually looking for an accomplice”

Nov 3, 15 3:47 pm  · 
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JeromeS

it was tongue-in-cheek- I wouldn't pay RWCB-PBD a singe, red, hryvnia!

Nov 3, 15 3:47 pm  · 
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