AVS Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was speaking to a contractor to build out my room. The room is already framed, it just needs insulation, HVAC, electrical, drywall and finish work. It will be a basic build with a riser in the back and 2 rows of seating. Before the contractor even wants to bid, he wants to have his design guy come out, discuss my needs, and draw up plans for the room. These are not home theater plans per se, but are just construction plans. The draftsman is not doing anything in the realm of acoustic treatment, speaker placement, HVAC, electrical, etc. this is just to have a working diagram for walls, riser, soffit, stage, etc. The rub is that I have to pay for the plans before I get the bid.


I asked him to do a bid without the plans based on the room dimensions(which is pretty darn obvious), and he will not do that. I know the soffit and the riser dimensions so it is really already done for him. He is very detail oriented and wants something professionally done. I really like the guy, but since the room is framed already I am a little perplexed why a draftsman needs to do a design. I already have my architects plans which show room dimension and framing. Am I being unreasonable to question this? As I said, great guy, but a few hundred dollars for plans before I even get a bid seems off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC  /t/1522396/cost-for-plans-reality-check#post_24477879


way off

Thanks. That is what I thought too but he is the "go to" guy for the local home theater designers and is well respected in the area. If this wasn't a completely framed room (the door is even in place) I would understand, but plans for the soffit and riser? I have always been accused of being a bit OCD about details myself, but the soffit is pretty much a do it on the job thing, and there is nothing about a riser or stage platform that requires a CAD draftsman.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,866 Posts
If you want to compromise with the guy - tell him you'll pay for plans, but that you want that money back as a credit assuming you accept the bid... That's a typical transaction for folks doing design work prior to a contract. It makes sure they aren't wasting their time, and protects them from you just taking the free designs and going elsewhere. Now, that's probably not what's going on here, but you could apply the same thinking...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1522396/cost-for-plans-reality-check#post_24478385


If you want to compromise with the guy - tell him you'll pay for plans, but that you want that money back as a credit assuming you accept the bid... That's a typical transaction for folks doing design work prior to a contract. It makes sure they aren't wasting their time, and protects them from you just taking the free designs and going elsewhere. Now, that's probably not what's going on here, but you could apply the same thinking...

Seems reasonable. He did say the plans are mine to keep if I don't hire him. Well, I already have plans for the riser, stage, soffit and layout that I would follow if I don't hire him. These were done by me with mechanical pencil and drafting tools - admittedly not CAD. I don't think there is anything to be gained for me by having an architect produce CAD plans, in fact I would likely have to ask him to change them to what I envision. My hunch, and part of why I posted this is that I think this could be his way of weeding the serious folks from tire kickers. My gut feeling is that it is a test to see if I blink to cost of a room plan. A guy that balks at that is frugal or not a guy with deep pockets. I am starting to think I should just be my own GC and do the finish work myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,051 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnymenudo  /t/1522396/cost-for-plans-reality-check#post_24478711


Seems reasonable. He did say the plans are mine to keep if I don't hire him. Well, I already have plans for the riser, stage, soffit and layout that I would follow if I don't hire him. These were done by me with mechanical pencil and drafting tools - admittedly not CAD. I don't think there is anything to be gained for me by having plans. My hunch, and part of why I posted this is that I think this could be his way of weeding the serious folks from tire kickers. My gut feeling is that it is a test to see if I blink to cost of a room plan. A guy that balks at that is frugal or not a guy with deep pockets.
Or he's just trying to start you down the rabbit hole. If people spend money they tend to continue throwing money after it. So, he gets you started with $100 and it changes your perspective. You are probably more drawn to using him because if you don't you're out $100. Regardless of what you choose, he loses nothing, he's got at least $100 for the time he spent on you.


Me, I'd find a few more bids from guys who won't charge you anything. Then, take them to this guy and ask him straight up if they are in the ballpark of what he'd charge. If not, you start to ask him what he's going to do for you over and above what the bids you have are offering. In other words, if he thinks he'll be $1000 more, then you ask him straight up what his value add is for $1000, if he can't give you anything but a B.S. answer, don't use him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWarrior  /t/1522396/cost-for-plans-reality-check#post_24478752


Or he's just trying to start you down the rabbit hole. If people spend money they tend to continue throwing money after it. So, he gets you started with $100 and it changes your perspective. You are probably more drawn to using him because if you don't you're out $100. Regardless of what you choose, he loses nothing, he's got at least $100 for the time he spent on you.


Me, I'd find a few more bids from guys who won't charge you anything. Then, take them to this guy and ask him straight up if they are in the ballpark of what he'd charge. If not, you start to ask him what he's going to do for you over and above what the bids you have are offering. In other words, if he thinks he'll be $1000 more, then you ask him straight up what his value add is for $1000, if he can't give you anything but a B.S. answer, don't use him.

His estimate was that the CAD plans would be around $500.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,051 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnymenudo  /t/1522396/cost-for-plans-reality-check#post_24478787


His estimate was that the CAD plans would be around $500.
I'd honestly find a few other people to talk to first. At least get an idea what they'd charge. See what percentage of their estimates his $500 is and decide then if it's worth it to pay him to give you plans to estimate off of. Understand, I'm sure he wants some sort of plans so that all dimensions and layout is known and agreed to ahead of time. That's not a bad thing necessarily. However, if he won't even use your rough plans to tell you what he believes the job will cost, then you need to find others who will. Right now this guy is giving you no idea how much you'll have to sink in after you sink $500, and to me, that's unacceptable, especially since you have an idea already what you want.


Moreover, doing rough sketches and such along with an estimate is par for the course. When I was building out our deck outside and planning for the hard-scape around it, I had three different guys estimate the deck, each one either drew up a simple drawing with dimensions and layout along with the estimate or used a simple CAD program to do it for me. None of them charged me for it.


Basically, I'm not sure how complex this guy's $500 plans are going to be, but as a few us of have said, they shouldn't be required to give you an estimate. Especially if you already have a pretty good sketch of what you want done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,866 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnymenudo  /t/1522396/cost-for-plans-reality-check#post_24478787


His estimate was that the CAD plans would be around $500.

Yikes. For $600 you can get a theater layout service set of sketches that would have a lot more usefulness and certainly be more than enough for anyone to generate a valid bid...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1522396/cost-for-plans-reality-check#post_24478977


Yikes. For $600 you can get a theater layout service set of sketches that would have a lot more usefulness and certainly be more than enough for anyone to generate a valid bid...

Do you have a source? Thanks.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top