House with no Plan

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Posted by: from Bc
2/21/2018 at 11:14:55 PM

My house was built in early- mid 1970's. I am the second owner, I never got my house plan from the previous owner and the city Hall doesn't have a copy either. We are planning on doing an extension on the back of the house. Where do we start. Can someone please advise?

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Date/Time2/22/2018 at 9:09:27 AM

We have those situation all the time. Contact a designer or architect. We measure and draw the existing house, then draw the proposed addition, you end up with both house (original and proposed).We currently have this situation, adding a 2 storey attached garage to a 1950's bungalow. Good luck.

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Peter from LATTAG Studio Inc. in Vaughan
Date/Time2/22/2018 at 9:12:45 AM

Start by hiring an architect. The first thing we do is create a set of existing drawings.

Hope it helps Peter

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Date/Time2/22/2018 at 10:28:37 AM

Call up Measure Master and they can do your as builts. You don't need Designer or architects for this. If you are doing renovation and structural changes than yes that is a different story


Ridgewater Homes

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Bahar from RZ Interiors in Thornhill
Date/Time2/22/2018 at 10:32:02 AM

Hi Peter. This happens all the time. You can hire an interior designer to provide you with as-built drawings. Or you can solely focus on the area where you'd like to build the extension and ask for an interior designer to draw up the existing plans. It would take roughly 2-3 weeks to provide you with the as built drawings.

Hope this helps.

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Date/Time2/22/2018 at 10:40:07 AM

Hi Peter

There are a few ways you can go about this.

The most economical way would be to go to your local community College and inquire or put Ads up for a Architectural Technologist

or Technician Or a Engineering firm or

Architectural firm.

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Date/Time2/22/2018 at 11:12:25 AM

Hi Peter,

The best place to start is to have a conversation with a quality builder. They will be familiar with local zoning and building codes and can facilitate the process of getting plans completed that will comply with them. I hope this helps.


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Date/Time2/22/2018 at 11:43:47 AM


All of the responses you have received so far have been accurate and good advice, but are all from a different perspective.

First you need to determine the scope of the work for the proposed changes you would like to make to your home.

This will help you decide whether you need to engage and architect or just go with a designer. These are different levels of design and most often much different price points.

If the level of quality of design does not require and architect then you can save yourself some money on the soft costs.

A quality renovator/builder will not only be able to advise you on this, and will typically have relationships with good architects and designers, and will be able to help you through this process.

Having a student or measure masters complete "as-is" drawings will be a waste of time and money if you later hire a designer or architect because they typically wont trust and use those drawings. They will instead send out their own trusted technicians to complete the measure up.

Also, be very careful of giving and architect, or designer a long leash, because typically what happens is they design a "vision" of what the final product should look like and quite often over design and your hard costs exceed what you have or wanted to spend.

A quality builder, familiar with this process can guide you through this, and help to ensure that the design is not exceeding the target budget for the project, before the design is done.

Good luck with your project.

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Date/Time2/22/2018 at 1:12:13 PM

Hello Peter

We just finished a large addition in Richmond hill 1500 sq/foot in three level including basement.

The first thing need to get down is a drawing by a professional architect. Which is invalve measuring, assessments, practicality and so on.

Then determining the scope of work and budgeting.

Proposing the design to the municipaly.

The same time searching for capable contractor.

The permit process may take up to 90 days some cases even more.

If you have further questions please don't hesitate to contact us.


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Date/Time2/22/2018 at 1:21:27 PM


One thing I forgot to say is;

Some municipaly may accept the copy Google map showing the location of existing house when you submit your propose for addition. But some don't. In this case you need to hire an individual survey specialist to make a survey which may cost you $2000-4000.

This should have done prior submitting your propose.


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Date/Time2/22/2018 at 6:05:40 PM

Hello Peter,

I recommend you interview some design builders specializing in additions in your area. They are accustomed to picking up the ball and running with it at this stage.

Every builder is different, and we are in Toronto, but we would listen to your needs, sketch out a rough design and budget, then design and build to that same budget, once contracted.

They will take care of measuring up your home, creating drawings and obtaining your building permit.

Best of luck,

Andrew Parker

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Date/Time2/23/2018 at 10:09:15 AM

Hi Peter, this is Carmen due to the fact City Halls and municipalities don't go back too far with existing plans. I would recommend you hire a draftsman rather than an architect it'll save you a bit of money, or hire an architect they will measure out your existing house and give you new blueprints to submit to City Hall as well as blueprints with your proposed addition. If you have a real property report or the survey from the original house you can take that to your municipality to see if you're even allowed an addition on that property before you get into additional costs. If you were in Calgary I would recommend a fantastic draughtsman for you. Wish you the best. Jeff

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Date/Time2/23/2018 at 10:48:28 AM

You have to hire either engineer or architect so will be able to get the existing layout measured and draw then will proceed with the proposed addition on the same plan

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