Archives for posts with tag: Baker Klein Engineering

We had an exciting day. This morning we met with our architect extraordinaire Patricia McQuaid, our contractor, and our structural engineer, Tamara Baker. An all female team. The three of them are familiar with each other even though they haven’t all worked together, and they are all excited about the project. I know it’s normal to bid stuff out, but Richard and I decided for this unique project we were more interested in the right fit. We have talked with Patricia before about modern design and she’s very familiar with William Morgan’s works, Tamara thinks the house is amazing and can’t wait to knock holes in the walls, and the contractor is LEED certified, has a good reputation for being on time and in budget, and has done commercial buildings, public buildings and residences. (Editor’s note June, 2011 – contractor was neither on time nor on budget nor had experience with renovations. We had to finish home on our own.)

We met with Patricia and the contractor for about four hours to have a good poke around and let our conversation range from conceptual to practical to the occasionally ridiculous. Tony Rieck took photos for Patricia to refer to during the project, the contractor and I talked about broad details like flooring and windows, and of course we discussed the budget. Still way too ethereal for my comfort. We can dream big, but of course there is always the price tag to consider. I can only imagine all of the hard choices we will have to make.

I still don’t have a good handle on how the architect, structural engineer and contractor work together. I’ve only figured out that the contractor needs the architect to provide the overall design, but the contractor said on a project like this it is even more crucial that she get detailed drawings from the structural engineer. Probably once I don’t need to understand I’ll get it.

After our meeting we met with another lender to discuss funding. I gave a little spiel about his needing to expect that this will not be a standard loan process, because nothing about this house is standard. He said he feels comfortable about us getting approved.

Richard researched the Hatcher house online and found an angry blog written by a previous potential buyer. The blogger outlined details of the price negotiation and portions of the structural and inspection reports. He even included a photo of a bat he said was found inside the home. The blog was quite a find, all these details about the problems with the house without paying for an inspection! A few days later I received a cryptic text from Richard at work, “click on the bat.” It took me a minute to figure out he meant the photo on the blog. I fired up the computer, found the site and clicked on the bat photo, which enlarged it. I could then clearly see the blue paper folder on which the bat was laid out, with a name embossed on the paper. “Baker Klein Engineering,” the firm that conducted the structural inspection! Tamara Baker is our neighbor. Is this a sign or something?