Things to consider and Questions to ask?
We have provided a lot of information within our guide to aid you in your journey towards remodeling or designing a new custom home.
While most of the information is bone dry, we hope it has at least provided you with a way to plan your journey and given you something to think about.
You can save a lot of money doing some legwork on your own, or pay your design professional to do so for you.
When it comes to procuring the building permit itself, many clients understand that term and may have had one for a new gas
line/ windows etc. Again depending on the local jurisdiction,
either the homeowner/client or contractor can obtain the construction permit.
The same applies to dealing with the local historical heritage board, design review board, planning department, etc.
Some choose to do so on their own and there are
many that don't. Let your architect know ahead of time if that is your intention, since these usually require a plan check of a comprehensive set of architectural,
structural drawings and calculations. A permit is usually required before construction can start.
Again it depends on the situation and the local jurisdiction.
Prepare yourself as much as possible or let your design professional walk you through the process.
It all depends on what you want or prefer to do.
- If adding square footage, a level or anything that requires new foundation work -provide a survey and soils report to the architect.
Check with your local building department.
- If a site plan is available, supply it to your architect (site plans are normally required for the permit review).
These can be obtained from the building department (existing buildings)
- Obtain financing or understand how you will pay for the work. Prepare for contingencies.
- Be aware that planning reviews, building permits and other agency related requirements have fees associated
- Factor in design related fees. Many potential clients have a budget for construction but not one for design fees
or permit fees. If you haven't developed a realistic budget for construction, now is the time.
- Do you need full architectural services? For many smaller residential projects, the clients may not require or want
services like these. Talk to your architect about the level of service you want or are willing to pay for.
- Will I need the services of a structural or civil engineer?
- Will I need a geotechnical/ soils report?
- What are the utilities on site? I.e. sewer,well, natural gas, electrical power, potable water, fire hydrant, telephone & cable.
- Is my site an ecologically sensitive area which requires special consideration?
- Are there any wetlands, creeks, lakes on or near the property?
- Does my architect have a good set of contracts or provides guidance for an owner-contractor agreement?
- Does my architect provide a complete set of specifications or sheet specs or notes as part of the CD drawings?
- What are the costs of a complete set of specifications? Are those necessary on a small project?
- Are there difficult design review requirements or zoning/planning ordinances?
- Do you already have a contractor or will your design professional help you find one?
- If you choose to not use the services of an architect during Construction Administration, who will do that work?
Above all else, while it can be a stressful process, try to have fun and hopefully at the end of it all, you'll have the house you always dreamed off.