1. Hire a Civil Engineer
There’s nothing worse than getting ready to break ground and realizing there are certain building codes or zoning regulations that are required. These scenarios often delay a project by months and can be extremely expensive. Hiring a civil engineer to survey the lot and determine building feasibility and size limitations can save you time and money in the long-run. You will also need a civil engineer to produce a plot plan if you are building a new home or adding footprint to an existing home.
2. Find Out Your Town’s Building Code and Permitting Requirements
Pre-build procedures are just as important as the construction itself. Once you have your plans, make sure that either you or your contractor get in touch with the city or town and find out exactly which building permits you’ll need. Permits ensure that construction is following all of the current building and safety codes and are legally mandatory for new construction and major renovations. If you are building a second home, don’t assume that the codes will be the same as your first. Every town, city, state, etc., have different building codes and permit requirements.
3. Contract with an Architect & Builder
Having a team of experts that work well together can be the difference between a stressful project and one that goes smoothly. If you hire a builder first, ask them for recommendations of architects they like to work with and vice versa. Another option is contracting the architect first, and then sending the project to multiple builders for bids. If you elect to procure bids, make sure you have a detailed set of plans and specifications to eliminate any ambiguity. Of course, the most stress-free option is a design-build firm that can handle both sides seamlessly.
4. Finalize Your Budget and Know Financial Limitations
Most likely your project will have unforeseen expenses. Knowing your financial limitations and “padding” your budget to cover extra costs can help you avoid a shortage of funds once construction begins. Be honest about your budget with your builder; they can help you figure out how to best allocate the dollars. Always have contingency funds for the inevitable surprises.
5. Finalize Selections
Things can get difficult and expensive when you make major changes to the plan. Be sure that the choices you make are what you want and once you make them, stop looking at other options. Ask your team for their opinions and let them know if you’re unsure about your decisions before the work begins. It’s okay to change a few small things like wall colors and cabinet hardware, but know that any changes you make will push the timeline back and can cause you to go over budget. Make sure you fully understand your allowances for such items as tile, flooring, cabinetry, etc.
At The Valle Group, we offer full pre-construction and construction services to ensure that your experience goes as smoothly as possible.