Intro to the design and construction process

It may seem a little mysterious if you have not been through it before. But we have-and here’s the skinny in 8 steps:

1. Talk to lots of people who have been through it before from different vantage points: builders, architects, neighbors, friends, colleagues, building inspectors. Ask them lots of questions. Develop a budget-ask folks what there projects cost or what yours might be likely to cost.


2. Choose you architect and possibly your builder. Some work in teams called “design-build”, and some do not-which allows you to bid the project among different builders. Interview and vet your designer-do they have experience with the project you might hire them for? in the locality?

3.Design: get your goals and objectives written down and listed with factors like how it will be used, think about houses or buildings you like and ones you don’t. Start from general concept then drill down into the details.


4. Get your approvals- you’ll want to find out if you need building permits from your municpality. Chances are you will. The process is more fully explained here:

5. Bid the project (unless you know and have chosen your builder) get multiple bids from qualified builders who have done similar work in the municipality that you are building in.

6. Take care of the practical stuff- do you have your ducks in a row: moving or staying? storage? Insurance in order? Mail? Utilities? Neighbors aware? Parking arrangements?

7. Build! Be proactive, use a written contract with your builder that addresses costs, scope, schedule, payments, etc. Overcommunicate- answer questions promptly, Pay promptly. Constantly monitor your builder- hold them accountable without being a nudge!

8. Move-in! take care of all the sign offs, punch-lists, warranties and final payments. Party!

If you have questions, please call me 914 980 5532-Steve