Saturday, December 6, 2014

What services for obtaining a permit are included in the sale of the framing package?

A common question especially when one is looking for property is what services are included and what services are available but at an additional charge.

"I have located a 5 acre parcel with an existing well.  Please describe to what extent you are able to assist including lot preparation, septic system, and any permits in addition to factory house and foundation."
When searching for land it is important that one works with a seasoned agent who is familiar with construction and land sales.  If you have simple specific questions I am always happy to help.
As part of the sale of the framing package the factory will prepare the fully engineered drawings wet stamped with the structural calculations, truss plan and truss calculations.  We have a consultant who will prepare the energy calculations and guide you through this process for $400.  And we will provide you with CAD files to give to your sprinkler sub so that they can prepare the sprinkler plan.
The site plan would be done by the civil engineer who is designing your septic.  If a grading and/or drainage plan is required then this person would most likely prepare that also. If there is a significant slope a topo might be required for the design of the septic and grading and this would be prepared by a surveyor.   If a geologist report is required for the design of the foundation this would have to be completed prior to our structural engineer can design the foundation.
I am a licensed architect and I work with clients on design (either changes to the pre-engineered plans or completely custom plans) and guiding clients through the entire permitting process (other than what we provide with the package as outlined above) consulting for two hours for free.  This work would normally be done after you own the lot. 
BUT this is where I normally say that you need a good real estate agent to guide you fully through the due diligence phase of the purchase process where you would determine all of the costs involved (good estimates) in developing the property and also provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis of what the property would sell for if completed the way you intend – to make sure that the new home will be competitive in the market.  In other words if it is going to cost you $600,000 to completely build the home and site work, etc. and the house would only sell for $400,000 then the lot is most likely overpriced.  Although I have worked with clients in the buying process – and my background is that I was a real estate broker also – I generally prefer to recommend that you use your agent for this process as this is why they are making the big bucks and you should not have to pay me to do their job!!
And so that you can plug a number into your spreadsheet – I typically find that most of my clients build for about $165 a square foot for medium grade finishes acting as an owner/contractor (hiring and supervising their subs) excluding the cost of the land, permits, utilities and site work (ie. driveway).  This for a level site and normal perimeter foundation.  Your will most likely have additional cost for the wild land fire code. 
I am able to assist you with the purchase of your property but I do charge for my time at a rate of $150 an hour.  And much of this work your agent should be assisting you with.
I hope that all of this information is helpful.  (And if you want to send me the link to the property I will throw my two cents into the discussion.)
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is It Time to Start Your Plans??

Are you planning on starting construction in June?  If so, you are not alone so obtaining a building permit can take longer than expected – so let’s review some time frames.

Planning is the place to start inquiring about what you can do (or not do) on your property.  Setbacks and lot coverage are basic requirements but many planning departments (especially city planning departments) are now requiring design review.  It is critical to find out if this is required for your project as the design might be dictated by architectural guidelines.  Additionally, there might be extensive plans required for the review such as civil drawings, landscape plans and even water efficiency plans.  Getting through design review, if it is required, can take a minimum of a month to prepare and then the review itself can take a few months. 

At the same time it is important to find out what the Building Department is going to require in order to submit for Plan Check.  We will assist you with the fully engineered drawings, structural calculations, truss plan and calculations.  Our energy consultant can assist you with Title 24 and CalGreen checklists.  A sprinkler plan will be required and we will provide you with the CAD/PDF files so that your sprinkler contractor can design the system for your home.  One critical report to find out if it is required is a geologist’s soils report.  Not to be confused with a soils report for the design of a septic system, this report is required for the design of the foundation.  It may take 4 to 6 weeks to obtain this report.

Every property is unique and the steps required to obtain a building permit can vary greatly from quite simple to very complex.  But with the June 30th deadline to submit for plan check in order to avoid having to comply with the new energy codes – we highly encourage you to allow between three to six months to prepare the drawings and other documents required.

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Five Months After the Delivery of a Brentwood Model

And the progress continues on up in the Gold Country on this modified Brentwood Model:

And per the client:

This is the first of what looks to be three days for the Taylor team to add stone to the house front.  Tahoe River Rock is the name of the cultured stone we selected for our house.  Individual stones are smeared with an ample heap of mortar and then it is squished onto the wall.  As Brenda realized today, "it's an art form" to apply these stones.
The Taylor team got it done a bit faster than expected, just 2 1/2 days and we really like the finished look!
You may be thinking, how did they stone our house so quickly?
They stoned us when we were having our early breakfast,
& they stoned us when we walked up to work
& they stoned us while we were trying to work so good,
& they stoned us when we were walking through the doors,
Now you should’ve known, that we're the only house on the block that got the Taylor stone.
We would not feel so all alone, if every house got the Taylor stone...
Aaaa, they stoned us when we were riding in our truck,
& they stoned us when Brenda tried to read her book,
& they stoned us when we went out for lunch, and you know!
We would not feel so all alone, everyone must get the Taylor stone!
And you know, they stoned us as we took our lazy naps,
& they stoned as we fed some big old bucks,
& they stoned us when we were cutting up the tile,
& they stoned us when we laid it on the floor, and you should know!
We would not feel so all alone, everyone must get the Taylor stone!

And one of my favorite things about our framing packages is that each one is a completely custom home.

Day 5 1/2 we got tile cut as far as we can go.  Tomorrow morning I'll cut in the circle to place the "Tree of Life" artwork that we hand carried from Jordan in 2008 as a side trip from Israel.  We're real happy how nice the colors complement each other.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Three Months After the Delivery of a Modified Brentwood

This package was delivered three months ago and the client sends updates all of the time.

"After 7 days of painting, no telling how much paint, the workers have departed at last today, mid-afternoon.

Now the house is ready for interior finishing, electrical to begin early next week.  It's time to order the cabinets and pick out & purchase the flooring.

 We will first focus on finishing the outside; stucco, stone work, decking & railings to make it complete and safe for visitors.

It's also time to order the garage door, so we can stage our interior materials and bring over our finishing tools."
Happy Building!!!
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Two Weeks after the Delivery of a Modified Brentwood Model

"Today, completed 2 weeks since we received the house package.  We're ready for the roof sheathing nail off inspection and I made the call to the county building department, with a request for morning inspection to support putting felt on the roof starting at noon.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, promises to be very exciting with all that we want to get done before the rain moves in:... like finish nailing the roof, lots of detailed work in the roof structure, get all of the plumbing holes poked in the roof, perhaps install the 3 sky lights, the gutter guy will install our gutters (waiting on down spouts), get felt on the roof and load it with the shingles."
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Many Benefits of Panelization

Panelized construction saves both the owner and the contractor time and money.  Higher quality, efficiency and project control all contribute to these savings.

From saving time to controlling costs with guaranteed quotes, higher quality and reduced construction waste, it is not surprising that more and more home builders and their clients are choosing panelized construction.

Making Dreams a Reality

With the technology that is currently available and the adaptability of using a panelized system no two panelized homes are ever exactly alike.  Whether you are working with a design professional or have your own dream home in mind, we can turn your idea into your dream home.

Build Your New Home in Less Time

Your new home can be fabricated at the factory before being shipped to your home site while the foundation and subfloor are being installed.  Once delivered  the shell of the panelized home can be erected and made weather tight in just a few days.  This reduced construction time saves weeks compared to on-site framing and weather, material delivery delays and subcontractor scheduling delays are much less of a concern for panelized home construction.

Framing Packages are built Precisely and Efficiently

The precision technology used to produce panelized home components and uniform quality control simply cannot be replicated on a job site.  Factory framing is engineered to the highest quality, ensuring your home is built precisely square and dimensionally correct.  Your home is built to meet your local building code no matter if your area requires special consideration for high winds, seismic or fire codes.  With such a low margin of error and precision building, panelized homes are known for increased energy efficiency.

Costly Overruns are Eliminated

When building a new home unforeseen delays and circumstances such as material cost increases inflates costs.  Panelized construction reduces or eliminates some of these costly delays.

With a majority of the panelized home's initial construction occurring in a climate controlled factory the framing package is not subject to weather delays and then due to the speed of assembly the exposure to the elements is greatly reduced.

Reducing the amount of on site labor also reduces a project's reliance on subcontractors.  Panelized construction eases the scheduling and coordinating the completion of the home.

Your New Home will be built in Less Time

Mother Nature is often the harshest of all obstacles facing home building.  Since the framing package is pre-constructed in a climate controlled factory worries of rain, snow or wind damage are virtually eliminated.  Weather tight in a matter of days warping, mold and mildew are eliminated.

It is no wonder that panelization is the wave of the future.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

And Construction of the Subfloor of the Brentwood Continues

Gradually the basement walls go up for the subfloor.

So caught up now.  Perhaps one more entry before the delivery of March 11th.
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Building the Brentwood Starting the Foundation

The site is a beautiful location up in the Sonora area.

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Building a Brentwood with a Walk Out Basement

I have a unique opportunity to share the building of this home from the ground up over a number of posts.  My client is taking a wonderful series of photos and as he builds his new home I will share the photos.

This first set is the plans.  From the first day that we met at his site to picking up his permit was ten weeks.

Main Floor Plan:

Basement Plan:
Front Elevation:
Rear Elevation:
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Home Design Trends for 2014

·        Traditional Styled Homes.  More homeowners are looking for traditional styled homes with a contemporary twist.  Hip roofs combined with 10’ ceiling allowing larger windows and a lot of light.  Large covered porches with French doors (or French styled sliding doors) opening the inside to the out of doors.  Asymmetrical facades with front columns and a welcoming entrance.

·        Kitchens.  The tradition of the kitchen at the rear of the house adjacent to the garage is continuing to be a design of the past.  Kitchens are now the central element of the home becoming more of a multitasking area from entertaining to helping children with homework.

·        Spa bathrooms and a Quiet Sitting Room.  With life becoming busier a private place to get away and relax is becoming more a necessity than a luxury.

·        Flexible Space.  Whether a parent joining the household, a child returning home or a home office more and more designs are incorporating a bedroom with an en suite bath and perhaps a sitting room with a private exterior entrance into the home.

·        Energy Efficiency.  Between the new Energy Commission regulations going into effect and more and more building and planning departments adopting CalGreen checklist, building a home that is not energy efficient is no longer an option.  Using a framing package aids in meeting some of the requirements.
But as always the most important thing is to carefully consider all of your own personal needs when designing your new home.

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