For those building in today’s market, the process of getting a project off paper and under construction can be daunting—regardless of the size of the build and whether it’s a first venture into a construction project or not. Considerations from the availability of designers and architects to builders and construction supplies can impact not only how soon a project may be started, but how long it will take to complete.
“Even if you are fortunate enough to find your perfect plan, engineering and permitting will usually take several months,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of The House Plan Company. “Depending on the specific building jurisdiction, it is possible that other professionals will also need to participate in the process. Surveyors, land use, mechanical contractors, designers, and roof truss manufacturers are just a few of the professionals that may need to be involved, so it's critical to recognize the process will take time.”
Leveraging pre-designed plans will help save time and offer a starting point to fit your needs, but Eugene, Oregon based The House Plan Company also recommends the following tips for building in today’s market:
Give Each Phase Time.
The decision to build can be exciting, but do not let the desire to see immediate progress make you rush your project. Once you have selected a plan consult with an HPC expert to help guide you through the plan package selection. When your order is complete and plans are in hand, along with the appropriate copyright release, it is a good idea to consult with local building professionals. Your contractor, building department officials, or design professional can help guide you through the next steps.
If your project requires customizing a pre-designed plan keep in mind that designers are experiencing greater work volumes than they have previously, and seasonal fluctuations are no longer the norm. So, it is important to get the revision process started early. Also plan on having supplemental design information prepared before applying for permits. This may include site plans, structural engineering, or other site studies.
Just like during their design and architectural counterparts, builders’ schedules are also often booked out well in advance. Although some may still be willing to assist with the design phase, don’t be surprised if builders push out meetings to review your project until you have plans in hand.
When navigating the design and building process, ask lots of questions, but also be prepared to have patience throughout the process. Unexpected or unplanned delays can unfortunately be part of the process.
As resources become commodities in today’s market, the cost of construction has been on the rise and has the potential to push you beyond your budget. If this is the case, having plans finished and a construction team lined up may put you in a better position to move ahead when construction material pricing levels off.
Enjoy the Process!
Every project has its challenges, but don’t forget that building should be a fun, exciting process. Smile and remember that in the end, you will move into your new dream home or outfit a detached garage or shop.
McAlexander says the question homeowners often neglect to ask vendors during the build and design process but should, is “do you have the skills and expertise to meet my project goals?”
“That is not to say every project needs to be treated as a work of art, but if you’re building your forever home on the dream lot, careful planning and meticulous execution will result in a lifetime of enjoyment. With that in mind, it is important to find professionals with extensive experience,” McAlexander concluded.