Cape Cod is windblown and environmentally sensitive with a housing stock comprised mainly of quickly built cottages and with limited open land. This harsh environment presents the homeowner with specific challenges. Hiring local professionals, familiar with these challenges, is the best way to be assured a smooth path to your finished project. Knowing what advice is needed (what questions to ask) is not always intuitive, but the right consultants can help you to navigate the paperwork so that your dreams can be realized. This blog is meant to help you (the homeowner, the potential home owner, the builder or the property developer) to understand the process involved in undertaking renovation or new construction on Cape Cod and the Islands.
Determine your budget. Determine your time line.
Where will you be living during design phase?
Where will you be living during construction phase?
The sooner you understand how much money you will be spending and the details about your living conditions during construction, the happier you will be about your project. Getting the practical issues tied up will allow you to enjoy the process and together with your architect work on the design decisions which will make your project a success.
The question of how much your project will cost should be attacked from at least two sides. You, the client, know what you can afford and how flexible that number is. As your architect begins to understand your priorities, she will have an idea of what cost will be involved to reach your goal. However, no one can give you and accurate number on square footage alone or even a program. Cost accuracy will increase as more information gets drawn in black and white on accurate drawings. Numbers (costs) thrown out by contractors, designers, salesmen before detailed drawings are done, are almost meaningless. Be prepared to see cost overruns, extras etc. if your numbers are promised at too early a stage. If pressed to estimate cost ahead of drawings, I will always over-estimate. I have lost jobs this way, but would prefer that to seeing clients disappointed when they dive into projects they cannot afford. That said … the creative Architect will help you to refine you desires so that you can afford the solution.
Attempting to live in your home during a major renovation may actually cost you money. Discuss this option with your contractor. Most contractors will give you a lower price if they know they can work unhampered by the schedules and needs of clients living in the home. In order to have your project ready for your summer, start early. If you can, give yourself, your architect and your contractor the luxury of time. Without a doubt, your project will benefit from adequate time.