I know that identifying wetlands or steep slopes on your property is important before you design and begin to build, but what other issues have people run into when trying to either start or finish an exterior project? I want to build an addition on my house, but I want to know what to expect or at least know where I can go to find this information. We are trying to determine a timeline for the project in order to make it easy for everyone involved. My contractor is looking into it as well, but I figured there was no harm in asking here!

  • It may help to know what kind of addition you are planning for and if you have any specific concerns. You mention wetlands and slopes, but environmental concerns will vary by region, so knowing more about your project will help avoid this being an exceptionally broad question. For example, frost is a concern in northern climates but not in southern, leading to basement requirements in the north while the south might use slab-on-grade or a crawlspace. – Hari Ganti Jun 29 '18 at 18:41
  • Welcome to Home Improvement. Your question is good from the perspective of "good to know", but isn't a good fit for a Q&A site. The site is designed around questions that have a "right answer" that you can look up in an authoritative source. Questions that seek to create a list or aggregate knowledge don't fit that model. You end up with many partial answers, perhaps none a complete one unless it is way outside the intended scope. It also doesn't mesh with the site's "scoring system" of identifying good and bad answers via voting and acceptance. A forum or chat might be a better venue. – fixer1234 Jun 29 '18 at 19:00
  • Once a structure is built I have not had a problem getting a permit for small additions in the past, where is the property located and what is the % of the addition, are you adding a bedroom or expanding square fottage, most septic systems are based on the number of bedrooms. – Ed Beal Jun 29 '18 at 22:23

Social: 1) Neighborhood, 2) schools: Many clients come to us to “remodel” their existing house because they like the neighborhood. They could find better land values elsewhere and probably build new cheaper, but they like their neighbor’s, etc.

Economic: 1) Financial, 2) investment: You probably won’t own that investment forever. Review trends in your area for increasing value. Will you need financing? Lending institutions require adequate time for closing.

Regulatory: 1) Adequate review period for permits, 2) adequate time for sub bids, utility install, etc.

Environmental: 1) Weather acceptable for material installation: Where I live, we build year-around, but it costs more in the winter because it’s slower and we have to protect our work from the weather.

Design: 1) adequate time for design review considerations, changes, etc. 2) adequate time to obtain materials and equipment. If you’re adding a second floor bath, do you have adequate water pressure? Will you a new electrical service added by utility? If you are not hooked up to the local sewer utility, you’ll need adequate time for soil sample analysis, testing and design approval. Likewise for water and you’ll need adequate distance between water supply (well) and septic system (septic tank and drainfield.

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