Important Information for Homeowners to Gather Prior to Investing in Designers and Contractors

In any home renovation project, there is a certain progression of events that must happen before construction can start. The most important step is determining whether your project is even possible. Fortunately, this is something you can do yourself. Often times, you will be asked to pay an upfront retainer fee to a contractor or designer to compensate them for the time that will be spent designing, planning, and pricing your project. Before you invest significant money that you won’t get back, use this guide to identify any potential issues that could severely hinder your home renovation project.

Work With Your Local Planning and Inspections Department

Before starting on any renovation project, especially one that’s going to increase the square footage of your home, it’s best to check with your local planning and inspections department or read through the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and check for the following:

  • Impervious surface limits – Depending on where your home is located, existing square footage of impervious surfaces, and the size of your lot, impervious limits could dictate the size of the addition that you can add on to your home without having to invest in runoff management systems or being able to build at all.
  • Zoning or historic overlay restrictions or guidelines – Try to find out any zoning or historic restrictions that could significantly dictate what you can do as far as a height restrictions, usage, and exterior appearance.
  • Check setback requirements – No matter where you live there are setback requirements that dictate the distance between any structure, property lines and the right of way. Often referred to as side yard, front yard and rear yard dimensions, these distances are determined by the zone in which your home is located. Some smaller lots may already have structures that prevent a home addition from being added to the existing footprint of a due to setback restrictions.
  • Do you have a septic system? – If you currently have a septic system and are looking to add bedrooms, you need to make sure that your current system can handle the increased demand. These questions can be directed to your local Environmental Health Department as they are required to keep this information on file.
  • Budget – It’s also important when starting a home renovation project that you have a realistic budget in mind based on your requirements and that you truly understand construction costs. Most contractors will give homeowners a complimentary ballpark estimate without asking for a retainer.

Still Have Questions About the Feasibility of a Home Renovation Project?

If you’ve done your due diligence but still have some questions about whether a home renovation project makes sense for you and your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Prince & Sons today. We can always be reached by phone at 919-383-0888 or via our online contact form where we’ll do our best to follow up as soon as possible. Thank you for considering us as your trusted local general contractor.

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