We realize that planning a construction project can be a daunting task. It is often a once in a lifetime endeavor and therefore our goal is to make the progress as seamless as possible. Below you will find our thoughts on the important questions that every client should be thinking about when contemplating a renovation.

But first, here is what needs to happen before you begin:

  1. Decide on your desired scope of work
  2. Establish a budget
  3. Determine if you will need permits and/or architectural drawings
  4. Select an architect to produce construction drawings (if permits/drawings required)
  5. Have General Contractors bid on your project
  6. Select a General Contractor and sign a contract to govern the scope of work, payment terms etc.
  7. Consult with an interior designer to pick out fixtures, design schemes (if so desired)
  8. Submit permit applications with the local municipality (typically performed by Architect and/or Contractor depending on the jurisdiction).

Q?What are the required steps in order to receive permits for my project?

In most instances, the local municipality or governing authority will require approved construction drawings in order to issue a valid permit for your construction project.  Your architect is responsible for producing these drawings.  They will typically perform an initial site walk through to take measurements, test the existing structure and look for any unique circumstances.  In conjunction with the parameters and stylistic preferences you have set forth, the Architect will produce the construction drawings for your approval. These drawings are then submitted to the local building authority for a plan review.  The building officials will check the drawings for code compliance and fulfillment of any local requirements.  This plan review can last up to 30 days depending on the specific municipality and if any changes are required to be made by the architect.  Once approved, your project is ready for permitting.

Q?How should I select an Architect?

Architectural firms vary greatly in size and in the services they provide.  Some may specialize in  residential services (custom homes, additions, renovations and smaller projects), while others solely perform commercial work for corporations and business entities.  Each firm will bring a unique set of skills and perspective to your project.  It is important that you share your goals, design preferences, special circumstances and budget with the architects you are considering.   Coastal Points Construction is fortunate to have developed strong relationships with many talented architects in the region and we are happy to make recommendations for your project.

Q?Do small projects require permits and construction drawings?

Most projects will require a permit, but not all projects necessarily require full construction drawings.  Minor renovations to kitchens and bathrooms, for instance, may be approved for permitting without full drawings.  It depends on the local municipalities requirements.  Coastal Points Construction can help navigate this process for you.

Q?How many General Contracting bids should I receive?

Three bids from reputable General Contractors is typically sufficient in order to make an educated choice. Remember, you will often be working with a contractor for several months from the planning phase through completion; so it is imperative that you choose someone that you will be comfortable working and communicating with.

Q?What information should a General Contracting Proposal include?

The more detailed the proposal, the better. The proposal should clearly state lines item for the entire scope of work and an associated price. Do not accept a “lump-sum” price without very specific conditions. A proper bid should also list who is responsible for purchasing which materials necessary to complete your job as well as any exclusions or allowances.

Q?Who is responsible for filing the permit applications with the town?

Coastal points Construction will apply for all work permits required by your municipality’s Building Department. The applications typically include a copy of the contract for the scope of work, Contractors License & Insurance details, as well as information on state-licensed subcontractors such as plumbers and electricians.

Q?When can we start construction?

Construction can only commence once permits have been issued and the scope has been agreed. A full plan should be in place including purchasing responsibilities for all finish materials. While every project is different, Coastal Points Construction is typically able to begin work 1-3 weeks from the time a project has been fully permitted.

Q?How long will my job take to complete?

As you would expect, every project is different and therefore every project completion schedule is unique. Generally speaking, a gut brownstone renovation can take anywhere from 4-8 months depending on the details of the finish carpentry work and any special requirements. A single kitchen or bathroom renovation can typically be completed in 4-8 weeks. New construction is typically a 6-12 months job, but can vary greatly based on the site conditions and municipality. Regardless of the projects scope or budget, the more decisions that are made in the planning phase, the more smoothly and quickly your project will go overall.

Q?Who draws up the contract that governs the contract?

Coastal Points Construction utilizes the American Institute of Architects (“AIA”) standard contract documents. We will draw up the contract and give you ample opportunity to review all items and conditions within.

Q?Can we reside in the unit while construction is in progress?

It all depends on the size and nature of the construction project. Safety is the primary driver of this decision. As a rule of thumb, projects such as kitchen and bathrooms may allow for the owner to maintain residence while work is being done. But on larger renovation projects, it is often not possible for clients to stay during construction. This will all be decided and agreed upon prior to commencement.