Reducing Construction Cost Pre-permit

You are probably familiar with the proverb that goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” When it comes to your renovation or new construction project, this statement couldn’t be any more accurate. Taking on a significant project such as this one in your own house has the potential to be one of the most challenging and gratifying endeavors (both monetarily and emotionally) of your entire life. 

These endeavors do not come cheap, which is exactly as it should be, considering the significance of the work that is being done. Because this is your home, you want it to have the very best design, as well as the most bang for your buck. Imaginative endeavors such as this one have the potential to spiral out of control when new concepts and lavish components are introduced.

It is important to establish a budget before beginning the project; however, it is equally important to evaluate the project at specific stages to ensure that you are not making any careless mistakes that could result in additional expenses without contributing anything of equal value to the project.

Be sure to take these additional measures before applying for a construction permit from the city to ensure that you are not approving an extravagant project with an excessive number of bells and whistles or a poorly thought out project that could be developed in a more efficient manner.

1. Choosing The Best Possible Consultants

Finding the appropriate design team is the first step in the process of completing any project. You will need an architectural designer to supply the blueprint for your project and a structural engineer to provide the information on how to build it. Both of these professionals are required for every project. 

You are going to want these two consultants to work together from the very beginning so that you can achieve the highest possible level of productivity. Be sure to look for specialists that have worked on projects that are comparable to the one you are working on. When attempting to strike a balance between value and cost, having experience of this nature is invaluable.

After you have a general concept of what it is that you intend to construct, it is a good idea to begin looking for a contractor to carry out the task. They will collaborate with your engineer and architect to ensure that the project can be built and to keep costs under control.

Additionally, they will help advise you regarding whether the design that is currently in progress will fit within the budget that you have set. Because the chosen contractor and engineer will be required to work closely together for the entirety of the project, it is critical to incorporate them into the design process early on.

In the case of certain projects, such as the building of brand-new residences, you may furthermore need to consider hiring additional experts. For instance, civil engineers are responsible for designing the grading and drainage around the footprint of the house to make certain that standard design standards are satisfied and that the house will not sustain any water damage. 

If you are interested in obtaining value for your investment, another valuable member of your team would be a geotechnical engineer. They will conduct tests on the soil to assess how stable it is, which will allow the structural engineer to construct a foundation that is both safe and as cost-effective as possible.

Include your contractors in the planning process early on. Set aside some time for your construction crew to accompany you on a tour of your property or house and discuss the job. These industry experts will be able to evaluate your project concept and go through it in greater depth with you in order to establish the amount of money that may be saved. 

In order for them to accomplish this, they will need to have an understanding of how you define value. Your team should pay attention to what you have to say in order to gain a sense of which aspects of the project offer value for you and which aspects may be designed more effectively. These discussions are being held with the intention of lowering the number of unknowns, cutting down on the expenses of construction and maintenance, and adding value to the project.

If you are building a home from the ground up, civil engineering experts will be able to assist you by providing critical thinking regarding earthwork and retaining walls, utility connections, existing conditions, and deconstruction. The consultation could lead to a new site plan that you had not considered before, which would eliminate expensive retaining walls and lower the costs of utility connection with shorter runs, thanks to the combined expertise of all of these experts.

Talking things over with an architect is a good idea as you move on with your project. These experts, in conjunction with the structural engineers, will be able to examine the layout of your home and assess whether or not it features any potentially wasteful or expensive inefficiencies. 

Things like the footprint or the number of planned stories, the materials used, the placement of walls in kitchens and bathrooms, and the overall volume of space inside the home can be designed in an efficient manner that reduces the cost of construction, which in turn reduces the cost of the permit. 

This can be accomplished in a number of different ways. In a similar vein, if you are planning on constructing an addition to your home, renovating a specific room, or adding an accessory dwelling unit, consulting with these professionals can bring to your attention any inefficiencies in the process, as well as any potential cost savings that may result from those inefficiencies.

2. Structural Mapping and Analysis

Getting specific with the structural design is one more stage in the process of refining your project to bring down the building costs. The geotechnical report is often the first step in the structural surveying process. 

This report gives recommendations for the foundation, stabilization, and structural aspects of the building based on the existing soil at your site. In certain instances, the requirements of the local jurisdiction make the generation of these reports obligatory; nonetheless, regardless of the circumstances, it is always beneficial to have this report in order to make the most of the design’s efficiency. 

In many cases, the geotechnical engineers will be in a position to give suggestions that help bring down the overall cost of your construction project. When it comes to the design of the foundation, the structural engineering team at Build Everest is able to use the recommendations offered in the geotechnical report to design the most effective foundation type for your structure and the loads that are anticipated to be placed on it.

Additionally, prior to beginning the project, an engineer should visit the site in order to examine the current structure and document the current circumstances. Locations such as the crawl space and the attic offer the designing engineer valuable information regarding the dimensions of the existing framing members and foundations. This enables the engineer to make use of components of the existing structure, which in turn helps to keep costs down. 

It is impossible to obtain all of the information during this visit, and there will frequently be things that need to be addressed while the building is being constructed; however, conducting an exhaustive investigation at the outset can help to minimize the costs associated with these additional concerns.

Check to see if you have any structural drawings of the building (from a prior remodel or from when the structure was built), or ask your contractor if they can open up some holes to examine inside the framing. Both of these options can provide you with even more information.

3. Value Engineering

You may now look at alternatives to your original design for your project that will add value and decrease costs because you are armed with the experience and understanding of your contractor as well as the information you have gathered about the structure. The value of something can be calculated by dividing its function by its cost. You have succeeded in creating extra value for your product if you were able to keep the original functionality of your design while simultaneously reducing costs.

We have touched on various ideas related to value engineering during the contractor consultation as well as the structural surveys. You may now make this procedure more official by holding a brainstorming session as the first step in the process. You can come to the conclusion that some aspects of the design that you once considered to be important are no now at the top of your priority list. 

It’s possible that some of the materials you plan to utilize turn out to have a price tag that’s higher than the value they provide to you on an individual level. Altering the layout of your home to make room for structural columns and supports may be a choice you make in lieu of constructing a single massive retaining wall. Alternatively, you may opt to create a succession of smaller retaining walls instead. You may put all of the information you gained through the process of consultation and surveys to work in this situation.

You are now working on an effective project, and you are well on your way to being successful in obtaining permits.

If you are interested in more articles like this, here’s one about frame structure and load-bearing structure.

David Brent
David Brent
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