Vicki writes: What are the most crucial parts of designing a beach house? Does the weather or any environmental changes have big impacts on beach houses? How can an architect design a house that will limit those impacts? What shapes or building styles are suitable for beaches? How long does it take to come up with a design? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com responds: The … [Read more...] about Durable Beach House Construction
Cindy writes: When is the best time to have a perc test done? I am supposed to have a perc done next week. There has been snow and unusually cold temperatures lately so I’m not sure this is a good time. I want to move forward with the test so I can submit my building plans to the county and get the permits, which can take several weeks. I really don't want to delay the perc … [Read more...] about Best Time of Year for Perc Test?
Faith writes: Where do I start to make my six-acre unimproved lot buildable? Though there is a house on the lot adjacent to my land, in addition to three to four homes in front of my property, the planning and zoning department in my county is saying that my land is not buildable. Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: The place to start is by talking with the … [Read more...] about Building on an “Unbuildable” Lot
Dino writes: What is the average percentage that builders charge when they build a new home on a cost-plus contract? Do you recommend that route for a custom home? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: In pricing a new home, contractors typically mark up their hard costs by 18% to 25% for overhead and profit, although the actual number can vary considerably by … [Read more...] about Cost-Plus Contract for New Home
Elisha writes: Thank you for the insight you have provided into what it means to build a house. We are planning to build in the Poconos. Given a total budget of about $200K, I'm assuming we should go with a Design-Builder to help us with siting and designing the house, and with project management and construction. Is this the best approach? Steve Bliss, of … [Read more...] about Design-Build on a Tight Budget