So you have a piece of land and you are ready to build your new commercial project.. Not so fast! There is a series of steps to take before any construction can begin. Even before you can get your hands on a building permit – which will allow you to start building – there is zoning, financing, surveying, architectural and engineering work to deal with.
Zoning and Financing
You read that right! You have to find out what kind of commercial project you can build, depending on the area’s zoning, and how you are going to finance it. If the construction doesn’t stick to zoning requirements, it will have to be redone (more time and money spent), since it will fail city inspections. The worst case scenario: if you run out of money before you reach the point at which you can refinance, your building will be auctioned off in parts, and your entire investment will be gone. You simply have to plan your finances well.
Site Plan Application and Building Permit
With zoning and finances figured out, you are ready to fill out the building site application. This is the next step to take; depending on the use that the building will have, a series of requirements will have to be followed, such as connection to city services (water, sewage, electricity) and sufficient parking spaces, among others. Be ready to wait – this step will take at least two months.
Then comes surveying, to determine the exact location of your property on your land, followed by the architectural work. That isn’t it yet – a whole crew of engineers needs to work together to make sure you project is actually sustainable and buildable. Don’t forget: all these professionals must communicate with each other to come up with drawings that can actually get you a building permit, which is the next big step.
Getting the permit is an adventure in itself: it usually implies several trips to the city. First, the paperwork is submitted, and there is a two- to four-week waiting period to get a response. Getting a “yes” in the first round is usually mission impossible – the city comes back with questions that have to be answered. Then the waiting begins again.
Let the Construction Begin! Ready for Inspections?
With that coveted permit in hand, you are now ready to deal with excavation, foundation, building framing, walls, roofing, stairs (indoor and outdoor), carpeting, electricity, plumbing, bathrooms, etc. Remember that each job requires a specialized professional! If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can try hiring and coordinating them yourself. Otherwise, you might want to get a General Contractor (GC) or even go with turn-key project delivery (AKA design-build) – when absolutely everything is done for you.
As the work begins, regular visits from a city inspector are to be expected. This professional has to make sure that every single detail outlined in the architectural drawings is being built correctly. If that isn’t the case, any “mistake” will have to be demolished and redone. Even having a GC, though, doesn’t always guarantee that your building will pass every inspection.
The Whole Process Made Effortless
There is a light at the end of the tunnel! At VArchitect, we offer services to make the entire construction process much more efficient, faster and less costly. Through our architectural supervision, we make sure things get built properly by the professionals you choose to hire. If you want us to do general contracting, on the other hand, we will do everything for you. The best part? With a vast team of in-house professionals, we can get your project done on time and within budget.