1 1/2 - 2 hrs at the first meeting to discuss what you want to do, what you’re allowed to do in your town, and what is physically possible in your house. If you have a survey of your property it helps.
It takes 2-3 weeks to get a set of plans that you approve. RCH has an in-house architect and we never charge for re-draws until the plans are stamped and submitted to the town.
The plans and the Permit Application are submitted to the Town and the wait time varies for each town. The Permit could take 2 weeks or as long as 6 months. When the permit is issued the construction averages 3 weeks to 6 months depending on the size and scope of the work. Weather plays an important role in this process.
You don’t, at the start. But if you want to know for sure what can be built and an exact cost, you will need a survey.
The SURVEY is the guide that the architect, building department, and zoning board will use to determine what you can build.
It contains information about the size (in square ft) of your lot, house, and any other structures on your property.A contractor who guesses is dangerous to your budget because every town’s zoning rules are different!
If you don't have one the Bldg Dept may have an older survey in your property file that we can use for reference.
It's illegal to do any structural work without a permit.
That's the simple answer.
The more important issue is that the Bldg Dept Inspectors will ensure that the job is being done correctly and to code.
They protect you from contractors who cut corners to save money.
A good contractor welcomes the inspector as another set of eyes to be sure that nothing was missed in the construction process.