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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

    I'm often asked questions like this in the early phases of a tenant improvement. The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.
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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 4807103861
http://designlinearchitects.com

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Mesa Building Permit “Shortcuts”

By Doug Rusk, Architect

The City of Mesa offers an accelerated process to obtain building permits for minor remodels.

If you haven’t already heard…  the City of Mesa offers a “shortcut” to obtain building permits for minor commercial remodel.   This special program, called “Permit By Inspection” (PBI), will significantly shorten the Plan Review and Permit Approval process – if your project qualifies.

Mesa Tenant ImprovementCity of Mesa

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

Permit By Inspection (PBI)

The permit by inspection program (PBI) is a voluntary alternative to the standard construction document plan review and building permit approval processes for special projects of certain building uses, occupancies and degree of complexity.   The PBI program is intended to provide a stream-lined approach to building permit plan review review and issuance in which senior building inspectors review construction documents in the field and approve the issuance of the building permit.  There is a 20% premium for the PBI process on top of the regular building permit fee and other fees.

Benefits of the “Permit By Inspection” (PBI) Process:

  • – Typically the Permit By Inspection (PBI) is processed in a 5 day turnaround time  (instead of 18 days).
  • – Cuts down on paperwork.
  • – Much of process is done by email.
  • – One contact person who is familiar with the project and special conditions.
  • – Construction work can proceeds as the plan review is taking place.
  • – Quick response time to changing field conditions.

There are currently no written criteria to determine if your project will qualify for the building permit by PBI process.  To learn more, call Clyde at (480) 644-4273.

If your project does NOT qualify for the PBI process, the regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times at this writing are:

Commercial

  • – 5 business day PBI review.
  • – 18 business days review.
  • – 10 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee).
  • – Super expedite review with negotiated turn-around time (200% of building permit fee).

Residential

  • – 10 business day review (5 days for master plot plans).
  • – 5 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee).

Signs

Over-The-Counter Plan Review

The City of Mesa also offers same day over-the-counter plan reviews for the following projects types:

  • – Emergency repairs (water, sewer, gas, electric).
  • – “Like for Like” repair/replacement (gas, water, electric).
  • – Banner Permits.

City of Mesa

Construction Plan Review and Building Permits
55 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ  85201
PHONE (480) 644-4273
OFFICE HOURS:  7:00am to 6:00pm, M-TH
CLOSED FRIDAYS AND HOLIDAYS

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author

A Mesa architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Mesa building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Mesa

Mesa Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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CASE STUDY: Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

Written by Doug Rusk, Architect

Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

Nestled among a large group of Sun Lakes retirement homes, where golf carts dot a sleepy street in South Chandler Arizona, stands a home that’s in desperate need of a Master Bathroom Remodel. bathroom remodel, bathroom remodel, bathroom remodel, bathroom remodel

Recent New York transplants, Ana and Ayad, did what most people do when they move into a home that shows signs of mold in their shower; they called a reputable, licensed contractor, who in this case was Ken from Behrmann Home Basics (BHB).  Because this wasn’t the first or the last project that Ana and Ayad would need, Ken knew the first step would be to have a quick hand sketch designed by Doug Rusk, from DESIGNLine Architects, that would help his clients visualize a few alternate ideas for their Master Bath Remodel.  Ana had a very specific idea in her mind for the Bathroom remodel. bathroom remodel, bathroom remodel

Mesa Bathroom Ideas

She wanted to remove the makeup counter, drawers and knee space between the two sinks (shown above).  “This would leave 3-1/2 feet of space between the sink vanities for a nice sized floor plant”, she said.  But because she also wanted the medicine cabinet storage removed also, Doug, her Architect, had another idea for her Master Bath Remodel.

bathroom remodelMaster Bathroom Ideas

He wanted to replace the lost medicine cabinet with storage for a toothbrush, soap and accessories.  So Doug also proposed Option A (shown above) which would instead add a tall cabinet between the two vanity sinks, high enough for the vanity counter to extend behind the false cabinet front, creating a storage niche.  Ana ended up sticking with her original Master Bath remodel vision and kept the space for a healthy green plant. bathroom remodel

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Here is the shower converted from a light pink, vintage 1992 ceramic, to a more updated ceramic tile finish, with a textured glass, frame-less enclosure.  Below are a few pictures that show the Master Bathroom remodel.athroom remodel

Chandler <em>master <em>bathroom remodel</em></em>

Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

Many of the Sun Lakes home, built in the early 1990’s, are well designed and have great bones. Now that these homes are getting a little older, certain areas need updating.  With some strategic planning, the lives of these homes can be extended for another 20 years +.  Intelligently remodeling an existing house to make it last for another generation is also one of the most sustainable things a homeowner can do.

Below we’ve outlined a couple of our primary strategies you should consider for your next home remodel:

1. Limit the scope

While it would typically be ideal to update the entire home, most homeowners have a budget that requires a limited scope; being aware of where dollars are spent allows a homeowner to get the most renovation for their buck. Usually there are certain areas of older homes that need the most attention and we’ve found that the kitchen and bathrooms remodeling are typically most in need of modernizing. bathroom remodel

2. Be Selective

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to stop with a  home renovation. While you’re updating the kitchen, it’s tempting to also update a few things in the living room, and then why not replace too old, hall bath shower enclosure and, then you realize, that awful garage floor needs that speckled paint you always wanted. Before you know it, budget creep occurs. We find it useful stay true to your budget and to specifically define where the remodel is ending.

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial remodeling for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your Master Bath remodel budget quickly. bathroom remodel, bathroom remodelbathroom remodel

Phoenix Architect
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Chandler Building Permits – Fast Track

Small Business Benefits from Fast Tracked Chandler Building Permits

Chandler is one small business richer since a new bread making business, Gratifying Grains LLC, opened this week.    The new Mother and Daughter owners, Betsy Moore and Megan Moore, said that “because they only planned on a minor remodel, the City of Chandler offered us an expedited process to obtain our tenant improvement building permits.”

Tenant Improvement Chandler

But they’re not the only ones.  Many new Chandler businesses, who are planning to apply for a minor commercial tenant improvement (TI), have recently utilized this special Chandler program called the Small Business Assistance Program.  According to Betsy, “this terrific program significantly shortened the plan review time and building permit approval process for us. “  Because not all construction projects will qualify for this program, she recommended that people call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138 for more information.

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

Small Business Assistance Program

The Small Business Assistance Program is similar, but slightly different, to the Permit By Inspection (PBI) program offered at other Southeast Valley cities.   Here’s how it works.  A four member team from the Development Services staff, called the Small Business Assistance Team, will visit your new tenant space, and then mail you a written letter that identifies any issues of “significant importance” that might have the potential of costing you time and money.  This team is available at no cost and is intended to assist the small business community by helping clients navigate the City’s planning, building permit and licensing process.

QUALIFICATIONS:

There are currently no written qualifications to define a “minor tenant improvement”.  To learn more, call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138.

Chandler Commercial Remodel

City of Chandler
Transportation & Development
215 East Buffalo Street.
Chandler, AZ 85225

Phone:  Call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138 to answer expedited method of obtaining building permits.

How Do I Know if I Need a Chandler Building Permit?

May Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • – Moving a sink- requires the proper extension of plumbing.
  • – Demolishing a load-bearing wall- means redistributing weight from above.
  • – Changing the home’s roof line framing.
  • – Punching in a new window or door- requires a new header that carries weight from above.
  • – Altering the footprint of your house.
  • – Installing new electrical wiring.

You May NOT Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • – Putting in hardwood floor.
  • – Installing carpeting.
  • – Upgrading your counter tops.
  • – Paint

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits

A Chandler architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Chandler building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com. building permits, Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits

Architect in Chandler

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Early Construction Cost Estimate Confirms Tenant Budget in Gilbert.

Gilbert Construction Costs have Many Variables.

“We just want to convert a storage closet into a small break area and move a few walls. “

“How much do you think it will cost for our remodel?”

Clients call me with questions like these who are considering the remodel or relocation of their Gilbert business.  After the prospective landlord offers a tenant improvement allowance, I’ll get a call asking me to confirm if the offered will be sufficient to cover any costs incurred during the commercial remodel, hoping they will not have to come out of pocket to pay for the construction and design work.

COMMERCIAL REMODEL CONSTRUCTION COSTS

 

Yes the question is simple, but the answer is never easy and usually followed by a series of disclaimers, taking away all value to the answer.

When lease negotiations start to move quickly, the prospective tenant can understandably become very frustrated when they are asked to execute a contract before fully evaluating their financial commitments.  And when the cost of the tenant improvement cannot be established upfront, it makes the decision more difficult to accept any lease offer.

Many Gilbert businesses these days are choosing to make a few minor revisions to their existing office space instead of building a new office building or even undertaking a tenant improvement.  Whether dividing up office space to sub-lease a portion of it, or making changes that improve productivity, or attract customers, companies are searching for ways to increase revenue with minimal expense.

Tenant Improvements Costs are Not Easy to Determine.

Despite the fact that your tenant improvement design may appear to be the same as your last one, in truth it has never been built before.  Many of the workers that have been hired for your project may not have ever worked together in the past.  These new workers may require training in order to address the special conditions of your unique space and be required to interpret a design they have never seen before.  It is this diverse combination of workers as well as the unique conditions of your project that drives the fluctuating, unpredictability in labor cost.

Moving walls for tenant improvements is not as straightforward as most people think.

Actually, walls are not moved at all.

  • – Existing walls are demolished, and new walls in different locations, are built from scratch.
  • – Moreover, changing wall locations requires moving HVAC vents, light fixtures, sprinkler heads, electrical wiring and outlets, telephone and data cabling, and sometimes moldings or wainscoting.
  • – Where existing walls are demolished, entire new areas of flooring and ceiling material are usually needed, because simply bandaging the wounds left by demolished walls would be unsightly.
  • – This means re-carpeting an entire room or an entire office suite, so the carpet matches throughout.

Many subcontractors (trades) are needed to relocate even one wall, so a General Contractor (GC) must be hired to coordinate the necessary sequence of events amongst the various trades. The GC will hire framing, drywall, HVAC, electrical, cabling, flooring, and demolition trades, and charge a management fee about 10 – 30% above and beyond the total trade’s fees.   A minimum amount is charged to make it worth their effort, so small tenant improvement projects in Gilbert can cost more per square foot than large projects.

Construction Cost Estimate

So back to the all important question, “How much will it cost?”

Alternative Approaches to Remodel Cost Estimates.

  1. The traditional, old school approach to answer the question of construction cost, is to completely finish a details set of construction drawings (CD’s), and then request competitive bids from at least 3 general contractors.  Although this traditional method has been used since the beginning, it doesn’t provide the Owner (tenant) with the final construction costs until too late in the game, many times requiring a stressful period of redesign, rebidding and schedule delays.  In addition the General Contractor (the man with the most construction cost knowledge) is kept out of the early design process.  As a result and for many reasons, many design professionals have abandoned this dated approach.
  2. What has proven to be a more preferred, modern approach is called the Design/Build approach.  Once the Architect has prepared a preliminary space plan, the General Contractor is brought in to the team to not only provide valuable construction advice, but also to prepare a reasonable cost estimate to pin down the cost question quickly, so the Owner (tenant) can make the decision to move forward or not.

Generally, the Design/Build approach works like this:

  • – Once your preliminary space plan design is approved, your general contractor will ensure the project remains on budget, by preparing a construction cost estimate to within a +/- 20% range of variability (we can help you choose a contractor).
  • – Then when the construction documents are 75% complete, we will again work with your contractor to refine the construction cost estimate to within a +/-10% range.
  • – And when the final project is bid to the subcontractors, the prices are locked in, assuming no design changes.

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial remodeling for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Gilbert Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Expedited Scottsdale Building Permits

The City of Scottsdale offers an accelerated process to acquire building permits for minor remodels.

If you’re building a minor residential or commercial remodel in City of Scottsdale and need a building permit, there are special programs in place that will significantly shorten the plan review and permit approval process.

City of Scottsdale

If you meet the following criteria and have a form of payment with you, you may be eligible for an Over the Counter Buliding Permit.  The building permit may be processed while you wait, depending on the complexity of the project.   Plan check and building permit fees vary depending upon the type of work being done and the valuation.

Smaller Home Remodels/Addition

Scottsdale Building Permits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  For smaller residential remodels/additions, the City of Scottsdale offers a convenient over-the-counter plan review and building permit process, available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM, opening at 10 AM on Wednesdays.  Plan Review is completed over the counter at the One Stop Shop.

City of Scottsdale

HOME REMODEL QUALIFICATIONS:

Over The Counter Plan Review

–  Home Remodels or Additions less than 1000 SF – no second floor additions.

–  Patio additions and enclosures.

–  Carports enclosures into garages or livable space.

–  Garage conversions to livable space.

–  Non-habitable accessory buildings less than 1000 SF.

–  Solar panels that are in compliance with City of Scottsdale placement guidelines.

–  Properties with non-conforming structures and/or properties, requiring additional research, may be submitted for a standard 20 day review.

–  Projects zoned Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) must be submitted for a 20 day review.

–  During busy waiting periods, only one plan per customer will be honored.

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

2.  The City of Scottsdale is now processing minor Commercial Tenant Improvements (TIs) using a two-tiered process that will allow certain types of TIs to be reviewed, and building permits issued, either same day or within 15 days of submittal. building permit, building permit, building permit

Scottsdale Buliding Permits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Scottsdale

COMMERCIAL TENANT IMPROVEMENT QUALIFICATIONS:

Over The Counter Plan Review

–  2,000 sq. ft. MAX

–  Group B or M occupancy ONLY

–  Single-story, non-structural

–  No use changes

–  Do not require a Use Permit

–  Do not require a Use Permit

–  Ask for a Counter Plan Reviewer

15-Day T.I. / Commercial Remodel Review

–  Groups A, B, E or M occupancy ONLY

–  Non Structural

–  No use changes

–  No Use Permit required

–  No exterior work* (other than roof mounted equipment that is fully screened)

3.   Projects north of the CAP will require some planning input before approving for over-the-counter review. Please ask to speak with a Planner.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

4.  Fire Sprinklers – Any residential improvement that involves 25% or more of the existing structure; and/or adds more than 25% to the original structure, requires that fire sprinklers be installed in the entire home.

5.  Building Code – Any residential improvement that involves 50% or more of the existing structure; and/or adds more than 50% to the original structure, requires that entire structure must be brought up to the current Building Code standards.

6.  Water & Sewer improvements may be required.

Coffee Bar Remodel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Scottsdale

Regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times

If your project does NOT qualify for the Over The Counter Plan Review process, the regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times at this writing are:

Commercial

–  15 business day review – Tenant Improvement (See item #2 above)

–  20 business day review –  Downtown Projects less than 3,000 sq.ft.

–  10 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee)

–  Super expedite review with negotiated turn-around time (200% of building permit fee)

Residential

–  20 business day review (5 days for master plot plans)

–  5 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee)

Signs

–  10 business days

–  Get Your Sign Permit Approved in One Review – 10 Steps!

To learn more, call 480-312-2500 at the One Stop Shop 7447 E Indian School Road, Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ  85251

Please Note:  The counter plan review is usually available on TUESDAY and THURSDAY (only) from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.   To learn more, call (480) 350-8341 to verify availability of services.

City of Scottsdale

One Stop Shop Permit Counter               Ed Peaser C. B. O.
First Floor, One Civic Center                                   Plan Review Manager
7447 E. Indian School Rd.                                        480-312-2532
www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov                                            epeaser@scottsdaleaz.gov
(480) 312-2500

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, GilbertChandler, Mesa, Scottsdale. building permit, building permit, building permit

About the Author

A Scottsdale architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home or office remodel.  To discuss your Scottsdale building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com. building permit, building permit, building permit

Architect in Scottsdale

Doug Rusk|Scottsdale Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Phoenix Building Permit Shortcuts – “Permit By Inspector (PBI)”

Depending on your remodel’s complexity, you may qualify for a very QUICK building permit process.

Phoenix Tenant Improvement

The City of Phoenix has “cut the red tape” for obtaining building permits.  If you’re planning a minor Commercial or Residential remodel, there is a special program in place at the City of Phoenix that will greatly REDUCE the Permit and Plan Review approval process.  Not all construction projects will qualify for what is called a “Permit By Inspector” option, so call 602-262-7811 to review your projects scope of work.

City of Phoenix Building Permits

If you meet the following criteria and have a form of payment with you, you may be eligible for an Permit By Inspector (PBI) Permit.  The building permit may be processed while you wait, depending on the complexity of the project.   Plan check and building permit fees vary depending upon the type of work being done and the valuation.

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement Permit

1.  The City of Phoenix’s PBI program – created for minor commercial tenant improvements – allows customers to obtain plan review and building permit approval at the job site.  Inspection staff will review plans on site and determine when you can begin construction.

COMMERCIAL TENANT IMPROVEMENT QUALIFICATIONS:

Permit by Inspector (PBI)

The Permit By Inspector (PBI) process is designed to expedite the plan review process by sending plans to the field inspectors for review after a short preliminary office review.   The inspectors perform the plan review and compare the plans with the existing conditions.  After the review is complete, the inspectors issue the building permit and give approval at the job site for construction to begin.  Customers follow the standard inspection request and approval process as construction progresses through completion of the project.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • – Less than 5,000 square feet of improvements.
  • – No increase in square footage.
  • – No change of use or occupancy.
  • – Interior space only.
  • – Have a contractor selected
  • – Not all construction projects will qualify for what is called a “Permit By Inspection” option, so call 602-495-0150 or 602-262-7811 to review your projects scope of work.

THE PROJECT CANNOT:

  • – Require any site or civil approvals
  • – Require reviews from Pollution Control
  • – Be an adult use, restaurant, medical or dental office, beauty salon, school, hazardous use or change of use/occupancy
  • – Include a paint spray booth
  • – Involve any unauthorized deferred submittals or be part of a larger project
  • – Include structural alterations
  • – Involve work that requires special inspections or observation
  • – Be a project registered with AFP program
  • – Include work completed without a permit

Minor Home Interior Remodels

2.  The City of Phoenix PBI program – created for minor home interior remodels – allows customers to obtain plan review and building permit approval at the job site.  Inspection staff will review plans on site and determine when you can begin construction.

Phoenix Building Permits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME REMODEL QUALIFICATIONS:

EligibleProjects

  • – Conventionally framed wood or masonry structures using structural elements as specified in the International Residential Code.
  • – Single-story structures.
  • – Gable or flat roof systems.
  • – Additions to existing structures of 1,000 square feet, or less.
  • – Remodels to existing spaces that do not exceed 2,000 square feet and in which structural components are not removed or altered.
  • – Detached accessory structures of 1,000 square feet, or less.

Non-Eligible Projects

  • – Projects that require review by other disciplines or departments (such as hillside, grading and drainage or floodplain).
  • – Structures that require an engineered design (lateral and/or vertical analysis).
  • – Structures with walls greater than 10 feet in height.
  • – Multi-story additions and multi-story accessory structures.
  • – Projects including the installation or alteration of a 400 amp or greater electric service.

Projects other than those described may be considered for the PBI process. Contact Development Services for more information, 602-262-7811.

City of Phoenix Building Permits

Planning and Development Department
200 W. Washington Street, second floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
PHONE: 602-262-7811
TTY: 602-534-2737
FAX: 602-534-0846

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author

A Phoenix architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  .  To discuss your Phoenix building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Phoenix

Architect in Phoenix
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Phoenix Home Remodeling

Plan a Budget, Before Signing Construction Contract

The key to successful home remodeling is taking the time up front for proper planning.  It’s in the best interest of ALL homeowner’s to consider the four steps below, BEFORE signing a construction contract.  Early planning is important for an enjoyable remodeling experience, because it will flush out problems early and set expectations that will prepare you for the road ahead.

Home-Remodel-MasterP lan

1.  Master Plan –  

ALL Your Home Remodeling Ideas Together in One Plan

You might be a homeowner whose family needs are changing, or maybe you’ve lived in your home for a while and just need a change.

  • – Make a Wish List – First, make a detailed list that includes everything you’d wish for in your home remodeling project(s).
  • – Get Architect’s help – Then, call an Architect to design one plan (called a Master Plan) that ties together ALL your ideas on your wish list.
  • – Divide into Smaller Projects – Finally, work with your Architect to prioritize and break up all your remodeling ideas into manageable projects.

 

You can complete each piece of your master plan as you can afford them, knowing that each piece has been designed to fit together.

2.  Determine your “Bottom Line” Remodeling Budget –

After writing a scope of work, create a budget for your home remodeling project.

  • – Bottom Line – Ask yourself, what is the maximum dollar amount you will allow yourself to spend?   It’s in your best interest to determine your “bottom line” budget amount, and then stick to it.
  • – Contingency – Once you have that budget number firmly in mind, it’s wise to set aside what’s called a “contingency”.  Some people feel comfortable with 10%, others 25% or more. Because extra spending will probably occur, the contingency keeps your budget under control so that you finish your original renovation plan.
  • – No Surprises – Creating the budget first, helps homeowners be realistic about selecting the final architectural designs and finish materials they can afford.

Home-Remodel-Architect-Tempe-house-plans

3.  Write a Scope of Work

With your Master Plan design complete, work with your Architect to develop a written Scope of Work.

  • – List the Steps – An itemized task list of construction (i.e. demolition, concrete, framing, electrical, mechanical).  By stating clearly in writing the details of the project, the general contractor will have a very specific picture of your project and provide a more accurate construction estimate.  Also detail what’s NOT included in project.
  • – Details are Important – It clears out any grey areas, all uncertainties and ambiguities.  For instance, a general contractor might not know you want the wall paper and flooring removed and disposed of in a remodel job if you don’t say so.
  • – Remodeling Cost Schedule – Be sure to create a project cost control schedule where you review the costs on a regular basis.

Sketch-Kitchen-Remodel

4.  Detailed Written Contract

A contract is needed to set the rules and the terms of your home remodel.  It’s very important to write down ALL your project goals up front and include them in the written contract with your architect and contractor.

  • – Spell out the Details – There needs to be a clear agreement reflected in the contract about the extent of the work, the quality of workmanship expected, the quality of the materials used, and other specific details of the remodeling design.
  • – Never assume.  When it doubt, write it all down.
  • – Important Note – if you do sign a contract and then have second thoughts, the Federal Trade Commission’s “cooling off rule” may apply.  It allows you a 72-hour period in which to cancel the agreement.

It’s easy to jump ahead without thoroughly planning out your home renovation.  Improper planning will result in impulsive decisions and choices that might cost extra either in labor or materials.  If you take the extra time required to follow these four steps in the beginning, you will take control of your home renovation, and really enjoy the results.

About the Author

Phoenix Architecture Firms

An architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. And no matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s addition.  To set up a home remodeling appointment contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Phoenix-Gilbert-Doug Rusk
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
www.designlinearchitects.com

 

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BEFORE you begin your “Scottsdale Home Remodel”

Home Remodeling Scottsdale

New-Home-Remodel-Architect-Designer-Gilbert

 

BEFORE you begin your Scottsdale home remodel project, there are a few important steps to take now, that will prevent surprises later – surprises that might significantly affect your project budget and time schedule.  The detailed steps below will give you an idea of the some of the upfront research needed BEFORE starting your home remodel in Scottsdale. Working with an expert such as an Architect will help you navigate this important process.

1. Read your CC&R’s –

Home remodeling is about change, and major changes to an existing Scottsdale home may be subject to rules and restrictions set by state and local building authorities as well as the legal rights of your neighbors.  Review your Codes, Covenants and Regulations (CC&R’s) you agreed to comply with when you moved into your neighborhood.

2. Scottsdale, AZ Development Standards –

Every Scottsdale home Parcel has Zoning Ordinance and Building Setback requirements and restrictions , including distances that buildings/ structures must be “set back” from the property line.  Setback requirements for your home will vary depending upon the zoning district (i.e. R1-190, R1-7, etc).  Submit a Setback Request to the City of Scottsdale to determine the development standards for your property.  This will help you determine where you can build on the lot, the lot coverage restrictions (if applicable) and wall/fence restrictions.  Looking for the APN# of your parcel? Go to www.Maricopa.gov and select GIS Maps.

3. Fire Sprinklers

If you are improving or adding 25% or more of the existing structure (under roof area), then fire sprinklers must be installed through out the entire Scottsdale home, including enclosed, non-heated storage, garage, etc.  Here’s a link to Scottsdale’s Fire Sprinkler worksheet.  For approximate sprinkler installation costs figure between $1.50 – $3.00 per square foot under roof, depending on complexity.

4. Building Code

If you are improving or adding 50% or more of the existing structure (under roof area), then  the entire structure must be brought up to all current Building Code standards.  For work that is less than 50%, only the new work you are completing on your home must comply with current codes.

New-Home-Remodel-Architect-Designer-Tempe5. Will you need a Building Permit?

There are four types of Scottsdale building permits:

Building Permit

  • – Required for all construction work including patio covers, room additions, carports and garage enclosures, walls/fences, retaining walls, and accessory buildings (storage buildings less than 200 square feet only requires a site plan). Permits will expire if work is not commenced within 180 days of the permit being issued to you, or if the work is not inspected by the city for a period of more than 180 days.

Electrical Permit

  • – Required to install, alter, reconstruct or repair electrical wiring on any building, structure, swimming pool, or mechanical equipment.

Plumbing Permit

  • – Required to install, alter, reconstruct, or repair any plumbing system, gas system, lawn sprinkler supply, water heater replacement.

Mechanical Permit

  • – Required to install, alter, reconstruct or repair any furnace, refrigeration or other air conditioning equipment or system, except portable or window units.

New-Home-Remodel-Architect-Designer-Chandler6. You may NOT need a Building Permit

While most home improvement projects in Scottsdale require a permit (which helps ensure safety standards), there are some projects that do NOT require a residential building permit:

  • – Detached, non-habitable structures smaller than 200 square feet in floor area (a site plan is required);
  • – Patio slabs or sidewalks/drives (not over 30 inches above grade);
  •  – Repair existing landscape irrigation piping (a permit is required to connect a new irrigation system to your waterline);
  • – Walls, three feet or less (except retaining walls);
  • – Low-voltage landscape accent lighting;
  • – Minor repairs or replacement of non-structural items such as glass, doors, hardware, kitchen cabinets, carpeting, flooring or trim work (not affecting a pool enclosure or garage);
  • – Paint (interior/exterior); repair drywall, plasterboard, paneling or stucco (insulated stucco systems require a permit);
  • – Repair or replace existing evaporative coolers or air conditioning units without increasing the unit size or capacity;
  • – Repair or replace existing plumbing fixtures in the same location;
  • – Re-shingle or retile a roof when the same material is used.

7. Scottsdale Permit Fees

For a fee schedule, refer to www.scottsdaleaz.gov/onestopshop and select “Fees” Or you can contact the One Stop Shop at (480) 312-2500.

8.  Home Improvement Forms & Guides

Looking for plan submittal information for major or minor remodels built in Scottsdale, AZ, then click here.

About the Author

A Scottsdale architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To set up an appointment contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Phoenix
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona

www.designlinearchitects.com

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“Architectural Design Strategies” for your Phoenix Floor Plan

Can your front yard be transformed into Private Outdoor Living?  Can the garage or bedroom you’re using today be tomorrow’s organized Home Office?  Is an In-Law Suite needed because of your changing life style?  We can help you use some simple “architectural design strategies” for your next home renovation that will evolve as your lifestyle changes.

Home Sketch 1“Architectural  design strategies” will be used by your Architect to transform your home into a functional and beautiful space for you now, yet has the designed-in flexibility to allow new uses as your lifestyle moves forward.  The next generation home remodels made by homeowners today are typically smarter, more efficient and more focused on good living, rather than designed merely to impress, according to a recent AIA article.  The goal is to work with your floor plan and make better use your existing space.  The promise is you can live more fully in your existing house, if you plan ahead and use the architectural services of a good Architect.

DESIGNLine Architects, LLC has identified three Architectural design strategies we’d like to share with anyone who is considering a modification to their floor plan.

Ideas for Outdoor Living Floor Plans in Phoenix

Home Sketch 2Curb Appeal.  The first thing homebuyers, family and friends will look at when they visit your home is your front yard, the color of your home, the landscaping, and the walkways.  You only have one chance to make a first impression.

Relationship of Inside to Outside.  Consider aligning the elements of the Outdoor and Indoor Kitchen.  This will simplify the plumbing and electrical connections.

Consider the View.  What is your view from each outdoor space? You most likely cannot alter the view, but you can maximize a good one, or minimize a bad one.  Also consider views of key plants from inside.

Functionality and Beauty.  Herb planters are an easy way to add beauty and functionality to the space. Well positioned low voltage yard lights, colorful outdoor candles, and lanterns add a sense of festivity, and light up the more remote corners of the yard.

Music sets the Mood.  A set of outdoor speakers can be used alone or as part of a larger entertainment system.  A small fountain in the background lends some soft water sounds to the rest of the yard.

Ideas for Home Office Floor Plans in Phoenix

Consider Location Carefully. Size and location are two main factors to address when adding a Home Office.  Consider how many people will use your office space.  Will you have client meetings?

Small Space Design. The corner of a room is probably the most effective way to re-design your floor plan to have an office with minimal cost or disruption.

Private Location. Consider a quiet, out of the way location for your Home Office like the attic, basement or enclosed porch.

Ideas for In-Law Suite Floor Plans in Phoenix

As people live longer and healthier lives, more families are finding it beneficial to provide a special space for aging parents by combining households.

New-Home-Remodel-Architect-Designer-Schottsdale

Shower Sketch 1

Before Starting Remodel.  Open and honest discussion with your parent and other family members is an essential first step before remodeling.  This will help define the areas you need to change.

Safety and Comfort. Universal design or ADA-compliant living is one in which the occupant can use everything in the home safely without assistance.  Floor plan design features may include one-story living, no-step entryways, wide doorways, extra floor space, floors and bathroom features with no-slip surfaces, improved lighting and details such as lever door handles.

Think Creatively.  In addition to a bedroom, bathroom and closets, the In-Law Suite could include a kitchenette, laundry, living and dining area.  You could renovate the floor plan of a garage, bedroom, attic, office, basement, back porch, even a barn or freestanding cottage on your property.  Consider the help of an Architect to check the local zoning ordinances first before designing the house plans.

Start with a 3-D Sketch of your Phoenix House Remodel

Ask your Architect to draw a 3-dimensional hand-sketch that will allow you to visualize your architectural design ideas.  It will also help your contractor prepare an early cost estimate to verify your budget goals.

Home Remodel Architect Phoenix

Architect Phoenix
 
Doug Rusk
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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