Q: When is the best time to start a new construction project?
A: There is no best time—when you’re ready, we’re ready. Concrete and foundation work isn’t a problem in the rain. We can’t close sheet rock when there’s still moisture in the lumber, but framing in the rain isn’t a bad thing. Regardless of the time of year, we’ll be ready to work when you call us.
Q: Can you help me maximize my budget?
A: Yes. We’ll start by determining what you want to do in your home. We recommend creating a list that ranks the 10 most important things you want to accomplish with the project and a second list that ranks the things you want if they fit in your budget. You should also collect some pictures that represent what you’re going for. After we review that information, we’ll be able to tell how much your budget will cover and create a scope of work.
Q: Do you handle the permitting process?
A: Yes, we’ll communicate with the architect, engineers, city and inspectors to acquire any necessary permits.
Q: Can you explain the benefits of using Green processes when building my home?
A: The main benefit is helping the environment, but beyond that, it helps you as well. For example, the insulation that’s believed to be ‘the best’ isn’t the healthiest option. Foam insulation creates a fire cage and it’s made of chemicals, which means you’ll be breathing in those chemicals whenever you’re at home. The healthier option is wood insulation.
Q: Why should I hire a contractor that’s familiar with my specific city or area?
A: The Bay Area has very specific building codes, and they’re much more complicated than they look. A lot of construction companies don’t like to work in some Bay Area cities like Foster City and Palo Alto because the codes and restrictions are so tough. There are books full of regulations, and contractors need to understand all of them in order to build to code. Every city has its own rules and codes, so to pass inspection, your contractor needs to know exactly what they’re doing.
Q: Are there new building codes that I need to be aware of?
A: In January 2020, the codes for California changed to make things more Green. There’s a big push to make everything electric instead of gas, so when you build a brand-new house, you aren’t allowed to have a gas furnace or a fireplace. Energy efficiency also got much tougher, so you should expect solar panels, smaller windows and thicker walls with more insulation.
Q: Can I convert my garage into a living space?
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A: Yes. California is pushing for more housing, so accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are becoming standard. If you want to build an ADU on your property, the maximum size is 1,200 square feet.