1. Develop a clear sense of your end goals. Solidify your ideas by looking at shelter magazines and design and architecture publications and websites. Visiting open houses can also help.
2. Hire an architect. Find someone who has worked in your area, whose portfolio includes projects that reflect your style, and who has strong recommendations from past clients.
3. Retain a builder. As with your architect, the builder's experience in the area and his clients' recommendations are key.
4. Get a preliminary estimate of costs, based on general concepts.
5. Modify your plans and goals based on the relationship between costs and your budget
6. You're ready to go with the fun part: design. The architect will lead you along the way.
7. Obtain necessary building permits. Because your architect and builder are local, they will be very familiar with local building codes and restrictions -- saving you big money but NOT proposing something that want get approved. They will lead you through the permitting process.
8. Once permits are received, construction can be scheduled and you are off to the races!... more
The worst case scenario sounds like there may be some cracks in the foundation and/or basement walls, and then you have a current pipe leak and added on to that it's been vacant, most likely with no heat to dry out anything! This is not good.... I'm assuming it is a fixer with a great price, but sometimes the price of repairs can be far more than expected. This may be difficult if not impossible to get a loan on, and contractors are always going to give estimates based on only what they can see, not what is hiddened behind the walls. You need serious inspectors, and several contractors to give you professional advice. Best, Terry Bell, Realtor, Sonoma County Wine Country... more
Yes, we require the contractor to complete some paperwork to get validated.....The basic requirements for Wells Fargo is that they are licensed and insured and a full time builder with satisfactory references and credit....... more