Ask Sid

What’s involved in getting ready to build a home? How can Slatter Construction help in the pre-construction phase?

Libby Blumberg, host of Real Estate Weekly’s Home & Garden segment interviewed Sid in beautiful Ben Lomond in 2005 on the construction site of the Nottingham home.

LB: What’s involved in undertaking a project like this?

Sid: I’ll give you the five p’s of a project like this: prior planning prevents poor performance. You have to plan, plan and then plan some more. Get involved in the planning early, and think way out ahead. Start thinking about what the issues will be with the County, with PG & E getting power to the site, about how the septic system is going to work, where water is going to come from and how it’s all going to come together.

You have to know where is your building going to sit and how the site will handle it. How will the drainage work? There are so many issues involved in prior planning before the building is built. When you get to construction start looking into finishes right away, such as drywall or stucco, the roof, doors, windows, plumbing fixtures and electrical fixtures. There is so much to do that if you wait, it can be too late and you’ll end up delaying your project and costing yourself money.

LB: What are some of the big issues that a new homeowner needs to be clear on before starting a big project like this?

Sid: As I mentioned before they need to do a lot of research. Look at the site, know that it can handle the project and that the County is going to approve the project. Make sure that the property is going to pass what’s called a perk test to make sure that the water is going to perk down in to the ground properly. There are sites out here that the County won’t approve septic systems for, so there are a lot of things to think of. If everything goes smoothly it takes about a year to get permits in this County.

As an example, we had an issue on this property with PG&E. We started the process two years ahead of time to try to get power in here and we’re still going back and forth with PG&E. We’re under construction now and working off of a generator. We hope to have it in the next week or so, but it’s taken us two years to get to this point.

LB: How can Slatter Construction help simplify a project like this?

Sid: We look in to all of these issues for the homeowner. We know how to do the research and find out what concerns the County may have with the particular site. We bring in the necessary consultants: soils engineers, geologists, sanitarians—anyone that needs to be involved—and work through each topic point by point. We then work with the County staff to come up with a plan and get things down on paper so that these solutions can be submitted for permits.

LB: It sounds like you have a lot of experience.

Sid: We do, we’ve been doing this for twenty-one years now.

LB: Excellent. Thank you, Sid. It’s been a pleasure.

Sid: Thank you.