Ask Sid

How can I reduce the stress of new home construction?

(Sid appeared as an industry expert on new home construction recently on the local television program Real Estate Weekly as a guest of host Greg Flowers. Their discussion follows.)

Greg Flowers: Building your own home isn’t for everyone, what are some of the challenges?

Sid: The first difficulty is that you’ve got to find a property. Santa Cruz County is built out, and property is not readily available out there. Many sites are moving further and further out in to the mountains, and they are difficult sites to build on. Second, with a new home, the permitting process can be a lot more difficult because you are starting from the ground up. I see a lot of people who find the lot they want that already has a home on it, they knock that down saving a wall or part of the foundation, and then build the home they want on top. In that situation the permit process is a lot simpler and a lot less expensive.

GF: How can Slatter Construction make the planning, design and building process easier? It can be very stressful for the property owner.

Sid. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a property owner come in with a set of completed plans to ask us for a bid. We give them the price, and inevitably the first thing out of their mouths is, “this is more than we expected, how do we bring down costs?” So we value engineer the project and start backing things out to come within their budget. Then the architect has to make changes and the plans have to be re-submitted for permits.

We save clients a lot of time and money in the planning phase. Come in and talk to us before the architect puts pencil to paper and we will do a feasibility study and pre-budgeting with you. Then we will work hand in hand with your architect, or one of the many local architects we have relationships with, to make sure that what is designed can be successful in the permit process and can be built within your budget.

GF: Some times the permit process is fifty percent of the battle. It’s good to know that you have that relationship…and that they have confidence (in you) because they’ve probably seen hundreds of projects that you’ve done.

Sid: Absolutely, we’ve got good relationships and anticipate the problems that exist in the permit process, so we know how to work those out in the field so that when it comes time for final inspection we know how to take care of it.