While there’s a natural desire to dive right into a new construction project, there are many planning steps that should occur long before the first shovel of dirt is removed.

It’s only natural to want to dive right into a new construction or Charlotte home addition project after the first of the year. After all, many Charlotte homeowners will have recently experienced the crunch of family members returning home for the holidays, and many may have realized that the space they have now is either too small or too outdated to comfortably accommodate everyone.

That’s typically why we see an uptick in home remodeling and new home construction projects in the early months of the year – and it really is a fabulous time to get your projects “on the books.” Warmer spring temperatures are right around the corner, and with proper planning, you can be enjoying your new addition (or new home!) before you know it.

While there’s a natural desire to dive right into a project, there are many planning steps that should occur long before the first shovel of dirt is removed. Many homeowners don’t understand the time required to properly go through this process – and that’s okay, because after all, remodeling or construction isn’t something that you tackle every day!

Yet going through the pre-construction planning process properly is vital to your project’s success. If you skip these early steps, you won’t have a realistic scope of the particulars of your project, your budget, or what local government entities and/or HOAs will require of you and your contractor. Having an understanding of what’s involved and a realistic appreciation of the timeframe it entails can help you better navigate what can seem like a tedious process.

Among the critical steps that should be occurring during the pre-planning process are defining your project’s scope and working with your architect to craft a design, taking that initial design concept through blueprints and building plans, getting plans certified by a structural engineer, providing a final estimate for a fixed-cost agreement based on finalized plans and owners’ finishing material selections, and finally, applying for and receiving all necessary building permits. (To guide our clients through these critical steps, and help them know what happens when, we have developed a pre-construction planning checklist.)

The benefit of taking the time to plan properly on the front end is that construction will flow much more efficiently once you do break ground – and you’ll minimize costly surprises along the way. So don’t rush through (or worse yet, skip) this critical stage. It’s time well spent.