Contemplating a new home, cottage, or an addition? Not sure what to do first?
Below is a list of the main things that you initially need to determine.
The first 2 steps you will need to do yourselves. You could do the others as well, or you could get assistance.
∙ determine all of your main objectives - and then write them down
∙ no need at this point to get overly specific / detailed
∙ determine your general expectations for quality
∙ it is very important to do so
∙ knowing what you can / will spend will greatly help narrow down your choices to those that are realistic and fit your budget
∙ knowing your budget can also help to separate 'needs' from 'wants'
∙ zoning bylaws dictate what & where you can build on your property (the number & type of buildings, min. & max. sizes, distances from property lines & water, max. heights, and so on)
∙ ask if there are any other authorities that regulate your property as well (ie Conservation Authority); if so, talk to them as well
∙ in very general terms - such as rough overall size, number of stories, and type of rooms (ie a Kitchen is more expensive than a Bedroom)
∙ ask a few local builders what ballpark costs may be for what you generally have in mind
∙ for something small, builders may indicate an OVERALL cost range (ie between 'X' & 'Y')
∙ for anything else, they will likely indicate a cost range PER SQ. FT.
∙ ask what is NOT included (ie hst, septic, ...?)
∙ this should give you a very rough idea if your goals may be realistic within your budget
∙ if it appears that your budget may be realistic, you then need to delve deeper
∙ this involves determining all of your specific needs, and exploring design options
∙ realize that an architect may or may not be the right choice; it really depends on your priorities and your particular situation