You're one step closer, keep going...
Ok, your foundation is strong enough, great, where does that leave you? I spoke with Brent Ellergodt of Ellergodt Design and asked him about his experience with additions in Calgary to help clarify some questions you might have, here's what he had to say.
Would you recommend a homeowner consult a design specialist ie. architect or residential designer before they start dealing with engineers or city officials?
I'd say it depends on the questions they have. Most of my clients are initially most concerned about what they can do design-wise and then a lot of engineering and city bylaw questions come up as a result. Either way, we can direct them to the right consultants or provide bylaw feedback as required.
Once I know my home can support a second story addition, what other factors could stand in my way? City bylaws, neighbour's, etc..
The main one would be budget. Other questions like would the work require a main floor renovation as well, which would also affect the budget. Other than that, most communities do not have restrictions on building a second story other than overall building height, which can usually be dealt with by adjusting the roof slope. I do recommend that homeowners approach their neighbours before a development permit is applied for to let them know what they are proposing before the development permit sign gets placed on the front yard. This often puts neighbours at ease and most times eliminates the possibility of a neighbour or the community association submitting an appeal against the approved DP.
In your experience, what are some of the limitations that need to be considered when you are considering adding an addition to your home.
Most of the city planning bylaws that limit an addition are areas like maximum lot coverage, proximity to front, side or rear setbacks, building heights and neighbours privacy.
What would you say is a typical timeline for someone who contacts you about a second story addition? From design contract signed to development permit submitted, as an average?
We would expect the design stage to take about 2 - 2 1/2 months. Once the design is complete and the client signs off, we need about 2 weeks to complete and submit the development permit.
When do you feel is the best time for a homeowner to contact a builder about their project?
I most often recommend that a homeowner gets a builder involved at or near the beginning of design. This allows the homeowner to have a team (residential designer, builder, and interior designer) that is working on their behalf from start to finish. A builder can be providing budget, timing, and construction feedback throughout the whole process. This is very beneficial to homeowners to help keep them on budget and on time.
Thank you Brent! That sure helps clear up some questions people might have. If you have other questions or just want to bounce some ideas around, Brent or myself would be more than happy to be your sound board and go through your ideas.
Let's give your home the Fresh Start you both deserve!