Will you need the services of additional consultants in order to complete the design of your project? The answer depends upon the scope of the project. New home projects will likely need all of the professional services listed in this article. Renovations and addition projects may only need one or two consultants, and in some cases none at all. What follows is a list of the typical consultants and a brief description of their services.
House Location Survey (HLS or ‘plat’) – Drawing showing the property lines, any existing structures, and proposed additions. An HLS is required for additions and renovations that change the existing building footprint.
Boundary & Topography Survey (B&T) – Drawing showing the property lines, significant adjacent structures, easements, utilities, existing structures, and the contours of the land itself. A B&T is required for new homes, and for larger renovations and additions.
Grading Plan – These drawings show how the new home or large renovation/addition project fits into the existing topography. Grading plans also show compliance with the local building setbacks and height requirements. Grading plans are required for new homes and larger renovations and additions.
Stormwater Management Plan – Includes the calculations and systems used to comply with state and local stormwater management requirements. Roof runoff and site drainage are included in the plan. Stormwater management plans are required for new homes and larger renovations and additions.
Existing Tree Survey – All on-site trees, and potentially impacted off-site trees are located, evaluated, and cataloged.
Tree Preservation Plan – Based on the proposed footprint of the project, the arborist recommends which trees can be saved vs. which must be removed. A list of new trees to be planted is also prepared, based on local requirements. Both the existing tree survey and the preservation plan are required for new homes and larger renovations and additions.
Infiltration Test – On-site tests to determine the rate at which water percolates into the soil are required for the preparation of stormwater management plans.
Slope Stability Test – In situations where stormwater management facilities will be located on steep slopes, the soil must be tested for adequate stability.
Soil Bearing Pressure – Parts of our region exhibit known marine clays and other problematic soils. Any projects in these areas will require an on-site test to determine the bearing pressure of the soil. This data will then be used by the structural engineer to design the foundation.
Foundation Design – Based on the architect’s plans, and soil testing if applicable, the foundation and footings are designed. Both foundation and framing designs are required for new homes and larger additions/renovations.
Framing Design – Floor joists, beams, walls, roof trusses/rafters, and lateral support systems are designed per the architect’s drawings and specifications.
While this list may seem overwhelming, it is your architect’s job to advise you on which consultants will be needed for your project. It is also the architect’s responsibility to hire and manage the consultants for the life of the project. Consultant’s fees are in addition to the architect’s fee, and are typically passed through to you with a nominal management fee.