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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial day has always been a special day for me. As a Vietnam Veteran, this day, for me, has always been a time to reflect and remember. The Anderson family has served their country with distinction thoughout the 20th and now twenty first century. Today my son is serving.
God bless all those whose lives have been forever changed and enriched by their love of country.

In this post I would like to talk about the permitting process. You have to start with an appreciation for those who work in the local building jurisdictions. Their work days are often filled with confrontation with those who do not appreciate their jobs or those who are trying to get by with something regarding their project. which brings me to the topic of compliance.

Compliance is not a four letter word. It is always best to be forthright in your dealings with the building department and to strive to have all of your forms filled out properly and in order, so that you can build a solid reputation as someone who knows what needs to be done and always makes that happen.

Jumping through the proverbial hoops to get your building permit can sometimes be frustrating. But, I can tell you that if your goal is to comply and you deal honestly with the building officials, your project will go much smoother, and you will receive your permit in a timely manner. If you make the opposite choice, then expect delays and frustration. Don't blame it on the building department. By having all of your application forms in order and any other information they may require, ie. water verification, septic or sewer info, deed of trust etc. when you get to the counter, it shows that you respect the process and appreciate the help that they give you. I suspect that you like to be thought of in that same manner while performing your job.

If you have any questions about the process or just would like insight into what may be required of you, just send me a note and I'll get you what you need to begin your project on the right path and with the right attitude.

John Anderson

"Attitude is a little thing that make a big difference" Winston Churchhill

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Look Before You Leap

We are beginning the construction of a new home and are in the process of calculating costs and completing all material takeoffs. I designed this house plan in consultations with my client over the past 3 months and it is time to put the pedal to the metal.

There is an old story about a man traveling to Chicago and trying to make his way around the city and finding it to be a difficult proposition. He wandered for a while and ended up in front of the then Sears Tower. As he tried, in vain, to picture where he was and then how to get to where he wanted to go, frustration set in. Even as he opened the map of the city, which he had purchased, he was overwelmed by the scope of what lay before him, and the task seemed an impossible mission. Suddenly it dawned on him that if he went up to the top of the Sears Tower and got his bearings while looking out over the city, indentifying the places he wished to go would become an easier task. After returning to the street, he felt assured of the direction he needed to go and had the map of the city and the location of his venues now tatooed in his mind. The moral to the story is this: Have the complete picture of the task in your mind before you start. A roadmap, as it were, of how to get from point A to point B. It requires careful planning and a method of organizing all of the pieces on paper in black and white. Creating your roadmap for success.

With that said, we can begin. I filed the application for the building permit 4 months ago and have just received notice that it is ready to be picked up. I have gone over the houseplans and have calculated all of the building materials to be used. I then compiled them into an excel speadsheet to organize each area of construction and determined the estimated cost of construction. This is my roadmap. It gives me a complete picture of not only the construction costs, but the order in which each area of construction must be completed and an accurate timeline for the scheduling of each sub contractor and the completion of the project.

At the building site we have measured and staked exactly where the house is to sit on the property. We have taken elevations shots with the laser transit to determine the amount to be excavated. We have layed out the site for where to store the spoils of excavated material, installed the silt fence for storm water runoff protection and can now begin the dig. The excavation sub contractor has been scheduled and it is time to move dirt.

This is always an exciting time for clients as they can begin to see the physical progress of their project and start to dream of an actual move in date. Stay tuned for further insights of the construction process.

John Anderson

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Here it is May 25, 2011 and spring has not yet shown its face in the Pacific Northwest. There is much to be grateful for however. Business continues to be tepid but we have overcome the past 2 1/2 years of downturn and we definately are experiencing a slight upturn.

If you are thinking of building your own home we can help. First with the plans you will need for your building department. Then we can walk you through the process of permitting and all that that entails. We have created many forms for you to use in order to put your building project together and start you on a successful path.

In the coming weeks, I will be writing about the process of residential construction. I hope you join me as I outline the many issues you will have to deal with during the months that it will take to complete your home. If there are any questions you have or would like to post, I will be monitoring continuously and will get back to you quickly.

Good luck,

John Anderson