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Coastal Engineering Company of Orleans Cape Cod

Home Construction Planning Guide

Published November 10, 2017 by John A. Bologna,

A home building or renovation project is something most homeowners will go through only once or twice in their lifetime, so for many, it is an unfamiliar process. How to assemble a team of competent consultants? When and why to hire a professional engineer or land surveyor? How to conduct a site evaluation of the property to assess the feasibility of the proposed construction? How to navigate the field of land mines known as the permitting process? How does the building code impact the remodeling project? What is the typical scope of professional services needed for a building construction project? These and many other questions need to be answered for the project to be successful. We prepared the quick checklist to get you started.

Home Construction Palnning Guide 1

1. Type of Project

New House Construction

▢ Currently Developed Lot

▢ Undeveloped Lot

▢ Subdivision


▢ Lateral Addition

▢ Vertical Addition

▢ Tear Down and Rebuild

Home Construction Palnning Guide 7

2. Assembling a Team

▢ Architect/Designer

▢ Builder

▢ Surveyor/Engineer

▢ Attorney

Home Construction Palnning Guide 3

3. Due Diligence

Building Systems

▢ Building Envelope

▢ Structure

▢ Mechanical Systems


▢ Grading/Drainage

▢ Septic System

▢ Site Utilities 

Waterfront Structures

▢ Shorefront Protection

▢ Piers/Docks/Launches


▢ Swimming Pools

▢ Tennis Courts

▢ Landscaping

Home Construction Palnning Guide 4

4. Regulatory Review

▢ Site Plan Review

▢ Zoning Board of Appeals

▢ Historic Commission

▢ Conservation Commission

▢ Board of Health

Building Department

▢ Building Permit

▢ Fire Department

▢ Pluming Permit

▢ Electrical Permit

Home Construction Palnning Guide 5

5. Permits and Certifications

▢ Building Permit/Certificate of Occupancy

▢ Conservation Commission/Certificate of Compliance

▢ Board of Health/Certificate of Compliance

▢ Special Permit Compliance

▢ Flood Insurance Elevation Certificate

Home Construction Palnning Guide 6

6. Contracts

▢ Design/Build

▢ Design/Bid/Build

▢ Construction Management

▢ Terms and Conditions

Building a home?

Our professional engineers have in-depth knowledge of residential construction, including building codes, local environmental and regulatory review process, project permitting, and construction contract administration, and specialize in engineering design for structures located in high wind and flood prone areas in the coastal environment. Call now for a free consultation!