New Single Family Construction Checklist

construction worker checklistIn a previous blog, we discussed the different construction surveys needed for building a new home in the City of Fort Lauderdale. Besides surveys, there are several other documents required before and after construction. The City has made available a checklist of the documents online:
https://www.fortlauderdale.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=36733

Many of these items are completed by your project’s Fort Lauderdale General Contractor (GC) however, it’s important for homeowners to keep track of documents associated with their project. Below, we sum up all of the items listed on the Fort Lauderdale New Construction Checklist.

Required Permit Applications – Many of these documents can be started by the homeowner ahead of time to streamline the construction process. Please refer to our previous blog regarding the surveys you may need to complete these permit applications.

Minimal Plan Submittal – These forms are mostly completed by the project’s GC, but many items will require the signature of the homeowner. Please refer to our previous blog regarding the surveys you may need to complete these permit applications.

  • Signed Contract (including cost breakdown) – legal documentation of the project
  • Park Impact Fee Supplemental Form – to create a parking lot on the property
  • Construction Debris Mitigation Letter – agreement to lawfully dispose of waste
  • Swale Acknowledgement Form – for construction that will affect swales
  • Specialty Paving Affidavit – to create decorative, stamped concrete or paved driveways
  • Two (2) hard copies of current surveys (signed and Sealed)
  • Two (2) hard copy complete sets of plans (signed and Sealed) indicating the following information:
    • Occupancy Group
    • Type of Construction
    • Method of Compliance
    • Interior Finishes
    • Roof Framing Plan (including the required bracing)
    • Property Flood Zone
    • Construction Materials
    • Foundation, Column and Beam Schedules
    • Window and Door Schedules
  • Two (2) hard copies of Soil Conditions (Geotec Report) or Soil Statement
  • Two (2) hard copies of Energy Calculations (reviewed by Department of Resources)
  • Two (2) hard copies of Structural Calculations (signed and sealed)
  • Two (2) hard copies of each Window and Door Product Approvals (approved by DOR)
  • Special Inspector Form (if project involves reinforced masonry construction of pilings)
  • Special Inspector Plan (if project involves reinforced masonry construction of pilings)

For more information on single-family construction permits in Fort Lauderdale, contact Rose Architecture + Construction.

Surveys Required for Fort Lauderdale New Home Construction

architects sitting around construction plansBefore you can build a new home in the City of Fort Lauderdale, you will need various surveys, reports, and most importantly, construction permits. The process of obtaining permits can be overwhelming, especially to anyone building a home for the first time. There are quite a few documents you need to have on hand before you submit your permit application. The City of Fort Lauderdale has a one-page checklist that sums up the required permits: https://www.fortlauderdale.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=36733

The minimum plan submission requirements are mostly completed by Architects, Engineers, and/or Contractors, but the items with the most lead time (aka time to get completed) can and should be ordered by YOU, the homeowner.

To save yourself some time and stress, we’ve outlined the surveys and reports you will need in order to apply for building a new single-family construction project in the City of Fort Lauderdale. This article is broken down into two sections: PRE-PERMIT and POST-PERMIT surveys/reports.

 

PART I. Pre-permit Surveys and Reports – AKA Items To Order Now

  • Construction Topographic Survey
  • Geotechnical Report
  • Site Percolation Test

1. Construction Topographic Survey – A survey of the property conducted for the purposes of construction. Surveys identify property boundaries, easement and other site feature locations. Specifically this document should include:

  • Topographic Elevation points at 20-foot intervals along the property line and as a grid on the property. Extend the grid to 5 feet outside of property lines as well as to adjacent properties
  • Topographic Elevation points for the crown of road, edge of asphalt, center of city swale, sidewalk, and other public walking paths
  • All easements
  • Right-of-way dedications
  • If there is an existing building on the property, the survey will also need to include all building and site components
  • Finished floor elevation of existing home, if applicable
  • Tree Locations:
    • City of Fort Lauderdale requires documentation on all trees that are 3″ DBH (Diameter at Breast Height) and greater
  • Utility/Mechanical Equipment Locations:
    • Note locations of power meter, water meter(s), natural gas meter/propane tank lid (if applicable), and plumbing cleanout(s)
    • Show AC equipment locations
  • Request CAD file for future use by Architect/Engineers
  • 6 signed and sealed hard copies to be used for permits

Recommended Survey Provider:
Atlantic Coast Surveying Inc
6129 Stirling Road Suite 2
Davie, FL 33314
office: 954.587.2100
www.acsiweb.net

2. Geotechnical Report – Borings are conducted on the site in areas of proposed building and pool construction, to examine the existing soil conditions of the site. A report is then generated analyzing the findings from the borings to recommend suitable foundation designs based on soil makeup and bearing capacities. This report is used by the structural engineer and architect to guide their designs moving forward. Typically a project requires (2) borings, but this may vary based on your final design. Consult an Architect if unsure.

Recommended Provider:
Specialty Engineering Consultants, Inc.
1599 SW 30th Avenue
Boynton Beach, FL 33426
561-752-5440
www.specsf.com

3. Site Percolation Test for Water Drainage – A test done onsite to determine the stormwater absorption rate of the soil on the property for stormwater design and engineering considerations.

Recommended Provider:
Specialty Engineering Consultants, Inc.
1599 SW 30th Avenue
Boynton Beach, FL 33426
561-752-5440
www.specsf.com

 

Part II. Post-permit Surveys and Reports – AKA Items To Order Later (but don’t forget!)

As the project progresses, you’ll need additional surveys. It’s recommended to order all surveys together as a package to save time and money.

Construction Progress Survey Items

  1. 4 Corner survey – ordered prior to laying out formwork
    • shows the literal 4 corners of buildings to be constructed
  2. Form Board survey – ordered just after completion of slab formwork
    • to confirm the concrete slab forms are in the correct locations
  3. Spot survey and elevation certificate – ordered after the slab is poured and prior to tie beam inspection
    • to confirm the correct height of poured slab
  4. Fence survey – ordered prior to installation of permanent site fence
    • marks 4 corners of site to ensure fence is built on correct property
  5. Final survey – ordered after building completion and all sitework is complete

For more information on single-family construction permits in Fort Lauderdale, contact Rose Architecture + Construction.

Zachary Rose Wins AIA Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Zachary Rose, owner of Zack Academy, Rose Architecture + Construction, and a local licensed Architect and General Contractor, has received the 2020 “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from The American Institute of Architects Fort Lauderdale. This prestigious nod is part of the AIA’s Emerging Professional Awards, which recognize the top architecture and design teams in South Florida.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is one of the oldest associations recognizing architectural excellence. Through community outreach, apprenticeship programs, and advocacy, the organization also fosters the development of architects. Similarly, “Entrepreneur of the Year” award recognizes designers who have made an impact not only in the design field, but in their community as well.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from the South Florida design community, and would like to acknowledge my rockstar team that has helped me push the envelope these past few years to continue to innovate and grow responsibly,” commented Mr. Rose.

Mr. Rose and his firm were recognized for both career and community development. The firm completed over 120 design and construction projects in Broward County over the past five years, while volunteering for local fixtures such as Christ Church School, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the Jack and Jill Center of Fort Lauderdale, and Chabad Las Olas. Owner Zachary Rose has also participated in community outreach in partnership with The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and Broward County to help youths gain job experience.

About Rose Architecture + Construction
Rose Architecture + Construction is South Florida’s premier Fort Lauderdale architect and interior design firm. Founded in 2012 by Zachary Rose, they have worked on numerous projects including commercial, residential, and industrial spaces. They take pride in clean, functional spaces and are passionately committed to design perfection, innovation, and sustainability. As the firm’s driving force, Mr. Rose is a licensed Fort Lauderdale Architect in the State of Florida (lic. # AR96067), licensed General Contractor (lic. # CGC1526625), an accredited LEED AP, and a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

Release Contact
India Edouard
Operations and Marketing Assistant
http://www.rosearchitects.com
954-271-2718

Save Time and Money with a Feasibility Study

Whether you have a very strong idea of the scope and design of your potential building project or have very little idea of what it could be, you should consider a feasibility study. These assessments help determine whether a project makes sense to move forward with or if some items need revisiting. No matter the size of your project, a feasibility study can save you time and money. Rather than diving into the deep end of unknown waters, a feasibility study allows you to test out the waters before you invest any significant time and money into your potential project. Read on to learn more about how feasibility studies can guide decision making for your project in a number of ways.

What is a feasibility study?
A feasibility study is an assessment of all the important details of a project. At its core, a feasibility study asks important questions such as “what” and “why”. This helps set the direction of the project and becomes the standard for project members to reference during the process.

Why should I consider a feasibility study for my project?
Feasibility studies can provide a clear outline of a project’s goals as well as the most efficient way to achieve them. This can be extremely helpful for clients who only have a vague idea of what they want, or when there are many competing priorities.

But even if you already have a clear idea of why you’re constructing a space, do you know if your plan is legal? Do you know if your plan is economically realistic? Do you know what design challenges your site presents?

If your project plan cannot fully answer these questions, then you may encounter issues along the process. A feasibility study helps to minimize risk before fully investing your valuable time, money, and resources into a project.

What are the steps for conducting a feasibility study?

  • Defining the project’s goal: Feasibility studies often begin with asking the purpose of the project. Defining a clear project goal and design intent helps everyone involved with the project to stay on track during the project’s process.
  • Research: This phase includes gathering information on existing property / building conditions, conducting code and zoning research, and more. Once this information is compiled, project designers can analyze and project this information on to your specific site and provide a generalization of the buildable area allowed based on the parameters discovered during their research. This step is often the biggest component of feasibility studies conducted for our clients.
  • Cost Estimation: This phase is a quick estimation of project costs based on the preliminary research in the previous two steps. This can help get a general idea of costs before furthering the design and getting bids after construction documents are completed further down the line.

Are you ready to streamline your next project? Rose Architecture + Construction can conduct a feasibility study for you. Contact us to receive expert consultation on architecture, construction, design and more.

Rose Architects Earns VA Builder Status

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Zachary Rose, owner of Rose Architecture + Construction and a local licensed Architect and General Contractor, is pleased to announce his designation as a Veteran Affairs (VA) Builder. This designation is a breakthrough for his design-build architecture firm, which will now be able to work on VA-funded projects.

The VA Builder program matches veterans with qualified architects, contractors, and developers to help build dream homes for this deserving community. Similar to normal homebuilding, these homes can be tailored to fit the unique needs of the homeowner. However, the VA Builder program holds its builders to a higher standard by requiring special inspectors during the entire construction process to ensure perfect execution.

Only construction firms with VA Builder status can work on VA-funded projects. This means the VA Builder program is limited to the firms that decide to pursue the status. Now, local veterans can add Rose Architecture and Construction to their options of qualified builders to create their perfect home.

“The Veteran Affairs (VA) Builder status has allowed us to give back to a community that already gives us so much,” said Rose. “We are honored to design and build homes for our veterans.”

About Rose Architecture and Construction
Rose Architecture and Construction is South Florida’s premier Fort Lauderdale architect and interior design firm. Founded in 2012 by Zachary Rose, they have worked on numerous projects including commercial, residential, and industrial spaces. They take pride in clean, functional spaces and are passionately committed to design perfection, innovation, and sustainability. As the firm’s driving force, Mr. Rose is a licensed Fort Lauderdale Architect in the State of Florida (lic. # AR96067), licensed General Contractor (lic. # CGC1526625), an accredited LEED AP, and a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

Release Contact
India Edouard
Operations and Marketing Assistant
http://www.rosearchitects.com
954-271-2718

Appeal Your Property’s Flood Zone Status with an LOMC

If your property has been included in an identified flood zone area, it can mean costly flood insurance and a more complicated or limited building or renovation process. However, it is possible to appeal your property’s designation by submitting a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) request to FEMA. This can be submitted by the property owner or an authorized agent through an online application to request a change to the flood map.

What is a flood zone?
FEMA defines the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as an “area that has a 1-percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year; this area is also referred to by some as the 1-percent-annual-chance floodplain, base floodplain or the 100-year floodplain.” Through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, SFHA’s are identified in an effort to minimize the risk and impact flooding can have on homeowners and businesses.

What is the benefit of submitting an LOMC request?
If FEMA approves your LOMC request, you may no longer be required to pay flood insurance. You can send these approved documents known as the Determination Document to your lender and request flood insurance requirements to be removed.

How can I submit an LOMC request?
The Online Letter of Map of Change application can be submitted at https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/onlinelomc/signin.

What information is required to submit a LOMC request?
You will need specific information about the property including location, legal description, and use of fill. Many of the required forms can be found in the FEMA library or in the online LOMC application. You may also need to provide additional documentation such as:

  • Elevation Form or Existing Elevation Certificate (part of online application)
  • Subdivision Plat Map or Property Deed with Tax Assessor’s Map (contact your County/Parish Clerk, Recorder, or Register of Deeds)
  • ESA Compliance Documentation (contact National Marine Fishery Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, or State Wildlife Agency)

How is approval of the request determined?
FEMA reviews LOMC requests and takes into account your property’s proximity to identified SFHAs. You may have to make some amendments to the property for an LOMC to be granted. The review process may take up to 60 – 90 days. You can view the current application status by signing in to your online LOMC account.

Is there a faster alternative to submitting my own LOMC request?
Yes – FEMA has a separate online application called eLOMA, which can be submitted by engineers, surveyors, and other licensed professionals. An eLOMA request can generate a response within a few minutes.

If you live in a flood zone and you’re thinking of renovating your property, consider all of your options before your project becomes costly and complicated. Rose Architecture + Construction can submit eLOMA requests on your behalf, saving you weeks of time and hassle! Contact us to learn more about our flood zone consulting, design, and construction services today.

Beyond the home inspection…things to check before buying a home

Home inspections are critical (and required for mortgages) but they don’t always tell the whole story. There is a reason that they can cost as little as $75…often times they are just a small glimpse of what is actually going on in a house. Below are the top 8 things to check for before making the largest investment of your life. Items 1 – 4 are absolutely critical while 5 – 8 depend on the level of alteration you plan to do on the property – the larger the renovation the more sense it makes to follow all of these recommendations.

While it may seem counterintuitive to invest money before you even own your new home, checking for these things can be back exponentially by way of credits at closing and avoided headaches.

1. Plumbing

Older homes built with cast iron pipes are ripe for disaster. Hire a licensed plumber for $200-$300 and have them scope the lines with a camera. Even if you flushed all the toilets, sellers can have pipes snaked to give the appearance of perfect wastelines, but until you see it with your own eyes there is no way to know what lies beneath.

2. Flood Zone

It is critical to know if your property is in a flood zone for two reasons:

  1. You will know if the property requires expensive flood zone insurance and
  2. It can influence the amount you can spend on a renovation prior to it being considered a “Substantial Improvement”.

The latter is extremely important because once you go over a certain dollar threshold (50% of the structure value), federal law requires that you raise the floors to the required flood zone elevation. That elevation varies by location, but 95% of the time it is impossible to raise the floors high enough. This is because your doors and windows would all need to be raised as well, sometimes to a height that is physically impossible. Learn more: https://www.fema.gov/floodplain-management-old/substantial-improvement

We have worked with dozens of clients in having their flood zone changed, so if this applies to you let us know so we can check for an exemption in your area. We can also check your flood zone on your behalf if that information was not provided by the seller.

3. Termites

If there are any wood materials behind the walls or ceiling in your home it is very important to get a termite inspection. Even if things look fine on the surface, you can have a massive problem just waiting to be uncovered. There are even termites that can eat through concrete! So while there may be no obvious signs of termites, it is of the utmost importance to get a licensed professional out to the home to check prior to closing.

4. Permit History

It is typically no more than a single email to request the permit history for a property. The value of this is two-fold:

  1. You can quickly determine if there are any illegal structures on site that become your problem – once you own the house, you also own all of the illegal completed work – and
  2. You can check on very important items like age of the roof and mechanical or electrical equipment

Things to specifically look for when comparing permit history to the physical items on site:

  • If you notice a new electrical panel that is not labeled, this is a non-permitted panel. Building departments require the panel to be labeled so this is a clear red flag. Home inspectors will not check for this, they only care about older panels that pose a fire hazard (e.g. Southern Pacific)
  • For your HVAC systems, if it looks brand new but there is no permit it was installed illegally. It is an easy permit to pull but many mechanical contractors prefer to skip the red tape and jump straight to installation
  • If the garage was converted to a livable space, carport converted to garage, or porch enclosed, these are three very common renovations that require a permit 100% of the time (but often times are done as a “handyman special”). If you notice that work was completed but does not show in the permit history it is a huge liability for you as the new owner.

We cannot emphasize the importance of checking on every permit and being extremely vocal to the seller about what you discover. Any work that was done without a permit is the problem of the current homeowner, and an “as-is” purchase removes the responsibility from the seller the moment you close. In addition to monetary fines, your family can be in danger if a load-bearing wall was removed without a permit and no structural considerations were made to make the home safe.

5. Mold Inspection

Mold can exist in walls and ceilings and not present itself to the naked eye. Sellers can also paint right over existing mold problems which conceal the problem areas for 3-6 months at a time. If there are any signs of moisture or musky smells in the property, getting a mold inspection is your best bet. This becomes even more important in muggy South Florida locations since we have such high humidity and rain volume.

Also very important to keep in mind: if more than 10 square feet of mold is being removed from a property, a licensed Florida Mold Inspector is required. If a GC tells you she or he can remove it on their own, they are very, very wrong. Learn more here: http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/mold/index.html

6. Asbestos Inspection

All significant renovations that require demolition should have an asbestos report completed, especially if the house is very old and has popcorn ceilings. VCT tile, mirror adhesive, and old in-wall heaters are all potential culprits as well. Since this is a required report for your future renovation permit (to be submitted to the County), you may as well get it done now because if there is asbestos present that needs to be mitigated you will be paying big bucks down the road.

7. Lead Paint Inspection

All homes built before 1978 are required by federal law to be checked for lead paint if the renovation involves disturbing more than 6 square feet of interior space or 20 square feet of exterior space. This threshold is so low that it is safe to say checking for lead is required on all renovations of pre-1978 homes. Having your future home inspected for lead is critical, especially if you have young children who are most susceptible to the life-crippling effects of lead paint dust. Learn more: https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead

8. Geotechnical Report

If you plan to do an addition OR if there are clear signs of foundation settlement, this is a critical report to attain prior to closing. Geotechnical engineers will drill down approximately 25′ to tell you the soil conditions. If your foundation is showing visual signs of settlement, this information can be used to try and receive credits at closing for the cost of foundation underpinning/reinforcement. If you are considering an addition, the report will tell you what kind of foundation system you need and if an expensive piling/grade beam system is going to be needed.

For new construction, geotechnical reports will tell you how much dirt needs to be removed, added, OR removed and then added back. Just like the above reports, you don’t know what you don’t know…

9. BONUS ITEM – Hire an Architect!

Hiring an Architect at the onset of your home-buying process can save you serious headaches down the road. Even if it is just to recommend vendors for each of the above items, Rose Architecture and Construction is here to help! Contact us today to see how we can help you make the right decision and have a pain-free renovation or new construction project.

Construction Management Forms

We emphasize management and quality control on every project we work on, big or small. The National Association of Home Builders (nahb.org) publishes industry best practice guidelines and we take pride in using their resources to the benefit of our Clients. Bookmark this page for easy access to spot check the various stages of construction management and quality control.

Management Tools

Quality Checklists

Certified Aging In Place – Now in Fort Lauderdale

caps certificationFort Lauderdale, FL (May 6, 2019) – Zachary Rose, owner of Rose Architects and a local Fort Lauderdale Architect, is pleased to announce the completion of his new NAHB Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation. This certification is a major step forward for Rose Architects, which will now add accessibility remodeling to its robust list of specializations.

The Certified Aging-in-Place designation program is an endeavor from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a national authority on homebuilding and homeownership. The purpose of CAPS is to help elderly homeowners stay in their homes by offering modifications that make their home more accessible to them. These modifications can include grab bars, task lighting, walk-in tubs, and more. By making their home safer and more livable, elderly homeowners can retain their independence and have an improved quality of life.

Oftentimes, senior homeowners have to make the difficult choice between staying in their home or moving an assisted living center. These choices usually factor in accessibility, as seniors begin to have difficulty with winding staircases, slippery tubs, and high shelves. This loss of independence can feel disempowering for seniors.

Through CAPS, senior homeowners can remain in their homes on their own terms. Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists are trained in the unique needs of the older adult population and will work with homeowners to provide unique solutions to their concerns.

“The CAPS certification has given us the tools as an architecture firm to cater to the needs of our aging population and help them to design the perfect home to age in,” said Rose. “The NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) has done a fantastic job of creating a certification that combines the right amount of code-driven guidelines paired with practical-and-functional ideas, and we can’t wait to help our clients create their forever Forever Home!”

About Rose Architects
Rose Architects is South Florida’s Fort Lauderdale architect and interior design firm. Founded in 2012 by Zachary Rose, we have worked on numerous projects including commercial, residential, and industrial spaces. We take pride in clean, functional spaces and are passionately committed to design perfection, innovation, and sustainability. As the firm’s driving force, Zachary is a licensed Fort Lauderdale Architect in the State of Florida (lic. # AR96067), licensed General Contractor (lic. # CGC1526625), an accredited LEED AP, and a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

Release Contact
India Edouard

Operations and Marketing Assistant
Rose Architects
954-271-2718