Just over a year ago, I started a fantastic new project in San Francisco that is somewhere in between new construction and a gut renovation.
Here's a couple photos from the real estate listing to give you an idea of the place:
For this project my client has several high-level goals to hit:
Add as much square footage as possible
Optimize usability of space
Design a home that will be widely appealing yet unique
Now after one year, I'm a couple weeks away from submitting the permit application. This is what it took to get to this point:
Intense studying of the San Francisco Planning Code, Residential Design Guidelines, and various bulletins to fully understand the maximum buildable area we could achieve.
Numerous visits to the San Francisco Planning Department to get clarification on said code, guidelines, etc.
Creating a cohesive concept for the client's desire to have a sanctuary within the city.
Many, many iterations of floor plan designs (first as a single family home, then as a 2 unit building) to optimize space, circulation, lighting, and ease of use.
Building a 1/4" scale physical foam core model to help the client visualize the space, see how the spaces fit together, and provide feedback on the design.
Hiring and working closely with a geotechnical engineer, civil engineer, structural engineer, and architect to provide input and required documentation and reports.
Sending out notifications of the proposed project to all the surrounding neighbors and listening to their concerns.
Historical research into the property (using microfiche and going to the public library!) because the building is over 50 years old.
Filling out many, many application forms.
Fingers-crossed that this permit submission process goes well....