Owner Questionnaire



  1. Your names as shown on the deed
  2. All of your phone numbers and email addresses
  3. Your complete address, with zip


  1. A survey
    1. If we are not adding or subtracting exterior spaces, it’s not required.
    2. If this is an addition, we’ll need an improvement survey which shows city elevation data at the front setback and the rear property corners. Usually around 500-800 depending on lot size and other factors.
    3. If this is a new home, we’ll need a pin survey. This is the same as an improvement survey, except that the property “pins” and building elements are located much more accurately. Usually in the 1000 range.
    4. I can give you a list of names or I can order the survey for you. The surveyor will normally want payment from you before they begin. Visa over the phone is typical.
    5. The building department will want an original printed copy with the surveyors stamp and signature.
    6. If this project is an addition, I will need the survey in the beginning of the process to verify the location of the exterior walls relative to the property lines.
  2. Copies of any easements or restrictive covenants, not shown on the survey.
  3. A soil report is needed to determine the engineering capacities of your soil, the water content, and so on. Again, I can order this for you or give you a list of soil engineers. The building department requires this for new construction at the time of permit submittal.


  1. Is your property in a historic district or an area of view restriction? This information is available on line, so I can look it up if you don’t know.
  2. If you intend to finance your project through a bank, I have sources. Many times, your own neighborhood bank is an excellent choice. The important thing is to start as soon as possible. The process takes much longer than you might think. With some basic information, we can establish a budget range and I can provide a letter to get you started.
  3. If this is a remodeling project, do you intend to live there during construction? If so, we should go over this in detail. It takes a real pioneer to put up with all that’s involved. If not, it’s necessary to relocate all of your personal possessions away from the construction zone and lock up securely. Off site is, by far, the best.
  4. In a written statement, describe what you want in as much detail as possible.
    1. A wish list of rooms and how you want to use them is very useful.
    2. Consider the importance of issues like street noise, morning sun, privacy from kids or neighbors, access to the outdoors, and so on.
  5. How much landscaping do you want to include?
  6. Is there a particular look you want? Provide magazine or internet references or even the address of a house you like. Normally, my first reaction is to blend your house with its neighbors. If it’s an addition, my goal is often to make it look like it was always there.
  7. Don’t worry if you have no opinion on any of the discretionary questions above. Our goal here is communication. The more the better. Open mindedness is very valuable. Add to the list if you think of something.