We talked to a couple of recommended builders in the area last week and we're pleased with both. Haven't made a decision on which one to use, but we need to choose pretty quickly to get on their schedules. Yesterday we visited three draftsmen down in Albuquerque to choose one and have the plans cleaned up. One fellow really wasn't interested, nor were we interested in him. One was very reasonably priced, and the last considerably more expensive, but was thinking in the big picture. He pointed out difficulties in construction in what the original architect had done, impossibilities in what the architect had done (seems that happens a lot). And having the experience I have in building, I could understand. Additionally, he started suggesting some changes in materials for valid reasons. He was also proactive in looking at permitting and was trying to think out of the box on how we might be able to get a foundation go ahead before the final above grade structural was finished. So as Sandra and I were leaving to head back, it was a quick, unanimous decision to go with the fellow who seemed more encompassing of the process, even though he was more expensive.
Some of the things he brought up, I need to gather details on, so work is going to begin pretty fast. Things like ICF to joist details, and max spans for the structural panels that will cover the barrel-vaulted ceiling in the great room.
Last week we met with the county environmental engineer to discuss the septic requirements. We also went to the building dept. to get an overview of the process and fees. I was stunned by the fees! The general building permit will be well in excess of $5,000, and to top that off, there is a water-rights fee of close to $7,000. I know there is a water issue in the west, but this fee is based on the size of the house, not the number of occupants. 95% of the time, it will be me and my wife living there. It's crazy!
Somebody that sits on the economic development board asked me what could be done to interest more people to move here. Lowering these fees to something far more normal would be a huge start.
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