You’ve finally managed to secure the waterfront property of your dreams…but, the home needs some work. Building or remodeling a waterfront home comes with a very unique set of challenges and you would be wise to work with a construction firm that understands and has experience with these challenges. So, before you build or renovate a waterfront property, here’s what you need to know.
It’s All About the Footprint
In most waterfront areas, here in the Mid-Atlantic, there are a variety of issues that must be addressed when building or remodeling. One of the most critical factors is the footprint of the existing structure. As a general rule, if you’re building up and staying within the existing footprint, you can eliminate a lot of extra work and headache. This is because if you decide to completely rebuild, there are often rules and guidelines that mandate moving a house farther back from the water’s edge. This can greatly reduce the beautiful waterfront views you fell in love with. Adding a second story to an existing home, if the structure allows, is a great way to add square footage without having to completely rebuild.
Here in the Mid-Atlantic, because of our wonderful proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, there are a variety of issues that come into play with waterfront properties, particularly those located in critical areas. One such issue revolves around impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces are hard surfaces that change the direction or ultimate destination of precipitation. The laws help to prevent the addition of these hard surfaces in areas close to the Bay and it’s tributaries. Often each county and state have different definitions for impervious surface. In Anne Arundel County, for example, gravel is considered impervious, even though water runs through it. This can impact things like adding a new driveway, a new patio or deck, or hardscaping a portion of your yard.
Permitting & Impact Fees
All building or remodeling projects must be properly permitted. During this process, the local zoning office will determine the impact fees and permitting fees that will be required. For waterfront properties, these fees can be substantial.
Bottom line, it’s important to work with a Design-Build firm that has experience in waterfront properties and can help you navigate these waters safely. If you’re thinking about building or remodeling a waterfront property, contact Parker Design Build Remodel today for a free consultation.