My inspiration for planning and design comes from my family. My father is a home builder and my mother used to be an interior designer and is now a real estate agent. Growing up my sister and I have always been on their job sites as well as watching and helping our parents pick designs and other elements for the homes.

When a new job site was starting we were used to seeing so many different plans before one was finally built. My sister and I always assumed they had just been different options our parents were considering, but as we grew older our parents explained to us how they were all different versions of the same plan. They told us how each town had their own set of rules and what was and wasn’t allowed to be built.

As I got even older and more interested in the field my father further explained to me about how the changes and such were due to rejections from the planning board due to violations with zoning or other town ordinances; like we learned about in chapter 8.

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Recently my father has started building a new home. His original plan was for a home that was 3,500 square feet on a 100 x 100-foot lot. The town rejected it due to the fact that the towns FAR ratio only allowed for 30% of the lot to have the home on it; meaning it could only be 3,000 square feet. However, the town told my father of an environmental clause (as he worded it) that would allow for the home to be 3,300 square feet instead of the normal 3,000. If he was to bring back a plan that had a porch with columns and stone detail instead of a basic square porch, used concrete siding instead of vinyl, and a few other changes, he would be approved for the 3,300 square foot home.

My takeaway from all of this has been that as a contractor, or anyone in the building and development profession, it is very important to know all of the town’s ordinances that you are working in. By knowing and understanding everything the municipality has in place will allow you the quickest and easiest route to a finished project.

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