We offer the following services for residential homes throughout the city of Walnut Creek:
For a number of years now, we’re seen a steady stream of our clients looking for ways to add more square footage onto their home. We’ve done a number of office additions and room additions to properties in Walnut Creek like this home on Bridge Rd, Walnut Creek.
Sometimes the biggest hurdle is finding out what is legal and what types of additions you can get permits for. We recommend calling up the Walnut Creek’s planning & zoning department and asking them what additions you can do onto your property. They’ll ask you for your address so that they can give you more information.
Just keep in mind that renovations inside the home are often approved. The planning & zoning department are more concerned with keeping the design of homes consistent with the rest in your neighborhood.
Our team works in crews of 5 including a designer, project manager, and our tradespeople. Although our name might imply we cover every home remodeling project imaginable, sometimes we recommend you go to specialists who can give you a better price than we can for the same quality of work.
Every request for a construction permit goes through either an appointed design committee for larger projects or the city’s planning department staff for smaller projects. The design committee is composed of registered architects, registered landscape architects, and residents of the city. The purpose of the committee is essentially to preserve the aesthetic qualities of Walnut Creek’s neighborhoods and preserve the property prices in the city.
The review process can take months or up to years to approve complex major developments like creating a new neighborhood from what was once a walnut orchard. But if you’re reading this, you’re likely not a major real estate developer so you might be more curious about legalities surrounding a major renovation of your property.
If your project falls into the categories mentioned below, your project won’t go to the design committee but rather the city’s planning department staff.
These projects are quicker to get permits for granted that you submit the permit with all the proper payments, documentation, and plans. These are usually prepared by an architect or your general contractor depending on the projects. If you’re unsure who should prepare the plans, default to your contractor.
The only ‘shortcut’ to getting your permit approved is to make sure that you submit all the required documentation correctly. Failure to do so will result in delays because the planning department staff will have to get in touch with you and notify you of the errors. This causes unnecessary back-and-forth communication and cities aren’t typically known for speedy response times. Do it right the first time and you can get started on your projects within a week of when you submitted the permit otherwise you could be in limbo for months.
As we mentioned above, if you're doing minor renovations we recommend going with a small team of specialists but if you’re doing a major renovation, going with a larger team like ours. We obviously have an incentive to earn your business but putting that aside, dealing with permitting departments is a job in itself. That’s why we have experienced office staff to handle permits.
You can find more information on this on Walnut Creek’s design review guidelines
In the case that you have a complex project that is passed on to the design review board from the building department staff, your architect and general contractor will need to be heavily involved when talking to the board. They’ll have technical questions that can only be properly answered by licensed architects or general contractors.
Can you try to deal with them yourself? We don’t recommend a DIY solution to this. Saying or answering the wrong thing can result in your project being disapproved. At the end of the day, you are dealing with people who will be held liable for issues that could arise in the future. If they feel that you’re unsure or aren’t qualified, that won’t turn out well for your project.
In the case that your project does get denied, there you can appeal that decision. The best way to avoid denials is to conduct good research on the history of developments around your area and make a case as to why your project conforms to the norm, make sure your project complies with zoning regulations, work with licensed professionals with good reputations, and lastly, be organized.
If your property is in or near the Northgate area, Saranap, Pleasant Hill BART station, or Walnut Heights, then your property might be under Contra Costa County jurisdiction. Good news is that the county is typically not as busy and not as stringent as the city. Odds are that your permits get approved quicker if you’re under county jurisdiction.
We just went through a whole lot of information and that might’ve left you with more questions. The best place to start is to write down your ideas or draw them up, if you’d like. Then, schedule a time with our estimator to visit your property and give you a price to build out your ideas. If the price fits your budget, only then should you invest the time in calling the city.