Frequently Asked Questions
What should I have available at my first appointment?
The short answer: A survey, your ideas and an accepted form of payment.
Your first appointment is your time to get all of your ideas out. We encourage all of our clients to share what their final vision is so we can direct them in the most cost effective direction.
If you want to add additional square footage to your home you will need a boundary survey. Usually, you will get a survey in your closing documents when you purchase your home. If you did not finance your home purchase you would not have been required to get a survey.There are a few exceptions as well. If you live on more than 5 acres, a survey isn’t typically required unless you are building a new home. In most cases you can hand sketch your property line and give relative distances to the addition. There are also a few cases where you will need more than just a boundary survey. For example, if you live in a flood zone or anywhere coastal, you will need a survey with elevations. Nonetheless, for your first meeting, take a look at the documents you have and we will be able to review them with you and direct you to the proper process if we need more information.
Are site visit fees or down payments refundable?
The short answer: No.
Site visit fees are assessed as a means to reduce overall project costs. They cover the expense that Holmes Drafting Services, LLC incurs from the time and fuel spent on site. In most cases a site visit fee will be treated as a down payment of your total project, however they are not refundable in the event that you would like to cancel your project.
How can I pay for my project?
The short answer: We accept all generally used forms of payment!
Cash, check and money order payments can either be made in person, by appointment at our office located in Spring Hill, FL or by mail.
4377 Commercial Way #107
Spring Hill, FL 34606
4542 Commercial Way
Spring Hill, FL 34606
Credit card payments are also accepted. In order to make a credit card payment, first download and fill out the Credit Card Authorization form located at: https://holmesdraftingservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/HDS-CreditAuthorization.pdf
Why does my estimate/invoice say "Engineering Coordination"?
The short answer: We use independent, third party engineers.
Holmes Drafting Services, LLC is not licensed as an engineer. We work with several third party engineers who provide supervision during the creation of your plans and provide a thorough, final review before sealing them for permitting. We attempt to use engineers that are relatively local to your area, or who have experience with the local building department’s requirements. Therefore, when you are paying us, you are paying for the coordination service that we provide. HOLMES DRAFTING SERVICES, LLC DOES NOT CHARGE FOR ENGINEERING DIRECTLY. The engineer’s contact information is clearly visible on every plan directly above their signature & seal. Engineer’s license & insurance information is available upon request.
What is generally required to get a permit?
The short answer: Each municipality is different. Check out our Municipality Specific Resources page for specifics.
Although each municipality is different, generally you will be required to provide the following for additions or new homes:
- Three copies of sealed plans
- A site plan or survey
- Truss engineering
- HVAC Calculations/Engergy Calc./Manual J&D
- Product approval form
This is by no means a comprehensive list and will definitely change depending on the municipality you are building in; but it’s a good starting place.
Why isn't truss engineering included in my contract?
The short answer: Truss manufacturers provide their own engineering.
Typically, with manufactured trusses, the truss manufacturer will provide their own truss calculations. In larger projects we will typically need to review the calculations they came up with so we can make sure that the headers that we have designed will hold the loads specified in the truss engineer’s reaction report. Truss engineering is a highly specialized field. In fact, there are really only two large engineering firms in Florida that provide truss engineering; Alpine and MiTek.
In the event that you do not plan on using pre-manufactured trusses, the roof framing design will be completed by us.
Why aren't HVAC Calculations included in my contract?
Typically, larger HVAC companies will have a certified rater on staff to produce their Energy Calculations. Smaller HVAC companies will typically outsource their calculations to a certified rating company or independent contractor. You must be a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater in order to produce and sign off on residential energy calculations. As with any building field, the energy conservation portion of the Florida Building Code changes frequently enough that our company has made the choice to leave the certifications to the professionals in that field.