Building a new house in Lake Tahoe can be very intimidating without help from an experienced home builder. The following is a list of steps that will help you to build your new home.
Once you have aquired your vacant lot and building allocation, you will need to have your lot surveyed by a licensed surveyor. Make sure that the surveyor marks all of the property corners and drafts a topographical map of your parcel. A topographical map will be needed by your architect to draft the site plan.
The next step is to choose an architect. I would recommend choosing a local architect. Local architects have experience in dealing with the local building departments and the TRPA. Local architects also understand our , snow loads, coverage regulations, fire sprinkelers, and other codes and restrictions. Some architects even offer a large selection of pre-drawn plans that you may be able to use or modify to fit your needs. Using a pre-drawn plan will save time and money.
Once your plans have been drawn and you have filled out your building permit application paperwork, it is time to submit them for review to either the City or County Building department for, depending on where your property in South Lake Tahoe is located. A set of plans will also need to be submitted to the fire department to find out if sprinklers will be required. You also need to bring your plans to Sierra Pacific Power Co. and to South West Gas to sign up for utility service. The building department will review your plans and either approve them, or send out a list of corrections that will need to be corrected before the plans will be approved. The review process can take from four weeks, to a few months depending on the time of year and the work load of the plan reviewers. In order to expedite the plan review process, plans can be sent out to a third party plan review company at an additional expense.
Once your plans have been reviewed, the building department will have you take a copy of them to the South Tahoe Public Utility District to pay your water/ sewer fees. You will need to have found out weather the fire department is requiring you to install fire sprinklers ( if so, you will need to have a sprinkler system plan designed, engineered, and approved). Water and sewer connection fees will range from $18,906 for a two bathroom home, to over $30,000 for a home with three bathrooms and a 1 1/2 fire sprinkler line.
Once you have paid your S.T.P.U.D. fees, you will need to obtain a bond pledged to the TRPA for the re-vegetation of your lot. This bond is usually between $3300 and $4000 depending on the size of the lot. Once all of the building departments conditions have been satisfied, and your plans have been unconditionally approved, the last step in the planning process will be to pay your building fees. The fees will be based on the buildings square footage and can range from $15,000 to $25,000+ depending on the size.
I hope that this will help you to understand the steps to begin your project. This was a quick overview of the planning process. A complete list of the requirements can be obtained at either the El Dorado County Building Department or the City of South Lake Tahoe Building Department.