A spectacular Annapolis home built by Pyramid embraces views of Harness Creek.

Ask the Pros: Builder

Advice on designing the perfect home by the bay

When building near the bay, what factors should homeowners consider to prevent delays or setbacks due to permitting issues?
When building on a waterfront lot, it is critical to consult with the proper professionals to ensure that the permitting process goes as seamlessly as possible. A civil engineer and architect should be engaged to determine allowable building area based on critical-area requirements and waterfront setbacks. Additionally, a soils engineer should be consulted to determine elevation of the water table, as this may have a bearing on the type of foundation required for the structure and the ability to construct a lower level due to potential limitations regarding mechanical and electrical codes.

With professional help, unwanted surprises can be avoided and homeowners can maximize the allowable size of their house and ensure its optimum location. —Andrew Lehner, Pyramid Builders, Annapolis, Maryland

Architecture: Cathy Purple Cherry, AIA, LEED AP, Purple Cherry Architects, Annapolis, Maryland. Landscape Architecture: Kevin Campion, ASLA, Campion Hruby Landscape Architects, Annapolis, Maryland.