Feasibility Study First! Why You Should Look Before You Leap Into Site Selection

No two lots are created equal, and the successful construction of your world-class residential architecture project hangs in the balance. Did you know that proximity to wetlands will inform what outdoor features you can (and can't) have? Did you know that a long list of zoning codes might impact that third-story library you've always dreamed […]
Matias Daroch  |    |  | |  

No two lots are created equal, and the successful construction of your world-class residential architecture project hangs in the balance.

Did you know that proximity to wetlands will inform what outdoor features you can (and can't) have? Did you know that a long list of zoning codes might impact that third-story library you've always dreamed of having?

this is an arial drone image of a site lot as part of an architectural feasibility study

You can't just have a lot, hire a builder, and construct your dream home. If you're not careful, real estate development projects can go sideways at any point along the way. You have to start with a rock-solid foundation. Protect your time, your team, and your investments by embracing a “feasibility first” attitude!

This article covers the importance of generating a feasibility study. If you don't know what that is, we've got you covered. A feasibility study evaluates various aspects of an architectural project, including site conditions, budget constraints, legal requirements (zoning and building codes), and other factors. It involves in-depth research to identify any obstacles that may occur during the development process, and it's a crucial step before embarking on any project. Below, we'll discuss how feasibility studies set a solid foundation for architectural projects and how they can help achieve goals, timelines, and budgets effectively.

The Purpose of an Architectural Feasibility Study at MIK

You'll hear us talking about future-proof projects a lot. Practically, we love creating spaces that can evolve with occupant needs over time. But the other side of that coin involves saving you from the unexpected occurrences inherent in the construction process. Wouldn't it be nice to know how high we can build your home from the start? Wouldn't it be great to know what desirable features work within your budget? What about that not-so-nice-looking neighbor's house next door, can we do anything to block it from view?

With the feasibility studies we provide at MIK, you get peace of mind right from the start.

In the sections to follow, we'll break down our feasibility study into its key components so that you can see how we frame project goals, logistical requirements, and constraints. You'll also see how we identify potential risks and challenges and do the relevant research necessary to determine if your project is compatible with your ideal timeframe, budget, and zoning codes and restrictions.

Overall, the feasibility report that we compile enables everyone involved in the project to be able to assess its viability early on to make informed decisions. By investing time into this step of the process, we lay a solid foundation and can use it as a tool for a successful build.

Understanding The Core Components of Our Feasibility Studies

To simplify, feasibility = possibility. When you work with our team, our feasibility study will help you see what's possible for your project; and as we've said, taking budget, scope, timelines, zoning codes, materials, potential risks, and other factors into consideration. Here's what we mean:

Your Dreams. On Paper

an image of an architectural floor plan featuring pens, a ruler, and a seal

Before anything else happens, we'll take the time to get to know you and deeply understand the experience you wish to have with your space. If you're a developer or real estate investor, that conversation will typically take on an ROI-driven nature and we can advise you on what types of projects are the most profitable.

If you are a homeowner who demands the exceptional, then we'll take the time needed to explore and define what that means to you. Do you love wide-open floor plans? Floating wall features? Hidden lighting? Innovative use of often un-loved spaces (closets and garages)?

No matter what follows, the conversation starts here. We get to know you. You get to know us. And we all get to see what the future might look like.

What We're Working With

Once we all understand what we're trying to create, we'll examine your existing site and review a myriad of conditions that might inform what, how, and if we can achieve everything previously discussed.

Some of the old ways are still the best. We walk your site. You'd be amazed at how many details are missed if this isn't done correctly.

We identify and outline any issues at property lines and any adjoining structures; we take into consideration what features will go where; what you will want to have a view of (or not). We take existing landscaping into account with respect to codes and aesthetics; we consider the existence (or lack thereof) of utilities; we examine the site for any hidden restrictions (and there are often many); and so much more.

And then, of course, we take to the skies.

Our drone team provides an aerial survey of your site so that we can get a clear picture of the whole picture. We take in the details of the sun's movement across your lot. We look at what's in your neighborhood. We consider your new spaces place in it's current surroundings. We think deeply about how we can create a space that you will love, and one that will last well into the future.

All of these details are clearly mapped out in high-resolution color photography, renders where needed, and narratives explaining it all.

Municipal Requirements And Building Code Review

The last thing you need with any real estate investment is to end up in hot water with the city. Recently, we heard about a property owner who decided to clear his empty lot of all trees to minimize potential hurricane damage. Smart move, right?

Wrong.

This person was later fined $100K+ by the city because of how this landowner went about it.

Codes and permits should be taken seriously, and this is something we include in our building and code review. Thus, determining legal feasibility involves examining the regulatory framework of the local market. It's important to evaluate any government requirements and ensure any potential legal issues that could occur throughout the build are avoided.

At MIK Architecture, our residential architects will prioritize state and government code research specific to the property. We understand that Florida building codes serve as a cornerstone in shaping the state's architectural landscape. So, we evaluate stringent building codes before designing any Florida home to meet strict regulations and safety guidelines. We use Florida building codes as a pivotal tool in ensuring the structural integrity and longevity of the buildings we create.

After all, we were developers and real estate investors first. You benefit from the lessons we've learned because we've been there and done that.

Economic Viability & Scope

You could say that this is the part of the feasibility study where all the pieces come together, before they actually come together.

Matias Daroch architect reviewing project documents and calculations

In this part of the feasibility study, we'll recap what we've learned and share how we can turn your dreams into a reality. You can expect to find high-resolution images and renders as conceptual anchors for all of the areas in your space.

We consider your style preferences, materials, elevation, square footage, floor plans, flow, and so much more.

Also, we can offer a construction cost "guestimate." Our forecast is based on experience and similar projects, but this is one of the only aspects of our study that's not an exact science. In our post-COVID world, as you know, the availability of certain materials, appliances, and skilled labor can be strained. This creates a very small gap where we work with you to ensure minimal volatility.

As architects, we love it when the pieces fit perfectly together. That holds true for your construction project, but your budget and scope, too. We're all about making economically sustainable decisions.

Scheduling

In one of the final sections of our study, we'll share a graphical timeline of key milestones so that you know exactly what's happening and when.

Together, seeing these details (like schematic design, development, construction docs, permitting, and breaking ground) helps all parties align on the project from end to end.

Why Perform a Feasibility Study Before Site Selection - Recap

Have you ever heard the expression, "Those who fail to plan are really planning to fail?" Don't let that be you. Our fee is a drop in the bucket for any real estate investment project, and it protects you from so much. Our typical turnaround time is just about two weeks.

MIK architect Matias Daroch designing a project after performing a feasibility study

Key takeaways about who we are and the immeasurable value we offer:

  • Future-Proof with feasibility. At this early stage of the process, we not only get a sense of your vision, but we can help you reduce costs associated with last-minute or surprise design and construction changes.
  • Toes in the water. You'll be able to tell if the water temperature will shock the system or if you're in for a pleasant swim! By that, we mean you'll get to feel out project dimension before a hammer ever finds a nail. In many ways, the feasibility study is your crystal ball.
  • We build more than a structure. We build our relationship. The feasibility portion of our engagement is a great way for us to develop our communication style and flows without the pressures and anxiety that most investors experience during construction.

Also, there's no strings attached.

While we end up working with nearly all of the clients who we generate these studies for, there's no further obligations or commitments required. You can take this essential document to the builder of your choice knowing that you've invested first in a solid foundational look at your project.

About MIK Architecture

At MIK Architecture, we design desirable spaces that are flexible, useful, and future-proof. Our organization values modernist curiosity and thoughtful flexibility when tackling architectural projects. We work with developers and investors who want to design modern or contemporary-style residential architecture in South Florida.

Performing a feasibility study report is the initial step in all of our projects, and we gather comprehensive data to reach a feasible solution for developers and end-users alike. From government code research and resources to project briefs and requirements, we examine every aspect of the project to ensure we address goals, budgets, timelines, and other restraints. Only then does our company move forward with selecting a site and working on the design concept.

Together, we can create desirable spaces that sell well and fast by understanding the target market and the end-user's wants and needs. Reach out to our team to learn more about our architectural design process and why we're the ideal partner for your next project.

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Matias Daroch

I came to the US as a Chilean Architect and developer wanting to invest in residential projects. Soon, I found myself learning zoning and building codes in-depth, and understanding them better to maximize my return on investment. Not very long after, I began working and studying until I got my architectural license to practice in the US, and founded MIK Architecture to help other developers get more value for their projects.