10 Things to Consider When Building a Home

There are a variety of things one must consider when building a home. These elements can sometimes overwhelm the individual, seeing that there are numerous issues one needs to look at before even beginning.

The first thing you need to consider is if you are totally knowledgeable of all the codes and restrictions that are required by your state and local municipality. Building codes vary from region to region, so usually one is better off hiring a general contractor to oversee the majority of the project.

Second, you need to consider the location. Do you want to build your dream home somewhere that you will need to move within the next five to 10 years to accommodate your job or family needs?

Third, you need to consider your budget and the amount of time and energy that you yourself can apply to the project. This will reduce the overall cost by cutting the amount of labor that would be hired out (sweat equity).

Fourth, you need to consider the size and design of the home based upon where you will be building. You don’t want to build a five-bedroom home in a neighborhood that is predominately three-bedroom starter homes, because if you ever need to sell then you will have difficulty in finding a market to do so.

Next, you need to consider what you and your family will be using the home for; some people do more entertaining at home and need more recreational space where others may use the home to work from and for generally living. You need to take these elements into consideration when designing the home. Because once you start building, it’s too late to make major changes. This generally causes delays and added costs which can affect one’s budget and the amenities that you wish to add.

After determining your exact needs there are two methods of establishing the overall plans. The first is by using stock plans which are generalized blueprints one can buy on line and can be altered to meet your personal needs or you can hire and architectural engineer to design your home according to the specifications you provide.

Now that we have got the design and location factors out of the way we need to look at how we will finance the project. Based upon whether we currently own property or if we are renting a place will determine how we go about financing the operation at hand. In this step (No. 6), there are three ways that one can go about financing the project. First we have the conventional method which is to go to your local bank or builder and have them finance the entire project which can be costly. Second, we could use the property (if your already own a house or a piece of land as collateral and borrow against its current worth minus 20 percent and finally you could pay as you go which would take longer in terms of time but it allows for one to build without having to go in debt to do so.

Step number seven is the first step in the actual building of the home. In this step you must take into consideration your local, general weather patterns and the time of the year. If you lived up North you wouldn’t want to be building in the dead of winter which is restrictive to movement of materials, amount of time that can be spent building based upon weather conditions and contractor accessibility.

Steps 8 – 10 have to deal with project scheduling and this lie with you the prospective home owner/builder. The first question is whether or not you will be acting as general contractor or as a co- contractor and what part of the project you will be doing if you desire.

Step 8 looks at site preparation. As a contractor you need to make sure that all utilities are accessible and that all needed permits for concrete work, utility connections and disposable of waste generated during the preparation have been filed.

Step 9 looks at scheduling of trades. You wouldn’t want the framers to come before the foundation has been laid out or utilities roughed in prior to pouring concrete, nor would you want the sheet rockers to arrive before plumbing, electrical, environmental (HVAC) and insulation have been installed or the finishing crew to arrive before all the skeletal effects are in place.

Finally, step 10 looks at scheduling the arrival of materials. Remember you don’t want the cabinets or flooring to arrive as you’re just pouring the foundation, seeing it might be six months down the road till you actually need these materials. Always try to have those materials needed for the specific trades arrive at least a week to ten days in advance of the actual installation, this allows for acclimation of materials and verifying that everything you need is there.

Now Your Set, Let’s Break Ground and Begin Building……

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