What better way to live in the house of your dreams than building it yourself. This is an exciting prospect—you can tailor everything to your liking. No need to compromise wants and needs because you can’t find the home with them all. But, this is no small undertaking, and regrets once the project is completed, are common. It’s human nature to look back and wish we would have done something differently in hindsight. But, with some careful planning, you can minimize the risk of big regrets springing forth from big mistakes. Here are just a few important considerations when building your home from scratch.
Get Good Plans
Developing a solid set of plans is absolutely crucial if you want your project to go as smoothly as possible, and create the house you want and need. While you can use the services of an architect, did you know you can find affordable home plans online? A good set of plans will help you more accurately project costs, and will give subcontractors firmer guidance—a lack of plans may leave a lot of things open to their own ‘interpretation,’ and that can spell big trouble down the line.
Hire a General Contractor
Unless you are ultra-handy, you are likely going to need the services of various professionals to construct your home. And, you may think it will be easy-peasy to manage them all yourself. But, that is usually not the case. Not hiring a general contractor is a common mistake among people building new homes. Working with a general contractor offers many benefits on the financial front, and for your own sanity.
Building a home from scratch is a complex undertaking, and a general contractor is experienced in handling such in-depth projects. He can coordinate the schedules, and make sure the construction stays on schedule. General contractors typically have long-standing relationships with subcontractors, —he can get you good people who will be highly motivated to do a good job, because they rely on him to get jobs. With a general contractor at the helm, you will save many hours of supervising and directing—something that will takes its toll sooner than you think.
When deciding on a contractor, it is important to keep several things in mind. First and foremost, make sure he has proper licensing and insurance. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed. Get references and actually follow up with them. Get names of suppliers, and call on them as well—the relationship with them can provide some great insight into the contractor. Don’t base your decision solely on who is available soonest—if you find a great contractor, but he isn’t available for a couple of months, it is better to wait it out than go with someone you don’t feel as good about, but can start next week
Be Absolutely Sure Before You Begin Construction
In your quest to build the perfect house, it is common for the homeowner to change their minds after plans have been finalized. Sometimes, the changes are relatively simple, and won’t shake things up too much. But, other times, making the desired change sets off a domino effect that will affect several other aspects of construction, which usually results in delays and added expense. This is a complex project, so don’t make your plans with the idea that you can just change anything you don’t like later—it is usually not that simple. Be patient, and take the time to carefully consider your wants and needs. The more clearly you define your vision for your home, the more confident you will be in moving forward with the building.
Take your time going over different layouts, materials and the like. You are excited to get started, and just want to jump right in, but the consequences of poor initial planning can be unpleasant. Be careful of compromising things you need for things that you want.
If you keep these three tips in mind, you will go a long way in successfully constructing your dream home. Good luck!