Building your Dream House
Yes, it is nothing short of intimidating when you think about the project you are about to undertake. But building your dream house doesn’t have to be filled with sleepless nights and costly emergencies. Instead, it can be a wonderful journey that sees you settling down in a home you thought up from scratch.
And to help you keep the journey simple and manageable, here are 7 tips to consider when building your house.
1. Establish A Plan with Clear Goals
There is a house in San Francisco, called the Winchester Mystery House. More specifically, it’s a mansion that went through a 38-year construction process, mainly because the widow who owned it had some strange beliefs. It seems that she never stopped construction for fear of being overcome by evil spirits. She thought that stopping meant losing her mind, which resulted in one of the strangest properties you’ll ever come across. Given there are hallways that don’t go anywhere, and doors on the second-story that open up to nothingness – literally.
Even though this is a fascinating piece of history, it is also a clear sign that you should always plan properly. Unless you want to spend three decades with the project? At the same time, you want to set clear and precise goals. Otherwise, you are just going to overwhelm yourself. For example, get detailed about the layout of the house and where you want specific rooms. How many windows do you want and what design do you prefer?
In fact, you can utilize online tools to make this task easier, seeing as you have several areas of planning to cover. But if you don’t like online software, some graph paper, and a pen should do the trick too. Additionally, creating a visual presentation of what you need can aid the builders in doing a more accurate job.
2. Budget Wisely
One of the most complex stages of building a house is working out the budget. At face value, it doesn’t seem so problematic. You get the quotes from all the professionals that form part of the project, and then you work out a budget according to this information. Right? What is so complicated about that?
It’s better to hear it now than finding out the hard way – so ready yourself. Chances are the overall project is going to cost more than you initially think. And this happens for many reasons, but it mainly comes down to costs you didn’t anticipate before the project started. For instance, the quote from the builder probably won’t include extras like gas meters or cable hookups, to name only a few items.
There is also the matter of finishing costs, which can easily overshoot the budget with 15% to 20%. And what about possible delays in construction due to weather conditions? The fact is there are many costs you have to keep in mind, so be vigilant when you start those calculations. Plus, have additional money set aside for emergencies. The last thing you want is for the project to halt right at the end, simply because the money ran out.
3. Get Picky with Your Builder
Just like the first two stages, the third stage requires critical attention. More specifically, you need to think very carefully about the builder you hire. This is the person who takes charge of the work on-site, and you have to trust them to be aware of all building and construction regulations.
Here are some factors to research and look at before making a final decision:
The Necessary Credentials – It kind of goes without saying that the builder you choose should be licensed and certified to oversee the project. However, it doesn’t mean you won’t meet “professionals” without these necessary documents.
Referrals – There is nothing wrong with asking the builder if he or she can provide some referrals. Because an honest opinion from a few previous clients can really help to make a final decision.
Portfolio – As a professional, the builder should be able to share a portfolio which showcases previous projects. In addition to proving he or she is capable of constructing your new home, the portfolio will point out the builder’s approach and style. Are you comfortable with it and do you like the way they think?
If you really want to see your vision come to life, do your best to find a builder with a style you can connect with. It will make the process so much easier if the builder understands exactly what you need them to.
Competitive Pricing – While keeping in mind that you get what you pay for, make a point of it to compare quotes from at least 3 different builders. Compare everything else for that matter too, because a cheaper price doesn’t necessarily mean a good thing. When an offer is too good to be true, especially when you know how costly a new house can be, it might not be the best option.
Personality – Building a house from the ground up will not happen in a week or two. A great deal of work goes into a project like this, and it will take several months to finish. And it’s for this reason that you should work with a builder you can communicate with easily.
4. Make Sure You Understand Your Agreement with The Builder
Contracts can be tricky, which is why you should always have a lawyer go through the agreement with you. And while you are at it, take note of things the builder won’t cover. You also want to see a cooling off period, as well as some leverage on when everything needs to happen.
Of course, the payment arrangements have to be included, just to protect yourself from any possible trouble down the line.
5. What Do Your Finances Look Like?
Nobody really likes this part of the process, because it involves getting the money together to finance your new house. And for those who don’t have all the money saved up somewhere, a construction home loan is the most likely answer. It works differently in the sense that you don’t get all the moment at once. Instead, the lender provides the finances after establishing how much you qualify for, then they release the funds as the project goes through the proper stages.
6. Be Involved
Even though you trust all the professionals you hired to help build the house, it doesn’t mean your part is finished. In fact, you need to stay on top of how things are going, seeing as you are paying for everything. Plus, being involved with all the stages means you won’t get any surprises later on when it can’t be fixed.
Remember that every dime should be used in a productive way, and you are the one responsible for those dimes. So take charge by checking up on the builder, as well as the other professionals. In other words, make sure you are really getting your dream home.
7. There Are Many Ways to Save
When you dig deep enough, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary expenses. For example, if you shop around for fixtures, you might come across a great bargain. But don’t stop there. Find other areas where you can cut costs and save more. All it takes is some extra time on your part to bring down the cost of building a new house.
Because at the end of the day, you are looking at a very expensive journey. So there is no reason why you can’t go the extra mile to take off the financial pressure. Go online, shop around, and make your smile even bigger than it already is.