There’s a lot that goes into constructing a new home, from choosing a lot to hiring your team. As a homeowner, this is a great opportunity to create a home that is perfectly suited to your needs. If you’re new to the home construction process, there are some things you need to know about approaching this major project.
Finding the Perfect Location
Choosing the location for your next home is one of the most important decisions you can make. A good lot will have good soil and drainage, and will be located in an area where zoning allows you to build a home. Look at the surrounding area too. If there’s an existing neighborhood, you can get an idea of what it might be like to live there by spending some time talking to people. Find out what the schools are like. How easy is it to get utilities set up where you’re at? Keep in mind that not all housing layouts are suitable for all plots of land. This decision will impact a significant portion of future decisions when constructing your home. If you’re struggling to find a suitable empty plot of land, you may be able to find one with an old house on it that you like. Demolish the house to create space for your own project.
Creating Your Budget
You’ll need to create a budget for building your home. The price of materials, the cost of labor, purchasing the lot, paying for inspections, landscaping, and furnishing the home are just some of the factors you need to be planning to pay for. Plan a buffer into your budget as well. Virtually no home construction project is free from delays or setbacks of some sort, and those can easily push you over your budget if you don’t plan for them. Take measures to stay within budget once you’ve settled on one. You’ll need to exercise some self control to prevent your project from going wildly beyond the constraints of your budget.
Design Your Home
Once you’ve picked your lot, it’s time to design your home. Plan the layout while keeping in mind that you should promote a natural traffic flow through the house. Plan where you want to place rooms in relation to one another. For example, it’s probably not a good idea to put a bedroom right next to the kitchen. Kitchens tend to be a gathering place for people and get noisy, which can be a real source of annoyance for anyone trying to sleep on the other side of the walls. Connecting your kitchen to the dining area with a living room nearby makes a lot more sense. You’ll also want to plan elements such as kitchen and bathroom layouts, window placement, and where utilities will be located.
Working some environmental friendliness into your home can really benefit you down the road. You may be able to earn tax credits or rebates from the federal government, as well as your state, city, and utilities companies for having things like energy efficient windows, HVAC systems, or Energy Star appliances. Building energy efficiency into your home can help you save money on utility bills down the road too. That’s not the only way to build environmental friendliness into your home though. The materials you select for your home can also help. Choosing bamboo flooring is a green option for your home construction. Recycled steel can be used for structural purposes. Sheep’s wool is an environmentally responsible and sustainable form of insulation.
Choose an Architect
During your planning process, you’ll be best off hiring an architect to help you design your house and create blueprints to work off of. This is especially important if you intend your house to be specialized or particularly unique. Architects should know what does and doesn’t work from a structural standpoint. They can also make sure you don’t miss including anything important in the plans for your layout. A good architect will help you plan a house that will be safe and comfortable to live in, designed in a way that makes sense. When choosing an architect, you can hire one yourself, or your general contractor may already have one they often work with.
Hire a General Contractor
A general contractor is another critical member of your team. They act as the leader for the construction portion of building your home. Your builder will be responsible for obtaining all necessary permits and handling some of the inspections that go along with constructing a house. Choose a good contractor who has experience in the type of home you want to build. You want a reputable general contractor who has the skills to get the job done for a reasonable price. This means not hiring the first contractor you find. Shop around and let them bid for your project. Look at their qualifications and reviews to get an idea for who you might work well with.
Odds are you aren’t paying for all of this out of pocket. You’ll likely need a home construction loan and a mortgage. This process can take some time to complete, so make sure you factor that into your plans. It’s a good idea to figure out how big of a loan you qualify for before you get too deep into planning out your home. This will heavily impact your budget. Remember, you don’t have to use the maximum amount you qualify for when building your home. Staying under budget is a good thing.
Plan for Hiccups
Problems will inevitably occur. Unexpected circumstances may arise, resulting in delays in construction. Materials may become temporarily unavailable, or the price may rise. Crew members may become sick and unable to work for a period of time. Sometimes weather interferes and delays the building process. If you build extra time and money into your project to allow for those hiccups, you’ll be in a better position to deal with them when they come up.
Approaching a new home construction project the right way can make all the difference in how smoothly it goes. There are lots of elements to plan for, and hiring a good team is essential. Remember that even the best plans have hiccups. Plan accordingly, and the process to the end result will come more smoothly.
Read this next: How to Be Smarter and More Efficient in Your Home Renovations