You are now ready to become a homeowner, but you aren’t sure where to start when building a home? Custom home building can seem like a challenging task, and well, it is. Building a home can be a complicated process that involves a lot of stages and a lot of players. However, as long as you understand what steps need to be completed, you should be fine. Read on to find out more about where to start when building a home.
Understanding the Stages of Building a Home
To figure out where to start when building a home, you must first understand all the stages that need to be completed for you to finish building your home. The initial stage, also known as the discovery stage, is where you get to figure out what you want to accomplish. Basically, this is a process of defining your dream and classifying things into needs, wants, and wishes. During this stage, you can sit with a contractor and go through the homes they have built for inspiration.
During this stage, you can also look into your options when it comes to loans, obtaining land, and hiring the right team. If you already have land, then things will be easier. It is advisable to find someone to hold your hand during this process and make you understand where to start when building a home. You must find a contractor who doesn’t make you feel rushed. Take your time to make all the right decisions so you can end up with the home that you want and need.
Once you are done with the discovery phase, you will then process to the designing and building stage. This stage also involves things like site analysis, planning the schedule, and coming up with a budget. Once all this is done, you can then process to the construction stage, and this is where your home is built. Lastly, you must think of furniture and interior decor. This will help you keep in mind that you might need an interior decorator, a granite custom furniture company, and all other players involved in beautifying your interiors. If you have done everything as you should, this should be an easy stage because you will just be implementing all the things you would have planned already. Now that you understand all the steps let’s look at where to start when building a home.
Define Your Dream
Defining your dream is the first step when it comes to where to start when building a home. Once you fully understand how the home building process works, it will be time to fashion your dream. This involves considering all the elements and ideas that you envision for your ideal home. As you do this, you can collect photos and watch videos of homes. You can also talk with an interior designer and contractors. This will enable you to outline your preferences regarding the architectural styles, design elements, room functions, and lifestyle requirements.
Building a home from scratch enables you to create a home that matches your exact needs. The space you create should accommodate how you and your family live. So, for the most part, you should be thinking about how you are going to use the space. Ask yourself the following questions during this stage:
- What size of home do you want?
- Are there any restrictions regarding the size of your home?
- How many stories do you want?
- Which rooms should be in your house?
- What type of layout do you need?
- What structural features should be in each room?
- Will you install a ductless heating and cooling system?
- What are your design and style preferences?
By answering these questions, you will essentially be defining your dream, and you will quickly figure out where to start when building a home. However, before you proceed to the designing stage, you must think about whether your budget accommodates what you want.
Coming up With a Budget for Your Home
Now that you understand where to start when building a home, it’s time to start working on your dream. The design stage is probably the most important stage when planning to build a home. You need to know how much money you have at your disposal. A new home can cost around $80 to $200 per square foot. If you have no idea how much you can spend, it will be practically impossible to come up with a design that can be implemented successfully.
When budgeting for your home, you must consider things like the cost of land, taxes, local fees, design fees, engineering fees, and the actual cost of construction. You can also factor in things like landscaping and interior decorating.
As you are budgeting, you must also check out your loan options. To get the loan you want, you must go over your credit report and ensure that there are no errors. Once that’s sorted out, you can then start speaking to a variety of lenders to find someone who offers reasonable interest rates. It’s best to talk to your financial advisor when you are applying for a home loan. They will help you determine which loan option is best for your budget. You should also think about the down payment. Once the budget is complete, you can then move on to the next steps of building your home.
Build a Team
You need a team to be able to build your dream home. You can first select the architect, and they can help you select the right builder, painter, siding contractor, and other professionals. You can also work with a design-build company that handles everything from the design to the construction and roofing installation. To choose who you want to work with, first ask for recommendations, then do your own online searches, checking references and portfolios.
If you aren’t working with a design-build company, make sure you first talk to whoever you choose and ask them about insurance, permits, time frames, inspections, and clean-up. You should be thorough with your interviewing process, so you know exactly what you are getting. Some of the professionals you need include heating and air conditioning companies, a pool builder, painter, and a plumber, among others.
It’s also important to ask for references. Talk to contractors, new swimming pool construction services, and builders and get the names of clients they have worked with before. Find out if those clients were satisfied and if the projects were managed effectively. You must also ask about the quality of construction and get sample contracts to see exactly how they operate.
If you don’t have land already after you assemble your team, you should then find and purchase land to build your home. To make life easier for yourself and to get better deals, you must work with professionals who can evaluate potential sites to find out if they are suitable for building. You must also research any area where you want to buy land to find out if it has good schools, hospitals, shopping malls, restaurants, and entertainment areas. You must also research things like crime rates and how safe the area is.
The Home Design Process
To come up with the perfect design for your home, you will need to work closely with the architect. There are a lot of things to consider apart from the functionality and aesthetics of your home. For instance, you need to analyze the cost/benefit of various options. Once you have considered everything, you can then leave the architect to finalize the specific design and floor plans. Make sure they are well aware of all the products and elements that make up your dream home.
As you are designing your home, you must also make sure that you build your lifestyle into it. For instance, do you have any specific recreational activities that you can live without? Remember, this is a custom home, so you must design it to suit your lifestyle. If you love riding bicycles, you should ensure that your home has a space to store your bikes. On the other hand, if you are a musician, you must also find a way to incorporate music into your home. For example, you can include a home studio in your plan.
Once the design stage is complete, the next thing would be to initiate construction. At this stage, all you need to do is monitor since the builders will be using the designs that you approved.
Monitoring the Construction
So it’s finally happening; you have research about where to start when building a home, you have gone through all the other stages, and now you are ready to lay the first brick. This should be quite exciting for you, and the chances are you will want to see everything as it unravels. If not, maybe you just want to have an idea of how everything is progressing. It might not be practical to wake up and go to the construction site every day. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be kept in the loop. You should also factor in the possibility that you might need to travel as your home is being constructed. You could even be located somewhere far from the construction site. So, how do you monitor construction in all these cases?
Fortunately, there are a lot of alternatives when it comes to monitoring your construction project. You don’t necessarily need to be on the site every day to see what’s happening. Nowadays, some soon-to-be homeowners use monitoring technologies that can be installed on the site. This is a good way to get insights into how your home is being built. Technology can make it so that it’s almost as if you were present on the site. The only difference is that using technology is way more convenient for all parties involved.
If it’s not possible for you to come and monitor from time to time, you can use things like the Interactive Remote Imaging System. The system, also known as IRIS, can be installed on-site to enable you to monitor progress. It comprises several cameras which will be set up in different locations. Fortunately, the cameras used are weather resistant. The good thing about IRIS is that it can be used to monitor progress over a long period of time. So, however long the construction process is, you will get a real-time update of what’s happening. This means you can effectively document and scrutinize every step of the process.
Once the construction of your home is complete, you can do a walkthrough to ensure that everything is done properly. However, this is not enough. You will need to do a new construction inspection. Ideally, a new home should be perfect. However, some of them have hidden issues. So, before you part ways with the architects and the contractors, you must get experts who can inspect your home to find out if there are any defects. For instance, there could be foundation cracks, poor framing, or drainage issues. If your house has drainage issues, you should be very worried because this can cause water damage in the future. The inspector will also take a look at your electrical wiring, air conditioning system, outlets, and open grounds. Lastly, they will also check plumbing to see if there are any issues.
Inspectors can also discover steps that are not complete. For instance, the insulation could be missing, and the contractor might have skipped some handrails. All this can be discovered during a new construction inspection. The builder can then fix things before they leave, and you won’t have to part with more money to fix things that are not your fault.
Building a home from scratch is not easy. There are a lot of stages involved and lots of people you need to work with. However, as long as you take the time to fully understand the process, you won’t have any unnecessary delays and annoying inconveniences. The steps above should help you understand more about where to start when building a home.