Today Natale Builders brings a very important blog for people that are considering to build a new home. Building and designing your very own home is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have; but it can also be one of the most stressful and heartbreaking if you don’t take the necessary precautions. This blog was put together to bring to light some of the most common mistakes that people make when building a new home. When it comes to building a permanent residence however; mistakes are more than just learning opportunities. We promise your wallet will be forever grateful that you explored the steps to take when planning your new build. Why is this so important? Because there are some mistakes that can’t be reversed or fixed, and if they can be, they’re not cheap. Today Natale will take you on an informative path to building your dream home.
We’ve broken our list down to 6 common aspects that new homeowners overlook when planning to build a new home:
- House Plans
- Your Plans. Your Needs.
- Your Building Contractor
- Location & Lot Size
- Building Design, Flow & Value
- Keeping Mortgage In Mind
Imagine trying to build a model of a ship from scratch without instructions or even a list of parts. Unless you’re extremely crafty or an expert at models, it’d be safe to say that what you produce would not be a functionable boat.
House plans, also known as blueprints, are a set of construction drawings that define the construction specifics of a house like the dimensions, materials, and installation methods and techniques. They also include plans for the foundation, each floor, the roof, exterior elevating, electric, and building sections. You should have plans for the house you want before you even hire a contractor. Some people try to save money by not purchasing house plans and end up paying more money to fix unplanned issues. There is a never ending list of things that can go wrong during the construction of a home, and without plans for a contractor to follow, these mistakes will not be their responsibility. Blueprints allow contractors to give an accurate estimate for labor and materials. They are also used to help create a schedule for subcontractors to efficiently complete jobs, so one sub’s work doesn’t interfere with another's.
It’s important to note that a majority of house plans found on the internet or in books have never actually been built.
An experienced contractor can look over blueprints to determine if the design is workable. The bottom line is: a lack of good plans will lead to conflicts, delays, and costly fixes.
Your Plans. Your needs.
This will be your home; the place that you will presumably be spending the next 10 years or more. Having blueprints for the home you want is one thing; adding personal necessities is another. There are hundreds of decisions to make during the entire process; from wall placements and windows, to light fixtures, sinks, and counters.
Builders and contractors will follow the lead of their clients, so allowing them to make definitive decisions may result in your home feeling more generic rather than individual. Find your inspiration and make it a priority to be present during the decision process. Some home builders actually offer to create web pages that allow clients to make decisions at their own pace. Instead of taking on everything at once, you’re able to analyze each decision room by room. This reduces more stress and frustration.
Think of the road ahead and future plans. Do you plan on more children? Do you need space for out-of-town family members? Asking questions like this now helps to avoid problems later on. This home will be a big investment that requires a lot of time and attention, but it’s important to keep it enjoyable. Having a contractor you can trust and rely on makes a world of difference.
Your Building Contractor
Next to having proper building plans, finding the right contractor will define the integrity of your new home. One of the biggest mistakes a person will make is attempting to act as their own contractor with little to no experience in the field. Professional contractors know the details of construction, especially permits and building code regulations. They also have relationships with various subcontractors that you do not. If you’re the contractor, not only are you spending the extra time finding reliable candidates, but these sub’s may also charge you more. Why is that? As you can imagine, there are some very controlling and picky people out there. Subcontractors will charge more to cover themselves in the chance a client decides to make last minute changes or avoid payments. Sub’s can also be difficult to schedule in your timeline and they will give a contractor's project priority over yours.
Remember that not everyone is a “professional”, so take the time and do your research. Start with anyone you may know that has recently had a home built and ask who they used. You can also check ads for new real estate developments and visit those areas to look at the work first hand. Once you have some eligible choices, the next step is to plan meetings. These are some helpful details to cover:
- Learn about their backgrounds; look into past projects.
- Pay attention to the passion they have when talking about their craft.
- Ask for references. Follow up with those references and see if anyone had a negative experience.
- Inquire what subcontractors they use so you can also check with them and find out their experiences working with this particular contractor.
- Make sure the building company insured so you don’t find yourself responsible for medical bills if a worker is injured.
One thing that should never influence your decision is the lowest bid.
There’s a reason these contractors are offering such a low price. One is to get your business, and the other is from cutting corners somewhere, whether it’s in materials or technique. Either way, you’ll be paying to fix those mistakes down the road. You’ll be the one staying under the roof, so you want quality construction and value. Lastly, make sure you understand everything in the contract before you sign it. It’s not a bad idea to have a lawyer review the contract as well.
Location & Lot Size
Good locations rarely come at a good price. The number one rule when buying a lot is to not make your decision on price alone. Real estate professionals advise spending the extra money on a piece of land. Location and size will hold value. When you’ve discovered the perfect neighborhood to build your home, thoroughly analyze all the properties that are available in the area. Here are some tips to consider when examining a potential lot:
- Look at the homes that are in the surrounding area and compare the price ranges. This will give you a good idea of the range your house will be valued at when it is completed.
- Which way does the lot face?
- Make sure the house plan you have will work within this particular lot.
- The surrounding area:
- Are there schools?
- Is it a street or neighborhood with a lot of traffic?
- Are there public areas like grocery stores or gas stations? Near by is nice and convenient, but right across the street or next door can be too intrusive.
Building Design, Flow, & Value
Even if you plan on staying in your new home for the rest of your life, it is important to keep the resale value in mind. The design and size of your house and the houses around it will greatly influence each other's values. If you build the biggest house in your area, you’ll increase the value of the homes around you and you probably won’t get a full return on your investment. Smaller homes do however have the advantage of a smaller investment with a larger return. Although having a distinct style can be a selling point, building a home that is personally unique might limit a demographic that may be interested should you decide to sell in the future. Homes that are truly out of the ordinary should be reviewed by an architect to identify marketability aspects and areas that could cause trouble in the future.
Creating usable and workable space gives a home its functionality. Storage space and closets should be located in each bedroom, hallways, and entrance areas. One thing people seem to overlook is built in furniture like shelves and entertainment centers that eliminate the need to buy bulky furniture that will take up space. If you’re planning for additional rooms like home offices or guest space, creating areas that work as either will add value. Adding simple wall separations or angles to a floor plan will also create unique spaces that increase a room's visual appearance.
Keeping Mortgage In Mind
Mortgages have a way of causing people to develop an uncomfortable sensitivity. Of course we should stay within our budgets, but mortgages can be used to your advantage. When you apply for a loan to build a new house, it covers the construction which converts into a regular mortgage when it is complete. The advantage here is your ability to include not only the construction of the home, but everything inside. That means furnishings, appliances, and furniture; you name it, and you can add it. This allows you to pay a significantly lower interest rate than you would if you waited to buy all the extras with a credit card. Don’t cut corners on fixtures like counters, flooring, or heating and cooling. Think about the long-term paybacks. Even an energy efficient HVAC unit might seem expensive at first, but you’re saving money in the long run. You can build within reason without cutting out all of your desired amenities.
Our last safety precaution is to set aside an amount in your budget for unplanned issues that may arise. Even the most well prepared builders can hit roadblocks. This will be an exciting journey for you and your family. The last thing you want is to get overwhelmed by details. With a team of professional builders and developers with over 40 years of experience, Natale Builders has everything you need to bring your dream home to life. Call or email us today for any questions you have on a new home. Thank you you again for choosing Natale Builders. Stop back soon for new blogs!