Building a new home is more than just construction, we believe it’s the beginning of creating a legacy. Unfortunately, many spend their hard-earned cash, time, energy and various resources building a home only to later discover that there has been a major oversight which needs correcting. To avoid costly mistakes during the construction process, here are some of the tips to follow.
All our clients know how greatly we emphasize “a legacy” in construction.
1. Define your estimated Budget
Contrary to what some may suggest, rather than focusing on how much it will cost, it is much more important to first estimate how much you can afford to spend on your home-building project and in which time frame. This should take place at the very onset of your planning and research because all other building decisions are affected by the amount of money you have to spend. This covers what size of home, type of materials, location and quality of the builder. Your legacy should neither break your financial backbone, nor drown you into huge debts.
2. Choose Your Plot of Land
If you have not yet purchased a plot of land, you’ll need to decide whether you'd like to live within town, close to town or away from town in a more rural area. Most areas within cities have varying regulations and restrictions which may interfere with your intended use of the property. It is worth noting that availability of amenities such as water, electricity or sewer systems directly impact not only the land value but also the project costs. In general, you should plan for 22 to 30 percent of your new home cost to go toward the purchase of the land.
Even though in some circumstance, its viable to develop floor plans or other details for planning purposes before actually owning the land. You should consider looking into the land in details and preferably hire a professional to investigate factors such as soil condition, drainage, zoning, weather patterns, water table, accessibility and building codes in the region. Costs will be higher if your house design needs to be customized to fit the lot. If the house can be built on the lot using stock blueprints, it will help your budget.
3. Get a House Plan
Building a new home means not just constructing a house for shelter but also creating your legacy that will communicate your input, secure lives and property, and define your investment that is meant to last, hypothetically forever. Finding the right plan can take some time, and resources but it is always worth it. The first step in this is to basically define what you need which can be done by drawing a basic idea on paper (it’s fun to go wild and get into creation and vague sketches if you have the time) or have a few references to that can be discussed.
Now you are ready to get a professional to develop your idea into a feasible and actionable blueprint. This may always come with a decent number of minor modifications to the original plan but while apprehending the core defining factors. A professional plan not only saves on the construction costs but also on the pre-construction costs including feasibility, fund sourcing and regulatory Approvals while providing efficiency in planning. This design phase is not only about creating idea into an actionable blue print but rather a more in-depth analysis of factors such as the sun’s location relevant to the plot, the prevailing breezes’ direction, long-term heating and cooling costs cost analysis, lifestyle and preferences..
4. Consider enhancing Safety.
It’s extremely important to feel safe and secure in your home. Planning for things like fire exits, exterior lighting and a security system go a long way in improving the safety of your new home. In addition, its worth it to equip your legacy with extra facilities like the emergency preparedness bankers, firefighting systems, and utility backups.
5. Get a working Budget for Building Your Home
Having developed your legacy to this level expected to be within your estimated budget, at this moment, you need to make sure the house you want can be built with the capital you have access to. Once you have agreed on a house plan, you can task a professional to give you the actual material abstracts and bills of Quantities that specify the resources required at each phase while capturing all of the necessary construction materials and labor, the utility charges and permits, and the fees for relevant designers, landscapers, and other professionals. As such, you get the precise idea of how much it has costed you to this stage, how much it will cost up to the finished foundation, super structure, roofing, electrical installations, mechanical installations, finishes and furnishes, outdoor amenities, landscaping, boundary fencing, and other specific details depending on the project.
Some people tend to forego this step and share the plan with the selected builder (different from the designer) to separate that plan into specific construction phases, and get cost estimates. In such cases, unless it the designer making the estimates, some builders tend to exaggerate the estimates to either give them a “workable operation freedom” or worse, to rip you off during the construction. In such cases, its advisable to get various builders to offer the proposals and select the one that makes more technical and financial opportunity.
In whichever case, as the owner don’t forget to include a contingency of at least 10% of the total project cost. The contingency covers the unexpected costs that often arise when building a home. If you don’t use it, then great! But the last thing you want to do is to be forced to halt construction on your dream home due to unforeseen costs..
6. Line Up Your Team
From the start, you need to have a Construction Manager or a relevant professional assisting you or acting on your behalf while selecting an actionable blueprint, a working budget, a building site, and other technical details including approvals. You can now begin assembling the team of experts or contract a builder (if different from the designer) to construct your legacy home.
In many cases where being physically present on site regularly is impossible, your Construction Manager or other chosen professional will represent you and pursue your interests to ensure that your legacy comes to life with in the required quality, time and budget.
However, while its common for homeowners hire a professional representative to coordinate most or all of the work, it is also possible for a homeowner who wants to be deeply involved in the process to serve as his or her own direct supervisor (normally on simple homes). In this case, you will be hiring and supervising all the subcontractors yourself. Working this way is quite demanding, but for the right person, it can be a rewarding way to build a home attributed to his legacy, as well as one that saves money (hypothetically).
7. Negotiate a Contract
Whether you choose to have a professional representative or want to supervise the project yourself, be sure to get written, signed contracts for each building professional involved in building your home. At the very least, this means a contract with the general contractor/builder, as well as the Construction Manager or architect, if they are part of the process.
A contract for new home construction will describe the project in detail and include a listing of all the parts to be included in the house (the detailed specifications) without which, your house will likely be built with "builder's grade" materials, which can be on the cheaper side or even worse, of unacceptable quality. Be sure to hash out the specs as part of the negotiation before the contract is written as part of the negotiation and then make sure everything is clearly listed. Remember to amend the contract later on if you or your contractor makes any changes to the project..
Great emphasis should be spent on the time spent completing the preliminary steps to building a new home to achieve the ultimate results. As Albert Einstein once quoted: “If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”
Sufficient resources should be allocated to this process. It is also notably a lot of hard work which may disrupt not only your life and the lives of those around you but also your economic and social status. That could be one of the probable reasons why some people fear to define their own legacies by constructing a home or even decide to build an already constructed home.
Building your own home should be an experience of creating your legacy, as in all parts of life, somethings may go awry but the best part is that ingenuity all about finding the solutions accompanied by endurance, resilience and staying focused. You are surely not going to find any construction process a smooth ride but equally the results will define your legacy.
Contact us or Book an online appointment in case you need guidance or would like to be assisted in any relevant technical way.