Building a new home, whether on your own lot or as part of a new home development, comes with many challenges. By knowing what to expect, having a detailed plan, and following up on each piece, your construction project will run smoothly, and you will definitely have the home of your dreams.
Those who have built their own home would agree there are many dos and don’ts for tackling this type of project. Here are a few to consider to help you avoid builder’s remorse and have a successful home-building experience. Let’s start with the things to avoid when planning and executing new residential construction.
The Don’ts of New Home Construction
1. Don’t skimp on structural components. Your budget should allow for building the safest and most structurally-sound house you can afford. Materials that need to withstand loads, weather, and other forces should be of the highest quality. Skimping on some design elements can help you stay within budget, but details like windows, doors, siding, roofing, and cabinetry are costly to maintain and replace if they fall apart suddenly. Choose the best you can afford on these vital components.
2. Don’t neglect your lighting. Take advantage of natural lighting options, like windows and skylights, whenever possible. Plan for lighting early, and consider how light changes throughout the day will influence the functionality of your spaces. A well-lit home is safer, more inviting, and functions more effectively.
3. Don’t forget to plan for electrical and HVAC. Let’s face it, these hidden systems are easy to ignore, but they are also challenging and expensive to change once construction has begun. Consider all current and possible future uses of your space when designing the electrical plan, and be sure your HVAC system will keep your home at a comfortable temperature, safe from moisture, and ensure your air quality for many years to come.
4. Don’t let someone convince you to make changes that aren’t right for your family. You’re the expert on how you use space and what you need. Building a new home allows you to create the design and layout that will work best for you, so stand your ground when others try to convince of something you know is not right.
The DOs of New Home Construction
When considering building in a new home development or on your own land, here are some things you should know before breaking ground.
5. Do have some extra cash set aside. No matter how thoroughly you plan, unanticipated costs will probably occur. They can come from unavoidable increases in labor or materials, surprise complications, or a design element you find mid-project but want to incorporate. Setting aside some extra dollars, without adding them to your proposed budget, prepares you to be able to complete your project on time.
6. Always track every expense. Spreadsheets are your best friend while undertaking new home construction. Record everything that is purchased or invoiced throughout the entire project. To avoid surprises, share this with your contractor regularly, to be sure you are both on the same page regarding expenditures.
7. Be sure to ask questions ahead of time, and always know what you are signing. Because planning is crucial when building a new home, asking questions before you begin construction will avoid mistakes, confusion, and costly fixes. Contracts with builders, architects, and sub-contractors are essential for your protection, but you must understand the agreement before signing it.
8. Always hire professionals with the right knowledge. An expert architect and a trusted, licensed contractor will be your two most significant assets on any new residential construction project. These professionals have the experience and expertise to plan and execute your vision for your new home, and they will build that house on time and budget.