Just like buying or selling an existing home, new home building can also be a challenging process. Luckily, there are things you can do to avoid expensive problems and less than satisfactory results.
Evaluating Your Situation
1. What is your budget?
2. Have you chosen a site? Don’t think this decision is unimportant; rule of thumb is, find a lot then design a home to build on it.
3. Does the location you want have restrictions in terms of choosing a builder?
4. Does everyone in the family agree to the builder’s approach, design and costs of the project?
5. Do you have plans for your new home? Lumber yards will gladly draw your plans for a fee, which is refundable if you actually choose them to supply the lumber package.
6. Should you sell your current home before finally making a decision?
7. Do you have a list of amenities you want, along with their corresponding costs?
As soon as preliminary decisions have been made, it’s time for you to do some research weigh all your choices. You can come up with opinions after getting information from real estate brokers, lumberyard people, architects, and the like. However, you need to remember that there could be a million ways to build a home right. The point is to find the one that’s best for you.
Comparing Cost and Benefits
Compare the builders based on their philosophies, considering their advantages as well as disadvantages. Keep in mind that their preferences and yours may not always be a match. If you know the costs involved and understand the particular benefits of building methods and materials, you can be more confident in terms of understanding the project.
The Building Plan
When asking builders to submit bids, you have to be able to express your preferences to them. Written plans and specifications help limit communication issues which sometimes crop up; they also help ensure that you will be comparing apples to apples. Good plans include the dimensions of all rooms, outside elevations and all structural components, including foundation specifications.
The Most Important Questions
To help you choose a builder, the following are the most important questions you may have to ask:
1. For how are you covered by your workmanship guarantee?
2. Do you have a license, and if so, who issued it and what were the requirements?
3. How long have you been operating?
4. Can you give me a list of client references?
5. Do you have insurance, both liability and workman’s compensation?
6. Can I see a sample of your contract?
7. May I select my own suppliers?