You want to build your own home but feel uncertain how to begin. Poor choices can cause lengthy delays and cost thousands of dollars. Follow these tips to get started and avoid problems.
Research Financial Considerations
Call a Realtor familiar with the area where you plan to build, and ask for e-mailed listings for new homes being offered there. From this, calculate what kind of cost per square foot you can expect to pay for the quality of home you’re looking for and identify developers that build homes in your price range.
Divide the asking or sold price by the total square footage to see cost per square foot. Several competitive examples reveal the normal price range for new homes.
Get pre-qualified for a loan. You can sometimes hire a builder who gets his own construction loan, but this is unlikely since a slew of builders defaulted on their loans during the housing crisis.
Consult an Architect
An architect on your project may cost more initially, but can pay in savings. She’ll discuss your specific needs and develop a floor plan, blueprints, and materials list that excludes unnecessary extras.
Many builders prefer that you don’t hire an architect. They chafe at the idea of answering to both their buyer and an industry pro. Builders often have floor plans they prefer to use, or want to design it themselves.
Even if the architect doesn’t design your home, she can ensure that your project stays on track for completion, that the builder stays within budget and doesn’t inflate prices on individual components and upgrades. She can serve as a knowledgeable project manager.
Hiring an architect before you choose a builder will ease tensions considerably because your builder won’t feel like you later hired a babysitter!
Select a Builder
Your friends, the Realtor you spoke to, or your architect may recommend particular builders. You’re not obligated to hire someone simply because they came recommended, so think carefully about your needs and make sure they belong to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Compare the builder’s style to what you want. For instance, if you plan on masonry work, avoid builders that only use vinyl siding on a home’s exterior. Their lack of experience could cost you time and money if the lack experience installing it or effectively supervising subcontractors they hire to complete the work.
Obtain estimates. The builder’s estimate should include a through, detailed list of components and prices that will be used and information about change orders. A change order refers to changes you make as the project goes along, when you make changes to the contract. Small changes interfere with a builder’s ability to satisfy contractual clauses, so experienced builders have contracts that discourage change orders.
Sign a Contract
Consider adding financial terms to ensure completion on time. You can use financial penalties for delays, incentives for completing it before the deadline, or a combination of both in your contract can minimize tensions later.
Guest post contributed by Liz on behalf of www.mybuilder.com – visit their site to read tradesmen reviews.