If there’s one dream which even people with the most differing opinions and lifestyles share, it’s building a home. It’s the dream of most people today to live in a home where they know no one will expect them to pay rent, or restrict what they can and cannot do on the property.
However, what most people don’t realize is that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to building a home, beyond just having the necessary resources. It takes a good contractor who understands your ideas, and brings them to reality. And also knowing a lot of things you should avoid, if you don’t want to end up with regrets.
That’s why you’ll find below a list of tips on how to plan your dream; things to consider when hiring a contractor, and the problems you should avoid, if you don’t want to end up with loads of disappointment.
Must read tips before you plan your new home
The first step in getting anywhere in life is setting goals, and disciplining yourself to achieve them. Before you set any goals you should have the following in mind;
- What you want to achieve, and within what timeframe you want to achieve it
- What it will cost
- Do your goals make sense, i.e., are they achievable?
- If you don’t reach them, what will be “Plan B”?
Save money and establish a budget
Having goals will be of no good use if you don’t save money to help you achieve them. Thus the second tip is setting up a budget commensurate with your earnings, and then begin saving until you have sufficient funds to start the home project and complete it.
A common mistake which people make is starting the home building project before they have sufficient funds to pay for it. By setting a budget which incorporates all the costs, from labor to materials, you’ll be good to go.
Choose your new home location
Once you have enough to buy your piece of land and to finance the entire project, your next step should be choosing the right home site. Consider your commuting needs, how accessible the place is, security, and also your preferences. Then once you’ve chosen a specific location, you can hire a civil engineer to evaluate the soil conditions, and anything else that might inconvenience you in the future.
Select your favorite design
Here is where all the mystery starts to unfold, because you’ll finally be bringing everything into action.
Find the right designer or contractor to help you settle on the latest trends in home building. Or, you can be the one making the call by suggesting a design, and then taking the time to listen to their advice concerning your suggestion. Once you’re done with this stage and you have the blueprints, you’re now good to go.
Nonetheless, this is the most crucial stage. If you fail to get this right, you’ll end up living in a house which will forever remind of your mistake. That’s why hiring a good contractor is the most vital step in home building.
Below are tips on how to find a good home builder.
Take time to research
Building a home is a “big deal” because it’s where you’ll spend the rest of your life (or at least a good part of it) with loved ones. And a building contractor will be the one who determines how it turns out, because he’s the one with the expertise to bring your ideas to life.
Thus, hiring a contractor is also a “big deal,” and you should take the time to research and find the right one. You can do so by searching online, and looking at the ratings of the various companies and individuals you find. Or you can ask your colleagues, acquaintances, family, or friends who have hired building contractors to build their homes.
Get quotations from various contractors you’re considering, and then do a comparison to see which one suits your budget. Once you’ve done so, continue with this next step.
The next important step is to consider their certification and licensing, and to determine whether they’re “legit.” But don’t stop there. They may be licensed… but, are they experienced enough to tackle what you have in mind?
Ask them how long they’ve been in business, and the number of projects they’ve completed. Or even better, ask them for a list of the projects they’ve finished, and see if any name on their list rings a bell. Lastly, ask them about the timeline for completion, to see if it aligns with your goals.
Mistakes to avoid when hiring a contractor
- Hiring without asking for references
- Not asking for credentials
- Going with the cheapest bids. Price is only one consideration, but not necessarily the most important one.
- Starting the project without a written contract
- Not asking whether there’ll be additional (i.e. “hidden”) costs
- Expecting them to finish within a timeline they believe is unrealistic and/or unreasonable. Doing so may result in shoddy work that was done just to meet your expectations.
- Paying too much in advance. Pay no more than half up front, then see how the project goes. So if any issues arise, you can insist they be addressed before final payment is made.
The decision regarding whether to buy a pre-existing home, or to have a new one built, is a very personal matter. There are pros and cons on both sides of the argument. But if you choose the latter, following the above guidelines will help to ensure your decision is one with which you’ll be happy for many years to come.