Questions Prior to Building
8 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Prior to Building A Custom Home
Building a brand new home has the potential to be extremely time consuming and full of unexpected contingencies. It is vital that one considers all elements of building a custom home before embarking on the adventure. The most important factor of building a custom home, above all, is making sure you currently bestow a budget capable of handling such a feat. However, besides budget there is still an additional fleet of concerns one should consider unplanned for costs when constructing their own home from scratch. Hopefully the 8 questions outlined below will help to keep you from making any newbie-home building mistakes. It is imperative to ask yourself these 8 essential questions prior to signing a single building contract.
Question #1: "Are You Truly Able to Afford Custom Building Your Own Home?"
When you begin to contract the build on your new home its affordability will seem extremely attainable on paper. However, you will need to consider additional unplanned for costs that may come up during the construction process. For example, plans tend to go ary as building dates are delayed. Lumber may start out at a variable cheaper price but by the time your building actually happens that first assessed price may have risen. Or additional surveying may arise causing your initial building price to rise and so on and so forth. All of these unexpected elements have the potential to cause your cost margins to widen. This is something you must be prepared for. In short, do not decide to custom build your home until you have the funds to cover the initial building price plus extra cash to create a cushion for any unexpected expenses that may come up. A good rule of thumb is to pad your budget for the building materials by ten percent of the total cost.
Question #2: "Do You Have the Required Time Available to Embark on Such a Project?"
Custom building your own home will require a lot more time and patience than purchasing a pre existing home. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have the time available to deal with all the requirements and variables involved in this type of project. You would be surprised at how long even the most basic, stock home builds take! Allot at least eighteen months for your custom home build. However, expect for it to take at least six months longer than that time frame if you run into problems. For those in any sort of rush to get into a new home, purchasing a pre existing one may be the better option for you.
Questions #3: "Will your Family and/or Marriage be Able to Withstand the Pressure?"
It is safe to say that if you can all get through custom building a custom home together, then you can get through anything together. (More than a handful of contractors would fully back this statement.) The stress of building your own custom home has the potential to put a large strain on a family and/or marriage. This is something you should be prepared for. Expect arguments over paint colors and cabinet fixtures .
Question #4: "Will Custom Building a Home fit Your Current Lifestyle?"
Custom building your own home will require sweat, blood, and tears. The final result should be a you will live in for at least a decade. This is something to definitely consider before embarking on such a project - Will you be putting down roots in this home? Is the house's build location a place you see yourself living in for at least seven to ten years? If there is any chance that your family, partner, or career may have you relocating elsewhere in under the next five years - custom building a home is not for you! Several people stay for decades in their custom homes from sheer exhaustion of the building process.
Question #5: "Will this Home Fit Your Needs and Wants?"
It is extremely important that you, your spouse, and/or family sit down at some point and create a list of everyone's needs and wants for the new home. The 'needs' list should consist of all must have essentials, like the correct amount of bedrooms, bathrooms, and counter space. The 'wants' list should be comprised of features that would be nice to have but are not due or die for the end result of the build or home owning experience. These lists are great for shaping your budget according to your build. You should first make sure you have the funds required to cover your 'needs' and with any leftover money you can begin to check off your 'wants' list.
Question #6: "Have You Located Land for Your Project?"
It is important to first make sure you have enough land and money to purchase your space before you embark on looking into your build. Price per acreage varies by location, so it is best to shop around before settling on your permanent location. You will also need to factor in each city's costs for building permits, electricity, and sewer systems. It is also vital to inquire if the land will need further landscaping or if it is ready to be built on straight away. Have your own inspector come to check out the property thoroughly prior to purchase so you can avoid major unforeseen problems down the road. An inspector will be able to tell you if you will have to install a septic system, how far power lines are from the location, and/or how difficult it will be to lay down a foundation. Your contractor and inspector should be able to address all of these questions and more prior to your land purchase.
Question #7: "Have Your Chosen a Reliable Builder?"
Choosing a reliable contractor will be the most important decision you make in the entire process of building your custom home. It is extremely important to do your research and shop around when considering who to contract as your builder. Your builder should be upfront, honest, and professional. Do not choose a builder who is promising to build you a palace for under two hundred thousand dollars. This is not realistic or possible. It is best to go with a builder who parallels your philosophies/tastes and you are comfortable communicating with. You will spend the majority of your time customizing your home with your builder.
Question #8: "Have You Weighed all of the Custom Building Pros and Cons?"
One should never rush into building their own custom home. Time should be taken when considering all your home building options. Research other custom built homes in your area that lie within your price range and begin to weigh all of the pros and cons of each home. You need to be realistic during this time and if you find that purchasing a pre existing home makes more sense for you then postpone your custom build until you find a location, or build worth your time and effort. However, if your pros outweigh your cons, then prepare.
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