Often times the excitement of building your dream home can become overshadowed by stress, frustration, and lack of preparation. There are questions you can ask yourself before building and practices that can be followed to help ensure the construction of your dream home really is a dream building process as well.
Have you measured twice?
Sometimes in the excitement of building a new home homeowners get caught up in the cosmetic finishes of the home and lose sight of room size, flow and furniture fit. One way to get an idea of what you want out of your floorplan is to measure rooms while visiting model homes or use your current home as a size guide. Don’t hesitate to measure your furniture to ensure you have proper space allocated in your new floorplan. You will also want to think about the location of your home on your lot – are you maximizing your view where you want to? Putting the time in to truly conceptualize room sizes and layout will save regret and headaches with the finished product.
Will You be Happy if Your “For Now” Home Became Your “Forever” Home?
Building for the future will save you time and money in the long run. Whether it’s needing more room to accommodate for a future wheelchair or moving a bedroom downstairs, these are all things that can be addressed when your home is being built. Utilizing universal design strategies is a great way to ensure your home is prepared for your future.
With so many variables going into a custom build-on-your-lot home, we strongly recommend having a contingency fund of 5-15% of the sales price. Whether this needs to be utilized at the beginning of the build for pad/lot prep, utility costs, permitting overages due to governing jurisdictions, etc. it is a good idea to provide a buffer. Many construction loans will write this in as a line item – many homeowners prefer this strategy rather than out-of-pocket in cash.
Budgeting for Pad/Lot Prep
There are many variables that can throw a major kink into a budget – don’t be blindsided right from the get go with having to pay for extra dirt work, tree removal, or other site prep surprises. Make sure to walk your site with your builder and ask that he provides you with a site estimate before you sign the contract.
Time is Money
You are building your dream home and you want to make sure the selections you pick are ones you love and will still love for years down the road. The more selections you can make ahead of time, the faster the construction process will go. Making decisions ahead of time and sticking with those decisions will keep trades from having to wait on you or even reschedule their time working on your home – keeping your job on schedule.
Communicate with Your Builder, Not the Trades
When making changes during construction it’s best to always go through your builder and not though the trade directly. There are so many components that go into your home and if you bypass the builder there could be a major information gap between the trades. For instance, if you directly ask the plumber to move a sink in a room and that space was allocated for AC duct work you could run into a potentially costly problem that could have been avoided. Communicating with your builder directly about changes will help you avoid major errors to your home’s construction timeline.
HGTV has done a disservice to builders; it doesn’t take a day to build a house, not everyone shows up at once, and there is no such thing as a spotless jobsite. We budget about a year from plans (or 9-10 months from build contract) depending on the location of the build. We do our best to maintain a clean jobsite with an onsite dumpster and porta potty, but there may be a muddy day when we need to clean up the street after our concrete trucks. There may be a few taco wrappers we need to pick up that were discarded outside of the dumpster.
We like to compare the construction process to a restaurant. You don’t need to see the mess of our kitchen to appreciate the taste of our food. We can guarantee that the home is built to last, and there are multiple inspections at every stage to ensure the quality before we move forward to the next construction stage. Construction sites, by nature, are an ebb and flow of many tasks going on at once, possibly a few days of lull due to weather or scheduling conflicts, then hustle and bustle again.
At Kurk Homes, we anticipate each project to be unique and apply years of expertise to manage the variables and come out with the home of your dreams of which we can all be proud.