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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Where to Focus When Building Your Dream Home

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 18 January 2017 23:07

Building the home of your dreams is a huge undertaking. You want everything to be perfect, which probably means you sometimes feel like you could spend a year just looking at sink fixtures! But while this type of research is fascinating in its own right, it won't get your home built anytime soon.

The key to getting your dream house out of your head and onto a plot of land is to learn how to focus. There are many elements involved in learning how to focus well in construction, which is the focus of this post.


Step 1:Do your research to find out what is and isn't possible.

This is your dream house, so you probably have a long list of cherished hopes, dreams and wants attached to the project. Some of these will end up being eminently doable, while others may end up being impossible to achieve.

There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to incorporate everything you want into your dream house build, including the zoning and deed restrictions on the piece of property you've chosen, the permitting process required to circumvent such legal restrictions, the local weather, your own budget and more. Just like some car insurance quotes depend on the car you have, home insurance depends on the home you own.

So before you even start working on your budget or pursuing lenders, learn everything you can about the plot of land where you plan to build. This will tell you what you can budget for and what won't be possible or affordable.


Step 2:Create your budget.

Your budget will serve as the foundation for your entire dream house project. Your budget will tell you when you can build, where you can build and how much home you can afford to build. Think of this as a business, and just like when using an email marketing agency you need a budget. Homebuilding is the same.

One of the primary reasons why many new homes never get finished by the original builder is a simple one: lack of cash flow. So before you start your project, you want to be sure you have a detailed budget in place, complete with a bit of extra cash built in just in case the unexpected arises.


Step 3:Set your timeline.

Your timeline will tell you when you will start and when you will finish. In between, it will give you a series of important milestones (foundation laid, utility lines in place, house framed) you can use to benchmark whether or not you are on track to finish on schedule.

Your timeline will also help you stick to your budget, because you will have the awareness that every extra day your build lingers on is a day you spend more than you budgeted for. And if you are hiring a general contractor and construction crew to handle the heavy lifting, you can use your timeline as a tool to talk with them about progress.


Step 4:Select your builder.

Unless you have expertise and confidence working on residential construction projects and a lot of free time to do so, you may find it makes more sense, time and cost-wise to hire a builder to oversee your project.

If you go this route, you will want to be sure the builder you choose is worthy of your money and your trust. Some home builders vary their focus on interior or exterior when building communities. Set up a checklist so you can interview different builders and have consistent information you can use to compare them.

In particular, investigate the builder's recent projects, their licensing and certifications, their resume, testimonials from past clients (do your own independent internet search here - don't just rely on what you find on the builder's own website), their suggested home floor plans and their sample construction contract.

Building your dream house is something not everyone gets to do, so it is a big deal and very exciting! It can be a big step in customizing a dream home, so do your research and take your time. By learning how to focus well at each stage of the building process, you will end up with a beautiful new home you will love.

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