custom homesBuilding custom homes is not just about laying the foundation. It’s much easier and fun to build a home when you’ve got a plan and a competent builder. These five steps would help you in avoiding expensive mistakes during construction. Ask questions and share your progress with others who have been through this process.

Budget Planning

Begin by knowing who much you can afford as soon as you start to consider building your house. You should have a realistic estimate of what you can spend on a home and how much it will be to build one. Budgeting is about finding the right balance between your needs and a realistic estimate of what you can afford.

You will likely need a construction loan or a mortgage. You can find out the maximum loan amount you are eligible for based on your income, and other financial obligations. Most banks and financial institutions will prequalify you to receive a construction loan. This will give you an idea of how much money you can spend. This early stage also includes determining the cost of various elements of your new home, such as the land, architect or designer, general contractor, appliances, and interior features.

This is a time-consuming and complicated process that should be started many months well before the new home construction starts. You might have to spend as long as two years researching the issues before closing a deal with a custom home builder.

Budgeting Tips

Banks that offer loans exceedingly expensive are not to be trusted. This was the reason for the 2008 financial crisis. It is not a good idea to borrow more than you can afford. It is actually a good idea to keep your loan amount below that amount. A great way to find out how much money you can afford to build your home is to talk to an independent financial advisor.

Be prepared for unexpected costs. Construction almost always ends up costing more that originally planned. It is often due to changes in building materials costs or requests for modifications during construction. To ensure that unexpected overruns don’t ruin your bank account, make sure to add a buffer.

Ask for at least three bids from contractors (and verify references). Most homeowners will spend the majority of their home building costs on a home builder. He or she will oversee all subcontractors and laborers involved in the construction. It is important to strike a balance between a contractor that is cost-effective and one that uses quality materials. Begin by asking for references from satisfied customers. Next, interview at least three contractors. This will give you an idea of the cost of building your home.

Compare shop for materials. Although the general contractor usually picks the building materials, appliances and other amenities, you can still be involved in the process. You may be in love with granite countertops and want to let the builder know.

Hidden costs of building custom homes

Many first-time homeowners find it difficult to see the hidden costs involved in owning a home. You will need to pay for furniture, windows treatments, media wiring, and lawn and garden equipment as well as other one-time costs. If you aren’t prepared, you might be caught off guard by ongoing expenses like homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, or lawn-care services. These expenses may be shocking to renters who have lived in a rental home for a while.

Select Your Lot

Talk to realtors if you don’t have a lot of land for your home yet. They can give you a pretty good idea about the costs. While land costs could vary depending on the location, it is recommended that you budget for at least 1% of the cost of your new home to be used as a deposit towards the purchase of the land.

You will have to choose the land for your home before you can choose floor plans and other details. The soil, drainage, zoning and other building codes of the area will all need to be considered by you (and any professionals you hire). When the design of your home should be customized to the lot, it would cost you more. It would save you money if the house can be built using standard blueprints.

new home constructionChoose a House Plan

Stock plans are often used to build new homes. It can be difficult to find the perfect plan. The first step is to choose your preferred house style. Take inspiration from the numerous catalogs and, if necessary, have a professional such as a Myrtle Beach custom home builder, architect, or designer help you select the right stock plan for you. The stock plans can be modified by a home designer to adjust the room size, window styles or other details. Stock home plans can be modified by some builders.

A custom designed home is a home that has been designed specifically for the family living there. Most custom-designed homes will require the expertise of an architect. They ask questions such as “Where is the sun relative to the lot?” Where does the wind blow? How can we reduce our long-term cooling and heating costs? Your lifestyle and preferences should be discussed with the architect.

It doesn’t matter if you choose a standard or custom plan, it is important to select a plan that will be able to meet your needs over the years. For example, a young couple might want to plan for more relatives, while an older homeowner may need to consider aging in place.

Get your team together

After you have established a budget and a site for construction, you can begin to build the team of professionals needed to construct your home. If necessary, key players could include a builder and an excavator as well as a surveyor and a home designer, or architect. Most homeowners start by choosing the general contractor (builder). The pro will then choose the other members of your team. You may choose to hire an architect, designer or engineer first.

The question is: Do you plan to be involved in the construction process? Even though the majority of homeowners hire a custom home builder or general contractor for coordination, homeowners could also be their own general contractor. In this situation, you would be hiring as well as managing all the subcontractors — carpenters, concrete contractors, excavators, etc.–yourself. This is not an easy job, but it can be rewarding and a great way to save money on your house building project.

What about nontraditional construction?

The appearance of your house does not have to dictate the construction method. There are many options. Many people are attracted to straw-bale, rammed earth, and cob houses. You can’t expect all architects or traditional builders to be experts in every area. A team of specialists must be able to build traditional houses using non-traditional methods. Make sure you do your research and find the right builder and architect to help you realize your dream.

You could try to negotiate a contract

Be sure to have the written and signed contracts with every one of the building experts involved in the new home construction. This will include a contract that will involve your general contractor, custom home builder, architect or home designer, if they’re involved in the construction.

What is included in a building contract? The contract for new home construction will detail the project and list all parts that are included in the house. It also includes a list of the “specs.” Your house will most likely be constructed with “builder grade” materials. This can be more expensive. Before the contract is written, make sure you have a detailed discussion about the specifications. Then, ensure that everything is listed. If you or your contractor make any changes to the project, be sure to amend the contract.

The bottom line

While the initial steps of building a home are exciting, it is also an opportunity to assess whether new construction is right for you. It is hard work, and can cause disruption to your life and those around you. It may be less stressful to search for an existing home, whether it’s a pre-existing one or a new home built “on-spec.” You may decide to remodel your home or stay in it.

Sometimes, the decision to build your home is made for the wrong reasons. A new home is rarely a solution to a difficult life or relationship. It is important to first analyze your motives. Is it because someone else wants you to build a house? Do you see it as a distraction from other problems in your life? Are you able to handle the extra stress? Why are you building a home? Self-reflection can help you to be more aware of yourself and save you many headaches.

If your self-reflection passes these tests, you can then follow five important preparation steps to ensure your home is the one you want.

Call Dawol Homes if you need the help of professionals in building your new home. 

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Dawol Homes
9404 Hwy 17 Bypass,
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
(843) 294-2859

Dawol Homes Sales Office
3100 Dick Pond Rd # E
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588

We build homes in: Cypress River Plantation, Waterway Palms, Waterbridge, Murrells Inlet, Collins Creek, Bellwood Landing, Carolina Forest, Plantation Lakes, North Myrtle Beach, Socastee, Surfside Beach, Pawleys Island, Litchfield Plantation